Robert Mueller Voted ‘Most Popular’

Polls reported last week apparently show that Robert Mueller is more popular than Donald Trump.  According to one poll conducted for CNN, the 50% who approve of Mueller’s handling of his collusion investigation “outpaces President Donald Trump's approval rating on the matter by 20 points.”  A poll of 600 likely voters conducted for the Detroit News and WDIV-TV found 63% support for the Mueller investigation, and 46% “strongly” favoring it, “despite Trump’s frequent criticism of the inquiry as a tainted ‘witch hunt.’”   Between both polls, support for impeachment ranges from 41 to 47%.  The percentage who share Trump’s view that the probe is tainted is in the low 30s.  Not surprisingly, out of “the 41 percent of voters who said Trump should be impeached, the greatest support was among Democratic voters and those who lean Democratic.” 

The News survey also shows a “bloc” of Michigan voters who agree that the “media are the enemy of the people,” tracking “a nationwide trend in which people are going to media sources that align with their own beliefs, a phenomenon that is escalating with the presidency of Donald Trump.” 

More accurately, what’s been “escalating” since Trump’s election (and in journalese that particular verb connotes a growing evil: e.g., tensions escalate, or wars and arms races escalate) -- is awareness among Americans of the extent of biased mainstream reporting routinely distorting the facts, or outright lying, to further the progressive agenda.

Part of the media’s message in spotlighting these surveys is that most Americans think the Mueller investigation is a good thing, and almost half the country agrees with Maxine Waters and half of 2018’s Democrat candidates that impeaching Trump would also be a good thing.  The rest of the message is that the minority of voters who think otherwise -- people who view “the media as dangerous to democracy” -- only think that way because they’re watching Fox News.  Richard Czuba, whose Glengariff Group. Inc, conducted the Detroit News poll, explains that “FOX News is having a very unusual disproportionate effect among Republican voters… It really is telling.”

As proof, Czuba’s poll shows that “fifty-five percent of respondents who said Fox News is their primary source of news said they think the media are the enemy of the people, compared with 31 percent for consumers of local television, 5 percent for CNN or MSNBC, 27 percent for radio and 14.5 percent for newspapers.”  Personally, I’m more impressed with the 45% of Fox viewers who wouldn’t agree to the loaded question that all the media (as opposed to those pushing fake news) are the enemy of the people, than I am with the 95% of CNN and MSNBC viewers who never doubt anything Don Lemon or Rachel Maddow tells them. 

Obviously, Fox News influences a segment of voters by broadcasting news and opinions that won’t be heard on CNN, MSNBC, or the rest of the mainstream media; but by what standard is that either unusual or disproportionate?  Those other outlets also influence a vast segment of voters; the CNN survey registered 61% of Americans who think the Russian investigation is “a serious matter” -- a point of view well flogged in the mainstream media.  The News survey shows that “voters whose primary source of news is something other than FOX (newspapers, radio, network television, local TV, CNN or MSNBC) overwhelmingly declared the [Mueller] probe ‘fair.’”  Because Czuba’s poll “shows wide and deep support among everyone but Republicans for the Mueller investigation,” he thinks he has proved something his poll hasn’t proved at all: that Republicans are misinformed and wrong, while everyone else is well-informed and right

Opinion polls measure opinions, not facts.  But do these majorities have the facts?  Take the matter of impeachment.  Legal experts disagree on what’s required to impeach a president, but none agrees with Maxine Waters that Trump is subject to impeachment just for the high crime of beating Hillary.  CNN’s poll reflects that support for impeachment has risen since June, following Paul Manafort’s conviction on tax and bank fraud charges unrelated to the Trump campaign, and former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen’s guilty pleas to tax evasion, fraud, and “campaign finance violations” for paying hush money to Stormy Daniels at Trump’s direction.  Even if Trump did direct it, any campaign violations are a far cry from being high crimes, and there’s doubt they were even crimes at all.  Yet, after those convictions, CNN’s survey showed 47% of polled Americans said Trump “ought to be impeached and removed from office, and among those who say Trump did direct Cohen to make the payment to Daniels, 69% say he ought to be impeached.”  A USA Today poll showed “[a] whopping 91% of respondents whose most trusted network is MSNBC and 83% of those surveyed who chose CNN said the plea deal raised serious questions about Trump’s behavior.”  Raising “serious questions” is a weasel phrase that can be made to suggest anything, and in this context it’s designed to suggest Cohen’s plea deal somehow justifies tearing the country apart with impeachment proceedings.

