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<nettime> epistemological crisis for US tail-chasing politics
t byfield on Fri, 1 Oct 2004 21:36:14 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> epistemological crisis for US tail-chasing politics

     [as poll results in the US election have become more erratic
      and the Dems/liberals/progressives/whatevers have put together
      a more effective media machine, noise about the problems that 
      mobile phones presents for the process of 'manufacturing con-
      sent' is getting louder. venerable moral journo jimmy breslin
      weighed in a few weeks ago, demolishing the received wisdom 
      that landline-based polls continue to present anything more 
      than the biases of a fading techno-social constellation. but,
      then again, it seems like pretty much the same could be said 
      of the elections that the polls try to predict. cheers, t]

< http://www.newsday.com/news/columnists/ny-nybres163973220sep16,0,2532038,print.column >

Making call on sham of political polling
Jimmy Breslin

September 16, 2004

Anybody who believes these national political polls are giving you
facts is a gullible fool.

Any editors of newspapers or television news shows who use poll
results as a story are beyond gullible. On behalf of the public they
profess to serve, they are indolent salesmen of falsehoods.

This is because these political polls are done by telephone. Land-line
telephones, as your house phone is called.

The telephone polls do not include cellular phones. There are almost
169 million cell phones being used in America today - 168,900,019 as
of Sept. 15, according to the cell phone institute in Washington.

There is no way to poll cell phone users, so it isn't done.

Not one cell phone user has received a call on their cell phone asking
them how they plan to vote as of today.

Out of 168 million, anything can happen. Midway through election
night, these stern-faced network announcers suddenly will be frozen
white and they have to give a result:

"It appears that the winner of the election tonight is ... Milford J.
Schmitt of New Albany, Ind. He presently has 56 percent of the vote,
placing him well ahead of John Kerry, George Bush and another
newcomer, Gibson D. Mills of Corvallis, Ore. It appears the nation's
voting habits have been changed unbeknownst to us. Mr. Schmitt was
asked what party he is in. He answered, 'The winning party.'"

Those who have both cell phones and land lines still might have been
polled the old way - on their land lines by people making phone calls
with scientifically weighted questions and to targeted areas for some
big pollster. These results are announced by the pollsters: "CBS-New
York Times poll shows George Bush and John Kerry in a statistical dead
heat in the presidential race."

Beautiful. There are 169 million phones that they didn't even try.
This makes the poll nothing more than a fake and a fraud, a shill and
a sham. The big pollster doesn't know what he has. The television and
newspaper brilliants put it out like it is a baseball score. Except
not one person involved can say that they truly know what they are
talking about.

"I don't use telephones anymore because there is no easy way to use
them," John Zogby was saying yesterday. It was the 20th anniversary of
the start of his polling company. He began with what he calls "blue
highway polls," sheriffs' races in Onandaga and Jefferson counties in
upstate New York.

"The people who are using telephone surveys are in denial," Zogby was
saying. "It is similar to the '30s, when they first started polling by
telephones and there were people who laughed at that and said you
couldn't trust them because not everybody had a home phone. Now they
try not to mention cell phones. They don't look or listen. They go
ahead with a method that is old and wrong."

Zogby points out that you don't know in which area code the cell phone
user lives. Nor do you know what they do. Beyond that, you miss
younger people who live on cell phones. If you do a political poll on
land-line phones, you miss those from 18 to 25, and there are figures
all over the place that show there are 40 million between the ages of
18 and 29, one in five eligible voters. 

And the great page-one presidential polls don't come close to
reflecting how these younger voters say they might vote. The majority
of them use cell phones and nobody ever asks them anything.

Common sense would say that the majority of the 18 to 25 who do vote
would vote for the Democrat. The people who say they want to vote for
Bush are generally in the older age brackets, and they don't have as
much trouble with the lies told by Bush and his people. The older
people also use cell phones much less because they can't hear on the
things and when trying to dial a number on these midget instruments
they stand there for an hour and get nothing done. The young people on
cell phones appear not to be listening and they hear every syllable.
They punch out a number without looking.

They are quicker, and probably smarter at this time, and almost
doubtlessly more in favor of Kerry than Bush.

Older people complain about Kerry's performance as a candidate.
Younger people don't want to get shot at in a war that most believe,
and firmly, never should have started because it was started with a
president lying.

Zogby has no opinion because he is a professional figure man and he
has no figures he trusts.

"I am making a segue into Internet polling, which is going to be the
future," he was saying yesterday. "You use screened e-mails of
hundreds of thousands. Every household has some chance of being
polled. How can you not do it that way? I have three children. The one
in Washington uses only a cell phone. The ones at home use cell

If you want a poll on the Kerry-Bush race, sit down and make up your
own. It is just as good as the monstrous frauds presented on
television and the newspaper first pages.

Copyright (c) 2004, Newsday, Inc.

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