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.
Another question also mentions vaccines: “How important are each of the following factors to you when thinking about your willingness to return to your normal activities?” 68% responded that “the availability of a vaccine to prevent COVID-19″ was very important.
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.