Boiled down, this all means that those choosing mainstream media for news have concluded (or more accurately, come to “feel”) that Mueller convicting these two Trump associates proves that Trump is guilty of an impeachable offense.  To put it nicely, this conclusion doesn’t reflect opinions that are rooted in reality.  Even the CNN pollsters acknowledge that many of those responding are merely voicing “their personal desire for a new president more than an evidence-based assessment of whether he could be impeached.”  The anti-Trumpers who’ve been obsessed, since Election Night 2016, with getting rid of this guy by any means necessary, couldn’t care less about evidence-based assessments: they just want what they want.  Is it any wonder they turn to the establishment media, which day after day reliably communicates that, regardless of evidence, they want the same thing?

“Good Research is Not Partisan/Good Research is Accurate”. So says pollster Richard Czuba’s website.  And as far as they count voter opinions (or at least what voters tell them), these polls may be accurate.  But the underlying assumption -- that the majority of voters who wisely get their information from progressive news outlets are empirically correct about Mueller and impeachment -- has no factual basis at all.   We’re being asked to accept that the majority who “are not buying the president's argument” that the investigation is rigged have the correct opinion just because there are 20% more of them than of us.

Why can’t the same data be read to say that the 67% who trust Mueller have been disproportionately influenced by CNN and Chris Matthews, in contrast to a significant remnant of thoughtful Americans who’ve done their homework and learned that the entire Russia probe was concocted out of bias, lies, fraud, and abuse of power?  As much as it still rankles the left, Lincoln’s counsel that you can’t fool all of the people all of the time still holds up.  And the truth doesn’t ask for a show of hands.

T.R. Clancy looks at the world from Dearborn, Michigan.  You can email him at trclancy@yahoo.com.

Polls reported last week apparently show that Robert Mueller is more popular than Donald Trump.  According to one poll conducted for CNN, the 50% who approve of Mueller’s handling of his collusion investigation “outpaces President Donald Trump's approval rating on the matter by 20 points.”  A poll of 600 likely voters conducted for the Detroit News and WDIV-TV found 63% support for the Mueller investigation, and 46% “strongly” favoring it, “despite Trump’s frequent criticism of the inquiry as a tainted ‘witch hunt.’”   Between both polls, support for impeachment ranges from 41 to 47%.  The percentage who share Trump’s view that the probe is tainted is in the low 30s.  Not surprisingly, out of “the 41 percent of voters who said Trump should be impeached, the greatest support was among Democratic voters and those who lean Democratic.” 

The News survey also shows a “bloc” of Michigan voters who agree that the “media are the enemy of the people,” tracking “a nationwide trend in which people are going to media sources that align with their own beliefs, a phenomenon that is escalating with the presidency of Donald Trump.” 

More accurately, what’s been “escalating” since Trump’s election (and in journalese that particular verb connotes a growing evil: e.g., tensions escalate, or wars and arms races escalate) -- is awareness among Americans of the extent of biased mainstream reporting routinely distorting the facts, or outright lying, to further the progressive agenda.

Part of the media’s message in spotlighting these surveys is that most Americans think the Mueller investigation is a good thing, and almost half the country agrees with Maxine Waters and half of 2018’s Democrat candidates that impeaching Trump would also be a good thing.  The rest of the message is that the minority of voters who think otherwise -- people who view “the media as dangerous to democracy” -- only think that way because they’re watching Fox News.  Richard Czuba, whose Glengariff Group. Inc, conducted the Detroit News poll, explains that “FOX News is having a very unusual disproportionate effect among Republican voters… It really is telling.”

