Wednesday, September 29, 2004

CNN/Gallup ~ PR to the people! 

Judy Woodruff ~ bangin' the keys on the whorehouse piano:
Disputes over polling techniques, once the exclusive province of statistic geeks and partisan bloggers, heated up and spilled over to the public domain today.


Anchor Judy Woodruff began by briefly outlining MoveOn's complaint: "[R]ecent polls have shown George W. Bush leading John Kerry and MoveOn.org claims Gallup's polling techniques exaggerate Republican support." Woodruff then gave Gallup editor-in-chief Frank Newport almost three minutes to respond, uninterrupted, to the charges. Naturally, Newport defended Gallup's methodology, but essentially asked viewers to take it on faith that he knows what he's doing.

End of segment.

With that nifty sign-off, CNN implicitly confirmed a criticism of itself that was leveled in the MoveOn ad: the charge that CNN winds up "acting as unquestioning promotional partners [with Gallup], rather than as critical journalists." For this was not the journalism of a disinterested party with no ax to grind. This was PR. Had it been journalism, it would have gone something like this:

Read on... See: Columbia Journalism Review, CNN Circles the Wagons on Polling.


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