Ethics Alarms Expresses Its Gratitude To CNN For Providing Such A Superb Illustration Of “Fake News” As I Compile The Directory Of Same

The fake news category is “polls.”

Gallup released the results of a survey in which various attitudes regarding the pandemic were explored. One question asked “How soon would you return to your normal day-to-day activities” if “there were no government restrictions,” giving respondants four options to choose among. The most popular answer was “after the number of new cases declines significantly,” getting 40% in the most recent results. The least popular answer was “after a coronavirus vaccine is developed,” with  9 %  choosing that.

Here is how CNN reported the results:

“68% of Americans say a vaccine is needed before returning to normal life, new survey finds.”

No one polled said anything about what was”needed.” Only 9%, not 68%, said that they wouldn’t return to normal life until a vaccine was developed. 68% did say a vaccine was a very important factor. Stop the presses! Who doesn’t think a vaccine is important?

CNN’s headline is pure fake news, and suspicious as well. The article doesn’t link to the Gallup poll, hardly a difficult feature to add.

Arc Digital’s Nicholas Grossman rated the CNN story“an egregious misreading.” “Looking at the two Gallup questions that mention vaccines, the data shows that Americans are thinking about a lot of things, and primarily concerned about a decline in new cases,” he wrote. “CNN should delete the tweet, fix the article, issue a correction, and be a lot more careful to accurately represent survey data in the future.”

He’s too generous. Do you believe it’s a “misreading?” I don’t. Like most fake news, CNN’s latest appears to be an effort to manipulate public opinion in a particular direction. There is no way anyone aho read the poll results could misread them that badly, and the absence of a link is a smoking gun.


Sources: Reason, Ars Digital

10 thoughts on “Ethics Alarms Expresses Its Gratitude To CNN For Providing Such A Superb Illustration Of “Fake News” As I Compile The Directory Of Same

  1. Here is the data that I think is the most unreported.
    From 2/1/2020 to 5/9/2020
    Place total deaths % of normal deaths (normal deaths = average of 2017-2019)
    US 809,000 95
    AR 8800 93
    CA 77,000 95
    CO 12,000 102
    CT 1900 20
    DE 2500 91
    it goes on and on. Nothing above 105%, almost all states under 100%. The only anomalies are MA at 115%, NJ at 136% NY with 123%, and NYC with 224%. South Dakota, which has been criticized for not implementing any lockdowns or mandatory social distancing orders and the center of a COVID-19 hotspot? 86% of normal deaths. Every single state above 100% is Democrat controlled.

    So, the one thing we have missing from this ‘deadly’ pandemic is deaths. Except for a few states in the northeast, there IS NO statistical increase in deaths. Even Michigan is only at 105% of normal despite the dire news that makes it look like the plague has decimated the state (but is almost wholly centered in Detroit).

    Is it possible that the vast majority of the deaths caused by this pandemic are due to NY and NJ placing COVID-19 patients in nursing homes to infect the most vulnerable? Could hotspots like Detroit be wholly due to the leftist social and economic systems in place in those cities?
    The mainstream news media isn’t going to tell you if it is.


    • To be fair (and I hate doing that 😉 ) more detailed information on causes of death would be needed to make a good call on the meaning of those stats. Are there spikes in deaths by infectious diseases (specifically Chinavirus) and suicides, etc., but declines in numbers from things like traffic accidents, drownings, workplace accidents, and maybe even common flu and gang violence, all influenced by fewer people out and about their daily activities and contacts?

      • This is an excellent point. Many auto insurance companies, for example, are sending rebate checks to consumers due to a significant decrease in claims.

  2. I was one of the people who responded to that Gallup poll, as I’m on their mailing list to be polled. If anything, I would return to normal activities This Week if there were no government-imposed restrictions. My state’s (Illinois’) constitution gives our governor the authority to declare a state of emergency for a maximum of 30 days, which he has tried to get around by issuing a new emergency declaration on the 31st day. Gov. Pritzker is on very shaky legal ground, and our state’s weak economy would be destroyed if the full 5-stage plan he announced (earlier this month) for reopening the state were to be followed to the letter. A number of towns and even whole counties (f.ex., the city of East Peoria, Grundy County, and my own village of Dwight) are refusing to enforce the state’s restrictions against private businesses that wish to reopen (or refusing to prosecute violators). Stores and restaurants which are parts of chains bound by directions from corporate HQs may remain in compliance with the state-imposed restrictions longer, but I fully anticipate plenty of small “non-essential” businesses in Illinois will be conducting business in near-normal conditions by the end of May.

  3. There’s also the probability that people aren’t answering these polls honestly, or that they aren’t representative. I remember reading, and I can’t find the article anymore, that most Americans are cheating on their social distancing by visiting family or friends. That’s barely surprising, despite some democrat-sourced medical professionals suggesting that people should isolate within their homes, the reality is that people are social animals, and especially young people have very little to be concerned about regarding COVID. I think the poll answers are perhaps aspirational, and people are failing to live up to their own standards… And perhaps that means that they should re-evaluate whether their premise is reasonable.

    On the other hand… I’m just going to put this out there: I don’t think people are entirely stupid. I know… I know… This is a surprising thing for me to say, but really: If every governor of every state said that the state would not regulate anything having to do with COVID19, I believe that people would, to the best of their ability, apply common sense.

    The Monday before the theatres closed, I saw the writing on the wall, and decided to have a day out. There wasn’t a single COVID case within 200 miles of me, but it was coming, so I had a night out on the town. Let me tell you, I was a social distancing ninja: I was literally the only person in the theater watching the movie (Bloodshot, don’t see it), I was the only person eating in the restaurant, and I was the only person getting fitted at Moore’s (tops only), the fact of the matter is that even before the government restricted these businesses, people were staying home, and the businesses were probably grateful for the excuse to close, theatres cannot make money selling one ticket a show.

  4. Ask the same questions with the caveat that your income will abruptly end on Friday and you will not get any money other than unemployment until you go back to work. I bet the idea of keeping things closed will be met with real resistance if the income maintenance must come from current GDP.

  5. Once again, another “mistake” or “misreading” that furthers one specific point-of-view. Since we’re told constantly that there’s no leftward bias in the media, it’s an incredible statistical anomaly that nearly all such “errors” only go in one direction. It’s like getting “tails” 99 times out of 100 coin tosses…

  6. Joe Scarborough actually apologized for running with a fake story about Mike Pence generated by an edited clip from Jimmy Kimmel:

    Kimmel issued a snide sort of comment masquerading as an apology: “it would appear that @vp was joking about carrying empty boxes for a staged publicity stunt. The full video reveals that he was carrying full boxes for a staged publicity stunt. My apologies. I know how dearly this administration values truth.” and is now upset that he has gotten nasty responses on social media. He has not noted whether any mobs have gathered outside his house to abuse him, or attacked his family in a restaurant.

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