Guilty


  There was also conspiracy theorist David Earnhardt's documentary Uncounted: The New Math of American Elections, which again took the exit polls as the fact-based control group that proved the actual voting results were a fraud and a hoax. You know what we need? We need a system even more reliable than an exit poll for determining how people want to vote. Maybe if we could get every voter to go into some sort of booth and cast a secret ballot …

  If liberals will challenge actual election results based on these sacred polls, you can imagine how liberals can twist “public opinion” results with no election to contradict them. Actually, you don't have to imagine. I've looked it up.

  After the media have flogged an issue to death, they direct pollsters to ask people whether they are “concerned” about the calamity being broadcast in headlines across the nation. Poll respondents, who seem to think they can get an answer wrong, dutifully agree to be alarmed by these media-generated “crises.” Completely phony political issues— such as campaign finance reform, earmarks, bipartisanship, health care, and global warming—suddenly roil national political campaigns as politicians become convinced that the public will lynch them if they don't pass, say, campaign finance reform laws. Proving that media coverage can turn any issue into a crisis, in the midst of the media's overblown coverage of Halliburton, Harken, and Enron—the last of which was connected to Bush by virtue of the fact that both Bush and Enron were from Texas—the New York Times triumphantly produced a Times /CBS poll showing, as the headline said: “Poll Finds Concerns That Bush Is Overly Influenced by Business.”85

  One of the most deceptive polls in world history was used to advocate liberals’ dearest cause: killing an innocent person. After a Florida state court judge ordered that Terri Schiavo be starved to death on the basis of hazy claims from her adulterous husband that she had once expressed a wish to die after watching a TV show, ABC promptly produced a poll purporting to demonstrate that the vast majority of Americans were rooting for Schiavo's death.

  The poll question asked:

  Schiavo suffered brain damage and has been on life support for fifteen years. Doctors say she has no consciousness and her condition is irreversible. Her husband and her parents disagree about whether she would have wanted to be kept alive. Florida courts have sided with the husband and her feeding tube was removed on Friday. What's your opinion on this case—do you support or oppose the decision to remove Schiavo's feeding tube?86

  It was not true that Terri was on “life support”—anymore than a child up to about age four is on “life support” because he needs help to eat. It was not true that Terri had “no consciousness” nor that her condition was “irreversible.” That was the position of doctors produced by her adulterous husband; doctors produced by her loving parents disagreed. It is not true that the question at issue was whether Terri should be “kept on” life support inasmuch as she was not on life support. It was not even true that Florida “courts” had sided with the husband. One lone judge had sided with the husband; the other courts simply found they did not have authority to overturn the first judge's finding of fact that Terri would have wanted to die.

  Not surprisingly, a poll question composed of a series of lies managed to give liberals the answer they wanted: 63 percent supported removing Terri's feeding tube; only 28 percent were opposed.

  In a follow-up question, ABC asked whether it was “appropriate or inappropriate for Congress to get involved in this way?” To this question, 70 percent said “inappropriate” and 27 percent said “appropriate.” (There was no question about the appropriateness of a state court judge ordering an American citizen's death without the possibility of meaningful review.)

  Soon thereafter, a Zogby poll asked a question that—in contradistinction to ABC's poll—actually bore some relation to the facts of the Schiavo case: “If a disabled person is not terminally ill, not in a coma, and not being kept alive on life support, and they have no written directive, should or should they not be denied food and water?”87

  Without ABC's invented facts driving the question, 79 percent of respondents said the patient should not be denied food and water. Only 9 percent said she should be denied food and water.

  Zogby's follow-up question about governmental intervention asked: “When there is conflicting evidence on whether or not a patient would want to be on a feeding tube, should elected officials order that a feeding tube be removed or should they order that it remain in place?” This time only 18 percent said that the feeding tube should be removed. Forty-two percent said elected officials should order that the feeding tube remain in place.

  But on the basis of the tendentious ABC poll, the media set to work creating the myth that Americans were furious with Congress for intervening in the Schiavo case to try to save an innocent woman's life.

