Michael Barone Is A Liar And You Shouldn't Believe His "Analysis" No Matter How Scholarly He Looks

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Jonathan Chait on the latest

Another good example of this phenomenon is Rove's fellow Fox News analyst Michael Barone, who authors a lengthy column purporting to show that Obama's supporters are "academics," and Clinton's are "Jacksonians." I wrote about what Barone's doing here a couple months ago. Basically, he's taking a cultural mythology conservatives developed during the Bush era--to propogate the idea that Democratic voters are a tiny enclave of decadent intellectuals while their supporters represent the true patriotic volk--and applying it to Clinton and Obama.

Is there any evidence that most, or even a singficant chunk, of Obama's supporters are academics? I doubt it, and Barone offers none. Indeed, the whole concept is mainly a conservative anti-intellectual slur. (Barone claims that Obama "appeals enormously to voters in the academia and public-employee enclaves of America, who want to deny honor to our warriors and arrogate it to themselves.")

Why do I consider Barone a liar? This is why.

Following FOX News Channel's live coverage of Senator John Kerry's (D-MA) acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention on July 29, U.S. News and World Report senior writer and FOX News Channel political contributor Michael Barone, who was reporting from the convention floor, asserted that during the speech "they cheered when he [Kerry] zinged Bush and when he called for military strength, they were silent."

In fact, the crowd repeatedly cheered when Kerry appealed to military strength and national security. Barone's "observation" came moments after a remark, previously noted by Media Matters for America, that "hatred of [President] George W. Bush" is "what is motivating these people" at the convention.

Four years ago during prime time convention coverage Michael Barone looked the home audience in the face and told them that something they had just seen didn't happen.

This is one of the leading voices in America for political analysis. Really.