INTEGRITY SCORES FOR GAZETTE'S 1-31-16 POLITICAL COLUMNS

1-31-16

Greetings 1-31-16 Gazette Political Column Writers and all—

It is reasonable to expect the Cedar Rapids Gazette would print only high integrity political columns the day before the Iowa caucus.   If so, 8 of the 12 columns cited in the table below should have been discarded immediately.  In fact, only Steffen Schmidt’s column should have been printed.   For that reason, it alone has been excerpted and its integrity scored in the following table.  Furthermore, previous columns Steffen wrote were evaluated and  found to have high integrity as well. 

STEFFEN SCHMIDT, PROFESSOR OF POLITICAL SCIENCE AT IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY, SETS POLITICAL COLUMN INTEGRITY BENCHMARK

1 DAY BEFORE THE CAUCUS, ONLY 4 OF 12 POLITICAL COLUMNS IN THE 1-31-16 CEDAR RAPIDS GAZETTE HAD SIGNIFICANT INTEGRITY.  NONE WERE WRITTEN BY GAZETTE COLUMNISTS DORMAN AND WADDINGTON.  Source:  Iowalive  1-31-16

EXCERPTS FROM STEFFEN SCHMIDT'S TOPS IN INTEGRITY POLITICAL COLUMN IN 1-31-16 CEDAR RAPIDS GAZETTE

*AVERAGE INTEGRITY INDEX SCORE

Donald Trump decided to skip the Fox debate in Des Moines and hold a separate event in the same city to 'raise money for wounded warriors.' It was pure genius. Especially because the military is the most trusted institution in America, and Trump is raising money for wounded soldiers. The media is at the bottom of Americans' 'most trusted' list. What a chess game.

400

Agence France-Presse asked me, 'What is the reaction among voters in Iowa to him skipping the debate? Are they bummed they won't see Trump on stage? Angry that he's turning their Des Moines debate into a joke? Thrilled that he's standing up to the party establishment?' My answer was that most Iowans are busy with other stuff and aren't paying too much attention to this circus. I also asked, 'Who likes Fox News? And who likes CNN, MSNBC and others?' I think many hard-core conservatives are furious at Fox because they feel it is a mouthpiece for the 'conservative establishment.' I almost think the Iowans who do care about this tempest in a teapot have schadenfreude (Google it) about Fox getting skunked and trashed by its 'ratings star,' The Donald. And it was great political theater. Such drama. Like a soap opera.

460

The Fox debate had nothing to do with Iowa. It was pure Fox, Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes.

850

How many wounded warriors are at his event right now? Is that gig getting as much or more media coverage from everybody else besides Fox?' In other words, Trump once again sucked the oxygen out of another media cycle! This when the harried and oft-clueless media still were trying to talk about Trump saying his supporters would stick with him even if he shot someone on the street.

505

Is the media really that slow and naive? This is 2016. The comportment of candidates, the public discourse, the passion, the anger, the search for a leader who can shake things up - whether Trump, Cruz or Bernie Sanders has made all assumptions dubious. When voters cast their caucus ballots Monday, we finally will know if a mainstream, establishment contender can compete with this electrified environment.

400

AVERAGE

523

 POLITICAL COLUMNS IN THE 1-31-16 GAZETTE

 

Steffen Schmidt--Trump's decision to ditch the debate

523

Lu Nelson--Caucus for  wind, soil and  water

315

Barbara Trish--Caucuses aren't  for everyone

305

Charles Krauthammer--The three-cornered fight for the soul of the GOP

280

Scott McNabb--Stumped over candidates in Iowa

205

Paul Pate--Why your vote matters

200

Tim Burrack--Caucus voters should consider trade

110

Lynda Waddington--Wendell Willkie:  A cautionary tale for 2016

105

David G. Gerleman--Considering Roosevelt's four freedoms

55

Todd Dorman--A quiz to test your caucus campaign knowledge

40

Leonard Pitts--For planned parenthood, justice gets poetic

10

Integrity Index Score Derivation Methods are Posted on Website: http://www.iowalive.net/integrityderivation.htm

*Average on  a scale of 0 to 1,000 tops, where significant integrity starts at 300, evil is at 250 and below.  Grand larceny scores 40.

Anyone claiming to have better numbers is asked to provide them

It is noteworthy the Gazette printed the word ‘integrity’  in its headline Judicial branch fails integrity test for the 12-27-15 article by By Lauren Mills, IowaWatch.  So Gazette editors are at least familiar with the integrity word.  They just don’t use or practice it. 

Sincerely,

Iowalive    A growing network of volunteer citizens and professionals for improving Iowa

Sincerely,

Iowalive     A growing network of volunteer citizens and professionals for improving Iowa.