Another 'narrative' falling apart: Trump surges 19 points in poll with...Latinos

PBS thought it had a good one: a poll showing the public opposed to the government shutdown and disapproving of President Trump.  It was a poll like all of PBS's other polls, negative to Trump, and a clear attempt to influence the "narrative" repeated by most of the Beltway press and its talking heads.  Dreary, dreary, it might have run and gone without mention.

...except that Mediaite went deep into the weeds of reading the actual poll line by line and found something eye-popping:

Shock Poll: Trump Gains 19 Points with Latino Voters During Border Wall Shutdown

That's the headline; here's the fill:

In the latest NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll released Thursday, President Donald Trump may have suffered some among Republicans overall, but he saw a huge point gain in a different demographic breakdown, and an unexpected one by conventional wisdom.

In early December, the poll had Trump's approval rating among Latino adults at 31%.

The results from the poll released Thursday show the president's job approval among Latino adults at 50%.

Compare and contrast with PBS's reportage on the same poll:

With the 2020 presidential election already underway, 57 percent of registered voters said they would definitely vote against President Donald Trump, according to the latest poll from the PBS NewsHour, NPR and Marist.

Another 30 percent of voters said they would cast their ballot to support Trump, and an additional 13 percent said they had no idea who would get their vote.

Although the election is still nearly two years away, the large number of voters who oppose Trump as well as his low approval ratings suggest the president faces a "steep, steep incline" in winning re-election, said Lee Miringoff, the director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion.

(Pay no attention to that little detail about Trump having lousy poll numbers in the wake of the 2016 vote that got him elected...)

PBS paid for this poll yet ignored the actual news contained within it.  Why did the network do that?  Obviously, to support a "narrative" that everyone hates Trump and that only Trump is to blame for the government shutdown.  That superseded the actual value of the news they had, so they went ahead and reported a boilerplate story about the broader poll results they had, which were pretty much the same as all the poll results they got – ignoring the actual news that Latino support for Trump has surged in the wake of the government shutdown.

Like anyone, I'd like to know why that's happening, because it really is news.  But since it doesn't support any Democrat "narrative," the press in general is going to ignore it and hope the story goes away.

Still, it shows some amazingly bad business sense for a news organization.  PBS paid for the poll and ignored the Latino detail.  That left the field wide open for Mediaite to jump up like a dolphin to a fish and get the scoop, which it rightly got.  Obviously, PBS isn't driven by market forces in the shaping of its coverage, as most news organizations are.  It's funded by the government and foundations, and that raises a spotlight on why this should be happening.  The people at PBS didn't get their money's worth with this poll because they have a bigger mission: creating a narrative to support Democrats.  Why are we funding this?

Image credit: Al via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0.

PBS thought it had a good one: a poll showing the public opposed to the government shutdown and disapproving of President Trump.  It was a poll like all of PBS's other polls, negative to Trump, and a clear attempt to influence the "narrative" repeated by most of the Beltway press and its talking heads.  Dreary, dreary, it might have run and gone without mention.

...except that Mediaite went deep into the weeds of reading the actual poll line by line and found something eye-popping:

Shock Poll: Trump Gains 19 Points with Latino Voters During Border Wall Shutdown

That's the headline; here's the fill:

In the latest NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll released Thursday, President Donald Trump may have suffered some among Republicans overall, but he saw a huge point gain in a different demographic breakdown, and an unexpected one by conventional wisdom.

In early December, the poll had Trump's approval rating among Latino adults at 31%.

The results from the poll released Thursday show the president's job approval among Latino adults at 50%.

Compare and contrast with PBS's reportage on the same poll:

With the 2020 presidential election already underway, 57 percent of registered voters said they would definitely vote against President Donald Trump, according to the latest poll from the PBS NewsHour, NPR and Marist.

Another 30 percent of voters said they would cast their ballot to support Trump, and an additional 13 percent said they had no idea who would get their vote.

Although the election is still nearly two years away, the large number of voters who oppose Trump as well as his low approval ratings suggest the president faces a "steep, steep incline" in winning re-election, said Lee Miringoff, the director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion.

(Pay no attention to that little detail about Trump having lousy poll numbers in the wake of the 2016 vote that got him elected...)

PBS paid for this poll yet ignored the actual news contained within it.  Why did the network do that?  Obviously, to support a "narrative" that everyone hates Trump and that only Trump is to blame for the government shutdown.  That superseded the actual value of the news they had, so they went ahead and reported a boilerplate story about the broader poll results they had, which were pretty much the same as all the poll results they got – ignoring the actual news that Latino support for Trump has surged in the wake of the government shutdown.

Like anyone, I'd like to know why that's happening, because it really is news.  But since it doesn't support any Democrat "narrative," the press in general is going to ignore it and hope the story goes away.

Still, it shows some amazingly bad business sense for a news organization.  PBS paid for the poll and ignored the Latino detail.  That left the field wide open for Mediaite to jump up like a dolphin to a fish and get the scoop, which it rightly got.  Obviously, PBS isn't driven by market forces in the shaping of its coverage, as most news organizations are.  It's funded by the government and foundations, and that raises a spotlight on why this should be happening.  The people at PBS didn't get their money's worth with this poll because they have a bigger mission: creating a narrative to support Democrats.  Why are we funding this?

Image credit: Al via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0.