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Gallup Filtered Out Too Many Blacks, Latinos

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Monday, November 19, 2012

Pollster Was Off, Agrees to Re-Evaluate Methods

Fox, MSNBC Became More Extreme as Vote Neared

Latino Vote Seen Doubling in a Generation

Latino Media Take Lead on Immigration Reform

Israeli Strike Injures Nine Journalists in Gaza

Columnists Join in Attacks on Susan Rice

Another All-White List From Mediaite

Graduates of Roger Ailes Apprenticeship Program


Short Takes

David Bositis, senior research associate with the Joint Center for Political and

Pollster Was Off, Agrees to Re-Evaluate Methods

A series of screening questions in its poll of likely voters led the venerable Gallup polling organization to underestimate the turnout of blacks and Hispanics and thus miss President Obama's impending election victory this month, David Bositis, a senior research associate and pollster at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, said on Saturday.

"They ask you how interested you are in the election, if you know where your polling place is, whether you've voted there, how often you vote, whether you'll vote on election day, how sure are you to vote, and whether you voted in 2008," Bositis told Journal-isms in a follow-up email on Monday.

"On 10/26 Gallup released a demographic analysis of its tracking poll, and found that 78% of likely voters were nonhispanic white; on election day that number was 72%. First, blacks and hispanics are younger than whites and more likely to have recently moved. Obama's campaign targeted occasional voters and got many of them to the polls. Further, I bet when these questions were originally designed and tested, they were designed and tested on white voters."

Frank Newport, Gallup editor in chief, conceded to Journal-isms by telephone on Monday, "It may be that in this election that those particular questions need to be and will be reviewed by Gallup.

"We've been using those questions for decades, but times change."

Newport said, however, that his final results were within the margin of error and that Gallup weights its samples to be sure that it has the right proportion of desired groups.

Bositis was a panelist at an all-day session on political and congressional reporting sponsored in Washington by the National Association of Black Journalists, "2012 Media Institute — Watergate III: The Last Word on the 2012 Election."

The underestimation of the black and Hispanic turnout goes beyond pollsters. On the Poynter Institute website Monday, Tracie Powell wrote about Roland Martin's Sunday talk show, "Washington Watch With Roland Martin" on TV One.

"Perhaps if the other broadcast and cable networks had more diverse voices and experts on air during the election, as Martin did, they would have been less surprised by minority voter turnout," Powell wrote.

Bositis is not the first to challenge Gallup's survey methods in light of the Nov. 6 election returns.

"Last week's presidential election has widely been seen as a victory for pollsters who, on balance, saw President Obama as the favorite before Election Day," Steven Shepard wrote Monday for the National Journal. "But that wasn't the case for the esteemed Gallup Organization. Its polling showed Republican Mitt Romney with a significant lead among likely voters 10 days before Nov. 6 and marginally ahead of Obama on the eve of an election that Obama won by about 3 percentage points.

". . . On Oct. 26, Gallup released a demographic analysis of those respondents classified as likely voters in its daily tracking poll between Oct. 1 and Oct. 24. Of those voters, 78 percent were classified as non-Hispanic white, significantly more than the percentage of white voters measured by exit pollsters, 72 percent.

"Four years ago, Gallup also found an electorate that was 78 percent white, an overestimation from the 74 or 75 percent recorded by exit polls. But this year's disparity is of a greater magnitude. . . ."

A Fordham University study ranking the most accurate election pollsters listed Gallup 24th out of 28 pollsters.

Fox, MSNBC Became More Extreme as Vote Neared

" . . . In the final week of the campaign, both Fox News and MSNBC became even more extreme in how they differed from the rest of the press in coverage of the two candidates, the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism reported on Monday.

"On Fox News, the amount of negative coverage of [President] Obama increased — from 47% in the first four weeks of October to 56% the final week. Meanwhile, positive discussion of [Mitt] Romney grew, from 34% of segments to 42%. On MSNBC, the positive coverage of Obama increased from 33% during most of October to 51% during the last week, while Romney's negative coverage increased from 57% to 68%."

The Center also said, "In the final week of the 2012 presidential campaign, Barack Obama enjoyed his most positive run of news coverage in months . . . Only during the week of his nominating convention was the treatment in the press more favorable."

Latino Vote Seen Doubling in a Generation

"The record number of Latinos who cast ballots for president this year are the leading edge of an ascendant ethnic voting bloc that is likely to double in size within a generation," the Pew Hispanic Center reported last week, analyzing U.S. Census Bureau data, Election Day exit polls and a new nationwide survey of Hispanic immigrants.

