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Fox News was exultant. “You can’t go in and buy Georgia!” said pundit Kimberly Guilfoyle last evening in a short-of-ringing endorsement of the state of American democracy.
Well, Republican victor Karen Handel wasn’t reliant on the Salvation Army as she spent many millions of dollars, if less than her Democratic opponent Jon Ossoff, in the most expensive congressional race ever. And though it’s a Republican district, much of the press was primed for an Ossoff win and the opportunity to declare a ringing repudiation of President Trump.
“As fired up as the Democrats were in this district,” said MSNBC correspondent Garrett Haake, “It turns out that Republicans were just as fired up, too.”
“Even having more money than he could spend, about $25 million in total, Jon Ossoff couldn’t buy an extra 10,000 or so Democratic voters in this very, very red district.”
We did have dueling magic board analyses by the master, CNN’s John King, and MSNBC’s ever-energetic Steve Kornacki. It was as much — no, probably more — than you could possibly want to know about the Sixth Congressional District in Georgia. But, if you’re a politics junkie, it was demographic crack.
“This is a win for Republicans,” said a somewhat contrarian Steve Schmidt. “The Democrats were tapping on the glass in this overwhelmingly Republican district. The new battleground of American politics are (sic) these suburbs, where affluent, White, college-educated Republican voters who uncomfortable with Donald Trump are likely are likely to be swing voters in ’18, (and) 2020.”
Maybe. CNN’s David Axelrod probably said it better: All in all, you would have expected Democrats to do better in a district with a lot of college graduates. There’s no reason for Democrats to be unduly optimistic about taking back the House of Representatives next year, noted University of Virginia political scientist Larry Sabato a short bit later.
Or you go with the Vox conclusion, namely that Ossoff’s loss “will come as a crushing emotional blow to Democrats even though it hardly dooms their hopes to take back Congress next year.” Yes, it’s early, but don’t be clicking your heels, Dems.
Meanwhile, the unfettered joy that one expected from Sean Hannity wasn’t to be found since his prime time show was taped. Given the recent stumblings of the longtime king of cable networks, it was of a piece.
It was very tone-deaf, with Fox forced to use pre-taped breaks in the show to get live cut-ins from Bret Baier, finally ditching a chunk of Hannity to go live to Handel’s victory speech.
Until then the news was packaged around Hannity’s seemingly unedited ramblings on the deep state and the de facto coup d’etat against Trump plotted by the evil mainstream media.
That you can get on any night. On this evening, Fox fumbled.
But it had its cheerleading together this morning on “Trump & Friends,” where it heralded Handel and the latest Trump tweets bashing the “fake news, the money spent.”
Meanwhile, MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough blamed the Democrats for not knowing how to “talk to the South.” Mike Barnicle said the Dems know what to run against, not quite what to run for these days, while Mark Halperin called it “an unmitigated disaster” for the Dems.
So if many in the press, and most liberals, think a referendum on the tumultuous Trump administration per se is their road map to a congressional majority, last night suggested that might not be the case.
Here’s one most missed
“Bill Nye (the science guy) is coming to Beatrice (the Nebraska town) this summer (the season).” (Omaha.com)
“Nye, the longtime fact advocate and host of the Netflix series ‘Bill Nye Saves the World,’ will join the Rangers at Homestead National Monument of America to highlight the new Eclipse Explorer Junior Ranger program. He’ll do this on Aug. 21, the day of a solar eclipse.”
What the tech giants discussed at the White House
There were snatches reported about Trump’s meeting with the likes of Jeff Bezos, Tim Cook and Eric Schmidt. But they all had slightly different agendas, as Axios underscores this morning, and they hung around the White House for an array of private meetings:
“A session on cloud computing, for example, featured some of the industry’s leading players: Keith Block, the chief operating officer and president of Salesforce, as well as the chiefs of Intel and IBM. They discussed the ways the U.S. government can cut down on some 6,000 costly data centers in its control and shift those responsibilities to the private sector, a move that could mean a windfall for any tech company that might someday win such contracts.”
The Post and Polly
“For the next month, the newspaper will let its mobile users listen to four audio versions of business, lifestyle, technology and entertainment stories daily using Polly, a web service from Amazon. The Post, which is owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, worked with launch sponsor Lincoln Motor Company to decide what kind of content to curate for the experiment, (Post executive Joseph) Price said. The newspaper’s signature political stories are not currently included among the voice articles.” (Poynter)
A brief Trump respite
It’s unusual, given the unceasing Trump news each and every day. But at different periods the last two days, The New York Times homepage has not had a single Trump news story. But just wait.
If you want to get back into a Trump-centric swing of things, read this morning’s Tim O’Brien effort in Bloomberg about the obvious questions raised by Trump’s relationship with a shadowy real estate development firm, the Bayrock Group, that once operated two floors below him in Trump Tower in New York.
Google’s job board
“Starting today, when you search something like ‘jobs near me’ or ‘restaurant jobs in Chicago,’ you’ll be ushered to a new part of Google Search that falls under the umbrella Google for Jobs. Here, you can further specify the opportunity you’re looking for, and Google will list opportunities from some of the largest employer databases on the web (including every site mentioned at the top of this article).” (Fast Company)
CNN ramps up video initiative
“CNN will invest $40 million over the next two years into Great Big Story, transforming the in-house social video startup into a 24-hour streaming channel.” (Bloomberg)
“Time Warner Inc.’s cable-news network launched Great Big Story in 2015 to make short videos about offbeat places and people, like a mountain climber with no arms or legs, or the inventor of the Dothraki language from HBO’s ‘Game of Thrones.’ The goal was to distribute videos on social media to reach millennials who don’t watch CNN on television.”
Finding a podcast
The USA Today Network announced a new longform podcast. (Newswire) But podcasts are proliferating, so how might one find one you don’t know about but that’s got stuff you’d love to hear, especially coming off the news?
Apple has an idea with data about listener habits that will offer “lots of new opportunities for podcast discovery apps to improve the ways we can discover new content, and for the discovery apps to discover new content to potentially distribute.” (Poynter)
Should the Bible be scared of Amazon?
“Everybody should be worried about Amazon,” serial entrepreneur and author Gary Vaynerchuk told Cheddar at the big Cannes, France meeting gathering. “The Bible should be worried about Amazon.”
At the same time, said a rather unequivocal fellow, “Amazon is not putting these fashion brand retailers out of business. They’re putting themselves out of business by not adjusting to the realities of the new world….like sending catalogs through the mail….got it?”
A truly odd sports disclosure
Sportsnet blogger Elliotte Friedman claims (with somewhat fuzzy sourcing) that Marian Hossa, longtime star hockey player with the Chicago Blackhawks may have played his final game. Get this: “Apparently, he suffers from a serious allergic reaction to the equipment he wears.”
Rumors running amok
With the pro basketball draft tomorrow night, basketball writers are working overtime tracking down (and publishing) rumors about possible deals. It’s a crowded media marketplace and one big trade was broken, as ESPN conceded, by scoopmaster Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical.