The New York Times has an earth-shattering report today uncovering the existence of a massive political campaign being run by the city's mayor right under the noses of regular New Yorkers. The paper accuses Michael Bloomberg of push-polling, or rather it allows others to make the allegation and then fails to inform the reader that the polling in question was not, in fact, push-polling. Says Ben Smith:
So if Bloomberg is now testing negative messages against Weiner, it does mean the billionaire is plotting to use his personal fortune to destroy a rival, and there's no reason not to describe it that way. Still, not a push poll.
Bloomberg could afford to push-poll the entire city, but in the event it seems like Democrats corralled a few Weiner supporters out of the insignificant number of voters who were surveyed and served them up to the Times. The paper then does its part by sprinkling words like "derogatory" and "aggressive" to describe the Bloomberg campaign's tactics. To cap it all off, the paper grants a city worker anonymity to claim that he received the call, was familiar with the technique of push-polling and can identify the Bloomberg "survey" as such, and that he fears retribution at work if he were to criticize the city's tyrannical mayor publicly. Of course Bloomberg could put the same fear into Times reporters by investing a few hundred million in the struggling paper.
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