There’s nothing like wildly divergent interpretations of poll results to make my media BS detector perk up. When a CBS-New York Times survey of insurgent citizens (aka the Tea Party patriots) came out all over the map, something had to be up. And when I read the poll results for immigration that were little reported in the MSM, it got curiouser still. Details on that aspect later on.
The winner of the snark award for referring to the survey must be this infantile blog from CBS:
Not all people who identify themselves as Tea Partiers are ethnocentric wingnuts who get their information about the world spoon-fed to them by televised talking heads. But apologists for this movement are going to have a hard time explaining away the fact that a sizable minority qualify for that very description.
Does CBS think that insulting the mainstream American public is good for business? One-third of Americans polled by Rasmussen say either they or someone they know is involved with the Tea Party movement. Perhaps CBS News believes it have too many viewers.
Surprisingly, the New York Times presented some interesting material as part of its analysis of the same poll. The paper had a mixed article, with some fair information along with its usual race-baiting tripe (e.g. “25 percent think that the administration favors blacks over whites — compared with 11 percent of the general public”; say, isn’t 25 percent a small minority?). One excellent sidebar was the selection of 20 two-minute video statements by Tea Party patriots. I watched several, and was impressed by Howard Gottesman, although all the ones I saw were worthwhile.
(For less propaganda, see the basic poll questions and results: THE TEA PARTY MOVEMENT: WHAT THEY THINK, April 5-12, 2010.)
And didn’t the MSM tell us that the Tea Party members were knuckle-dragging rednecks? That’s been the narrative for months. Now, apparently not, according the poll which found 37 percent of Tea Party respondents were college graduates, compared with 29 percent of Americans as a whole. And the New York Times has softened up some in this article (perhaps sensing a desirable demographic):
Poll Finds Tea Party Backers Wealthier and More Educated, NYT, April 14, 2010
The 18 percent of Americans who identify themselves as Tea Party supporters tend to be Republican, white, male, married and older than 45.
They hold more conservative views on a range of issues than Republicans generally. They are also more likely to describe themselves as “very conservative” and President Obama as “very liberal.”
And while most Republicans say they are “dissatisfied” with Washington, Tea Party supporters are more likely to classify themselves as “angry.”
Okay, fine, we’re angry. That’s because we’re paying attention.
More interesting were the results about immigration. While 60 percent of the general public polled “think that illegal immigration is very serious problem” and 72 percent of the Republicans agree with that idea, 82 percent of Tea Party people concur.
For these facts, you can’t rely on the ninny media, which is obsessed with liberal fantasies about anger and race. You have to use the internet to go straight to the source material, once again, THE TEA PARTY MOVEMENT: WHAT THEY THINK.
Below, the Boston Tea Party, 2010 vintage.