It Was Good Fun While It Lasted, Our Media Experiment

Oh have a little pride, for fuck’s sake:

So as part of a story online about the polls on Saturday, NBC News senior political editor Mark Murray included a section essentially imagining if the findings of his organization’s own poll were altered in a way that showed the Democratic sample in Ohio cut in half. In that case, Murray wrote, Obama’s lead would shrink to three points.

In an email to TPM late Saturday, Murray explained his reasoning behind it.

“We anticipated that there would be criticism of a D+9 sample, and asked our pollsters to assume — as an exercise — what the race would be simply if you halved that Democratic Party ID advantage,” Murray wrote. “We decided to publish that information in my story (towards the end, mind you). But make no mistake: The numbers are the numbers, and we stand by them.”

Criticizing pollsters for allegedly oversampling Democrats has become a cottage industry on the right. Over atNational Review Online, Josh Jordan on Saturday referred to Marist’s polling as an “in-kind contribution to Obama.”

Let’s go out of our way to make the wingnuts feel better. That’ll fix everything. Surely then they’ll stop calling you traitors and criticizing your coverage and basically making it out like your personal mission in life is to ruin their fun. If you give them just this one thing, if you throw them a bone, they’ll stop slavering and snarling around your door. That always works.

I swear to … look, is there some value in saying yes, in fact, even if we “unskew” the polls the way you anti-intellectual freakjobs want them unskewed, Obama still wins Ohio so fuck off? Probably. But the point is that by doing that in a news story you’re writing for your critics and not for the facts. You’re writing to head something off, not to tell people what’s going on.

And by the fucking bye, there are worse things than a bunch of wingnuts calling you an asshole. I know they’re annoying and I know they’re loud right now, but if all it takes is loud and annoying to make editors and news directors do what you want them to do why hasn’t Matt Lauer been fired and forced to stand in Times Square covered in bees?


6 thoughts on “It Was Good Fun While It Lasted, Our Media Experiment

  1. Jay in Oregon says:

    if all it takes is loud and annoying to make editors and news directors do what you want them to do why hasn’t Matt Lauer been fired and forced to stand in Times Square covered in bees?
    I am interested in your ideas and wish to subscribe to your newsletter.


  2. Jude says:

    I’ll support that Matt Lauer-bee thing. It might be just what’s needed to combat Colony Collapse Disorder.
    Couldn’t hurt to try, anyway.


  3. MapleStreet says:

    And what if the Martian and Venutian segment of the poll were cut by 5? Inquiring minds want to know!
    Seriously though, I don’t have trouble that the constraints of the poll were questioned. In any political poll there is a question of what is truly a representative sample (as measured against those that actually go out and vote).
    My problem is with the venue. By putting this in the popular press and making it a cute-sy item taken totally out of context of other polls, it furthers the idea that a poll isn’t something to learn from but rather something to be manipulated to support your “facts.” And as some voters will vote based on the desire to be on the winning team, can also be a way of cynically manipulating voters.
    In short, furthering the idea that you can have your own facts. Furthering the idea that statistics are something to be manipulated rather than a way of determining.


  4. MapleStreet says:

    AAAARGH! Just say Tommy’s freeper post and one links to I just had to look. It looks like reams of polls that have been “unskewed” to make the repubs win.


  5. What’s wrong with a little unscrewing of your own polls? I mean if people yell at you and call you names, whatcha gonna do? Pardon me, that would be unskew.
    If, as an exercise, you assumed that Obama was not in the race, you’d have Romney at +100.


  6. filkertom says:

    Even if We The People finally conquer the Terror Terror Terror Fear Fear Fear the Right has been throwing at us for all these years, I suspect the Vichy Media never will.


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