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Partisan Shmartisan CNN Poll

In a manner that baffles me, CNN is contributing to a media perception that the Terri Schiavo case somehow falls along populist partisan lines, despite the clear evidence to the contrary demonstrated in their own poll.

CNN Poll

Looking at this illustration, which asks if the poller agrees with the court’s decision to have the feeding tube removed, one would think the 62% claimed by the Democrats is a veritable behemoth of agreement, dwarfing the measly numbers represented by the Republicans and Independents. But look at where the chart starts. It starts, not even at 50, but unexplainably at 53, making the illustration appear grossly off balance. It doesn’t take a math major, though, to realize that there’s not a huge gap in-between 62 and 54. That’s a mere 8% in a poll with a sample error of 7%.

So that’s not much to speak of at all. But looking at the graph this so-called professional news organization is putting out to a scan and browse public, one would think there was a wide disparity of opinion. The reality, which can easier be grasped from a chart starting at 0%, is that a small majority on all three sides simply agree.

So my cynical inner child wants to know, is that so hard to illustrate without trying to make a partisan issue for a bunch of idiot pundits to yap off their know-nothing mouths? Of course not.

And the sad-ass politicians who want to own the issue outright… they, are another story, and a direction I don’t intend to go in. But thankfully the American people do know a whole lot better.

Update I put this piece together earlier today. However, CNN has since updated their graphic, mostly likely not because of me (humble blogger that I am). Somebody over at Media Matters apparently made the exact same observation.

Small world.


24 March 2005 @ 8am

Yes, I’m glad there’s some sort of filter to the scan ‘n browse public masses… Did you notice that the TV media have most recently, as in the past few days, started using a photo of Terri Shiavo obviously taken in her healthier days?… I saw one on a WGAL local cut-in this morning that included her “estranged husband” in the background, behind her shoulder, looking vaguely piranha-like as she looked innocently into the camera lens. Regardless of what actions you think should be taken in this case, I realized that the ‘right-to-life’ PR campaign that her parents are hosting now likely includes the distribution of these photos (rather than those previously posted regularly on TV, of her in her current state in the hospital) to the media… just an interesting anecdote.

Salon has some interesting coverage of the case, if you’re interested:

24 March 2005 @ 1pm

Thanks, I also just noticed the Nation finally weighing in.

29 March 2005 @ 10am

Kudos to your erudite observations.
And, because there will always be smart asses no matter what the situation…