  A New York Times article on end-of-life legislation asserted: “Polls indicating broad public opposition to government involvement in the Schiavo case may be giving some politicians second thoughts.”88 In a Times article on Senator Rick Santorum, the Times reporter incidentally threw in the false fact that in the Schiavo case, “Republicans took positions opposed by most Americans, according to polls.”89 Months later, another Times article reported that Congress was held in disfavor by Americans because “Congressional intervention in the medical care of Terri Schiavo, the Florida woman whose feeding tube was removed, is inflicting new damage on the public image of Congress and both parties.”90

  The Los Angeles Times waved the bloody shirt in an article defending Democratic filibusters in a majority Republican Congress, saying, “Democrats are preparing to link the Republican move against filibusters with Washington's last-minute effort to require additional judicial review in the Schiavo case—a step polls showed was opposed by a large majority of Americans.”91 This concocted “fact” generated by a completely dishonest poll was slipped into news articles incessantly over the next two years, driving Republican politicians to flee from the issue of life.

  When the numbers are with liberals, you read about it in banner headlines, the case is closed, America has decided, let's all move on. When the numbers are not with liberals, they triumphantly announce: It's not unanimous! Why are they always informing us that opposition only to their opinions is not unanimous? Belief in global warming is far from unanimous, but they are unimpressed by the lack of unanimity on that issue.

  The Times headline on one of its promotional pieces for Cindy Sheehan was titled “In War Debate, Parents of Fallen Are United Only in Grief.”92 I'm not sure what poll they relied on for that assertion, but it doesn't seem likely. A Military Times survey released in September 2004, during an election in which the war in Iraq was the main issue, showed that active-duty military personnel supported President Bush by 73 to 18 percent.93 So apparently, more than 70 percent of the military were “united” in at least one respect: They supported the war.

  Only a slightly higher percentage of blacks supported Kerry than active-duty military supported Bush. Yet the Times described that phenomenon in a headline that said, “Energized Black Voters Flock to Polls to Back Kerry.”94 So why not a headline saying, “Active-Duty Military Flock to Polls to Back Bush”?

  After 9/11, liberals got the bright idea to commemorate the attack with a “Freedom” museum at Ground Zero that would showcase everything the terrorists believed about America. Exhibits were planned on slavery in America and America's “genocide” of the Indians—you know, the first things that usually come to mind when the average American thinks about 9/11. For good measure, the museum was also to include exhibits about the Holocaust and the Gulag, perhaps because those damn lazy Americans didn't liberate victims of the Nazi and Soviet empires fast enough. (Oddly, the planned memorial contained no explicit references to the all-male membership policies of the Augusta National Country Club.) As Columbia professor Eric Foner described the purpose of the museum, “One of the things that most annoys people in other countries is the idea that we have a monopoly on freedom. It
will be salutary for the museum to suggest that America has sometimes fallen short of the ideal.”95 Americans can barely save people as fast as people in other countries can kill them—no wonder the rest of the world is testy with us! The fact that Eric Foner was an official adviser to the project told you all you needed to know about it.

  Needless to say, normal people erupted with rage at the planned “Great Satan” museum. Even New York's own Great Satan, Senator Hillary Clinton, came out against it.

  The New York Times reported that among those opposing the Hate America museum were “many—but not all—relatives of 9/11 victims.”96 There were 3,000 victims of the 9/11 attack. If every one of them had only three living relatives, surely a low estimate, that's 9,000 “relatives of 9/11 victims.” In a group of 9,000 people, there are probably a few who think the world is flat.97

  In a major front-page article on the abortion “experience” during the confirmation hearings for Chief Justice John Roberts, the New York Times said that abortion “cuts across all income levels, religions, races, lifestyles, political parties and marital circumstances.”98 That was on the front page. Seven hundred paragraphs later, deep inside the paper, one would find a graph of data from the pro-abortion Alan Guttmacher Institute showing that at least 78 percent of women who had abortions were unmarried, the abortion rate for blacks was three times that of whites, and the abortion rate for “other races” was 2.2 times that of whites.

