Watchdog Blog

Archive for the '2011 Iowa GOP Straw Poll' Category

Herb Strentz: Iowa Politics and Press, Bachmann, and Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Inquiring minds may want to know how Iowans feel now that Rep. Michele Bachmann has dropped sharply in the GOP presidential derby. After all, the Hawkeye state often fashions itself as a presidential kingmaker, and it was Iowans — well, right-wing, evangelistic Iowans — who had crowned Bachmann as a frontrunner for the Republican Party’s [...]

Herb Strentz: The Iowa Straw Poll, Made Fun of Everywhere

DES MOINES—If we were to take the advice of Scottish poet Robert Burns, the Iowa GOP Straw Poll would be toast — finally put out of its news media-induced merriment and ending the misery of those who take democracy seriously. You know, as though self-governance were something to nourish and value, not something to debase [...]

Gilbert Cranberg: Bush Boycott in Iowa

On Saturday August 13th, I cleared the deck of distractions and sat glued to C-span’s coverage of the Iowa GOP’s fundraiser in Ames, the extravaganza better known as the Iowa Straw Poll. I didn’t want to miss a word. The word I especially didn’t want to miss was “Bush.” How, I wondered, would this highly [...]

Herb Strentz: All You Need to Know About the Iowa Straw Poll, and Then Some

Here is a thought to ponder as you read and hear about the results of the Iowa Straw Poll: “Most of what is in the paper comes from irrational people, but becomes rational because it filters through rational reporters and copy editors and maybe a rational editor, if you’ve got one.” Those words came to [...]

Gilbert Cranberg: Bastardizing George Gallup’s Work

It’s difficult to know what is more absurd: the actual description of the Republican so-called straw poll this weekend in Ames, Ia., or the seriousness with which the press is taking the stunt. George Will spent a recent column giving credence to the Ames goings-on by discussing it dead-pan even while conceding the “zaniness of [...]

Herb Strentz: Linus and the Iowa GOP Straw Poll

DES MOINES—Like Linus, who each Halloween prophesied the arrival of the Great Pumpkin, the political press every four years heralds the arrival of the Iowa Straw Poll. Linus proclaimed, “Each year, the Great Pumpkin rises out of the pumpkin patch that he thinks is the most sincere. He’s gotta pick this one. He’s got to. [...]