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The Mobocracy
Oregon Magazine ^ | May 1, 2002 | Peggy Whitcomb

Posted on 05/01/2002 2:05:32 PM PDT by WaterDragon

In ancient Greece, oracles divined the will of the gods through examinations of animal entrails, celestial phenomena and the changing shapes of flames of fire. Highly skilled oracles knew how to frame their questions, and how then to shade interpretations, to provide directions that conformed to the leader's ambitions. Commands from the gods were passed on in story form, which was more entertaining, and also fixed them more firmly in the minds of the listeners. Oracles were not above using the consultations to further their own personal ambitions and to increase their authority.

The institution of divination, and deferrence to oracles, diminished, and over time disappeared, as the Greeks discovered the extraordinary value of questioning, deliberating and debating proposed courses of action with their leaders and among themselves. The Greeks discovered the ineffable worth and contribution of each citizen. With this new-found trust in themselves came the concomitant acceptance of individual responsibility as guardians of their freedoms. Western civilization was born, and began its march through history.

Matthew Robinson describes in his book, "Mobocracy," a rising, regressive class of oracles in American political life. About thirty years ago, newspaper and television journalists and editors wearied of begging poll results from politicians who canvassed the public. CBS News and the New York Times partnered to fund their own polling organizations and soon other media organs followed suit.

Initially there were only a few media polls a year, but currently, there are many hundreds during election cycles alone. Overnight polls are conducted following tragedies, such as the school shootings, in times of political upheaval as during the impeachment process, as well as whenever Congress is considering important legislation.

As with the Greek oracles, skilled media pollsters are adept at framing questions in such a way as to push the voters to choose answers that support the journalists' own mostly Left-leaning political agenda. Robinson describes through many specific examples the tendency of the mainstream media to first, slant news stories about an event, legislation, or a candidate to fix in the minds of voters the "right" view, then to conduct their polls with the questions slanted to obtain the "right" answers. The poll results then become the news stories, presented as the national public opinion, no further debate or discussion needed.

Poll results are often used to bludgeon politicians and officials into taking precipitous action that would normally require, by law, long and thoughtful deliberation to consider the long-term impact of proposed programs, policies and the spending of public money, deliberations that address Constitutional requirements and the protection of individual freedoms.

This deliberative period, as designed by the Founding Fathers, includes time for the politicians to educate the public on issues and potential consequences of legislation. News "bites" and instant media polling short-circuits this process, leaving voters frustrated and without well-grounded information.

The mainstream media and their pollsters have positioned themselves as middle-men divining American public opinion for the government and do so with little more basis in science than did the ancient Greek oracles examining sheep livers. In addition to the manipulated, sly wording of questions and answers, the pollsters choice of population samples directly impact the poll results.

For example, polling American "adults" has proven to draw mostly on Democratic, Left-leaning respondants; "registered voters" is somewhat preferable, but less than a third of this demographic interest themselves in their responsibilities as citizens; "voters actually likely to vote" are the most alert and knowledgeable and should be the only population polled, according to Robinson.

Media pollsters never reveal the high numbers of citizens who refuse to participate in their polls. Often the media hide poll results that do not conform to their own agenda. Seldom do they report the full list of questions and answers, or which demographic group was polled. Such information would reveal the weaknesses and bias of the polls, and undermine the journalists' stories....(snip)

If you wondered, during the Monica Lewinsky scandals and the impeachment process why so many Americans, according to the media polls, were focused on the lurid sexual activities of President Clinton, the answer, according to Robinson, is that they were not the focus of most Americans. Instead, responsible polling [think tanks and academic polls] revealed that "likely voters" were conflicted throughout those months, deeply disturbed by the spectacle of our president flouting the rule of law and using government agencies to silence his accusers as well as those mandated by law to investigate the charges.

