City Pages has an article about the perviously discussed Cragan & Shields' study. The author has seemed to poke a hole in the research, but doesn't address the methodology or how certain variables may have been operationalized for the study.
When the professors released a similar version of their findings in 2004, hardly anyone noticed. The only print mention, Cragan says, came from the student newspaper at Illinois State University....and, After School Snack -- we posted about the study in 2004.
At one point, the article points out:
"I'm glad they [Shields and Cragan] are looking at this, but it's a pretty complicated enterprise," Lillehaug says. "Identifying targets is very difficult. It would be more useful to look only at prosecutions."But's that's the rub isn't it? You don't really want prosectutions, if it is political profiling. You want to disrupt a campaign or an office holder. Ironically, the Rybak issue proves the point. A name is attached to a scandal; money, time and energy are spent defending oneself; and the voter attention span really doesn't wait to prosecution. Do we feel that different about Scooter Libby now?
I'm interested to see where things land when Cragan and Shields wrap up the study.