Our friend Ned Flaherty from Marriage Equality USA looks into yesterday’s Fox News poll on marriage equality in an exclusive for Gay Marriage Watch.
National news audiences have long asked why Fox News polls always skew in favor of right-wing, conservative beliefs, instead of reporting factually. The answer is that Fox News was created not just as a megaphone for the Republican party, but with the precise goal of reporting with enough inaccuracy and bias so as to alter current events themselves. The resulting news then gets reported with more inaccuracy and more bias, and reality is altered yet again. As the instructions used to say on shampoo bottles, “Lather. Rinse. Repeat.”
Fox News surveys are an excellent example of how Fox reports inaccurately. When taking polls, Fox News interviews the wrong quantities of people from various segments of society, so that their totals over-state conservative opinions and under-state liberal opinions. As an example: for the 2012 political conventions, Pew Research Center for the People & the Press counted registered voters as follows:
But when Fox surveyed 1,002 registered voters nationwide on 21 March 2013, they interviewed these percentages instead:
Republicans 39% (11% more than Pew)
Independents 17% (16% fewer than Pew)
Democrats 40% (05% more than Pew)
Fox purposely uses skewed voter sample sizes which emphasize Republicans and de-emphasize Independents. That way, Fox can claim that only 49% of Americans support same-gender civil marriage, when in fact, every national, professional survey over the last 4 months reported higher results:
Date % Poller
15 February 75 % Respect For Marriage Coalition
15 February 52 % Center for American Progress
17 March 53 % CNN News / Opinion Research Corporation
18 March 58 % ABC News / Washington Post
04 April 50 % Quinnipiac University
09 May 55 % ABC News
13 May 53 % Gallup
20 May 59 % Gallup
57 % average
Fox didn’t care that 8 other polls averaged 57%. Fox reported 49% because that’s a right-wing narrative fiction that fits their trademark.
Since Fox wasn’t created as a bona fide news outlet, and reports news with a slant so as to affect subsequent actual news, audiences looking for the straight scoop would do better to look elsewhere for their facts.
Ned Flaherty is an LGBT activist currently focused on civil marriage equality, and previously on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell repeal. His related articles can be found at New Civil Rights Movement (http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/category/ned-flaherty) and Policy Mic (http://ned_flaherty.policymic.com/). He writes from Boston, Massachusetts, where America’s first same-gender civil marriages began in 2004. He suffered a childhood exposure to Roman Catholic pomp and circumstance, but the spell never took, and he recovered.