By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Brendan Nyhan on “The Politics of Scandal”

Dartmouth College political scientist and media critic Brendan Nyhan spoke at Northeastern on Monday evening about “The Politics of Scandal.” I live-tweeted his talk and put together a Storify, which you can view by clicking here.

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  1. “Media lost interest in IRS scandal as it became clear there was no evidence White House targeted the right” but “Whitewater was a major scandal for years, yet no Clinton wrongdoing was ever proved”.

    How did Nyhan explain the difference? No evidence of wrongdoing in either case, but one went away and another lingered (pushed heavily by the NYT).

    • Dan Kennedy

      @Steve: Good question, and no, though perhaps it’s in his paper, which I haven’t had a chance to read. One possible explanation is that facts sometimes do matter. The very amorphous nature of Whitewater meant that it could never be disproved, whereas the IRS claims were disproved very quickly.

      I don’t think you could rely on Nyhan’s other measurements. Among other things, the Republican base hated both Clinton and Obama.

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