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Friday, September 28, 2012

Cognitive dissonance: Fox News suggests polling bias - but fails to mention it's own poll has president ahead

More evidence that though we are inhabiting the same earth, we are in different universes:

A quick glance at FoxNews.com, for instance, reveals an election package at the top of the page with several stories, which is fairly standard this time of the year. One of the stories highlighted is labeled "The truth about 2012 polls," in which a former Clinton pollster and Fox News contributor argues that the polls are skewed to the left, even if President Barack Obama is currently ahead.

It's a part of the growing discussion on the right that the left-wing media is somehow manipulating all of the polling data to depress the conservative vote - a case they did not make when those same polls had the race essentially tied.

The weird thing, though, is that you'd have to scroll down and look carefully for a surprising fact, that the Fox News poll that was just released also shows President Obama ahead by 5 points. There is a story about that poll on the page, but it is titled "Majority want Obama to stand up for free speech" - and it doesn't even mention the overall result that gives Obama a lead similar to those other pollsters have found.

This is why having serious discussions across the ideological divide is so difficult, because so many of us don't even accept basic facts if they don't say what we want them to. No, this isn't just a conservative phenomenon, but it is being manifested more on that side of the aisle right now because of the current trajectory of a heated presidential campaign. I'm hoping that after Nov. 6 we can get over some of this stuff and argue over what we should do with the reality we face and not just make up an alternate reality. 

I will likely be launching a series of discussions around the Grand Strand in the months after the election that will deal with a variety of subjects, including the contentious issues of religion and abortion because I still believe such conversations are possible. I also plan to share some of the surprising findings from an important new book, "The New New Deal," which details why the stimulus plan worked much better than most ever thought it could and is one of the best examples of responsible and effective government, the kind that cuts through red tape and holds down waste and fraud - all of the things you've probably not heard about it.

If you have any ideas about how to bridge the divide, after the election, let me know. From there, we'll see how it goes.


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