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Folks over at PolitickerNJ have regularly denied having a political bias, and they may not be aware of it. However, often it is quite clear. Here’s a wonderful example.
A Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind poll asked both Democrats and Republicans what they thought of potential Democratic and Republican wannabes for Governor:
- Gannett ran a headline Registered voters unsure about who should follow Chris Christie in NJ.
- NJ.com ran a headline headline Poll Shows Wide Open Field for NJ Governor Once Christie Departs.
- PolitickerNJ went with Governor 2017: most Dems don’t know who they want; 27% prefer Codey.
So the two major newspaper outlets in New Jersey report on a poll on both parties’ potential candidates for Governor by talking about the results of the poll regarding both parties’ potential candidates for Governor.
But PolitickerNJ.com decided to run a headline as if Democrats are waffling and confused, unable to line up behind a single candidate.
But the story, written by Max Pizzaro, doesn’t reflect the headline. The second paragraph begins, “According to this morning’s FDU Poll, nearly three quarters of Republicans (74%) don’t know who they’d like to run on their ticket for the state’s next governor …”
That means only 26 percent of Republicans can name a person they support for Governor. But a larger number — twenty seven percent — of Democrats prefer one candidate, Senator Dick Codey, with another nine percent picking Senator Steve Sweeney and three percent Mayor Steve Fulup. That’s almost 40 percent who have a candidate, plus another nine who prefered someone not listed in the poll.
That indicates that the GOP is more confused and undecided than the Democrats, but PNJ’s headline writers slanted the impression the other way.
That’s how bias works, not in outright malice and abuse but in slanting and tweaking stories to make your partisan point.