Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Fearing the Truth

Much mention has already been made of Mr. Ziegler's documentary about Media Malpractice, and How Obama Got Elected. In a discussion about the mindless following of "The One" that Rob Natelson started on Electric City, an anonymous poster left a link to 538 which claims that the poll was a "push poll" in order to get the answers that the person contracting for the poll wanted. Some of the complaints that 538 uses to justify their position are the questions that were used. Here are the questions, and the comments from 538:

"Which of the four [candidates] said his policies would likely bankrupt the coal industry and make energy rates skyrocket?"

"Which of the four [candidates] started his political career at the home of two former members of the Weather Underground?"

"Which of the four [candidates] quit a previous campaign because of plagiarism?"

"Which of the four [candidates] won his first election by getting opponents kicked off the ballot?"

As should be obvious, the veracity of several of these claims is -- at best -- debatable, yet they are apparently represented as factual to the respondent. It is not clear whether the respondent is informed of the "correct" response after having had the question posed to him.
Veracity is debatable? I especially love it when the sample from the clip uses Obama's own voice to make the statement. Biden's plagiarism is well know to anyone who was paying attention and is over 40. And of the other two questions, the last one, if I remember was actually in his book.
The ferocity with which Zogby is being attacked is indicative that people are starting to realize they voted for the pig in a poke, and now they are going to be responsible. Time to get out the razor blade and start scraping on that Obama bumper sticker.


Steve T. said...

The problem here, Steve, is that this isn't some kind of civics knowledge quiz. It doesn't even quiz people on important current events.

But whatever, let's assume that it's some kind of legitimate poll. Where's the proof that McCain supporters are smarter?

Auntie Lib said...

Au contraire, Steve. That was a civics quiz - or at a minimum a current events quiz. The fact that so many people voted for a candidate without knowing very much about him (or his running mate) is disturbing.

It would be very interesting to follow those same voters over the next four years and see how they "feel" about Obama then. My guess is that many of them will be horribly disillusioned and have no idea why.

Andy B. Hammond said...

Steve T.
If there was proof that McCain supporters were as dumb or dumber than Obama supporters, I'm 100% certain it would be all we would hear from the MSM for days and hours on end.

The intellectual snobs that make up the left must be terribly conflicted.

Steve said...

I think that what the poll demonstrated was the absolute one sidedness of the information that these people took in. This is not a question about intelligence, instead, it's about exposure to information. The people in the movie clip knew everything negative about McCai/Palin and nothing negative about Obama/Biden.
Setting aside the value of negative information about Obama/Biden, the fact that they were totally unaware meant that they never had the opportunity to process and evaluate it. The other amusing thing was the number of people who ascribed the plagiarism accusation to McCain. Now why is that? Could it be that they have learned that McCain is less than honorable? And if they believe that, where did they get the information to formulate that view?

Steve T. said...

Andy- Is the left made up of intellectual snobs or uninformed cult members? Is it possible to be both? I anxiously await your response.


You make a valid point inasmuch as people are drawn to the kind of media that agrees with them. But you err very seriously to see this as some kind of indictment of the MSM.

I am willing to bet that many of these people get their info from left wing sources... the ones who parrot around talking points that have been blown up by bloggers and political operatives into something bigger than what they really are. What this poll did is simply ask voters which side's talking points they're more familiar with.

The problem with your argument is that the same thing happens on the right. It's been tried and true on your side since the early 90's and the left is finally getting good at it (that's not a compliment.)

Americans simply don't want to venture out of their comfort zones when it comes to reading the news.
What YOU need to show is that this is somehow unique to Obama supporters. I doubt you'll find any proof.

Aaron Goldberg said...

Questions That Should Have Been Asked

1. Which of the two presidential candidates was not a Christian?

2. Which of the two presidential candidates was not born in the USA?

3. Which of the two presidential candidates was not white?

Anonymous said...

NS: What was the right answer to that [Palin] question?
JZ: The technically accurate question [sic] is that none of the four people said that, but we counted it as correct if they said Sarah Palin.


Mark T said...

American elections are ad feasts. Candidates are sold like Campbell's Soup or Chevrolet's. Very few people know anything of the people they voted for. Polls after the 2004 elections demonstrated that most voters could not identify a position with the candidate espousing that position. So what Zeigler did here was to drive this point home with Obama voters, forgetting that McCain voters were equally deluded. Palin supporters are just plain stupid.

Steve said...

Mark T. said: "Palin supporters are just plain stupid." How about the alternative? Palin haters are just plain stupid? Seems no less viable.

Clay said...

Mark T's statement scares me. The inconsistencies with what Obama says and what Obama supporters believe is eye opening. For instance, many people voted for Obama because they were tired of the war, yet they don't want to hear or consider that Obama wants to build a civilian military service. McCain/Palin voters see the ignorance of his supporters in this fact alone.