  So I'm not sure what information the Times was trying to convey by saying that the abortion “experience” cuts across “all income levels, religions, races, lifestyles, political parties and marital circumstances.” Was it to dispel the ugly rumor that 100 percent of abortions are performed on women of a single race with the same religion, lifestyle, political party, and marital status?

  Lopsided percentages that favor the Democrats are not hidden in these technically true but utterly pointless statements. Jews voted for Kerry over Bush by about 80 percent to 20 percent in 2004—in other words, about in the same ratio as unmarried/married women having abortions. But there were no statements along the lines of “Support for Bush cuts across all religious and racial lines” or “Jews united only in religion.” That's a voting bloc that's bad for Republicans, so the Times isn't shy about mentioning it.

  A single Times article noted the difficulty Bush would have getting Jewish votes five separate times, referring to (1) “a crucial element of the Democratic base: Jewish voters and donors,” (2)“Jewish contributors, long a backbone of the Democratic Party's financial support,” (3) “the roughly 20 percent share of the Jewish vote Mr. Bush won in 2000,” (4) the “traditional Democratic dominance [of Jewish voters],” and (5) the sense that Bush would probably win “less than the nearly 40 percent [of the Jewish vote] Ronald Reagan received in 1980 when he ran against Mr. Carter, the last time Republicans did especially well among that group.”99

  If liberals are winning—even if it's only among Hispanic single mothers in the Bronx—you will be told about it. Only when they don't want you to know how bad the numbers are for liberals do you get the vitally important information that “it's not unanimous!” One exception to this rule is that the media tend to downplay how well the Democrats do among convicted felons, at least 70 percent of whom vote Democratic,100 or how well Barack Obama polled in Germany, where 83 percent supported him.101

  The most comical set of highly specific polls came when Walter Mondale ran against Ronald Reagan in 1984. Reagan won nearly 60 percent of the popular vote that year and claimed the greatest Electoral College vote in history. He won such Democratic bastions as Massachusetts, New York, California, and Hawaii. In fact, he won every state in the union save Mondale's home state of Minnesota—and that was a cliffhanger. Needless to say, Reagan was substantially ahead of Walter Mondale in the polls throughout the year. Thus, the New York Times ran hopeful headlines about increasingly narrow demographic groups that favored Mondale:

  “Poll Finds Blacks United on Political Views”102

  Mondale Abandons Hope of Attracting White Voters

  “Chicago Teamsters, In Poll, Prefer Mondale Over Reagan”103

  Chicago Teamster wearing Reagan button found dead (The Teamsters as a whole endorsed Reagan.)

  “Sierra Club Breaks Its Tradition and Backs a Candidate:

  Mondale”104

  May Have Thought Mondale Was Endangered Species

  “The Elderly May Dump Reagan”105

  Pigs Seen Flying in Des Moines; Weathermen Predict

  Sub-Zero Temps in Hell; Sun to Rise in West Tomorrow,

  Say Experts (All age groups voted 60-to-40 for Reagan.)

  “Jersey Poll Says Mondale Cuts Into Reagan's Lead”106

  In a Related Story, Jersey Pollster Wins $20 Bar Bet With

  “Mondale Surge” Hoax

  “New Mondale Support Seen in New York State”107

  Meet Bob Smith, Walter Mondales New Supporter in New York

  “Church-State Issue May Hurt Reagan's Effort to Attract Jews”108

  Non Sequitur Festival Ends on a High Note

  “New Mondale Ads Impress a Skeptic”109

  The “Skeptic” Was Raymond Strother, a Democratic

  Campaign Consultant in D.C.—Who Also Can't Believe Rich, Buttery Taste of Margarine

  “Poll in Minnesota Shows Mondale Leads Reagan”110

  Reagan Pulls Stomach Muscle Laughing Himself Silly

  “Midwest Crowds Applaud Mondale”111

  In a Related Story: Scientists Say Applause Often Motivated by Pity

  “Ivy League Poll Gives Mondale a Clear Lead”112

  Among Ivy Leaguers, That Is. Too Bad He's Not Running forPresident of the Ivy League

  Reagan may have been 18 points ahead in the national polls, but Mondale showed surprising strength among uniformly Democratic voting blocs, people who showed up at his rallies, and members of his immediate family.

