While we're sifting through the Election-Day spin from pundits and analysts and waiting for the real, true-to-life, partisan spin later tonight from politicians and our beloved Democratic and Republican parties, well, we may as well spin that spin. The Awl offers up a checklist of things to watch for in the Sea of Spin:
1) Do analysts note that off-year elections following a presidential vote are often heralded as deeply important indicators of the national mood by the victorious party and dismissed as unrepresentative contests predicated upon local issues by the party that loses?
2) Do those same analysts mostly concede that it is difficult to draw any meaningful conclusions based on the election results but insist that, no matter how lacking in historical precedent, the mere perception that the results they've just dismissed indicate some sort of change will, in fact, make things more difficult for the party that loses?
3) Are representatives from each party allowed to trumpet their respective spins on the results in such an over-the-top way that it is clear were the results reversed, the spins would be similarly reversed? If there is a mixed result, are party representatives allowed to overstate the significance of the results most favorable to their party and ignore those results which are less favorable?
That's a pretty good way to look at it. One thing I would add: how often is the term "spin" used to describe the analysis that's being presented by partisan figures? In other words, how comfortable is the media in labeling spin as spin?
And: who gives the best spin? Perhaps the best partisan analyst should be presented with an award as Spinmaster of the day.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.