Nuggets of Wisdom

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

FAIR Not Fair About Tea Party Poll

I don’t visit the Fairness And Accuracy In Reporting website anymore, since I quickly learned that they are anything but “fair” and “accurate” as they focus more on right-wing media bias than they do left-wing media bias.

I recently came across an article published about a month ago “analyzing” a poll which claimed that the Tea Party was more popular (41%) than either the Democrat (35%) or Republican (28%) party (never mind the Tea Party isn’t an official political party).

But look at the poll a little more closely. The first thing to know is that most people don't know what the Tea Party movement is--25 percent said they "know very little," 23 percent "know nothing at all." So the question that elicited the 41 percent approval mark had to give people some idea of what it's about. And NBC's poll question offered a remarkably upbeat description:

“As you may know, this year saw the start of something known as the Tea Party movement. In this movement, citizens, most of whom are conservatives, participated in demonstrations in Washington, D.C., and other cities, protesting government spending, the economic stimulus package and any type of tax increases. From what you know about this movement, is your opinion of it very positive, somewhat positive, neutral, somewhat negative or very negative? If you do not know enough to have an opinion, please say so.”

In other words, the "no-tax-hike, responsible spending" party that you've never heard of is a little bit popular.

I guess the fact that the poll gave the Tea Parties a “remarkably upbeat description” made the poll unfair in the eyes of the otherwise left-wing FAIR. I guess it’s inaccurate to claim the Tea Parties are about “protesting government spending, the economic stimulus package and any type of tax increases” (even though that’s exactly what they’re about).

Maybe the poll would have been more “accurate” if it had described the Tea Parties as a “bunch of teabagging rednecks.”