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May 15, 2012

Daily Caller: "Favorable same-sex marriage coverage frustrates Obama’s media plan"

Does that headline make no sense to you?

It didn't make sense to me, but now that I've read the article, it does.

You see, Obama's plan was to pivot away quickly from this. Hit it, say the words the high-money gay donors want to hear (or at least words they'll accept, and then drop it.

Trouble is, the media loveloveloves gay marriage. So they won't let it move off the front page.

Favorable media coverage is frustrating President Barack Obama’s efforts to downplay the public controversy over his May 9 announcement in favor of same-sex marriage.

The importance of his media management efforts was demonstrated by two new polls which show his donation-boosting decision to be a negative at the polls.

A new May 11-13 poll of registered voters by the New York Times and CBS showed that 22 percent of independents were “less likely” to support Obama because of his May 9 announcement that he supports same-sex marriage.

In contrast, only 14 percent of the independents said the decision made them more likely to support him in November, according to the poll.

One thing about this article: I kind of dig it, but there's little to support the central assertion that Obama's "plan" was to "downplay" the issue. The article just sort of asserts it, assumes it, without evidence.

Mickey Kaus meanwhile notes that headlines like this:

Majority say Obama’s gay marriage stance won’t change their vote

...are completely jackass and deliberately -- cocoonishly -- hiding the actual story from the audience.

But 39% said it would–and they split two-to-one against Obama and gay marriage....

Worse, among independents, 23% said it would make them less likely to vote for Obama while only 11% said it made them more likely–a negative for a net of 12% of this group. Obviously, “less likely” doesn’t mean it’s going to be the deciding factor for that 12%–there are bigger issues, and gay marriage seems likely to fade in salience. But even if it’s the deciding factor for a tenth of that 12%, it’s a blow to Obama’s chances. The headline should have read something like:

Poll: Obama’s gay marriage stance hurts him with key voters

...but that's not the Narrative the media wishes -- the narrative they wish is "President Awesome Does Awesome, Awesome Thing; Public Rewards Him Awesomely for His Awesomeness."

"President does something the media likes and the public doesn't and the public punishes him" is a downer they don't want to note.

Kaus notes his colleague/friend Robert Wright making all sorts of cocoonishly hacktacular assumptions -- like that those independents who say they'll be less likely to vote for Obama are really lying, and are "closet Obama-haters" who would have voted against Obama anyway.

All of them?

I suppose that's possible, but if you're just going to assume false answers to polling questions, why bother discussing polls at all? Whenever objective data gives you a read you don't like, you reject the data; so your analysis is not in any real sense dependent on, or sensitive to, the data. You Know What You Know and You Know It. Why pretend otherwise?

In fairness, there's a bit of this in everyone. But while I might say that there are some voters who are claiming a greater affection for the president than they actually feel (you're not racist if you vote against the president but pretend you really think "he's such a great guy" even as you vote against him), certainly I wouldn't say this is a big factor. 3-4%, maybe.

I'm not claiming that everyone saying something I don't like is lying.

Speaking of denialism, the NYT poll found that by 3 to 1, the public thinks Obama's same sex decision isn't a Gutsy Call at all, but rather Craven Political Maneuvering, as Drew mentioned earlier.

Obama's people are now calling the New York Times and CBS biased wingnut liars who lie wingnutty lies.



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posted by Ace at 01:53 PM

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