Reporting schlock

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UNC School of Journalism professor Phil Meyer wrote a book years ago called Precision Journalism. Among other things, it examined how news organizations should and shouldn't use polling data to supplement their stories. Apparently, the cracker-jack political reporting staff at the News and Observer missed a few classes.

It's bad enough that the N&O's Rob Christensen consistently relies on Art Pope's Puppets as sources to bolster his stories. But today, Pope's "multi-million-dollar opinion-manufacturing machine" grabs the golden ring in a trashy little piece of reporting that should be embarrassing. If he were in class with Professor Meyer today, Christensen's lame excuse for news would have received an automatic F.

At issue is "manufactured news" spewing forth from one of the Puppetmaster's more shady sideshows, the John William Pope Civitas Institute, headed by Jack Hawke. Hawke, once a top dog in the NCGOP, has been reduced to a doddering old reactionary under the influence of the Art Pope's pocketbook. His Civitas Institute cranks out half-baked polls every couple of months, purporting to reflect North Carolina public opinion.

The provider of said polls is a company called TelOpinion, a right wing "research" firm that specializes in cheap, fast phone work.

TOR's overhead is low, its prices lower, its quality just as high, if not higher, than the competition. It has 30 phone stations in house, with centralized monitoring and full supervisory staff. All coding, data entry and tabulation are conducted on site to insure integrity, quality and quick turnaround to the client.

And who's the objective spokesman from TelOpinion that Christensen relies on for his story? Well, it's Bill Lee.

He is an acknowledged expert in campaign planning and strategy and has taught these and other subjects in virtually every national conservative or Republican campaign school.

I was in the market research business for 20 years and I can tell you first-hand that partisan robo-calling operations like TelOpinion are a joke. Which makes it perfectly fitting the the News and Observer would cover the poll as though it represented anything other than Art Pope's own twisted view of the world. Plus what credentials company's owner has! This guy is enough to make the John Locke Foundation seem fair and balanced.

A few weeks ago, Ted Vaden took his reporting staff to task for relying on the Puppetmaster's multi-million-dollar opinion-manufacturing machine as a source of news. It was a valiant effort, Ted, but don't even bother next time. The political reporting staff obviously doesn't give a damn what you have to say. They've found their niche: crappy polling, crappy reporting, crappy news.


PS If the N&O hadn't fallen so far so fast, the paper would be doing its own damn polling instead of serving as stenographers for the government-hating right.



Should we print them some tee shirts up and send them on over? Maybe bake a cake?

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Vote Democratic, the ass you save may be your own.

How about this one?

How about this?

From Burning Tree.


“Don't tell me what you value, show me your budget, and I'll tell you what you value.”
― Joe Biden

A Jumping Jack Pope poll?

Ring! Ring!


Hi Sir! This is a National respected unbais polling reseach service to save our country from the terrorists. May I get your opinion on National affairs.


Do you think President Bush is defending you from terrorists and liberals in Chapel Hill North Carolina?

You are damn right he is!! Just last week we caught two liberals in Orange County writing letters to the editor.

May I ask what your present employment is Sir?

Yes! I am former retired disinformation officer with the CIA.

Thank you sir for giving your personal opinion on how well President Bush is doing to protect you from Liberials, communists and terrorists in Chapel Hill.

President Bush will be sending you a personal medal of information of honor to you along with a picture of him chopping bush on the Texas Ranch in the middle of last year's Hurricane.

May God bless!

Thanks and kill a terrorist for Jesus!

Too damn close to the truth, Max



“Don't tell me what you value, show me your budget, and I'll tell you what you value.”
― Joe Biden

Anglico fails unbais Republican poll?

Too damn close to the truth, Max* Anglico

Hi Mr Anglico! This is John calling back in reference to our unbais poll about the wonderful work our leader is doing.

We made a mistake when we left you off our American loyalty poll. If you are willing to swear a oath to our Furher...oops ..I mean our President. We will include your opinion in our poll. Now answer the following questions.

