Media Matters' Jamison Foser demolishes Noel Sheppard's June 21 NewsBusters post, in which he claims that because a CBS/New York Times poll sample included 48 percent who said they voted for Obama and 25 percent who said they voted for John McCain, the poll 'WAY oversampled people who voted for Obama," adding, "What this means is this poll surveyed 66 percent Obama supporters versus 34 percent McCain." As Foser put it:
Uh ... no. What this means is that 48 percent of respondents say they voted for Obama, and 25 percent say they voted for McCain, and 27 percent either say they didn't vote, say they voted for someone else, or refuse to say for whom they voted. You can't just wish away those 27 percent and pretend that the poll "surveyed 66 percent Obama supporters versus 34 percent McCain."
Sheppard went on to lament: "Honestly, stuff like this should be illegal and any news organization found doing it should be significantly fined. ... Why are so-called news outlets allowed to get away with such obvious deceit with total impunity?" Foser responds:
Actually, that pretty nicely sums up the conservative media critics' view of journalism: They think it should be illegal for news organizations to do things they don't like (even when their unhappiness is based on a complete lack of understanding of polling and basic math) and the journalists involved should be fined.
In other words, conservative media critics like Sheppard don't believe in independent media. They don't believe in freedom of the press. So why on earth should any journalist ever take anything they say seriously?