“The Media” are just people, and all people have their biases. Inevitably, those biases subtly creep into the stories they report. Rarely do you find bald-faced, deliberate distortions of the truth, especially in reputable media outlets. The July 17th edition of the Inside-the-Beltway publication, National Journal, isn’t subtly, or unintentionally biased. It flat-out lies.
Here is the headline and lead paragraphs as they appear in the National Journal’s story about a poll on the Senate immigration bill:
Americans Want Congress to Pass the Senate Immigration Bill
Momentum for a major immigration overhaul has stalled in the House, as Republican leaders there have declared the Senate’s 1,200-page bill dead on arrival. But backers of the Senate’s framework—a combination of beefed-up border security and a path to citizenship for those already here illegally—have one key advantage going forward: broad public support.
A strong majority of Americans, 59 percent, said they would like to see the House either pass the Senate’s immigration bill as is or pass a version with even tougher border-control measures, according to the latest United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll.
In contrast, only one in five voters said they prefer that the House pass no immigration legislation at all, and only 13 percent said they want the House to strip the path to citizenship from the Senate’s bill.
Here is the actual poll question and the topline results on which the National Journal bases the headline and the report:
July 2013 Omnibus Week 2 Princeton Survey Research Associates International for National Journal
Final Topline Results July 15, 2013
Total: 1,002 adults age 18 and older Margin of error: Plus or minus 3.6 percentage points
Interviewing dates: July 11-14, 2013
Q: As you may know, the U.S. Senate recently voted to pass legislation reforming the immigration system. The bill would double the number of border patrol agents, double the amount of fencing along the Mexican border, and allow immigrants who came to the U.S. illegally to become citizens after 13 years if they pay a fine and learn English. The House of Representatives is now considering what to do with this bill. Which describes what you would like the House to do?:
- 29% Pass the Senate bill as is
- 30% Make the provisions for border security tougher and then pass the bill
- 13% Eliminate the provisions providing citizenship for illegal immigrants and then pass the bill
- 20% Not pass any immigration legislation
- 9% Don’t Know/Refused (VOL.)
As it turns out, only 29% of those surveyed (not likely voters, or even registered voters) support passage of the Senate bill. 33% would prefer that citizenship for illegal aliens is not included in a bill, or would rather the House pass no legislation at all. Throw in the 30% who think the border security provisions are weak and now we’re at 63% who do not want the Senate bill passed.
I guess the lesson is, if you’re going to lie in your reporting, do not provide a link in your story that proves you’re lying.