January 27, 2010

PPP Prez makes PPP-U Statement About His Own PPP Poll

PPPlogo

Yesterday, Noel Sheppard at NewsBusters noted that an organization known as Public Policy Polling (PPP) reported results of a survey it did showing that “Americans do not trust the major tv news operations in the country- except for Fox News.”

The survey-related quote comes from a post at PPP’s blog. Tom Jensen, its author, pecked in quite a presumptuous final paragraph there (italics are Jensen’s):

These numbers suggest quite a shift in what Americans want from their news. A generation ago Walter Cronkite was the most trusted man in the country because of his neutrality. Now people trust Fox the most precisely because of its lack of neutrality. It says a lot about where journalism is headed.

Huh? Surely this must be simply a rogue PPP staffer’s rant. Uh, no. At Politico’s coverage of the poll, reporter Andy Barr quoted PPP’s President making this putrid pronouncement about what the poll results putatively personify:

“A generation ago you would have expected Americans to place their trust in the most neutral and unbiased conveyors of news,” said PPP President Dean Debnam in his analysis of the poll. “But the media landscape has really changed, and now they’re turning more toward the outlets that tell them what they want to hear.”

Debnam’s derogatory declaration has no evidential basis, at least in his own poll (PDF here). There is no record in the crosstabs of any attempt to ask viewers why they watch and trust Fox. Debnam’s and Jensen’s presumptions about Fox’s lack of neutrality and the reasons why viewers tune in are apparently all in their heads.

Just for the heck of it, let’s test the “fairness and balance” of other establishment media outlets concerning an item I blogged about on Monday (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), namely the news reported by Fox’s James Rosen that a prominent Obama donor’s firm had received a $25 million no-bid contract for work that plenty of other firms were capable of bidding on.

A Google News search on Checchi, the firm’s name, for January 25-27 (sorted by date with duplicates included) came back with 24 results. Nine of them concerned matters unrelated to Rosen’s story. The remaining 15 are from the Torrington (CT) Register Citizen, PoliticalLore.com, Red State, Investor’s Business Daily, MainStreetMonroe.com (an Ohio forum), Fox News (Rosen’s actual story), Lone Star Times, ShortNews.com, yours truly’s NewsBusters post, two item (here and here) at National Review, Before It’s News, Gather.com, Wizbang, and the Daily Caller. There’s not a TV network news story in the bunch.

In case you’re curious, an AP search on “Checchi” comes up empty, as does a regular search at the New York Times.

This leads to a couple of questions for Mr. Jensen and Mr. Debnam:

  • Regardless of which party is involved, do you think the average American would care about a story about a no-bid contract that represents a clear break with a president’s core campaign promise? If you do (and if you don’t, you’re in the propaganda business, not the news business), please note that Fox in this case is the one original source for it.
  • Viewers have learned that Fox will cover stories such as these, while the others won’t, while also still dealing with the stories CNN and the Big Three networks et al do report. If viewers are choosing Fox for this reason, what in the world does it have to do with telling people what they want to hear?

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

Quote of the Day: Matt at Weapons of Mass Discussion

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 7:00 am

Expressing mass disgust over ORPINO (Ohio Republican Party In Name Only) head Kevin DeWine’s hardball tactics:

Mike DeWine couldn’t win without Kevin’s meddling in both of these races. Those are the facts. Party bigwigs and fat cat donors (read “lawyers”) ought to be ashamed of themselves for putting up with the threats of pay-to-play action. That Mike DeWine had to resort to that tired Bennett-era tactic ought to tell the electorate all they need to know about the Republican’s candidate for Attorney General.

The only thing I would question is whether the pay-to-plays were threats or promises.

If there has ever been a clearer, more blatant example of disrespect of the sensible conservative grass roots in the Buckeye State as the DeWine-Yost fiasco, I don’t know what it is. And I totally don’t get Dave Yost’s clear acquiescence to all of this.

Mike DeWine will not get my vote in May or November. I don’t see how any self-respecting sensible conservative can vote for him in these rigged circumstances.

Matt is right that this is an ideal time for a candidate with Tea Party values to step forward, perhaps preferably as a third-partier to avoid any conceivable association with ORPINO.

Lickety-Split Links (012710, Morning)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:54 am

I don’t know who’s more delusional in this linked video (HT Weasel Zippers via Instapundit), Mark Halperin or President Obama, the subject of Halperin’s discussion with PBS’s Charlie Rose. Partial excerpt:

Halperin: He’s a serious guy, he eschews this kind of phony, populist inspiration rhetoric that may be required for our times. But he wants to treat the country like adults. And he has not in a clear and inspiring way, spoken out about his platform, about the importance of working together, he just hasn’t done it.

