In addition to the entertainment value, perhaps there is something we can learn about ourselves from these animated NMA episodes. We know NMA does not have a news staff on the ground in the US getting these stories first hand. The animated stories are simply a humorous distillation of US media coverage on a particular story. NMA is holding up a mirror to the US media and permitting us a peek at the perspective of an interested outsider digesting our media buffet. US stories selected by NMA for animation get there because the stories have achieved some sort of critical mass in US coverage, and there is enough media grist for the animation mill.
This begs the question - Why Christine O'Donnell? Christine O'Donnell is a clown of a Senate candidate who is going to lose by a large margin to her Democratic opponent in a Democratic state for the seat vacated by Democratic Vice President Joe Biden. The Senate contest does not even make Nate Silver's top 10 list of Senate Seats vulnerable to switching parties.
Now, we know the answer to why NMA selected her for this treatment. It is because watching our media, NMA determined she must be a big story. The real question - Why is she such a big story here? Why is she getting so much new and old media attention that she pops up on the NMA meme radarscope?
Dave Weigel took note of this very phenomena in a recent blog post, using O'Donnell and Republican candidate for NY Governor Carl Paladino as examples:
"I noted in August that Democratic dreams of Tea Partiers handing them the election were overblown; that in a wave year, even deeply flawed candidates can win. Nothing's happened to change my mind. Scan the House races and you'll find dozens of cases where Republican candidates appear to have hobbled themselves -- a sexual harassment case, on-the-record quotes about dismantling Social Security -- but are in strong contention anyway. I think the fact that Paladino and Christine O'Donnell won their primaries the same day, the very last primary day of the cycle,* has revved up a flawed storyline about "crazy" Tea Partiers blowing the election. So the focus on Paladino and O'Donnell is completely out of whack. If the DCCC is a general on a battlefield, it is distracting attention from the army headed straight for it by pointing out that two of the new recruits are holding their crossbows wrong."
A drunk, despondent Democrat was crawling about on the sidewalk under a lamppost at night.
A Police Officer came up to him and inquired, "What are you doing?"
The drunk Democrat replied, "I'm looking for my car keys of hope."
The Officer looked around in the lamplight, then asked the drunk, "I don't see any car keys. Are you sure you lost them here?"
The Democrat replied, "No, I lost them over there", and pointed to an area of the sidewalk deep in shadow.
The policeman then asked, "Well, if you lost them over there, why are you looking over here?"
The despondent Democrat looked at him and said, "Because the light is better over here."
Now that is fair.