Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The media bias in polling

“When it comes to arrogance, power, and lack of accountability, journalists are probably the only people on the planet who make lawyers look good.” ~ Steven Brill

We’ve already experienced the media betrayal of the past decade or longer. When guys like Hannity make the acute observation that “journalism is dead,” they’re not pulling this concept out of thin air, nor is this privy information to the general public. And certainly, exposing JournoList didn’t advance their case for legitimacy. Yet, we continue to bear witness to the liberal bias of the media at large. And along with this trend comes the bias infused into their public polling. The latest case in point: A skewed CBS News/New York Times poll addressing pay and benefits of state workers with tricky questions and uneven samples. Leave it to Rasmussen to point out the discrepancies in the plurality saying labor unions have too much influence. Likewise, a USA TODAY/Gallup poll would have us believe that Americans oppose the removal of collective bargaining power from public employee unions, and Public Policy Polling unbelievably finds that if WI residence conducted a ‘do over’ in the governor’s election, they’d go with the Democrat! How could this be when an earlier poll shows the majority of voters side with Gov. Scott Walker, while yet another shows a significant belief that government workers should not be represented by labor unions at all?!

Well, one method of testing the legitimacy of these polls would be to compare them with other polls out there…so let’s do so. On the national stage, we see that the majority favors a government shutdown until spending cuts are agreed upon, and if a shutdown did occur, more voters would blame Democrats for it. Huh, so we’re to believe that the majority of Americans favor deep cuts, but not when it comes to public unions ‘paying their fair share’, to use a liberal phrase? It just doesn’t add up. An American Spectator article makes this observation:

“Some of this has to do with how the polls are worded. People are generally not going to tell pollsters they support taking away anyone's "rights," to collective bargaining or otherwise. But there does seem to be a lack of awareness about how dire the fiscal situation is, how high the pay and benefits are in some cases relative to the private sector, and how difficult it would be to deal with these unfunded liabilities solely by raising taxes.”

Manipulation of questioning, skewed sampling pools and lack of fiscal awareness seem to work effectively with the one-sidedness of the unions’ story that the media are only too intent on disseminating leads the debate.

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