I continue to count stories cataloged on Google News about the Bush/AWOL scandal, and to graph the results of both the count and daily adds.
The links on the right under "feature" take you to the graphs and to the older comments. Newer comments I'll post below.
Postscript: Sorry, here's the direct link to the graphs. The top graph is the count of stories, and the bottom is daily adds.
11/18: I've found the missing story, and it's good news and bad news. I'll lay it all out in a new post.
11/17: No change, everything is still flattening out, and there's no indication that anyone in the Democratic party is taking their cues from unfutz, because no one's come forward to goose this story forward. Has everyone determined that they've gotten everything out of it that they could?
11/16: So far, the data shows no sign of any upward rise; adds are down almost to very and the total count is flat.
Kevin Drum weighed in today with the thought that the story (at least the part he was examining closely) didn't seem to be going anywhere. If the Kerry and the Democrats don't want this story to die and have to be resurrected from the dead later on (if that would even be possible to do once it goes down for the second or third time), they had better be planning something for Tuesday or Wednesday at the latest. One would think that careful examination of the papers would provide some kind of news hook, some new angle to puff a little life into the thing, but if not, at the very least an accurate summary of the known facts, clearly and forcefully presented, might help.
Postscript: There's another possibility, which is that the keywords and keyword combinations I'm using to track the coverage are no longer driving it, and that some other keyword is. Paul Lukasiak suggested I try "physical examination", but it and other variations on it don't show enough unique hits to be useful. I hope to do a little research to look into other possibilities.
11/15: Today's experience exemplifies the volatility of the data in the 3 or 4 days it takes for it to settle down. Adds for "AWOL" on the 11th were at 178 before I checked them last night, when they had burst up to 411, significantly changing the shape of the graph. Because of this, I've added a note to the charts idicating that the last 4 days of data presented are tentative.
11/14: Thanks to Billmon for linking here from his excellent site Whiskey Bar. In his comment, he writes:
unfutz's charts show the rate of growth slackening considerably over the past couple of days -- an early warning sign of media scandal fatigue, I think.
I'm not sure I agree, or, rather, I think it's too early to tell.
First there's the methodological problem that it takes three or four days to get an accurate read on the number of Google News hits, so the slackening that Billmon sees may turn out to be somewhat less that it appears at the moment. Still, it's not going to go away completely even after the numbers are corrected.
More importantly, as Billmon also states, it really takes a specific news hook to get the kind of spikes in adds you can see on the 3rd the 8th and the 10th, and that hook can conceivably be nothing more than some high profile Democrat summarizing and reprising the charges against Bush, perhaps with an added twist. That might well be enough to spike things again. (One hopes that the Kerry campaign and the DNC are looking at graphs similar to mine -- or, at the very least, are relying on their intuitive sense of the ebb and flow of press coverage -- to gauge when the most opportune moment is for a renewed attack. My thought is that Tuesday might be a good day for it.)
Finally, as indicated by their behavior in the gaggle, the White House press corps (and the major media in general) smells blood and weakness in the Bush administration, which opens the door to the kind of journalistic pack behavior which keeps a story like this active and prevents it from dying. They haven't been that way in a while and now that they've tasted the thrill of it (they really seemed to enjoy browbeating Scott McClellan about the community service issue), they're unlikely to let it go so easily.
For these reasons, I'm not inclined to be as pessimistic as Billmon is about the trajectory of this story.
Postscript: Kos also thinks that the story may be on its "final legs."
hostile to science
lacking in empathy
lacking in public spirit
out of control
Thanks to: Breeze, Chuck, Ivan Raikov, Kaiju, Kathy, Roger, Shirley, S.M. Dixon
i've got a little list...
Steven Abrams (Kansas BofE)
Howard Fieldstead Ahmanson
Roger Ailes (FNC)
Alan Bonsell (Dover BofE)
Bill Buckingham (Dover BofE)
George W. Bush
Bruce Chapman (DI)
The Coors Family
William A. Dembski
Leonard Downie (WaPo)
John Gibson (FNC)
Fred Hiatt (WaPo)
James F. Inhofe
Philip E. Johnson
by Joel Pelletier
(click on image for more info)
Stephen C. Meyer (DI)
Judith Miller (ex-NYT)
Sun Myung Moon
Elspeth Reeve (TNR)
Martin Peretz (TNR)
Richard Mellon Scaife
Susan Schmidt (WaPo)
John Solomon (WaPo)
Richard Thompson (TMLC)
Bob Woodward (WaPo)
All the fine sites I've
Be sure to visit them all!!
Arthur C. Clarke
Daniel C. Dennett
Philip K. Dick
Stephen Jay Gould
"The Harder They Come"
Ursula K. LeGuin
The Marx Brothers
Michael C. Penta
Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger
"The Red Shoes"
"Singin' in the Rain"
Talking Heads/David Byrne
Hunter S. Thompson
"2001: A Space Odyssey"
If you read unfutz at least once a week, without fail, your teeth will be whiter and your love life more satisfying.
If you read it daily, I will come to your house, kiss you on the forehead, bathe your feet, and cook pancakes for you, with yummy syrup and everything.
(You might want to keep a watch on me, though, just to avoid the syrup ending up on your feet and the pancakes on your forehead.)
Finally, on a more mundane level, since I don't believe that anyone actually reads this stuff, I make this offer: I'll give five bucks to the first person who contacts me and asks for it -- and, believe me, right now five bucks might as well be five hundred, so this is no trivial offer.