Forecasting Political Scandals

Friday, April 13, 2012


(Frank Polich/Getty)

Brendan Nyhan is a Dartmouth political scientist who studies why scandals break when they do. According to Nyhan, before this month's GSA fiasco, President Obama had the longest streak of scandal-free coverage of any President in recent history. Nyhan tells Bob that according to his theory, we can expect the coming months to be full of scandal coverage.


Brendan Nyhan

Hosted by:

Bob Garfield

Comments [3]

dcc from East Harlem

Sometimes I suspect the coverage of these scandals are timed to distract us from (and obliterate attention to) worthy news. You mentioned toes during this segment, but you didn't mention the toes story broke on the very same day as Gary Webb's expose in the San Jose Mercury News. And the Rev. Wright story blew up just as Bear Stearns tumbled down. Neither really got any coverage because of the hysteria over what was then passing for news. Are we missing anything worthwhile because all we've been hearing about lately is hotel guests in Cartegena, and a certain wife who never worked a day in her life?

Apr. 18 2012 01:22 PM
Maldo from Keokuk, IA

Despite your implication, it's highly unlikely that the conventioneers washed down their sushi with "lots and lots of, of course, margaritas." For one thing, the overwhelmingly popular drink to have with sushi is sake or beer, so "of course" makes no sense. Secondly, it's highly unlikely that the beverage and food bills were broken out separately, so how would you know what the conventioneers drank with their sushi? Finally, there simply seems to be no documentation that the conventioneers drank margaritas with their sushi. So your assumption would seem to be misguided. I realize this is a minor point, but it's rather ironic given that your program critiques the media.

Apr. 15 2012 10:31 AM

So a tree falling in the forest doesn't make a sound unless the Washington Post says so on it's front page?

"...the economy has been so bad that there has been very little incentive for Republicans to push scandal allegations..."

Apparently some cannot see the scandalous trillion dollar, constitution disregarding forest that conservatives have been talking about for three years because of the "enchanting" Obama trees seen through their rose-tinted, blinder equipped glasses.
In other words, major newspapers and academics see what they want to see and ignore what they want to ignore in keeping with the security blanket of their progressive political narrative and call it news?
Nevertheless, it is nice to know that political reporters "will eventually turn their attention to the Obama administration" in year three of his administration.
Maybe a "news vacuum" is not the problem but a media bubble and echo chamber that thinks reality begins and ends with the Post, The Times and NPR and they genuinely believe the political conceit and sophistry of their own news coverage and writings.

"Let that pass" may be the mantra for investigative reporting in the Obama era. At least future presidential and media historians will have fun explaining the failure of modern journalism along with future psychiatrists.

Apr. 14 2012 11:24 AM

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