Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Why You Need to Read Blogs

This Newsweek Online article, entitled "Are the Faithful Losing Faith?", details the results of the latest Newsweek poll on voting patterns. It describes bad news for the GOP, including a finding that "fifty-five percent of likely voters ... would vote for the Democrat in their district if the election were held today."

Sounds like great news for Democrats, right? However, on the issue of impeachment, the article continues:

"Other parts of a potential Democratic agenda receive less support, especially calls to impeach Bush: 47 percent of Democrats say that should be a “top priority,” but only 28 percent of all Americans say it should be, 23 percent say it should be a lower priority and nearly half, 44 percent, say it should not be done. (Five percent of Republicans say it should be a top priority and 15 percent of Republicans say it should be a lower priority; 78 percent oppose impeachment.)"

So, if you read this article, doesn't it sound as if the "Impeachment Part" of the Democrat's agenda is receiving low support? After all, the polling data regarding impeachment is described in negative terms, such as "receiv[ing] less support," concluding, once again in negative terms, that less than half of Democrats say impeachment should be a "top priority."

In short, the tone of the Newsweek article is that potential calls for impeachment are not being well received.

But, as Glenn Greenwald points out, if we break Newsweek's code, we can easily see that the other side of their conclusion that "44% of all Americans" say impeachment "should not be done" is that a minority of those polled believe this President should not be impeached.

So why isn't this the headline and why do we have to "parse the statement" to get to this finding? After all, this public call to impeach the Bush far exceeds the public call to impeach Clinton. But, like the proper conclusions to draw from the polling data, we have to figure this out on our own.

Looked at another way, the results of this poll are even more astounding. If "28 percent of all Americans" say impeachment should be top priority and , 23 percent "say it should be a lower priority," why doesn't Newsweek point out that a majority of those polled believe this President should be impeached. After all they agree on impeachment, but differ only on how much of a priority it should be.

But we have to break their code to figure this out!

Tragically, most readers of Newsweek's "Online Exclusive" poll would have missed this analysis and would likely have walked away thinking, as the article implied, that impeachment wasn't playing well in Palookaville.

To get to what wasn't stated, but what was clearly true, you had to read between the lines, or go to a blog that had already done so. That's why I go straight to blogs, like Greenwald's or Digby's, rather than trying to read between the lines of the corporate media sites.

What makes finding the right blogs, amongst a sea of bad ones, is that it gives you a look inside the "filter" that the news is pushed through, before it reaches you and me.

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