The media and the election

Last week, the New York Times ombudsman was forced to acknowledge that the Times headline about the 9/11 Commission's findings on an Iraq Al Qaeda link was misleading. He noted, however, that the error was unintentional, whatever that might mean. A few days back the Times reported the results of its latest Presidential election poll conducted with CBS News. The front page headline was that approval for President Bush was down to 42%, a new low. In the 11th paragraph, the reader, if he had stuck around that far, would also have learned that instead of being 8 points behind Kerry, as he had been in the previous month's CBS poll, the two candidates were now running even —— Bush ahead by a point in a three way race, Kerry ahead by 1 point in a two man race. One might argue that closing an 8 point gap would be the bigger story, but in this case, one would be wrong, in the eyes of Times editors. These are errors of commission: deliberate attempts to either slam the President,...(Read Full Article)

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