Dec 02 2008

“How Obama Got Elected”: UPDATED *AGAIN* WITH NEW POLL RESULTS!

Category: election 2008,mediaharmonicminer @ 10:33 am

Below the asterisk line is some background I put up yesterday.  Go read it and watch the video, then come back to the top.

John Ziegler has released the results of his new poll.  The short story:  McCain voters appear to be about twice as well informed as Obama voters.  35% of McCain voters got 10 or more of 13 questions correct, while only 18% of Obama voters could do the same.  Full results of the poll and video of Ziegler on Hannity & Colmes are here.

Remember:  Ziegler isn’t saying there is something wrong with Obama voters.  He IS saying that there is something seriously wrong with the media reporting and coverage, the selection of topics to stress or even mention, the quality of the analysis provided, and so on.  In other words, Ziegler is indicting the media for abject failure to do right, because they were in the tank for Obama.

For internals on the poll, methodology, etc., go here.

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READ THIS FIRST, THEN BACK TO THE TOP TO CONTINUE:

I referred a few days back to a new film by John Ziegler, that features the results of polls taken of Obama voters regarding their knowledge of the candidates. Politico covered the controversy ignited by the poll and viral video (at the link above, 1.5 millions views and counting, and utterly fascinating) and discussed Ziegler’s plans for a more complete documentary on the topic.  Here’s a bit of the Politico article, which goes into more detail on Ziegler’s plans.

The controversial “How Obama Got Elected” video by John Ziegler is only part of a longer documentary that the conservative talk radio host hopes to release early next year.

Wouldn’t it be great if when they mentioned Oprah, or Larry King, or Chris Matthews, they said “the liberal talkshow host”? Sigh. Apparently in a “middle of the road” source like Politico, it’s still worth mentioning if someone is “conservative”, but not if they’re “liberal”. Par for the course, I suppose.

The viral video of interviews with Obama voters — one that Ziegler said shows the highly selective news consumption habits of Barack Obama supporters — has received more than 1.5 million views on YouTube. Thanks to an accompanying Zogby poll (later criticized by John Zogby himself), the video sparked high-profile stories on cable news shows, political blogs and other outlets, including Politico.

Ziegler, who recently branched out into filmmaking with the documentary “Blocking ‘The Path to 9/11, says the popular viral clip is only a small element of a longer video that may debut in February at the Conservative Political Action Conference. He’s been accumulating hours of newscasts, so much so he says he can put together a “Gone With the Wind”-length epic.

“I’m into actually showing bias,” says Ziegler, who hopes to show in his unfinished film how those who voted for Obama consumed information only from pro-Obama news sources — and, he believes, were therefore less informed.

Later in the article, we see this nugget:

“Redistributing the wealth” — While a radio interview with Obama dating back to 2001 got lots of play on Drudge for its alleged comment about wealth distribution, the mainstream media all but ignored it, Ziegler says. The radio interview with WBEZ-FM was, in fact, discussed on CNBC, MSNBC, and in The New York Times, among other outlets.

Does Politico think that mention on two lower rated cable channels and page H77 of the NY Times somehow contravenes Ziegler’s point?  Nothing from ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, WaPo, etc., and probably only a single brief mention in the sources they cite.  Certainly nothing like sustained coverage and analysis anywhere in the “major media”.

Ziegler is certainly not alone in his assessment of the media’s performance. Near the end of the article, Politico reports:

Following a recent panel discussion at the University of Southern California that was co-hosted by Politico, Time Magazine editor-at-large and political analyst Mark Halperin came under fire for his remarks about media bias.

“It’s the most disgusting failure of people in our business since the Iraq War,” Halperin said. “It was extreme bias, extreme pro-Obama coverage.” After his remarks, left-leaning blogs went ballistic, as did right-wing talk radio hosts – obviously for different reasons.

What’s funny here, of course, is that if you’re on the Left, you’re only “left-leaning”, but if you’re on the Right, you’re full-on “right-wing”. Notice the different shade of meaning if the sentence was this:

After his remarks, left-wing blogs went ballistic, as did right-leaning talk radio hosts – obviously for different reasons.

Obviously, the shades of meaning are different.  And the funniest part of all is that Politico can’t help but let its bias show, even while reporting on charges of media bias.

