Posted by: Donna
From ShareBlue comes this disturbing report about how Trump’s bogus Carrier deal was push-polled by Politico into “popularity”.
A headline at Politico reads “Poll: Trump’s Carrier deal is wildly popular,” and, while only seven words long, that headline contains multiple serious errors of omission and inaccuracy — the most egregious of which is the implication that the poll has anything to do with the actual Carrier deal. The question asked of respondents was both factually inaccurate and incomplete:
As you may know, Carrier, the air-conditioning company, decided to keep roughly 1,000 manufacturing jobs in the state of Indiana rather than moving them to Mexico after forming an agreement with President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence. Does this decision by Carrier give you a more or less favorable view of President-elect Donald Trump?
As a matter of fact, only 800 of the jobs at the Indianapolis plant were ever slated to go to Mexico, not “roughly 1,000.” The other 300 or so jobs being included in the count were jobs that were to remain in Indianapolis either way.
And the Politico/Morning Consult poll commits an even more glaring lie of omission by failing to point out that Carrier is still shipping 1,300 jobs across the border, which will result in the closure of an entire plant in Huntington, Indiana.
Reporter Tommy Christopher notes in that piece that polls like these are how narratives are constructed and it’s really becoming apparent that influential people in the MSM intend to spin Trump’s “government by gimmickry” into solid PR wins with voters. This is in stark contrast to how they usually covered President Obama’s actual successes (like the increase of millions of people with health care coverage and jobs).
The explanation that makes the most sense for this behavior by the political press is they know they whiffed this election but (many of them) just can’t bear to admit it. Out of a misguided adherence to “balance” Donald Trump’s many, many abhorrent attributes went underappreciated by the public while Clinton’s nothingburger “email scandal” was “[blown] all out of proportion”:
Conversely, the fact that there actually weren’t very many negative angles to pursue against Clinton ended up blowing the email story out of proportion. If you have journalists assigned to cover Clinton, they need to do some kind of stories. And they’re going to want to do some tough stories. So if the only topic to do tough stories about is emails, you’re doing to get a lot of stories about emails. And a natural implication that people are going to draw is that Clinton’s email server is a crucially important story.
The truth, however, is that the email saga was profoundly unimportant. Federal IT at the time would have required her to carry two separate BlackBerrys, one for her personal email and one for her work email. That’s what an ordinary State Department employee would have had to do, but Clinton was the boss, so she chose to exempt herself from the rule and just use one email account. It was a little selfish (a perfect boss would have played by the rules while insisting on finding a department-wide solution to the problem) but not especially important. Most of all, it wasn’t criminal, and it didn’t endanger national security.
Alas, the rest is history. Speaking of history, parallels between how the election of 2000 between George W. Bush and Al Gore was covered and 2016 are obvious: Then, as now, the political press relentlessly savaged the Democratic candidate (Gore) over minor flaws and falsely painted him as an inveterate liar while building up his incompetent silver spoon Republican opponent (Bush) as a down-home, straight-shooting guy. (Bob Somerby scrupulously cataloged the whole disgusting thing and put it all online for free, if you’re interested.)
Remembering that 2000 election, and the first years of the Bush II era that followed, is stomach-churning. What the press is doing now by giving Trump “wins” on the Carrier deal and similar stunts gives me a bad feeling about what they’ll do if there’s a major terrorist attack on us. When we were attacked on September 11, 2001, it was as though an instant hivemind overtook the MSM, where it was simply inconceivable that President George W. Bush could be anything but a hero who was uniting a traumatized nation and rooting out evildoers and shut up hippies. And now it occurs to me that this was more about these pundits convincing themselves they hadn’t fucked up the 2000 election. They hadn’t helped to install the wrong guy by acting like a bunch of Heathers. Oh no. Why else did it take years (and Michael Moore’s movie) for any real scrutiny of exactly WTF the Bush admin was doing prior to the attack to reach the broad public?
Mark my words, if there’s a terror attack on us shortly after Trump assumes the Presidency, the Beltway press will move quickly to lionize him and push the public toward accepting whatever he wants to do in response to it. They will do it, again, mainly to save their own faces. Don’t let them!
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