web counter Media Lies: When the results aren't what you want, accentuate the negative

Friday, June 04, 2004

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When the results aren't what you want, accentuate the negative

CBS published the results of a poll today, but the results obviously weren't what they were looking for, so they had to temper their enthusiasm. CBS Poll The title of the article is "CBS Poll: Vets Favor Bush", but the very first paragraph reads "Veterans' evaluations of the war in Iraq are slightly more optimistic than those of the American public overall -- although even veterans question how well things are going for the U.S. in Iraq and whether the war is worth the costs, a CBS News poll finds. "

Here's some what the poll revealed. Among veterans:

  • President's approval rating - veterans = 51%, public = 41%
  • President's handling of the war on terror - veterans = 65%, public = 51%
  • Vote for President? - veterans = 54%, public - 41%
  • On whether or not the Iraqi war was a mistake - 51% no, 46% yes - this is exactly the reverse of the overal public opinion, according to CBS

What's interesting about this poll is that veterans give Bush more positive ratings in every category1 than what the general public does, yet CBS doesn't point that out. Instead they state the veterans' evaluations.....are "slightly more optimistic" than the public. Clearly CBS knows what will be quoted most frequently - the headline plus the first paragraph, and they make sure that what they want to have remembered about the poll will be.

1) except was Iraq worth the cost, where troops are less inclined to think it was than the general public