Because I somehow systemically undervalue my time, I finally sat through CNN’s documentary on Gerrymandering Gerry-Rigged. In an earlier post, I reported my reading of the reviews placed it par for the course in advocacy journalism in favor districting reform.
Boy, was I wrong. It was far worse. It is completely uninformed by social science. The only “expert” is a youngish researcher for Cook Political Reports who seems to mean well but provides almost no broader perspective. Advocates for reform are never challenged an on their points of view the only opponents of reform who appear on camera are incumbent politicians whose conflicts of interest are obvious.
I was also annoyed by the piece’s slick snarkiness. Of course, I do understand that you can’t build a TV piece based on the swing ratios, bias measures, and counterfactual polarization estimates. But I would like better analysis than “gerrymandering creates a merry-go-round where politicians get on and never get off.”