Friday, January 29, 2010
If you read The Morning Call - the local newspaper of my hometown, Easton, PA - you would come to the conclusion that Americans are evenly divided in their reactions to Obama's State of the Union address.
It's a standard journalistic practice; rather than risk offending one ideological faction by reporting the objective truth - even if that truth suggests that a vast majority holds an opinion which differs from theirs - choose instead a "balanced" approach that allows you to make it seem like both sides have equal support.
Unfortunately, that approach often leads to misleading reporting, since sometimes a vast majority DOES prefer one point-of-view over the other. Take the recent polls regarding Obama's speech, in which 78% report a "Very Positive" or "Somewhat Positive" opinion, while only 21% have a "Somewhat Negative" or "Very Negative" view. When the truth is distilled from the skewed "objectivity" practiced by the media, one realizes that Obama's speech was quite successful.