The John McCain presidential campaign is placing phone calls to voters informing them of Barack Obama's refusal to tell the truth about his relationship with terrorist William Ayers. OK, so what?
Ayers is a legitimate issue in the campaign, due to both his violent assaults on Americans in the 60s, 70s, and 80s, and his continued hatred and support for all things American to this day. Obama's associating with Ayers since the mid-1990s is an issue that Obama has been ducking since the primaries when Hillary Clinton brought it up.
But on Fox News Sunday, while McCain was being interviewed by Chris Wallace, the good folks at Fox decided to run a graphic of a New York Times-CBS News poll asking people what they thought of McCain's telephone ads - was he "attacking" Obama, versus "informing" the public.
Aside from the obvious question - "Who Cares?" - let's forget for just a second, that this "poll" was done by the two least trusted "news outlets" in the entire world, both of which are solidly in the tank for Obama. Let's forget that the Times is in middle of an attack series on Cindy McCain hoping that it will be sufficient to offset Obama's declining poll numbers.
Not surprisingly at all, by an overwhelming edge, the New York Times poll of 1070 "adults" says McCain is "attacking" versus "informing."
So freakin' what?
Where did the Times get these "adults?" From the ranks of Obama's campaign staff? At the CBS alleged "news room?" In a Bowery flophouse? (Yes I know, the Bowery is undergoing gentrification and there aren't as many flophouse as there used to be. But there are enough for this "poll.")
I wouldn't use the New York Times to line the bottom of a parakeet cage for fear they use ink that would poison the little songsters.
And CBS News? The outlet that gave us Walter Cronkite, the latter day communist sympathizer who went to Vietnam and lied to the American public after the military had just won the biggest and most important battle of the war? The man who claimed, while standing in the ruins of what had been the Viet Cong military structure that the war was "unwinnable!"
The man who led the charge that resulted in the deaths of millions of Southeast Asians at the hands of the communists?
And when the American viewing public was finally spared another nanosecond of Cronkite's total absence of credibility, who did we get for a replacement? Dan Rather! Oh Yeah, baby, I really, really trust CBS News.
But what is astonishing here is that Fox News Sunday is using a poll with no resemblance to reality, as The Word. Not one iota of explanation from Fox that the poll just might be of questionable validity.
Anyone who looks one line down from the percentages blasted across the top of the TV screen would know immediately that the source is suspect, the methodology is suspect and thus the outcome is suspect, along with being irrelevant.
Fox News knows this. Do the news executives and on-screen personalities think we don't look beyond the numbers?
In a Shephard Smith segment last week Fox News also reported a NY Times poll giving Obama a 13-point edge, when virtually every other national poll of "likely voters" a key element in getting to the heart of the matter, had the spread in single digits, many of them within or close to the margin of error. Fox's sudden reliance on NY Times propaganda that is thinly, and unconvincingly disguised as news, is remarkable.
In Sunday's FNS show, after tanking McCain on the question of William Ayers, we were treated to another "attack poll" - Fox's own Opinion Dynamics in this case - saying people don't trust Sarah Palin. Once again, where did this come from?
They claim to have polled 900 "registered voters," but what the hell does that mean? Were they all Democrats, a preponderance of Democrats, were they people who ever voted, were they kids who were just signed up by ACORN in a Chicago high school?
If the American public doesn't think Sarah Palin is up to the job, why is she drawing huge, enthusiastic crowds at every single appearance, and why are Obama's numbers dropping in every reputable poll while McCain's are increasing?
I have said it here on many occasions, that I can get spin and Democratic National Committee talking points on virtually every other MainStream Media outlet in America. I turn to a select group of reporters and commentators on Fox News to get a realistic appraisal of what is going on nationally and on the international scene.
But in recent weeks, and certainly on Fox News Sunday as well as the Panel of Experts commentary after the final presidential debate, credibility and objectivity went right out the window.
I don't care who the individual reporters and commentators are backing. I expect left-wing talking points from Juan Williams and Mara Liasson, and I expect conservative views from William Kristol and Brit Hume. What I don't want is the information that drives those opinions to come from questionable sources, posing as real news.
Especially when all those reporters and commentators have access to the same information as I do, and probably a lot more.
Here's another trend the upper management at Fox might want to consider. People turning off Fox News and not turning it on again. There already are several shows I refuse to watch on Fox, and oddly enough there are some viable alternatives on the other media ... Glenn Beck for one. (Although if he moves to Fox as has been reported, I might have to rethink my position. Unless he stops being objective and balanced too.)
I'd hate to see that happen, not me watching Glenn Beck, but people turning off Fox. I trust many of the reporters on Fox, I enjoy their reports, I believe they are knowledgeable, professional and well qualified to let us know what is going on out in the world.
I would miss them and their reports. But I don't need another national news outlet using questionable, incredulous sources that serve only to manipulate, not inform.
If Fox News, and especially Fox News Sunday, wants to go into the business of political strategy rather than political commentary, they should tell the viewers rather than trying to sneak it in on the sly.
Here's another poll I DIDN'T see on Fox. As of Sunday morning, the national polls had Obama slipping into the margin of error after leading by 9 points only a week ago. Why didn't Chris Wallace think that was important?
Here's another poll I didn't see on Fox: The Army Times has the military going for McCain 68 to 23. What do you think that means in states like Virginia, North Carolina, Florida and South Carolina with military bases and big veteran populations? Vets and the active military trend very closely together and there are about 25 million vets in America.
The only variations in the Army Times poll showed that African-Americans on active duty are going for Obama in a huge way, polling in the high 80s for him. But that reflects the national numbers and is no surprise.
Oh, and the Marines are going for McCain by a margin of 78 percent to whatever. Of course, most Marines serve in direct combat or combat support which is often the same thing. Also, as recently reported on FOX, the Marines are shutting down Camp Fallujah in Iraq, leaving in victory.
McCain was the guy who backed them while Obama was selling them out, and by now would have had our military slinking out of Iraq in defeat rather than marching out victorious. I would expect the combat vets to poll higher for McCain.
There also was another poll Friday that might come as somewhat of a shock. The AP and Yahoo.com ran a combined poll that showed Barack leading McCain by 44-42. But the poll of some 1600 likely voters, had a preponderance of Democrats responding - 250 more Dems than Republicans.
What does this tell us? That a lot of Democrats are coming right out and saying they aren't voting for Barack Obama. That poll with significantly more Democrat responders should have gone much higher for Obama. It didn't. That's news.
I found it on the Drudge Report. It wasn't hard to find. It even included all the background information. I wonder why I didn't see that on Fox?
Sunday, October 19, 2008