"The nation's 53 million Hispanics comprise 17% of the total U.S. population but just 10% of all voters this year, according to the national exit poll. To borrow a boxing metaphor, they still 'punch below their weight,' " continued the report, by Paul Taylor, Ana Gonzalez-Barrera, Jeffrey Passel and Mark Hugo Lopez.

"However, their share of the electorate will rise quickly for several reasons. The most important is that Hispanics are by far the nation's youngest ethnic group. Their median age is 27 years — and just 18 years among native-born Hispanics — compared with 42 years for that of white non-Hispanics. In the coming decades, their share of the age-eligible electorate will rise markedly through generational replacement alone."

Latino Media Take Lead on Immigration Reform

"Latino media are again taking the lead in the push for comprehensive immigration reform," Elena Shore, wrote Monday for New America Media. "The day after President Obama's re-election, an editorial in the Los Angeles-based Spanish-language newspaper La Opinión argued that Obama 'owes' it to Latinos.

". . . Univision anchor Jorge Ramos makes a similar argument in a column titled, 'How to Lose an Election,' writing that Republicans must lead the effort for immigration reform in 2013.

". . . Latino media's role at the forefront of the immigration reform movement should come as no surprise; the sector has a history of defending the rights of its community and immigration reform is no exception.

". . . Latino TV, radio, newspapers, magazines and online media have not spared President Obama in their criticism of U.S. immigration policy."

Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev denies that any foreign journalists were hurt in the air strikes that hit a building housing local and foreign journalists in Gaza. (Credit: Al Jazeera) (Video)

Israeli Strike Injures Nine Journalists in Gaza

The Israeli military struck two buildings used by journalists in Gaza early Sunday, injuring least nine journalists during the fifth day of a campaign against militants in the Palestinian enclave, according to news reports.

Although press organizations condemned the strike, Israeli military spokeswoman Avital Leibovich denied that journalists were the target.

"Hamas took a civilian building and used it for its own needs. So the journalists ... were serving as human shields for Hamas," she said, according to the Palestinian Ma'an News Agency website. Palestinian journalists staged a sit-in Sunday in Ramallah in protest.

"A number of international media outlets, including Fox News, CBS and Sky News have used studios in the targeted buildings," Pacifica Radio's "Democracy, Now!" reported. "One of the victims lost his leg."

Meanwhile, the Israeli foreign affairs ministry accused Hamas of detaining foreign journalists.

"Hamas is not allowing at least 22 foreign nationals who wish to exit the Gaza Strip for Israel to do so," the ministry said in a statement Monday. "Among the members of the foreign press being detained are nine Italian citizens, six citizens of Japan, one Canadian, one South Korean and a French national. In addition, two Turkish Red Crescent members have been refused exit.

"This violation of the human rights of neutral foreigners is yet another example of Hamas' attempts to manipulate and pressure the press."

International press freedom organizations denounced the Israeli attack.

"Israel should respect its obligations under international law and immediately halt its attacks against news media offices," said Sherif Mansour, the Committee to Protect Journalists' Middle East and North Africa program coordinator. "Authorities know these buildings are home to numerous news organizations whose employees are civilians protected by international law."

With the situation in Gaza continuing to escalate, American broadcast news divisions were making sure their people were in the region, Alex Weprin reported Monday for TVNewser.

Susan Rice is said to be front-runner for secretary of state.

Columnists Join in Attacks on Susan Rice

Susan Rice, the U.N. ambassador said to be the front-runner as President Obama's choice for secretary of state, has been under fire from conservatives who charge that she misled the public about attacks on Americans in Benghazi, Libya.

Now columnists not aligned with the conservative cause are joining in. In the Washington Post, Dana Milbank wrote a column Saturday under the headline, "Susan Rice's tarnished resume."

"Even in a town that rewards sharp elbows and brusque personalities, Rice has managed to make an impressive array of enemies — on Capitol Hill, in Foggy Bottom and abroad," Milbank wrote. "Particularly in comparison with the other person often mentioned for the job, Sen. John Kerry, she can be a most undiplomatic diplomat, and there likely aren't enough Republican or Democratic votes in the Senate to confirm her.

"Back when she was an assistant secretary of state during the Clinton administration, she appalled colleagues by flipping her middle finger at Richard Holbrooke during a meeting with senior staff at the State Department, according to witnesses. Colleagues talk of shouting matches and insults."

