Michael Barone writes: What influence does a front-page editorial in The New York Times have on public opinion? A strong negative influence, judging from the only two examples from the last 95 years. The Times famously ran a front-page editorial Dec. 4 calling for drastic gun control measures, including confiscation of weapons. The response: No. The latest CBS/New York Times poll reports that 50 percent oppose “a nationwide ban on assault weapons,” while only 44 percent support it.
That’s a sharp reversal of trend: In January 2011, 63 percent supported the ban on “assault weapons” — a vague term that invites agreement, even though any gun, even a toy pistol, can be used to assault someone (consult your law dictionary) and the 1990s legislation banning “assault weapons” distinguished them from other guns by purely cosmetic criteria.
The Times’ second-most recent front-page editorial, published in June 1920, had a similar effect. It criticized the Republican National Conventions‘ nomination of Warren G. Harding as that of “a candidate whose nomination will be received with astonishment and dismay by the party whose suffrages he invites.” Voters took a different view that fall….(read more)
Source: Washington Examiner
Nearly three quarters of Americans believe the news media reports with an intentional bias, according to a new survey.
“These are discouraging results for those of us who have spent our careers in journalism. In 23 years in newsrooms, I saw consistent and concerted efforts to get stories right. Clearly, the public’s not convinced.”
— Ken Paulson, president of the First Amendment Center, in an op-ed for USA Today
The 2015 State of the First Amendment Survey, conducted by the First Amendment Center and USA Today, was released Friday…
Other findings in the survey:
• Only 19 percent of Americans say the First Amendment goes “too far” in the rights that it guarantees. Last year, 38 percent said it went too far, meaning support for the First Amendment has grown.
• 38 percent agree that business owners should be required to provide services to same-sex couples, a 14-point drop from 2013, when the question was first asked. Read the rest of this entry »
“As a result of Friday’s ruling, PennLive/The Patriot-News will no longer accept, nor will it print, op-Eds and letters to the editor in opposition to same-sex marriage,” they declared.
After receiving strong pushback, the newspaper’s editorial board, which is overseen by Editorial Page Editor John Micek, quickly revised its policy. Freedom of speech will be allowed — but only for a “limited” period of time. Read the rest of this entry »
This gem, buried on the letters page of Fridays paper, by the man who defended the nyt in the pentagon papers case. pic.twitter.com/iU0yRjWDhF
— Larry Buchanan (@larrybuch) January 13, 2015