Media Fraud

Tuesday, June 6th, 2017 and is filed under Blog, Issues

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Let’s be clear about one thing up front. We’re big fans of Axios. We love the platform, the user interface, the “quick hit” nature of their news reporting.

However, we take issue with this article, Most Americans Oppose Trump’s Paris Deal Withdrawal.

Let’s start with the “Most” in the headline. If one digs a little deeper into the Washington Post poll (more on that rag later), one sees the poll was conducted among 527 adults. In a nation of over 300M, most of whom do not pay attention to the media or the religion of global warming, “Most” describing 527 is a bit of a stretch, especially given the widely shifting landscape of polling. If nothing else, 2016 proved that pollsters, like weatherman, are really giving us an educated guess based on methodology that is shifting due to the way people consume news and the way they are contacted.

Then there is the part about the Paris Deal as well.

What is the Paris Deal, you ask? According to Axios, the Paris Deal:

. . .essentially represented a promise by countries to hold the planet’s warming to “well below” 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels, and to aspire to a 1.5-degree limit if possible, in an effort to stave off the worst effects of global warming. Under the deal, countries would set their own targets — and their own approaches — for reducing their emissions, with the aim of increasing the ambition of their targets over time. The United States, for instance, had agreed to cut greenhouse gases to 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025.

That sounds aspirational . . . if you buy into man made global warming.

Mary Katherine Ham has another take over at The Federalist, Obama Stuck American with a Bad Paris Deal.

There’s a reason American voters aren’t convinced on the merits of a deal like this. Canada did its duty and signed onto the Kyoto Protocols, but discovered that hitting arbitrary emissions reductions was incompatible with a healthy economy, so it exited the deal in 2011 to avoid billions in fines for the sin of success and prosperity. Barring that move, Trump can exit the deal on his own authority, though some say the process would take as much as four years to complete, according to the deal’s text.

Let’s call this the balkanization of news. Axios’s readership clearly has bought into the “science” behind global warming. That is the choir they are singing to. Mary Katherine Ham and the team at The Federalist have not. Unlike Axios, Mary Katherine presented other facts from the Paris Deal that may impact how “most” Americans view it.

The danger for the mainstream media today is that instinctively, no one believes them anymore. Their news is manufactured. It is filtered through a worldview and ideology that they apparently are blind to and yet, in return, they are amazed at the attacks on their reporting. Take for instance the originator of the poll that Axios cites, the Washington Post. Would it matter to readers that the owner of the newspaper, Jeff Bezos, strongly dislikes Donald Trump? Who are the Democrats polled? Older or younger-that makes a huge difference. The Independents? The Republicans?

While Axios links to the Washington Post story with the polling, they never mention the following, something that might have affected their headline.

One cleavage of support bodes well for Trump and Republicans: Registered voters are twice as likely to approve of Trump’s decision to exit the climate agreement (33 percent vs. 15 percent). Still, majorities of both groups oppose Trump’s decision.

What if the Axios headline read, “The Washington Post (owned by Trump enemy Jeff Bezos) conducts poll among 527 Americans adults. . .”? Or, “Majority of voters in America support Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Deal”?

It might change how the consumers of news read the story, wouldn’t it?