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How WND's Chuck Norris kicked off Huckaboom
Posted By Bob Unruh On 12/29/2007 @ 1:00 am In Front Page | Comments Disabled
When Chuck Norris landed a roundhouse kick during his martial arts and acting careers, that opponent generally provided no more opposition. And when he chooses a political candidate and writes about it in his WND column, millions go along. Now, even the Internet bends to his opinion.
That’s from a report from Zeta Interactive, which shows the Norris endorsement of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee in the race for the GOP nomination for president sparked a spike of 66 percent in Internet posts on Huckabee.
According to a report in DM News, a Haymarket Media Inc., project, the endorsement, made by Norris in his WND column on Oct. 21, caused a huge increase in conversations around the Huckabee campaign.
“Following Huckabee’s endorsement from Norris, the overall tone of posts peaked at 77 percent positive, versus 82 percent positive overall prior to the endorsement, according to Zeta Interactive’s Relevant Noise technology, which mines social media sites for buzz and volume of blog posts,” the DM report said.
Former Gov. Mike Huckabee
Al DiGuido, of Zeta Interactive, said the computer project is a “blog research tool that lets you scrape information from all of the blogs out there.”
“Think about what Google does for content. Relevant Noise does the same type of things for the blogosphere. It lets you understand what people are saying based on keywords to denote the tone,” he said.
The report said Relevant Noise “looks at content on more than 75 million blogs, as well as message boards and online communities, to give real-time feedback on consumer trends and opinions.”
“In the case of the Mike Huckabee/Chuck Norris collaboration, Relevant Noise detected a slight decrease in positive posts from a mixture of thousands of online authors, ranging from very influential bloggers to lesser-known authors,” the report said, even as the number of postings was expanding massively.
Conversely, the report said, the tool showed “relatively little surge in volume or change in tone” when Oprah Winfrey endorsed Sen. Barack Obama’s campaign.
Norris has been canonized with Internet “facts,” such as, “They wanted to put Chuck Norris on Mount Rushmore, but the granite wasn’t tough enough for Chuck’s beard” – many of them available on The WND Forum called Chuck Norris Laughlines.
But some issues are grounded in fact. When Chuck Norris wrote he was choosing to support Huckabee, the candidate had been holding support from about eight percent of voters, according to Rasmussen Reports, which is considered one of the most accurate tracking polls available.
Within a couple days, the time it took for the Chuck Norris column to make the rounds of the blogs and media sites, Huckabee’s support rose to 10 percent, his first time ever in double digits, and within another day it was at 12 percent.
Assuming the reasonable accuracy of the poll, and the estimated population of about 300 million in the Unites States, each percentage point would reflect the opinion of those representing about three million people, except that would be halved, roughly, because the poll divides Americans into Republican and Democrat camps. A two-point change, then, would reflect a change in those polled who are assumed to represent about three million people.
Alice Stewart, a spokeswoman for the Huckabee campaign, told WND that the Norris endorsement definitely produced results.
“He certainly had a surge with the endorsement from Chuck Norris,” she told WND. And she said another surge came with the release of a Chuck Norris television ad with Huckabee. In it, Huckabee talks about his solution to enforcement of U.S. border laws.
“Two words,” he says. “Chuck Norris.”
“That hit the airwaves in Iowa, it was picked up nationally and the interest rose. That was a part of the surge,” Stewart said.
Stewart said the campaign also has been helped by Huckabee’s more intense travel schedule, appearance on several GOP debates and other opportunities to share his message.
“Though [Rudy] Giuliani might be savvy enough to lead people, Fred Thompson wise enough to wade through the tides of politics, [John] McCain tough enough to fight terrorism, and [Mitt] Romney business-minded enough to grow our economy, I believe the only one who has all of the characteristics to lead America forward into the future is ex-Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee,” Chuck Norris wrote.
Chuck Norris has been writing his weekly column exclusively for WND since Oct. 23, 2006. The star of “Walker: Texas Ranger” and some of the biggest action pictures ever, Chuck Norris is reaching a new generation these days as part of the Internet craze for one-liners usually labeled not as jokes but as “facts.”
Some other samples:
Huckabee had been among the “second tier” of GOP candidates, but his campaign website reported a surge of $550,000 in donations in just a few days after the endorsement became public.
Chuck Norris’ career began, not in movies, television or in the world of Internet trivia. The man who has employed martial arts in so many of his pictures first came to the world’s attention as a real-life martial arts star. He was a six-time undefeated World Professional MiddleWeight Karate Champion. He was also a renowned teacher in the martial arts, with celebrity students including Steve McQueen, Bob Barker, Priscilla Presley and Donnie and Marie Osmond.
He has gone on to found the United Fighting Arts Federation with over 2,300 black belts all over the world. In 1997, Norris achieved another milestone in his life by being the first man ever in the Western Hemisphere to be awarded an eighth-degree Black Belt Grand Master recognition in the Tae Kwon Do system. This was a first in 4,500 years of tradition.
In 2004, Norris wrote his autobiography, “Against All Odds,” telling how he overcame a difficult childhood and achieved success, thanks to his Christian faith.
Asked how he would like to be remembered, Norris answered as a humanitarian. Here are some his efforts on that score:
For Norris, however, the most rewarding accomplishment was the creation of his Kick-Start Foundation. With the help of President Bush, he implemented a program teaching the martial arts to 150 high-risk children at M.C. Williams Middle School in Houston, Texas, as part of the school curriculum. The program was so successful in helping to instill discipline and respect in the kids, as well as getting them out of gangs, that the program is now in 30 schools with more than 4,200 young boys and girls actively participating.
Norris and his wife, Gena, last year joined the board of directors of the National Council on Bible Curriculum In Public Schools with the quest of helping students understand the Bible’s impact on history and literature. Both Norrises are featured in a popular television public service announcement that encourages citizens to bring the Bible back to America’s public schools as an available elective course of study. The announcements are aired on several national networks.
The Norris announcements inform viewers that they can call the National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools to receive information on how any citizen can help their local school board implement the NCBCPS curriculum. Already this year a record 49 new school districts have decided to offer “The Bible in History and Literature” course. Nationwide, 370 school districts have approved the course for use in over 1,350 schools in 37 states. More than 93 percent of school boards approached with the curriculum have voted to implement it, and the NCBCPS materials have never been legally challenged.
WND was the commentary forum that first launched David Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly and others, including Farah, into national syndication. It also recently launched weekly columns by “Ten Commandments” Judge Roy Moore, Home School Legal Defense Association founder Michael Farris and entertainer Pat Boone.
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