Friday, October 22, 2004

KC Star Misleads Again, Only Worse!

The Bush/Cheney camp has obviously taken over the front page of the KC Star. After my rant yesterday about how they botched the reporting on their poll, they managed to run another front page article on the same poll (which is out of step with most polls, I might add), with the unsupportably anti-Kerry headline of "Poll shows Kerry hasn't closed the deal with his base". This piece of attack journalism goes on to do weak analysis of the states Gore carried in 2000, and pointing out that many of them are still in the margin of error - though a recent article on Bush's similar situation trumpeted that Bush narrowly leads in the red states.

Just to make certain that the front page did as much to suppress the vote as possible, the top headline, in large print and accompanied by an ugly graphic of a frowning ballot, blared "POLLING PROBLEMS FEARED". To make the point crystal clear, the paper included a speculative account of how tremendously inconvenient it might be to vote this year, (Voting could be a waiting game), and an article making the case that the votes might not really matter (Cynics, lawyers prepare for the worst).


Blogger Eric said...

I dunno man... The Star did endorse Kerry, and usually endorses Democratic candidates in national and local races. In this case I think it's just sloppy/lazy journalism and bad headline writing. The Star seems to have some of the worst headlines around.

Lots of papers are just regurgitating the news releases put out by the polling companies. They aren't looking into or don't care about the fact that many of these polls are using bad methodology.

First, they usually poll "likely votes" - which doesn't include all of the new people registered by ACT, MoveOn, and others. Just here in Missouri, the Democrats have registered something like 25,000 more new voters than Bush's margin of victory in 2000.

Second, these polls don't call mobile phones, which leaves out huge numbers of younger voters who don't use land lines.

10/22/2004 1:45 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Eric, you are correct that the editorial page leans to the middle-of-the-road liberal side, but the editorial page does not control the front page. The real damage is done by the headlines, which are all most people wind up reading, except on the sports page.

10/22/2004 9:54 PM  

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