Banana Republic? UPDATE | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Banana Republic? UPDATE

Posted By on Thu, May 21, 2009 at 7:58 AM

Marlin Hawkins, in eternal slumber just up the road from Kris Allen's Conway home, would be proud of our ballot box stuffing. It beats any vote scheme the old Conway County sheriff ever cooked up. (Hawkins photo courtesy of the Enyclopedia of Arkansas.)

It was mentioned on TV last night and blogs all over are repeating it today -- Arkansas supposedly contributed 38 million of the 100 million votes cast for the "American Idol." Presumably, most were for the hometown hero, Kris Allen.

If House Speaker Robbie Wills contributed a mere 1,000 -- and all those quoted in today's Democrat-Gazette as saying they sent 10,000 text votes each are telling the truth -- I guess I can believe it.

That's how the game is played. Still. 38 percent of the votes from one state? Imagine if we'd get that excited about, well, you name it. On the other hand, this may just be instant urban myth, though the Wills post and others claim AT&T has confirmed the number.

I suspect some backlash if this is fully confirmed and the coastal media tumble to undue influence of the electorate from a state that accounts for about 1 percent of the U.S. population. Kenneth Starr could find a Whitewater angle, I'm sure.

PS -- Adam has been outselling Kris on iTunes.

UPDATE: Lindsey Millar, who's been following 'Idol' every step of the way, reports that the local Fox affiliate is backing away from the 38 million vote figure it reported last night.

"AT&T does not divulge that kind of information," said Ted Wagnon, AT&T Arkansas media spokesman.

"That's not correct. I don't where they got that from. We're going to run a correction." Ed Trauschke, Fox 16 news director. "I don't know what the source was."

The rumor went viral on the web, however. Allen was asked about it in an interview.

On 38 of the 100 Million Votes Coming from Arkansas: "If that's true, I really, really appreciate that. I know that Arkansas was really behind me. Arkansas is a great state. And, there's not a whole lot happens in Arkansas. So I think they were rallying behind me."

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