Then, Sunday in the New York Times, Maureen Dowd began her column, "Our Rice is better than your Rice.

"That's the argument Democrats are aggressively making against Republicans.

"And it's true. Condi Rice sold her soul. Susan Rice merely rented hers on the talk shows one Sunday in September."

In the National Journal, Michael Hirsh wrote Friday, "Critics say that since her failure to advocate an intervention in the terrible genocide in Rwanda in 1994 — Bill Clinton later said his administration's unwillingness to act was the worst mistake of his presidency — she has conducted a dubious and naïve policy of looking the other way at allies who commit atrocities, reflecting to some degree the stark and emotionless realpolitik sometimes associated with Obama, who is traveling this week to another formerly isolated dictatorship: Burma."

Jesse Washington, the Associated Press national writer on race and ethnicity, noted Monday, "Some black Democrats are saying, directly or indirectly, that Rice is being attacked because she is black . . . Speaking personally, as a black man: It can be difficult to keep the 'Is It Because I'm Black' question out of my head. . . . I try very hard not to act on it. Suspicion just makes things worse."

Another All-White List From Mediaite

Now and then, a media organization will demonstrate how narrow its circle is by producing a list of people holding a particular distinction — and everyone, or nearly everyone — will be white.

The last organization to do so in a big way was Forbes magazine, which unveiled its list of "30 Under 30" last year. No blacks or Latinos were among "the people who aren't waiting to reinvent the world."

This week, it's Mediaite, the media-focused website founded by Dan Abrams, a legal analyst for ABC, substitute anchor for "Good Morning America" and former general manager of MSNBC.

On Monday, Mediaite published a list of "media reporters (not just 'critics,' whatever that means) whose stories are interesting, unique, fair and have the potential to actually matter."

Its "13 Best American Media Reporters" were Dylan Byers, Politico; Jeff Bercovici, Forbes; Brian Stelter, New York Times; David Zurawik, Baltimore Sun; Emily Smith, New York Post; Michael Calderone, Huffington Post; David Carr, New York Times; media blogger Jim Romenesko; Spud, Inside Cable News; Erik Wemple, Washington Post; John Cook, Gawker; Claire Atkinson, New York Post; and late-night television host Jon Stewart.

Mediaite has been down this road before. On Dec. 4, 2009, the site published "A Retrospective: 28 Media Leaders Who Died This Decade," which led to one response from Bryan Monroe, a former president of the National Association of Black Journalists: "A Complete List, or Myopic Look At Just The White People We Think Matter?" and another from Eric Deggans, media columnist for the Tampa Bay (Fla.) Times and chair of NABJ's Media Monitoring Committee: "Mediaite's List of 28 Media Leaders Who Died This Decade Includes No People of Color, Not Even Michael Jackson."

Mediaite published a mea culpa: "A Glaring Omission." Editor-at-Large Rachel Sklar wrote, "Mediaite has been rightly called out for a big, glaring error: On our list of 28 media leaders we've lost this decade there was not a single person of color. Not a one." . . . We've redressed this problem on our website, and hopefully by calling it out and drawing attention to it will take a step toward eventually redressing the fact that it is part of a pattern in the media as a whole." Mediaite added five deceased black media leaders to its list.

Jon Nicosia, Mediaite's senior editor and video director, did not respond to a question about the racial composition of the latest list.

Graduates of Roger Ailes Apprenticeship Program

On Thursday, Fox News Channel hosted the commencement ceremony of the Ailes Apprenticeship Program, Chris Ariens reported for TVNewser. "Established by Fox News co-founder and chairman Roger Ailes in 2003, the program selects a small, diverse group of candidates and puts them through the rigors of working in a news environment, pairing them with seasoned mentors. And unlike Donald Trump's apprentices, at the end of the year-long program, all Ailes apprentices get hired." From left, Crystal Berger, Mildress Santana, Ailes, Carolina Sanchez and Queenette Karikari. View the program website.

Short Takes

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Richard Prince's Journal-isms originates from Washington and is published Monday, Wednesday and Friday. It began in print before most of us knew what the Internet was, and it would like to be referred to as a "column." For newcomers: The words in blue (on most computers) are links leading to more information. The Web site BugMeNot.com provides passwords and user names to some registration-only news sites, but use may be illegal in some states. Any views expressed in the column are those of the person or organization quoted and not those of any other entity.

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