Tuesday, June 29, 2004
The horserace: It's an election year, and the media continues to do a shoddy job of covering probably the most important presidential contest in more than two decades. It's a common lament, but the media spends much of its time not analyzing proposed policies or doing in-depth pieces on the candidates' records, but doing stories on the horserace -- who had a good day, who had a bad day.
The New York Times a common object of my ire, doesn't set itself apart on this count. Despite the reverence for the paper in America's journalism schools, journalistic hopefuls would be better off ignoring the "paper of record."
Today's case in point is the predictable poll story.
There's all sorts of problems with the story, as detailed here and here.
In short, the Times used a Democrat-heavy polling sample and then buried the fact that Bush had erased a Kerry lead from the last poll, instead focusing on the innacurate claim that Bush's approval rating is at a record low.