1. Have you ever been a member of the Communist party in your life time?
2. Have you ever voted for a Black democrat candiate?
3. Have you ever donated small sums of monies to any Union that believes in " Made in America Only?"
4. Have you ever been to a San Francisco Bath house as a tourist?
5. If given a choice between Paris Hilton and George Bush as president. Who would you vote for?
6. This is a local question so be please consider the source as the authority of proof. Do you believe that Speaker Black sleeps with little boys on the weekends at Native American Casios?
7. Finally! The last question to our brilliant unbais poll. Would you vote for the following persons who could lead our State out of corruption into a loving dicatorship by the people in the 21 st century?
A. Jesus of the Old Testment
B. Art " John Wayne" Pope
C. Professor of the international award winning blogging think tank of North Carolina Doctor John Hood BS,DBS,MBS
D. Arthur Sic'em Pope again with a blogging persona
F. The entire Sunday morning political experts of the Carolina Spin TV opinion show.

Mr Anglino! I am sorry to inform you but your opinions will not be allowed in our unbais poll due to your liberal communist progressive and socialist opinions will not meet our high standards as a authority on politics since you a rumor mongering internet blogger freak. However the good news is that you have won a offer on our other polling service company.

John's and Art Used Cars and discounted payday easy pay services.

By the way Anglio, you couldn't handle the truth anyway if I told you.


You must be an insider!

These are the exact questions they asked me when they polled two weeks ago!


“Don't tell me what you value, show me your budget, and I'll tell you what you value.”
― Joe Biden

Hey Man! Do you belong to the Lions Club?

You must be an insider!

These are the exact questions they asked me when they polled two weeks ago!* Anglico

Yep! Once was a insider and now a outsider It appears that we are both screw if we want to suck up to the boys again.

The Junk Lot Foundation

John's and Art Used Cars and discounted payday easy pay services.


A poifect descriptor!


“Don't tell me what you value, show me your budget, and I'll tell you what you value.”
― Joe Biden

Here's a contact list

for the stenographers at the N&O. Pick a few and send 'em a link.


“Don't tell me what you value, show me your budget, and I'll tell you what you value.”
― Joe Biden

I actually attended this event--Rob left a few things out

1. the poll was fielded starting september 11th. wonder if all the video/radio montages had anything to do with the bump that president bush received???? rob even notes that at the end of his piece...

2. when specifically asked if a democratic state legislator should be held accountable for speaker black's "illegal and unethical actions," 54% of respondents said no; only 29% said yes.

when asked if republican state legislators should be held accountable for "president bush's policies" 31% said yes (more than the corresponding number for Black) and 61% said no.

note black's "illegal and unethical actions" vs. "bush's policies."

3. voters are only given five options for issues that need the most attention: healthcare, education, creating jobs, holding down taxes, and controlling immigration. immigration is a "sure thing" and "growing" issue according to rob c. because it moved from 17% in July and is now at 21%. in a poll with a 3.7% margin of error, that doesn't seem like much growth.

incidentally, health care remained at 20% over that time period, and education has fluctuated between 21-25%.

4. my favorite question about speaker black: "if you had the opportunity to vote against speaker black and the scandals surrounding his service, are you extremely, very, somewhat or not interested in voting." can i vote against his scandal? slightly leading?

5. i also appreciate that they asked a poll of "likely voters" to respond on a scale of 1-10 how interested they were in voting. are these voters or not voters? can you really have it both ways.

6. finally, tsk, tsk to rob and his editors for not identifying civitas as a conservative institute. their mission statement even says they are "dedicated to providing conservative solutions for North Carolina's pressing issues."
Readers deserve that kind of info...


Holey moley, this is worse than I thought. I knew TelOpinion Research was run by partisan hacks, but I thought they might at least have the pretense of honest questions.

Thanks so much for filling in all the disgusting details. It goes to underscore something we've thought all along: The Puppetshow is devoid of intellectual honesty at every turn.


“Don't tell me what you value, show me your budget, and I'll tell you what you value.”
― Joe Biden

Great post.

Thanks, guys.

This is exactly the kind of circular media control that is totally unseen by the wider pop. in this area. It's an effective formula for control of truthiness.

((JLF + Civitas)/ArtPope)* lazyJournalists = GOPl'eauDeToilette

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

Is the bounce over?

According to Rasmussen, bush is back down to 40%. Add to that all other polls and he is up by 2.6% since August. Note, two of the last three polls have him at 40% and 37%. His bounce might have been just that.
CountryCrats - my thoughts, my blog.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.