Shit polls are bad for Democracy: As are attention whore “journalists”

But, we had a record number of clicks on that story!

Whore journalism and whore pollsters are in league to undermine democracy so that they can make money and peddle influence. There are almost no real journalists anymore, and there have been very few in American history. This is largely because “journalists” rejected scientific approaches to evidence for “gotcha” one-hit bullshit. It mattered more that Nixon approved some petty attack on a doomed political opponent than that Nixon had repeatedly perpetrated war crimes and violated international laws. No, what mattered for “journalists” was that some “journalist” found out that Nixon ordered some lackey to steal useless information from his ineffectual political opponent. Yeah. That’s the story. Because, supporting the military industrial complex in Vietnam and extending this to the Middle East was not interesting. No news there. No intrigue. Not Sexy. As if anyone would want to see any of these pathetic motherfuckers naked.

I really like Mark Silk and he’s a bright guy, but he is not a social scientist who specializes in public opinion, and his opinion on the science of public opinion is often inattentive to fundamental methodological principals that exclude the vast majority of opinion polls from the realm of social science. Most journalistic polls now have less than a 1% response rate, if that, and they don’t even have a scientific sampling frame. The “Best” polls from Gallup or Pew claim to have an 8% response rate, and I don’t think that is even believable.  It is alarming that the vast majority of our non-scientific opinion polls now come from for-profit firms (most of which are owned by far-right wing media groups), or firms that pander to whoever is paying the bills.

Silk claims that this shit information is better than nothing, arguing that it winnowed the Republican field of several prominent Republicans who likely would have had a shot at the nomination if not for whore polls. Yes, it winnowed the field. But, it did not do that based on some semblance of democratic influence. These polls were so bad that it is very likely that candidates who would have been preferred by the majority of actual voting Republicans were “forced” to abandon their candidacy, or are now wallowing in damaged campaigns. That isn’t democracy, it’s shitocracy. The worthless losers who respond to shit polls while sitting in their armchairs answering their phones like Archie Bunker are now dictating the party pick. They are not the Republican Party. They are not representative of the population. And, this how shit media whores amplifying the horse race has influenced the process itself and pushed fascists weirdos like Trump, Cruz, and Carson to the front of the pack, and pushed moderately sane Republicans to the margins.

Notably, while I wrote all of the above a long time ago, tonight this is in stark relief. Hillary Clinton is clearly losing to Bernie Sanders, not just in Iowa and New Hampshire, but across the nation. Who cares if Hillary can maybe pull off South Carolina, Bernie will stomp her in California and New York. On the Republican side, the “normal” Republicans–Kasich and Bush, and Rubio—did very well, and Kasich and Bush did well despite the incessant bleating from “journalists” that they have no chance. Gee, what if the “journalists” weren’t bleating that shit and were instead paying attention to the positions held by the candidates and reporting on the issues that matter to Americans instead of horse race shit-poll based politics? I don’t care. I’d rather see Bernie against Trump or Cruz than Bush or Kasich. Hillary will lose to any of the establishment republicans if she can manage to win, which she won’t.

Media led elections based on shit polls are not democracy. It’s more like some reality TV show. Thankfully, enough people seem to realize that Bernie is our only hope, and they didn’t believe the bullshit polls saying he had no chance.

 

 

Advertisements

2 Responses to “Shit polls are bad for Democracy: As are attention whore “journalists””

  1. Casey Says:

    I’d be curious to hear what you think about the statistical techniques that have been developed and continue to be developed for effectively weighting data from what you would call shit polls. For example, Matt Salganik’s forthcoming book addresses that topic.

  2. sherkat Says:

    There are no statistical techniques for data which are not drawn randomly from the population to which one wants to make inferences. Those “techniques” are fucking bullshit. Smoke and mirrors. Idiots who never passed introduction to probability theory are now claiming to be experts in statistical analysis….or maybe they did pass and see a way to make money off of the rubes who didn’t.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: