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August 05, 2011

NYT Essentially Ignores Its Own Poll Findings

This isn't anything new; they always do this. It's a wonder they even bother spending money on polls at all.

If the polls support a Democratic position, that goes in the headline, of course.

But if the polls do not support the Democratic position, they "read deeper," past the big-ticket questions any real news organization would focus on, to soft, meaningless stuff like Public Still Not Embracing British Celebrity Chefs; Gordon Ramsey, Jamie Oliver Hardest Hit.

Their new poll finds a good-sized plurality of 44% do not think the government cuts went far enough.

44%. That is as close to a majority on this type of thing as you're likely to get.

But they mention that, briefly, only in paragraph nine, choosing instead to emphasize the duh-no-shit finding that 62% of the public is more interested in jobs (an immediate concern) than debt (a future one).

This isn't really a pro-Obama finding, but at least it's not expressly anti-Obama like that 44%-want-deeper-cuts finding. What they focus on is, at least, pro-Obama in as much as it's not completely contrary to his stated talking points.

It just so happens that Obama's new (well, new for the seventh time) talking point is "The public wants Congress to act on jobs, not debt," and Great Googly Moogly, if the Times isn't Johnny On The Spot to say "Yes, sir!"


Oh: Actually, the headline is about 82% of the public disapproving of Congress; again, this is a datum intended to suggest the public hates the Republican House. But if 44% of the public didn't think the cuts went far enough -- what does this say about a large chunk of that 82% disapproval? Answer: That disapproval is from the right, which wants a more Tea Partyish Congress. But the NYT is "intellectually incurious," of course.

They think their soft-headed readership is too juvenile to handle information that might upset them, and, frankly, they know their audience all too well.

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posted by Ace at 07:33 PM

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