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Voice Votes: Big Bird, Pond Scum, Hugo Chavez Voice Votes: Big Bird, Pond Scum, Hugo Chavez

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Voice Votes: Big Bird, Pond Scum, Hugo Chavez

And what if a journalist moderated a debate but nobody heard?


(AP Photo, Seasame Workshop)

Welcome to this week’s Voice Votes, a feature in which we grade the week’s headlines—and poke fun at them. You can join in by suggesting your own #win, #fail, and #meh candidates via Twitter. (Send tweets to @nationaljournal). Need more space? E-mail suggestions to or leave us a comment on Facebook. We’ll publish the best suggestions in this space every week and credit the authors.

Here's how we vote this week:


#Meh on Mitt Romney’s pledge, despite his professed love of Big Bird, to cut funding to PBS if elected president. That may play well with Walmart moms, but there goes the math vampire vote.

#Fail on Jim Lehrer’s barely noticeable debate moderation. If a journalist moderates a debate in the middle of an auditorium and no one hears him, does his network still exist?

#Win on the algae lobby, which is urging the National Park Service to delay its plans for removing an algae bloom from the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool. Finally, a lobby that acknowledges it’s working on behalf of pond scum.


#Fail on Sen. Scott Brown’s naming both Antonin Scalia and Sonia Sotomayor when asked to identify his model Supreme Court justice in his second debate with Democrat Elizabeth Warren on Monday. Though it was just as puzzling when, asked to pick her favorite Marx, Warren named both “Groucho” and “Karl.”

#Fail on Former Vice President Al Gore’s left-field claim that the high altitude in Denver contributed to President Obama’s underwhelming debate performance Wednesday night. Maybe Obama's not the one who’s high and having a hard time dealing with it.

#Fail on Vice President Joe Biden’s assertion at a campaign rally in North Carolina on Tuesday that the middle class “has been buried the last four years.” In fact, the only group of people that’s had a more miserable four years is the vice president’s press team.

#Fail on the much-hyped “release” by The Daily Caller of a 2007 video of President Obama speaking at a conference of black ministers that had in fact been widely covered at the time. Tucker Carlson didn’t even jump on the video’s biggest bombshell: Obama is a secret Christian.


#Fail on Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s endorsement of Obama for president on Sunday. We knew Priorities USA had withdrawn ad buys from media markets in Florida and Wisconsin, but we didn’t know it was to double down on Caracas.

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