To Press Or Not To Press?

After we revealed some questionable Get Out The Vote tactics in the Bill Press Show shop, newly crowned Hottest Male, On Air — Bill Press — wrote in:

    July 30, 2007

    Dear Friends at Media Bistro:

    I am not surprised to learn that I was voted the Hottest On-Air Media Star in D.C. because, of course, I am!

    As honored as I feel, however, I’m afraid I must decline this award. I just learned that a far-too-enthusiastic member of our broadcast team had, temporarily, posted on our website – – instructions on how to cheat in your contest by voting more than once.

    Horrors! Voting more than once in an online poll!

    Yes, I’m as shocked as you are. As a former Boy Scout, a Catholic, and a liberal, I can’t tolerate cheating on beauty contests, not even temporarily.

    I also promise you that, unlike George W. Bush, I will not let this crime go unpunished. When I say “whoever had anything to do with this matter will be taken care of,” I mean it.

    Again, unlike Bush, who always covers up any wrongdoing by members of his staff, I have already appointed a Special Prosecutor in this matter. We will have a public trial/flogging of the guilty party Tuesday morning on The Bill Press Show, AM 1260, D.C.’s Progressive Talk Station, at 8:30 a.m. And I will not commute his sentence!

    Meanwhile, like a disgraced Miss America, I must step aside. I hereby surrender my crown to that also-ran, Ari Shapiro – who is nowhere near as hot as I am.

    Bill Press

But does Press really need to surrender? Allow us to explain. Turns out that, given a.) the high number of votes (1.25 million plus) and b.) the oh-so-wonderful polling software, the Hottest Media Types competition began to crash our servers. Therefore, any votes made after Friday night never registered, meaning that, whoever was ahead as of Friday, was the ultimate winner. Press was already #1 in his category as of Friday night, so the GOTV notice, also posted Friday evening, wouldn’t have changed things anyway.

When we explained this to Press, he wrote back: “I guess you could always refuse to accept my resignation!”

Which we did.

So, congratulations, Bill: You’re still #1.

Bill’s associate producer, Dan, wrote this on the Bill Press Show’s blog:

    Now, I (Associate Producer Dan) humbly ask for forgiveness to allegations of giving instructions on how to cheat the contest. Competition was getting tough, and we know for a fact other campaigns were cheating as well — it just so happens we got caught! I ask for forgiveness. Bill has given me my lashings.

    For the record, Bill took the high road and did not accept the win from FishbowlDC, but they rejected his rejection.

    Isn’t this what politics is all about? Cheating, then forgiveness? 🙂

(Do any other bot-loving winners have similar confessions?!?)

>UPDATE: Politico says, “[O]f all these guys, who won? Bill Press? Bill Press. Nothing against Bill Press, but it’s surprising, no matter how you slice it.”