Subj: ZGram - November 5, 1998 - "Chutzpah ABC Style"
Date: 11/5/98 3:15:52 PM Eastern Standard Time
From: (E. Zundel)

Copyright (c) 1998 - Ingrid A. Rimland

November 6, 1998

Good Morning from the Zundelsite:

"Once again," writes Declan McCullough, a reporter for "Wired", an
important computer magazine, "the Net had it first, this time by accident."

Who said that "None Dare Call It Conspiracy"?

I quote here from a report by Adam Clayton Powell III titled "ABC News
election-eve Net 'mistake'":

"On Monday night, ABC News accidentally posted complete state-by-state
election results on its Web site, hours before any votes were cast

ABC withdrew the numbers by mid-evening Monday, saying they were all a
mistake and a test of their systems.

'It wasn't our finest hour,' Michelle Bergman, manager of communications
for, told the Associated Press yesterday."

(end of excerpt)

Some test of their systems! Remember the Buchanan race?

Buchanan won stunning victories in areas where ballots were counted by
hand, and lost disastrously where ballots were counted electronically.

And I remember watching "dancing graphs" during that strange, almost eerie
election period, with media cheerleaders artificially creating the spikes
by whooping and hollering every time the needle jumped. It looked so phony
that even unsophisticated voters must have wondered what psychological
warfare was at play.

Now, does anybody feel some shame? Not in the least. ABC, with its hand
caught in the cookie jar, insists that what they did was nothing that
unusual - that in the days before each national election, the major
national news organizations hold "rehearsals" for reporting election night,
using "dummy" numbers.

In the Powell report we read for further elucidation:

"With almost all election districts reporting, those 'phony' ABC News test
numbers on Monday accurately matched the outcomes of the Senate and
governor races in 61 of the 70 contests - 87%. It would be difficult to
find a political analyst, pundit or bookie who even came close.

While every major analyst on Sunday was predicting the Republicans would
pick up anywhere from one to four Senate seats this week, ABC's test
numbers on Monday had it right on the money: a 55-45 GOP-Democrat split,
for no net change.

Even more remarkable, in some of the most closely watched contests, ABC
News election eve "test" numbers matched the final vote count almost
precisely - within one percentage point.

In the Florida governor's race, Jeb Bush beat Buddy MacKay by 55% to 45% -
the exact final result rehearsed by ABC News on Monday. In Texas, Jeb's
brother George won by 69% to Mauro's 30% - the very result used in the ABC
rehearsal on Monday.

ABC News rehearsal numbers also matched the exact final results, to within
one percentage point, of the governors' races in Alabama, Colorado,
Wisconsin and Wyoming.

All told, ABC's 'error' had the correct candidates winning the governors
mansions in 32 of 36 elections yesterday. The only gubernatorial contests
where ABC had the wrong candidate winning were in Hawaii, Iowa, New Mexico
and Minnesota, where few predicted Reform Party candidate Jesse Ventura
would be the new governor."

(End of excerpt)

I am citing the precise numbers here because I well remember the agonies of
Statistics 101 and the Revelations of Probability Theory. There must be
statisticians on my reader list who can multiply out the probability
outcome. As I remember my lessons, the galaxies would not have sufficed to
show the outcomes cited above - and below:

"In the Senate elections, ABC's test numbers matched the winners in 29 of
34 contests, including all of the major races. ABC on Monday had posted
"WIN" indicators next to Boxer, Schumer, Fitzgerald, Murray and Hollings,
all of whom won close races in California, New York, Illinois, Washington
and South Carolina, respectively.

ABC also had the correct result in Wisconsin. The final vote totals this
afternoon showed Russ Feingold narrowly won reelection by 38,410 votes. On
Monday, ABC's rehearsal numbers showed Feingold winning reelection by a
margin of 39,000 votes."

(End of excerpt)

Is ABC's nose growing long? Not in the least.

"It was completely random," the above cited lady named Bergman insisted.


Thought for the Day:

"Three may keep a secret, if two of them are dead."

(Benjamin Franklin)

____Information about Ingrid Rimland may be found at:

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Date: Thu, 5 Nov 1998 09:50:39 +0100
From: "E. Zundel"
Subject: ZGram - November 5, 1998 - "Chutzpah ABC Style"