James McPherson's Media & Politics Blog

Observations of a patriotic progressive historian, media critic & former journalist


  • By the author of The Conservative Resurgence and the Press: The Media’s Role in the Rise of the Right and of Journalism at the End of the American Century, 1965-Present. A former journalist with a Ph.D. in journalism, history and political science, McPherson is a past president of the American Journalism Historians Association and a board member for the Northwest Alliance for Responsible Media.

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Archive for March 19th, 2009

Not-so-sweet sixteens: NCAA tourney and GOP ‘bracket of evil’

Posted by James McPherson on March 19, 2009

As of right now I’m looking good with my NCAA hoops bracket. Having picked both Maryland and Texas A & M, the only game I’ve missed so far today is LSU over Butler. But I was in good shape last year even after a couple of full days, and still kept intact my 10-year record of having never won the office pool.

At least I’m braver in my picks than Barack Obama, though we both put Memphis and Pitt in our Final Four (he has North Carolina taking the title, while I’m going with longshot Wake Forest) and I’m admittedly less likely to be criticized for my picks. Regardless, though, now there’s a March Madness bracket that maybe I can win: My long-distance phone provider has come up with a “bracket of evil” to let people judge the most malevolent forces in American politics.”

I was surprised to see that the selection committee left Dick Cheney and Sean Hannity out of the field of 32. For my Final Four I’m picking #1 seeds Rush Limbaugh (from the Media Division) and Karl Rove (Politics), #3 seed Exxon (Corporate), and #4 seed Grover Norquist (Maverick).

I see Limbaugh’s toughest competition coming before the final, with him out-trash talking Bill O’Reilly, edging Fox News, and then sliding past the slippery Karl Rove before drumming Exxon in the final. Unfortunately, the madness of all the contestants in this tourney will go on long after March is over.

March 26 update: The Elite Eight for the Bracket of Evil pits Rove against Mitch McConnell, Limbaugh vs. Fox, Blackwater against Exxon, and Newt Gingrich vs. Sarah Palin. I had the first six right, but missed the last two so three of my Final Four are still in the running.

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