Monday, July 07, 2008

For sale: Coverage in The Economist ($1,000 obo)

The 2003 California Recall Election offered one of the best values for shameless self-promoters in recent history. For $3,500 and 65 signatures, your name and personal statement would reach tens of millions of people as a candidate for Governor.

This bar-lowering allowed people often left out of gubernatorial politics, such as brewers, satanists, pornographers, railroad car brake operators, prop-based comedians and tiny thespians, a chance to get their name and message across in an arena where millions were likely to notice.

Fast forward to 2008. This time it's The Economist offering low cost publicity.

Attempting to justify an article attacking Senator Jim Webb as a poor choice for Barack Obama's running mate, despite neither Webb nor anyone in Obama's campaign suggesting he's under consideration or would take the position, presented the following explanation:

"No one but Mr. Obama knows whom he will pick, but the buzz around Mr. Webb is loud enough to make in the favourite on Intrade, a betting website. So it is worth examining his weaknesses, too."

The problem with this is that only about $1,000 was actually wagered on Jim Webb via InTrade. Don't tell Gallagher.


Anonymous said...

Economist rips Gallagher:
"Smashing watermelons doesn't qualify one for Vice President"

Nemesis of Evil said...

It just occurred to me that maybe we are being a wee bit hypocritical, given that the majority of your posts have relied on Intrade as a news source (including one about Jim Webb being the favorite for the veep slot). Is our excuse that we're not reputable?

Koland said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Koland said...

The difference is that I cover InTrade because I try to provide information and analysis for gamblers. Unlike The Economist, I'm not using InTrade as an anecdote to justify a political attack (partially because I know the sums wagered on the contract is laughably small).

It was right to cover Jim Webb from a betting perspective as the VP nomination became the most interesting contest once Obama clinched.

* Jim Webb, by the way, tanked yesterday when he issued a statement that he didn't want to be VP.

I still think the VP candidate race is the most interesting predictive market contract right now. How many seats the Dems will pick up in the House / Senate is also a good one.

BigDra said...

Since when is this blog a place to provide "information and analysis to gamblers" ?

What's the obsession with predictive markets, anyway?

I want to know what's going on in the 'Tos!

Koland said...

The predictive markets are one of the more interesting ways to look at politics. Something this blog as a whole covers on a local, state, national and international level.