Ziegler has continued working on the new documentary, “How Obama Got Elected”, and now has poll results of both McCain and Obama voters, which he plans to reveal in just a couple of days.  Ziegler’s thesis is simple:  Obama got elected because disproportionate numbers of people who voted for him simply didn’t know much about him, and the fault for that lies mainly with the major media.

For a preview and some background on this important exposure of media bias, watch “Hannity & Colmes” on Tuesday, Dec 2.  (Check your local listings for the FOX NEWS CHANNEL, but probably 9 pm and midnight eastern time.)  It should be fascinating.  Make popcorn.

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11 Responses to ““How Obama Got Elected”: UPDATED *AGAIN* WITH NEW POLL RESULTS!”

  1. enharmonic says:

    Harmonic, your problem is that you just don’t appreciate nuance. And you have given absolutely no examples of media bias. Besides, there are no true liberals in Amerika. You just get all your information from that right-wing extremist Sean Hannity. If you had your way there would be hardly any government at all to take care of us except the nasty military. What we really need is a national police force and a nationalized news media to make sure that people like you can’t say such stuff. We need to keep the internet free from conservative blogs too.

  2. dave says:

    McCain voters appear to be about twice as well informed as Obama voters.

    Statistics isn’t your strong suit, is it?

  3. harmonicminer says:

    Dave, I want you to know that your low opinion of me causes me to lose sleep.

  4. dave says:

    Dave, I want you to know that your low opinion of me causes me to lose sleep.

    I am okay with that.

    But back to the point. Just because one study found that approximately twice as many McCain supporters got ten questions right does not mean that McCain supporters are twice as informed. At all. It simply means that twice as many people were informed about questions asked.

    “Twice as well informed” would imply that McCain supporters know twice as much, as this study did not find that.

  5. harmonicminer says:

    Other people can read the study and form their own conclusions. What do you want to bet that the poll doesn’t get any traction in the major media?

    Dave, you have a way of taking common elocutions that don’t have specific quantified meaning, and interpreting them as if they are intended to be specific, and then criticizing the specificity, when most readers will know that’s not the intent.

    So how about this: McCain voters know LOTS more, on average, about fundamental facts surrounding the election, than Obama voters.

    Now you can argue about what “LOTS” means.

    I’m satisfied for people to just read the poll results, and form their own conclusions.

  6. dave says:

    So how about this: McCain voters know LOTS more, on average, about fundamental facts surrounding the election, than Obama voters.

    Still not true.

    If you want to actually be, you know, accurate, you would say that according to this study, more McCain voters knew more about 13 specific questions than Obama voters.

    I’m satisfied for people to just read the poll results, and form their own conclusions.

    Then you shouldn’t summarize the results in inaccurate ways.

  7. harmonicminer » The Kossacks spin till they drop says:

    [...] that, in Obama’s childhood.   But it’s the best the Kossacks can do to criticize the poll Ziegler is quoting.  Compare the video at this link to the tiny snippet Daily Kos shows above, and form your own [...]

  8. harmonicminer says:

    The thing is, Dave, those 13 specific questions boil down to “what’s 2 plus 2″ for politics, and if you don’t know the answers, you’re REALLY ignorant of what you need to know to vote.

    There is a subtext here, too: voters on BOTH sides seem not to know what they should, though Obama voters appear to be much worse.

    And if you’re going to criticize the list of questions, what would YOU come up with as questions? “What party controls Congress?” is an awfully basic question, and hardly partisan, and Obama voters did considerably worse than McCain voters. Very telling, I think.

    But I’ve posted before on the ignorance level of voters, and that’s true on both sides, just worse for the Left… for some obvious reasons.

  9. dave says:

    The thing is, Dave, those 13 specific questions boil down to “what’s 2 plus 2″ for politics, and if you don’t know the answers, you’re REALLY ignorant of what you need to know to vote.

    Not really. Many of the questions boil down to random silly scandals about the candidates. Their were 13 questions, and all but two or three were about scandals that and and were pretty meaningless.

    And man… every time I go to that site I cannot get over how poorly it is designed.

  10. harmonicminer says:

    Dave, you miss the point, which is WHICH “random silly scandals” the voters knew about, and what that reveals about media coverage.

  11. harmonicminer » John Ziegler’s interview with Sarah Palin for his new film says:

    [...] mentioned John Ziegler’s efforts before to correct the record about How Obama Got Elected. As part of making his new movie, [...]

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