Rose: Is it because he thinks he has, but he hasn’t?

Halperin: (appears to have been edited) Increasingly I’m told that he would say the press is against him.

Halperin goes on to say that Obama’s lack of experience with harsh press coverage is “on the job training.” Whose fault is that, Mark?

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Here is the link to the latest John Edwards fiasco, courtesy of the paper no “respectable” publication has believed for over two years, and which has been right all along.

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Obviously I don’t know whether James O’Keefe is or isn’t guilty as alleged. What I do know is, as Patterico points out in reference to O’Keefe’s ACORN sting videos, “(the ACORN) people hung themselves, and this has nothing whatsoever to do with that.” Patterico, who is a prosecutor in his day job, doesn’t see anything criminal.

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A report on the most trusted name in news, with a side order of insufferable, condescending arrogance:

Fox is the most trusted television news network in the country, according to a new poll out Tuesday.

A Public Policy Polling nationwide survey of 1,151 registered voters Jan. 18-19 found that 49 percent of Americans trusted Fox News, 10 percentage points more than any other network.

…. “A generation ago you would have expected Americans to place their trust in the most neutral and unbiased conveyors of news,” said PPP President Dean Debnam in his analysis of the poll. “But the media landscape has really changed, and now they’re turning more toward the outlets that tell them what they want to hear.”

Bleep you, Mr. Denham. People have turned to Fox because it’s fair and balanced. Obviously you have such a hard time handling that you can’t even explain the results of your own poll.

In “totally unrelated” news, “Fox News was the top cable network in primetime last week, averaging the most total viewers between January 18th-24th. The last time FNC topped USA and came in first was during the week of the 2008 presidential election.”

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Don’t have time for graphics, links to spreadsheets, or detailed calcs, but the Congressional Budget Office yesterday lowered its fiscal 2010 collections estimate for Uncle Sam from the $2.264 trillion it had in August to $2.175 trillion. That $89 billion reduction still guesstimates that this year’s collections will end up 3% or so above fiscal 2009′s $2.105 trillion.

I doubt it. The problem is that real collections in fiscal 2010 through almost four months are already about $90 billion below fiscal 2009. To make up that gap and get to CBO’s estimate, the rest of fiscal 2010′s collections will have to beat 2009′s by $160 billion ($90 billion in the hole plus the $70 billion projected CBO increase over 2009 [$2.175-2.105]), or something north of 10%. Failure to get to $2.0 trillion this year wouldn’t surprise me.

CBO is estimating collections of $2.67 trillion in fiscal 2011 (a 20%-plus increase over 2010) and $2.964 trillion in fiscal 2012. Maybe they know something I don’t, but in the absence of economy-stimulating tax cuts, an end to crony capitalism, and serious cuts in wasteful government spending, those two figures strike me as sheer fantasy.

Positivity: Events Planned to Mark 50th Anniversary of Woolworth Sit-Ins

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:58 am

From Greensboro, North Carolina:

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Fifty years ago, students from Woman’s College stood for change by sitting with peers from N.C. A&T State University and Bennett College to protest segregation at Woolworth’s lunch counter in downtown Greensboro.

Their contributions to the Woolworth sit-ins – a nonviolent protest begun by four N.C. A&T freshmen on Feb. 1, 1960, and acknowledged as a watershed moment in the civil rights movement – will be celebrated by two events at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Both are free and open to the public.

The discussion “WC at the Lunch Counter: UNCG’s Involvement in the Sit-In Demonstration of 1960″ will be held at 4 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 28, in the Multicultural Resource Center in Elliott University Center.

Forum participants will include Dr. Lisa Levenstein, assistant professor of history; Dr. Hephzibah Roskelly, professor of English; Dr. Tara T. Green, director of the UNCG African-American Studies Program; and Betty Carter, university archivist. Students will also participate in the forum.

On Monday, Feb. 1, the 50th anniversary of the start of the sit-ins, members of the UNCG community will retrace the steps taken by at least two of the three white Woman’s College students who joined the demonstrations on Feb. 4.

Participants will gather at 11:30 a.m., and the commemorative walk will start at noon, departing from Guilford Residence Hall on campus and ending at the Phil G. McDonald Governmental Plaza in downtown Greensboro where participants will gather with other local college students.

A bus will be available for those wishing to participate who may not be able to walk the entire distance.

The events are part of the celebration to mark the anniversary of the Greensboro sit-ins and are designed to recognize the role college women played in that history, Green said.

“Not enough is really said about women in 1960 and their involvement in civil rights issues,” she said. …

Go here for the rest of the story.