As proof, Czuba’s poll shows that “fifty-five percent of respondents who said Fox News is their primary source of news said they think the media are the enemy of the people, compared with 31 percent for consumers of local television, 5 percent for CNN or MSNBC, 27 percent for radio and 14.5 percent for newspapers.”  Personally, I’m more impressed with the 45% of Fox viewers who wouldn’t agree to the loaded question that all the media (as opposed to those pushing fake news) are the enemy of the people, than I am with the 95% of CNN and MSNBC viewers who never doubt anything Don Lemon or Rachel Maddow tells them. 

Obviously, Fox News influences a segment of voters by broadcasting news and opinions that won’t be heard on CNN, MSNBC, or the rest of the mainstream media; but by what standard is that either unusual or disproportionate?  Those other outlets also influence a vast segment of voters; the CNN survey registered 61% of Americans who think the Russian investigation is “a serious matter” -- a point of view well flogged in the mainstream media.  The News survey shows that “voters whose primary source of news is something other than FOX (newspapers, radio, network television, local TV, CNN or MSNBC) overwhelmingly declared the [Mueller] probe ‘fair.’”  Because Czuba’s poll “shows wide and deep support among everyone but Republicans for the Mueller investigation,” he thinks he has proved something his poll hasn’t proved at all: that Republicans are misinformed and wrong, while everyone else is well-informed and right

Opinion polls measure opinions, not facts.  But do these majorities have the facts?  Take the matter of impeachment.  Legal experts disagree on what’s required to impeach a president, but none agrees with Maxine Waters that Trump is subject to impeachment just for the high crime of beating Hillary.  CNN’s poll reflects that support for impeachment has risen since June, following Paul Manafort’s conviction on tax and bank fraud charges unrelated to the Trump campaign, and former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen’s guilty pleas to tax evasion, fraud, and “campaign finance violations” for paying hush money to Stormy Daniels at Trump’s direction.  Even if Trump did direct it, any campaign violations are a far cry from being high crimes, and there’s doubt they were even crimes at all.  Yet, after those convictions, CNN’s survey showed 47% of polled Americans said Trump “ought to be impeached and removed from office, and among those who say Trump did direct Cohen to make the payment to Daniels, 69% say he ought to be impeached.”  A USA Today poll showed “[a] whopping 91% of respondents whose most trusted network is MSNBC and 83% of those surveyed who chose CNN said the plea deal raised serious questions about Trump’s behavior.”  Raising “serious questions” is a weasel phrase that can be made to suggest anything, and in this context it’s designed to suggest Cohen’s plea deal somehow justifies tearing the country apart with impeachment proceedings.

Boiled down, this all means that those choosing mainstream media for news have concluded (or more accurately, come to “feel”) that Mueller convicting these two Trump associates proves that Trump is guilty of an impeachable offense.  To put it nicely, this conclusion doesn’t reflect opinions that are rooted in reality.  Even the CNN pollsters acknowledge that many of those responding are merely voicing “their personal desire for a new president more than an evidence-based assessment of whether he could be impeached.”  The anti-Trumpers who’ve been obsessed, since Election Night 2016, with getting rid of this guy by any means necessary, couldn’t care less about evidence-based assessments: they just want what they want.  Is it any wonder they turn to the establishment media, which day after day reliably communicates that, regardless of evidence, they want the same thing?

“Good Research is Not Partisan/Good Research is Accurate”. So says pollster Richard Czuba’s website.  And as far as they count voter opinions (or at least what voters tell them), these polls may be accurate.  But the underlying assumption -- that the majority of voters who wisely get their information from progressive news outlets are empirically correct about Mueller and impeachment -- has no factual basis at all.   We’re being asked to accept that the majority who “are not buying the president's argument” that the investigation is rigged have the correct opinion just because there are 20% more of them than of us.

Why can’t the same data be read to say that the 67% who trust Mueller have been disproportionately influenced by CNN and Chris Matthews, in contrast to a significant remnant of thoughtful Americans who’ve done their homework and learned that the entire Russia probe was concocted out of bias, lies, fraud, and abuse of power?  As much as it still rankles the left, Lincoln’s counsel that you can’t fool all of the people all of the time still holds up.  And the truth doesn’t ask for a show of hands.

T.R. Clancy looks at the world from Dearborn, Michigan.  You can email him at trclancy@yahoo.com.