Friday, February 12, 2010


In a story on last night's CBS Evening News about a new New York Times/CBS poll (video below), one poll respondent was quoted talking about gridlock:

If Democrats and Republicans aren't going to find the middle of the road, then maybe we do need a third party.

Reporter Nancy Cordes followed this directly by saying:

His frustration helps explain why nearly 20 percent of those surveyed now consider themselves members of the tea party movement.

I don't expect rigorous analysis from nightly news talking heads, but really? This is what Cordes thinks is the motivation for the tea parties? A desire "to find the middle of the road"?

And Cordes says this even though she immediately goes on to point out (correctly) that teabaggers are overwhelmingly Republican.

Do the teabaggers actually have to start killing people before the mainstream media grasps the fact that they're not a bunch of nice, reasonable folks in tricorn hats who play well with others?


One more point: I know your eyes glaze over every time I put numbers in my posts, but that "nearly 20 percent" figure isn't even accurate. When Cordes said this, an on-screen graphic read "18%" -- as in 18% of poll respondents say they're teabaggers. In fact, if you look at the full survey, it was 18% of people who knew something about the movement who called themselves tea partiers -- and 34% of respondents didn't know anything about the movement at all.

Which means that 12% of the respondents, not 18%, consider themselves part of the movement -- though that's still a hell of a lot of people.

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