  The New York Times also issued repeated reports that Mondale was “gaining” on Reagan—something that Senator Bob Dole apparently never did in 1996, even though Dole lost by a smaller margin to Clinton that year than Mondale lost to Reagan in 1984:

  “Mondale Pulls Closer in a National Poll”113

  “Poll Shows Better Image for Mondale and Ferraro”114

  “Mondale Gains Ground, According to Straw Poll”115

  “Poll Shows Mondale Is Gaining on Reagan”116

  “Poll Shows Narrowing of Reagan Lead in Race”117

  The Mondale-Is-Gaining headlines must have been perplexing to loyal Times readers, who didn't realize Mondale was ever behind. What about all those jazz musicians living in rent-controlled apartments on the Upper West Side who were “trending for Mondale”? No matter what the facts, it's always the story of the Left's emerging triumph, the swelling chorus of humanity coalescing in a mighty army to support Mondale, Obama, global warming, gun control, abortion rights, the killing of Terri Schiavo, and campaign finance reform.

  The Emmy Award winner for spinning identical numbers in opposite ways goes to CBS News's Mike Wallace. In a 60 Minutes segment about Ward Connerly's ballot initiatives to end racial discrimination by state governments, Wallace said Proposition 209 in California, ending race preferences, passed “narrowly.” Describing a similar ballot initiative that lost in Houston, Wallace said that “voters came down heavily in favor of continuing affirmative action in their city.”118 Here are the numbers: California's Proposition 209 passed by 54 percent to 46 percent.119 The Houston initiative lost by 55 percent to 45 percent.120 Unless words have no meaning, it is impossible that one of those passed “narrowly” while the other was defeated “heavily.”

  The voters in Houston weren't even told what they were voting for, because the wording of the initiative was altered to say nothing about racial preferences at all, and instead referred to “affirmative action” and “outreach” programs. Of course, Wallace didn't mention that. Also an African American was running for mayor of Houston that year, thus increa
sing the black turnout. Wallace didn't mention that, either. But the unavoidable fact is: The votes in California and Houston were nearly identical—and Wallace described one as a crushing defeat and the other as a hair's-breadth victory.

  If that's what the media do with virtually identical percentages, one can imagine what they do with more amorphous ideological labels. These are actual New York Times headlines describing two Supreme Court nominees:

  “An Advocate for the Right” —News story on Bush nominee Judge John Roberts, July 28, 2005

  “Balanced Jurist at Home in the Middle” —News story on Clinton nominee Ruth Bader Ginsburg, June 27, 1993

  It used to be that the media could manufacture phony scandals out of whole cloth and destroy a presidency, throw an election, or lose a war without breaking a sweat. With Watergate, the media used a minor scandal—something that would have been a slow afternoon around the Clinton White House—to remove President Nixon from office and turn South Vietnam over to the Communists. With McCarthyism, they vilified an American patriot to hide the Democratic Party's shameful collaboration with Soviet spies. With Dan Quayle's spelling of “potato,” they sent a warning shot across the bow to anyone thinking about being a conservative in public.

  Today the media can't even falsely report that the Republican vice presidential candidate lied about the birth of her last child without the story falling apart in a day. So naturally, they're upset.

  The establishment media can still have a good run with some fake scandals. They can occasionally become so insufferable that a Republican will withdraw from a Senate race (Jack Ryan) or resign from Congress (Mark Foley). They can persuade a few extremely stupid Americans that their nonsense stories, such as Halliburton and Harken Energy, are major scandals deserving impeachment.

  But the media have a much harder row to hoe if they want to throw a presidential election or lose a war these days. CBS's Dan Rather couldn't pawn off his fake Bush National Guard documents on the nation for even a full day. Within hours, conservative blogs had exposed the documents as fakes—as they were later conclusively proved to be by document examiners.

 
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