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Posted on 05/15/2010 7:03:33 AM PDT by Kaslin
Journalists frequently claim theyre impartial arbiters. They purport to speak truth to power, afflict the comfortable and a whole series of similar tired clichés. But the reality is that what you see depends on where you stand. And in journalism, thats all too often on the left.
Consider stories culled from just two days worth of The Washington Post.
Poll finds gains for same-sex marriage, announces the headline over the lead story in the Metro section on May 11. Maryland residents are shifting toward a more positive opinion of same-sex marriage, with registered voters now narrowly supporting a law to allow it, a Washington Post poll has found, the story begins.
But lets dig deeper into the story and the poll results. The poll, conducted May 3-6, finds that 46 percent overall favor legal same-sex marriage, 44 percent oppose it, and 10 percent have no opinion, the story says. Among registered voters, 48 percent are in favor and 43 percent are opposed.
In other words, the poll doesnt show majority approval for either position. A better headline would have been, Voters remain closely divided on same-sex marriage, since thats what the poll actually showed.
But has support for same-sex marriage increased, as the newspaper headline claims? Maybe.
In late 2007, an identical Post poll question found 44 percent in favor overall and 51 percent opposed, the story notes. The full results of the polls, while not linked to in the May 11 story, are available online. Note that the gains for same-sex marriage are tiny: two percentage points. Thats within the polls margin of error, which is listed at plus or minus three percentage points. That margin of error, by the way, wasnt mentioned in the May 11 story.
Thats odd, especially when the results fall within the margin. What the poll shows is that its entirely possible theres been no gain in support for same-sex marriage. The biggest change is among those offering no opinion. That doubled from 5 percent in 2007 to 10 percent today. A more accurate headline might read, More are indifferent to same-sex marriage.
With the economy down and the federal government racing to pass big-spending bills likely to bankrupt our children, its entirely possible that more people are focused on the economy and simply dont care about same-sex marriage.
The same Post poll provided fodder for an even more questionable headline. Md. voters remain divided on death penalty, declared a headline posted May 11 on the papers website. Well, thats one way of looking at things.
But the poll results on this question are unambiguous. Sixty percent of Marylanders favor use of the death penalty for people convicted of murder, while 32 percent are opposed, the story explains. Some divide. When President Reagan was re-elected with 59 percent of the popular vote (to Walter Mondales 40 percent) it was rightly seen as a landslide, not a sign of a divide.
Heres the proper headline: Maryland residents support the death penalty. Too simple? To be more exact, we could try, Almost two-thirds of Maryland voters support the death penalty.
As the story points out, the states governor has been an outspoken opponent of the death penalty since taking office in 2007, arguing that it is inherently unjust, not an effective deterrent and saps resources that could be better spent preventing crime. So after years of being hectored by their leader, Marylanders remain solidly in favor of the death penalty. Theres your story.
Polls can also be used selectively to make a desired point. [N]ew polls show the public is much less supportive of offshore drilling than it has been recently, reads a sentence in a May 12 Post front-pager. More than a third of all Americans in a new CBS News poll say the big spill is indicative of a broad problem with offshore exploration.
True, but consider the context.
Weve had weeks of non-stop coverage. Oil executives grilled on Capitol Hill. Dire reports that oil is about to start lapping up on pristine beaches (The urgent question along the polluted Gulf of Mexico: How bad will this get? began a representative Post article). And after all that, only a third of us say theres a broad problem with offshore drilling.
The newspaper doesnt mention that fully half of those polled by CBS think this was an isolated incident. We certainly need to find out what went wrong, and we need to make certain it doesnt happen again. But most Americans seem to understand that accidents do happen, and should be taken in stride.
One more cliché leaps to mind here: Dont believe everything you read. Except this column, of course.
The government controlled media has been telling you for decades what they want to tell you, why not, they think you’re an idiot. If you don’t believe them, what are you going to do about it?
The answer is nothing.
There are plenty of fools who do believe them.
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“The job of the press is supposed to be to follow politicians around and write down what they say and do. Our Founding Fathers thought the right of the press to perform that specific job was important enough to address it in the very first amendment to our Constitution. Under English common law, wrongful statements against government officials could result in jail or fines. Our founders understood the essential service provided by a free press in protecting a fledgling democracy. If the system was working as it should, politicians and reporters would be natural enemies.”
The media are the enemy.
soon those walking dead in the “press” will need to find real jobs while the rest of the world get's news from wsj,fox or the ether.
Believe it or not the time for influence is at a maximum because the liberal idealists know that something is very wrong. If we give them facts not tinged in rhetoric and from sources they don’t consider partisan, they will bite.
I work in an office full of far left people. Quite often I sit there and hear my own views repeated back to me. It’s kind of funny.
Michelangelo Signorile of The Village Voice spelled it all out a dozen years ago.
"Same-sex marriage" isn't about marriage, it's about establishing homosexuality and chasing Christians underground. It's also about queering marriage, screwing it up and eventually disestablishing it, because
marriage is inherently heteronormal, and just by being there makes homosexuality deviant.
Intelligent homosexual activists are implacably hostile to the institution of matrimony.
Furthermore, homosexuals want to participate in a minoritarian tyranny over the straight, white, Christian founders and heirs of this country, and will cooperate with anyone to push those people into a corner and shackle them -- especially as long as they remain the majority.
Their political posture is almost exactly the same as that of the Marquis de Sade in his day -- and what de Sade did politically was hugely destructive of lives, property, and moral inheritance. France has been a more cynical place ever since he was born.
Never heard of that.