Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Lampley Goes Large

Via atrios - let me predicate this by saying I have always believed, and continue to believe, that Jim Lampley is kind of an idiot. I have watched many, many HBO fights with Lampley at ringside doing color, and I find him to be at best annoying and at worst a great detriment to my understanding of the fight.

Any serious boxing fan knows that when you watch a fight seriously, in order to determine what you think is the correct scoring, you have to turn the sound off. The reason for that is that no matter how strong-willed you are, the three guys in the booth will bias your interpretation of the fight.

I have watched many Lampley-commented fights in my life both with and without the commentary, and I have to say Lampley skews my viewing of a fight the most of any commentator I've encountered. His problem is one that Bob Costas also has - he has a subconscious need to make every single moment he experiences to seem like the greatest moment in the history of sports.

I say this as a caveat to the post I am about to link to, because I think it's possible that Lampley is overstating the conclusions that can reasonably be drawn from the evidence currently available about Election 2004. However, having said all this, I will also say that what I have always liked about Lampley, and what most people like about him I think, is that he is willing to say what he thinks even when it might get him in trouble.

Which this very well might.

The one reason I will always respect Jim Lampley comes to mind here - at the end of Lewis-Holyfield I, a fight in which Lewis dominated and embarrassed Evander over 12 fairly boring (and easy to score) rounds, the judges' decision was announced as a draw. The generally accepted attitude for a sportscaster in that situation is puzzlement, perhaps tinged with skepticism.

Not Jim Lampley. "Lennox Lewis has just been robbed," he said.

Indeed, he was robbed.


RBP said...

Greg Palast has covered this story as well as anyone. But I don't fully believe in this tremendous hack or conspiracy. Because I don't want to. I want to believe that the people I disagree with politically still share the same democratic values I share. All Americans share.

And then I think, $300 Billion dollars in supplemental spending for the global war on terror since 9-11. That's in addition to the $490 billion a year given to the DOD in annuall appropriations. It makes me wonder - is greed, coupled with ideology enough to spawn that kind of conspiracy? That kind of contempt for our democracy? I don't want to believe it. But I do think about it.

Adam P. Short said...

Well, the thing that hangs me up is actually the straw man that folks generally throw up to discredit any conspiracy theory. Only in this case it's not a straw man.

For example, when you point out that the media doesn't cover, for example, Palestinian deaths at the hands of Israelis, people will wonder how you can allege that the entire media is engaged in this weird top-down coverup. In fact there is no such top-down coverup effort, it's a situation that arises due to a convergence of more or less organic factors.

In this case, however, it's difficult for me to see how a serious fraud campaign could have possibly been executed without the explicit cooperation of a very large number of people. Those kinds of conspiracies are very rare. They aren't impossible (P2, anyone?) but they are rare.

So for now I'm still on the fence. I think the most likely explanation is that Republicans have simply perfected their long-standing vote suppression techniques, and all of this ballot counting stuff is just a red herring.

I'm still keeping an open mind, though. Anyone out there want to educate me?

Uncle Carlos said...

I'm a bit like you. All the credible scenarios to accomplish it require the involvement of large numbers of people, way too many too keep the secret. I don't doubt they did everything they could to discourage "wrong" voter participation, but predominately I think you saw an "unordinary" turnout of voters in key precincts. Screwed up all the models.