- Elliott Stonecipher
Thursday, November 16, 2017 … 3:00 P.M.
Just as more and more Americans get their heads around what fake news is, here come the fake polls.
The two have a lone and dishonorable purpose: filling spaces where truth cannot go.
After all, honorable and truthful polling and resulting news reporting is not an option for the growing number of players hell-bent on cramming dishonest and unqualified candidates down voter throats.
Fake polls, in particular, exist to create the appearance of a thing not real: legitimacy for candidates who are decidedly NOT legitimate.
Then, fake news thus dressed-up by fake polls dramatically “reports” said unreal things, wrapping them in numbers, percentages and “analysis” … seeking to defeat facts and truth.
It certainly wasn’t always this way.
A few years ago, my company ceased public opinion polling which we had very successfully conducted for our clients for more than 31-years.
Due to “non-response bias” – huge parts of the population no longer available to be polled – polling had become a tool in search of a brand-new box, one for which it yet searches.
To understand what has taken over, to a notable extent, we need look no further than a recent “report” of “news” about a “poll” in the campaign for Shreveport mayor.
Readers may note for the record that the subject offending entity is in the “news” business, with a website which screams “News” in its trade name.
Its “news” was a “poll” which proclaimed a minor local elected official to be the “leader” in the 2018 campaign for Shreveport mayor.
Said public official is, for the record, joined at the political hip with his mentor, close pal and ex-mayor, Cedric Glover. Glover is, in turn, a favorite filler of air-time on the subject show.
The words “not a scientific poll” were used once in the website “news report,” but only as it also used, in the same sentence, this headline to claim it knew …
… “Who’s Leading in the Shreveport Mayor’s race?”
The accompanying, detailed “news” report was stated with great specificity, and hoopla:
“(Candidate A) leads the field with nearly 40%. (Candidate B) is next with 27% support. (Candidate C) has nearly 9% support. (Candidate D) is 4th in the pack with 4.5% of the responders. (Candidate E) has just over 4% support.”
In fact and truth, the “poll” merely tallied preferences from self-selected respondents.
Actual polls, by definition and practice, do not and cannot involve self-selected respondents.
I intend no offense to fortune tellers and such when I say that they are much more likely to correctly pick the “leader” in this campaign than any such “polls.”
The favored would-be candidate will now, breathlessly no doubt, spread the “news” …
… “Did you see the XXXX Radio poll?! I’m leading the mayor’s race by 13-points!
Ironically, the “poll” unveiled harmful details about the show’s audience. Among the 900-plus “respondents,” 84% went for one-of-eight (8) Democrat candidates, with only 16% picking one-of-four (4) Republican candidates.
The subject audience thus included more than 5-times as many Democrats as Republicans, regardless that the show positions itself as conservative.
Fake polls, fake news … next, we may suppose, will be fake voters.
One thing is as real as it gets. Shreveport needs a real mayor.
© 2017 Elliott Stonecipher … ALL RIGHTS RESERVED