The media hammered the American public for its "puritanism" and "salaciousness", though it was the media and their pollsters who focused on the sexual details, diverting attention away from the horrendous undermining of the rule of law. There was not even a pretense of responsible polling or reporting....(snip)

Most of all, Robinson says that Americans must rediscover, and soon, what the ancient Greeks appreciate their own vital importance and contributions to political life, and their power to influence government through questioning, debating and deliberating among themselves and directly with their government representatives.....(snip) [see the complete article by clicking on the link]

TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; US: California; US: Idaho; US: Oregon; US: Washington
KEYWORDS: mainstreammedia; polls; tricks

1 posted on 05/01/2002 2:05:32 PM PDT by WaterDragon
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To: Iconoclast2;enraged;blackie;WHATNEXT?;fire_eye;Aric2000;Busywhiskers;GrampaDave;AuntB;BKnotts...
2 posted on 05/01/2002 2:22:07 PM PDT by WaterDragon
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To: WaterDragon
Our press likes to claim that they are the Fouth Estate. I beleive they could better be described as a Fifth Column.
3 posted on 05/01/2002 2:46:36 PM PDT by Rule of Law
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To: WaterDragon
By the time America figures out that they need to question, debate, deliberate ect. it'll be too late. The gubment will have by then cut off all lines of comminication with us. We will have to become "real" slaves before a majority comes to the same conclusion those of us here have come to.


4 posted on 05/01/2002 3:40:10 PM PDT by EBUCK
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To: WaterDragon
Good article. I've always said governance by polling results was mob rule tarted up in better clothes.
5 posted on 05/01/2002 3:46:09 PM PDT by backhoe
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It's close, I agree, but FR and writing to those in Congress, as well as tracking what the local governments are up to still is available to us, don't you think?
6 posted on 05/01/2002 4:15:47 PM PDT by WaterDragon
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To: backhoe
You were right, my friend.
7 posted on 05/01/2002 4:16:30 PM PDT by WaterDragon
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To: Rule of Law
It's becoming apparent that the third estate first dumbed down itself before it started on the rest of us. We are, I think, a little more resistent to being dumbed down that the typical twerp coming out of journalism school today. Or the brainless talking heads on tv.
8 posted on 05/01/2002 4:18:13 PM PDT by WaterDragon
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To: WaterDragon
Sure, we still have access but only because we have the will to exercise our rights. The vast majority would rather write to George Clooney and read up on what brand of hair spray Cher uses than actually exert the effort required to keep the gubment in check. And by the time American wake up to the fact that America doesn't belong to Americans anymore the politico-machine will have offset the middle class vote with illegals (mostly done in some states), made disention during the election a crime (just started) and gotten control of the mass-media (allready completely done). To finish us off all they have to do is blanket label anyone truley conservative as a "radical" "extremist", oh wait, that's allready done. I'm afraid it's going to come down to might soon.


9 posted on 05/01/2002 4:35:04 PM PDT by EBUCK
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To: WaterDragon
Bump !!
10 posted on 05/01/2002 5:38:54 PM PDT by blackie
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To: WaterDragon
The worst day of the Clinton regime was when Dan Rather led the evening news with a poll proving 'the American people" did not want scumbag impeached. The phrase,repeated by Clinton flacks night after night, "the American people think" was like chalk on a blackboard.
11 posted on 05/01/2002 7:46:37 PM PDT by LarryLied
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To: LarryLied

The pubbies are so beguiled by the media they have to fight---compete for the crumbs.

The devilcrats fly---pubbiecrats crawl!

12 posted on 05/01/2002 11:07:00 PM PDT by f.Christian
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To: f.Christian
Under Clinton the Democrat propaganda machine reached its apogee. Someday we will get an accounting. I suspect it will be upwards of 9 figures. Hope Vic Kamber lost all his government contracts but I suspect not. Clinton probably signed 99 year deals with him.
13 posted on 05/01/2002 11:23:17 PM PDT by LarryLied
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To: LarryLied
The rise of fox and the decline of cnn may very well be the end of the devilcrat reign in America..I hope!
14 posted on 05/01/2002 11:28:28 PM PDT by f.Christian
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To: f.Christian
This came in my email from the Media Research Center's CyberAlert:

"At a Cato Institute forum on polling with Matthew Robinson, author of the new book, "Mobocracy: How the Media's Obsession With Polling Twists the News, Alters Elections and Undermines Democracy", the Washington Times reported that Zogby, who does polling for NBC News, agreed that many polls reported by news outlets are distorted. Referring to the book, Zogby conceded: "There is a lot in there that I agree with."

I didn't see that Washington Times article but will look for it.

15 posted on 05/02/2002 7:57:21 AM PDT by WaterDragon
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To: WaterDragon
bump for the mob!
16 posted on 05/02/2002 5:29:17 PM PDT by WaterDragon
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