More “Polling That Isn’t There”

January 2, 2009

I have to admit that I got a kick out of the way the National Review Online treated the results of a poll from the Military Times here that “show(ed) 60 percent of active duty military personnel are ‘pessimistic or uncertain’ about Obama as commander in chief” (as NRO tells us, this originated from Drudge – of course – and was picked up by Jake Tapper at Political Punch, among others; as you can see from here, Tapper had no problem at all running with this nonsense about “Obama’s Paparazzi Presidency”).

This was the NRO’s qualifier to the poll, claiming that the results ultimately don’t matter…

God bless them, each and every American soldier and sailor. These are uncertain times, but we can count on their fealty to the American nation and our constitution.

Gee, could NRO be more patronizing here (even if it means “fealty” to that “Manchurian Candidate Muslim” whose middle name is Hussein, right?).

Actually, though, the NRO stumbled into the truth; they’re right when they claim that the results don’t matter. But not for the reason they think.

This post takes you to a rebuttal of the Military Times poll by Brandon Friedman at In it, Friedman notes that the Times slips in the following language as a caveat…

The voluntary nature of the survey, the dependence on e-mail and the characteristics of Military Times readers could affect the results.

And yep, you guessed it; overwhelmingly, readers of the Military Times tend to skew older, white and Republican, as opposed to the multi-ethnic, primarily younger composition of our active military forces.

Also, the Times tries to establish a link between the supposed 60 percent of active duty personnel opposed to Obama and the president-elect’s pledge to end “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” on the matter of gays and lesbians serving in the military through someone named Elaine Donnelly, who, according to Friedman, “doesn’t even have any connection with the military other than her vociferous opposition to gays serving in it. She never served in uniform and she has no discernible academic background on the topic.”

I would suggest reading Friedman’s thorough rebuttal to the poll; my highlighting of selected quotes really doesn’t do it justice.

And in response, someone from the Military Times should tell us exactly how they arrived at their polling data, without qualifiers written in guarded legalese. That’s the least they can do to make amends for this bogus “poll” intended to slam the person who will soon become the new commander-in-chief, an individual who has pledged his “fealty to the American nation and our constitution” as well.

Update: More from Media Matters here…

  • Top Posts & Pages