Bad polls for Biden? MSNBC has a fix for that!
On her MSNBC show on Saturday, Katie Phang’s guest, Molly Jong-Fast of Vanity Fair, citing NYU journalism professor Jay Rosen, said that journalists, instead of writing stories about polls, should focus instead on the “stakes” of the election.
And just what are those “stakes?” According to Rosen, the stakes are nothing less than “the consequences for American democracy.”
A dominant theme in the liberal media, as we have noted here and here, is that Trump represents an existential threat to the survival of democracy in America. So what Rosen and Jong-Fast are, in effect, saying is that journalists should put aside their traditional role of reporting the facts, and instead scaremonger their audience as to the dangers that the election of Trump would represent.
Jong-Fast warned that without democracy, “there will be no journalism.” And since Trump, in the liberal-media mind, would end democracy, his election would also mean the end of journalism.
Scaremongering much? Trump had four years in the White House and the national media thrived on opposing him. Today’s “journalism” is still very much dominated by the left — as demonstrated by the very existence of MSNBC, and the presence on the network of an endless stream of hosts and guests such as Phang and Jong-Fast.
Perhaps even more troubling is that, as Rosen’s prescriptions indicate, the next generation of journalists are being taught to ignore fact-gathering and instead employ their powers to promote the liberal agenda. You can already see how “old-school” journalists in national news rooms are being intimidated into wokeness by the leftists just coming out of journalism schools.
As for “ending journalism,” it was the Biden administration that pressured Big Tech to suppress the Hunter Biden laptop story and falsely present it as a Russian disinformation campaign.
And it was the Biden administration that created the Orwellian ”Disinformation Governance Board,” a literal Ministry of Truth! The Board was only disbanded in response to an outcry over its obvious impingement on First Amendment freedoms.
And Phang’s opening line to Jong-Fast was to ask whether “we should we just do away with polls altogether?” Who’s “we,” and just how would Phang “do away with polls altogether?” A law, or a Biden executive order, outlawing them?
So, who’s the real threat to democracy and journalism?
Here’s the transcript.
The Katie Phang Show
8:45 am ET
KATIE PHANG: WhY my next guest says, we gotta stop treating election polls as full-scale news events, and why the stakes are too high to obsess over snapshots of 2024. Molly Jong-Fast joins us straight ahead.
. . .
America. We may have a bit of a polling problem. And the problem is not with the poll numbers, it’s with poll dependents.
You want a poll that shows Biden doing well ahead of ’24? We’ve got a poll for you. You want a poll showing Trump doing well ahead of 2024?We’ve got plenty of polls that show that. You want a poll to serve as a political advisor of sorts? We’ve got that poll,too.
Look, polls can be useful. They can be informative and educational. But, let’s face it, polls cannot tell us in December of 2023, who will win an election in November of 2024. Don’t believe me? Just ask Hillary Clinton.
As Vanity Fair‘s Molly Jong-Fast puts it [in this column], let’s stop treating polls as actual news events. Joining me now is Molly Jong-Fast, special correspondent for Vanity Fair and the host of the Fast Politics podcast.
I mean, Molly, my first question out of the gate, based upon everything we know, should we just do away with polls altogether, then? I mean, what’s the utility of having them?
. . .
MOLLY JONG-FAST: One of the things that’s really destructive is, you see a lot of opinion pieces written off polls as a news peg. So, for example, when I was working on this piece, there were like, three pieces on the Washington Post site that were written with polling as fact.
So, for example, the border comes back to bite Democrats, because it’s on, it’s based on a polling. So, it’s based on the supposition that the border is somehow a problem for Democrats because of a poll. And that in itself is not, it, it’s just sort of unnatural bit of news, that may or may not be true. But, then it shapes a narrative, which really is problematic.
PHANG: So, let’s give credit where credit is due. Jay Rosen —
JONG-FAST: Right, yes.
PHANG: — has been actually sounding this alarm for years, saying it’s not the odds, but the stakes. I’m gonna say it again: not the odds, but the stakes.
The focus that Jay says should be, not who has what chances of winning, but the consequences for American democracy. I mean, I don’t know if you could underscore that any more in terms of its importance, especially as you sit here today, Molly.
So my question for you is, but should journalists be telling its readers, its viewers, etc., what’s at stake?
PHANG: Is that really a place for journalists —
PHANG:– or should they just be just, just the facts, ma’am?
JONG-FAST: Yes! But the facts are what’s at stake, right? And I think the place where you could see this the most is 2016. If you look at the number of pieces that were written about Hillary Clinton becoming president as a fait accompli, because her pollingwas 90%. As low as 78% when the Comey letter came out, but mostly in the 90s.
So, the idea was, she was going to be the next president, and so, you didn’t need to deal with the stakes of a Donald Trump presidency, because you were so focused on the odds of a Hillary Clinton presidency.
And I think that is fundamentally the problem. And Jay Rosen teaches at NYU as a journalism professor. And I think he’s really right. That we should be looking, as journalists, we should be pro-democracy.
And that is ultimately the goal. Because without democracy, there will be no more journalists.