MTV’s ‘Fantasy Election’ Based on Biased Scoring

A network that was instrumental in establishing connection between Obama and youth voters in 2008 has developed a new way to increase student interest in the coming election.

MTV has announced plans to release a new online competition related to the 2012 elections modeled after fantasy sporting leagues.

The game, Fantasy Election ’12, will allow friends to create teams of election candidates and compete against other fantasy teams to earn the most points.

What’s deceptive about this fantasy format is that candidates only receive points based on select criteria chosen by MTV, designed to measure each candidate’s political performance. Some of the criteria include:

-The use of the political fact-checker Politifact, whose “facts” have been found to be wildly inaccurate and usually directed to political figures on the Right.

-The amount of activity a candidate devotes to using the social media sites Facebook and Twitter as a means to connect with potential voters

-The civility of each candidate, based on the campaign ads aired by that candidate in different media markets, as measured by the Wesleyan Media Project.

-Whether or not a candidate is willing to take Project Vote Smart’s Political Courage Test, a questionnaire that measures the openness of candidates about their political stances on election issues.

-Willingness to disclose campaign funding, as recorded by the Center For Responsive Politics.

While MTV’s fantasy game is certainly a unique effort to increase student awareness in the upcoming election cycle, there are several issues with their chosen format that will bias the scoring of candidates.

For one, nearly all of these sources could be considered subjective in the material that they publish.

The ratings system employed by Politifact has an incredibly wide spectrum for interpretation, and also employs a certain degree of emotion in reporting the “truth” of a politician’s statement. When Politifact is checking the validity of certain statements by politicians, they assign ratings based on their “Truth-O-Meter”.

The system includes ratings such as “Mostly True”, “Mostly False” and “Pants on Fire,” which is reserved for statements deemed to be completely false, but are considered especially egregious in the eyes of their editors. MTV’s Fantasy Election ’12 will distribute points each time a candidate says something that is rated to be “True” by Politifact.

Monitoring the civility of each candidate is a concept that is laughable at best, as attack ads have been shown to be incredibly effective for influencing voters at the polls. Both Democrats and Republicans use attack ads, and polls have shown that 70 percent of the ads aired in the 2012 election cycle have been negative.

Finally, some of the point criteria are simply not relative to politicians from certain areas.

Candidates who come from states where fewer households have internet access may spend very little time on Twitter, compared to candidates who come from big cities.

There is also the issue that candidates who are more well known may be fact-checked a greater number of times compared to candidates who haven’t received as much media coverage. Statements made by House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) will likely face a higher degree of scrutiny compared to statements by a backbencher like Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Ill.).

MTV’s latest voter awareness project lacks the broad range of sources to be established as truly non-partisan. With a points system that is clearly biased in terms of distribution, a confusing system political fact-checking and a focus on issues such as civility and campaign spending, Fantasy Election ’12 is merely a means to create issues that are ultimately irrelevant to the prosperity of our country.

 

Comments

Polititainment

McCain takes on 'Sniper' bashers

Sen. John McCain is the latest person in a position of prominence to defend "American Sniper" from bashers, singling out the "obsessive critics of U.S. foreign policy" in an official statement.

Michael Moore continues on about snipers

Filmmaker Michael Moore has already stirred the pot with his negative comments about military snipers. During the weekend, somebody must've given the man an even bigger ladle.

Dropkick Murphys 'literally hate' Walker

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's abiding love for the Dropkick Murphys is not exactly mutual:

WH wants climate change 'Frozen' spinoff
Sorry, Anna. That snowman might not be possible in the new, evil, climate change-wrecked world of the Obama administration’s “Frozen” spinoff. According to The Hill, a State Department official recently met with Disney to discuss the idea of using “Frozen’s” characters to teach children about the impact of global warming on the polar bear. Robert Papp, […]
Dylan: 'Gov. not going to create jobs'
Bob Dylan’s latest quote is music to a conservative’s ears. Dylan gave an interview this week to AARP The Magazine to promote his new record “Shadows in the Night,” but that somehow led into some wise words on the government and job creation. “As long as there’s suffering, you can only be so happy. How can […]

White House

VP Biden appears on ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’ to get ask young people to sign up for Obamacare
With three weeks to go until the Obamacare deadline to purchase insurance, the Obama administration is pulling out all the stops to encourage young people to sign up.  The renewed push included a stop by Vice President Joe Biden on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” Monday so he could appeal to moms who are good at […]
Small drone crashes at White House complex, origin unclear
WASHINGTON (AP) — A small drone flying at low altitude crashed into the White House complex before dawn Monday, the Secret Service said. President Barack Obama was not at home and the White House said it did not pose a security threat. The crash prompted an immediate lockdown of the White House grounds until officials […]
WH chief of staff blurts out previously-concealed name of American hostage on live TV

All in a day's work at the White House: sometimes you keep ISIS hostage names a secret, sometimes you let them slip in an in interview on national TV.

7 Times Obama was ‘Partisan,’ Not ‘Practical’ during his State of the Union address
Near the beginning of his State of the Union address Tuesday night, President Obama promised to be “practical, not partisan” in his proposals to Congress. However, his speech ended up being anything but. From cracking jokes to outright veto threats, it was clear that the president had no interest in bipartisanship. So we decided to […]
Obama has been reminding Republicans ‘I won’ for 2,189 days

President Obama trotted out one of his favorite talking points against Republicans yet again Tuesday night, reminding the opposition party that "I won."

Congress

Boehner and McConnell critique SOTU

“Dead. Real dead.” That was House Speaker John Boehner’s verdict on President Obama’s tax proposals--and nearly every proposal from his State of the Union address, with the exception of cybersecurity, fighting ISIS, trade, and possibly the childcare tax credit.

Senate surpasses its 2014 vote total in a week
Is this what the Senate looks like without Harry Reid in charge? The new Republican-led Senate has already voted on more amendments in just one week than the Democratic-controlled Senate voted on in all of 2014. “We’ve actually reached a milestone here that I think is noteworthy for the Senate. We just cast our 15th roll-call vote […]
Whistleblowers denounce DOJ juvenile program

According to whistleblower reports, a Justice Department (DOJ) juvenile delinquency program provided grants to states jailing foster children and runaways over minor offenses like skipping school.

Gohmert: Obama 'divisive on the issue of race'

There’s a reason reporters clamored around former-House-Speaker-candidate Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tex.) at the State of the Union like this:

Rand Paul slams SOTU’s ‘lack of sincerity’ on NSA

Senator Rand Paul spent Wednesday morning blasting Obama’s State of the Union address, telling a roomful of conservatives at the Capitol Hill Club that “Some of the stuff, frankly, was difficult to even listen to and keep a straight face.”