US NEWS & WORLD REPORT blog pretty much blows it
By Lee Russ
Friday, March 23, 2007 at 03:15 PM
Here's what a US News & World Report blog had to say about a recent Pew poll on how interested the public is in the US Attorney firings:
U.S. Attorneys Story Not Exactly a Barn Burner March 23, 2007
Here in Washington, it's been all U.S. attorneys all day every day this week, particularly since the House Judiciary Committee dropped a little beach reading 3,000 pages of internal Justice Department documents on Monday night.
Along comes a poll by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press with a sobering conclusion: The U.S. attorneys story ranks fourth on the list of stories respondents reported having followed closely, while it sits at the top of the list of stories most covered by the news.
A pdf of the full questionnaire is here.
So should the uninformed press be taking cues directly from readers and viewers on what to cover? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hmmm. Guess the public doesn't care all that much about the US Attorney story, huh?
Good thing that spin seemed so "off" that I took the time to check the actual poll results.
PEW RESEARCH CENTER FOR THE PEOPLE & THE PRESS MARCH 16-19, 2007 NEWS INTEREST INDEX OMNIBUS SURVEY
As I read a list of some stories covered by news organizations this past week, tell me if you happened to follow each news story very closely, fairly closely, not too closely, or not at all closely. ..... e. Questions about how the White House and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales were involved in the firing of eight federal prosecutors -Very..........Fairly..........Not too..........Not at all Closely.....Closely........Closely..........Closely
Current 19...............24.................22.................35 March 9-12 - 9................17.................22.................52
You'd think that a blog for a national news magazine would be embarrassed to post such a misleading entry, wouldn't you?
Although the slant of the blog item is that the general public doesn't care that much about the US Attorney firings, the Pew poll shows that during the March 16-19 cycle a full 43% of respondents were following the story fairly closely or very closely. Numbers that were up significantly from the previous week's poll (March 9-12) when only 26% were following the story fairly closely or very closely. So a lot of people are following it closely, and that number is growing.
Their own blog entry reveals that the recent release of thousands of pages of DOJ docs didn't occur until THE NIGHT of March 19 -making it very unlikely that the poll results reflect any increase in interest resulting from the docs.
Shame on them.