Don’t forget the past when writing

In today’s some would say bubble like technology environment sometimes it seems that reporters have forgotten what was written in 2001 and 2002.

In looking at much of the early reporting of the results of the Iowa caucuses it seems the political media is guilty of the same lack of history and context. For example, the NY Times has a story headlined, “Call for Change Shakes Up the Democratic Field.

The Des Moines Register has a great resource, here, of recent historical Iowa caucus results.

Sometimes the results in Iowa reflect what will happen, sometimes they don’t. For example in 1992, Senator Tom Harkin received 72% of the Democratic votes in the caucuses. Way back in 4th place behind “uncommitted” and Paul Tsongas was a governor from Arkansas at 2.8%. Guess how that election turned out?

In 1980, George Bush narrowly defeated Ronald Reagan in Iowa. In 1988 after serving as vice president for two terms he came in 3rd in Iowa after Bob Dole and Pat Robertson (Bush 41 had just about half as many votes as Dole). Guess how that election turned out.

Bottom line, don’t let the bandwagon decide how you cast your lot.


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