Tag Archives: NBC

The real margin of error for polls

In my daily scanning of the news, looking for stories that are both educational as well as entertaining, I came across this particular post: “WATCH – This Viral Video Perfectly Illustrates Why Americans Don’t Trust the Lamestream Media”.

The title is typical click-bait, hinting at something truly revealing that nine times out of ten turns out to be immensely disappointing. This time, however, I found that the post revealed a lie about political polls, almost as an aside, that is simply never noted.

The video itself is entertaining. It shows one particularly bad performance by a MSNBC political reporter, where in only about five minutes he used NBC polls to make a string of predictions about the presidential election, every single one of which turned out to be spectacularly wrong. I’ve embedded the video below the fold for your enjoyment.

What the post however noted that I found revealing was something else:

After all, these were NBC polls that Kornacki cited time and time again. Polls that showed Hillary Clinton leading Donald Trump in places like North Carolina, Georgia, and Ohio. The polls were terribly off-base. In some cases, the NBC numbers showed Clinton with a double-digit lead in states that she went on to lose. In other words, the polls were not by any means scientific, fair, or truthful.

Does the phrase “margin of error” ring a bell? Typically, it is between three and four percent, in order to be deemed usable, anyway. But NBC’s margin of error in Pennsylvania was 11 percent. [emphasis mine]

In the past decade or so political polls have routinely included what they call their “margin of error,” which generally for most polls ranges, as noted above, about three to four percent. This number is, and has always been a lie, however, as shown by the highlighted text. The real margin of error is the difference between what the poll predicted and what the actual results were. And for all of these NBC polls, the margin of error was not 3 to 4 percent, but anywhere from 11 to 30 percent!

In other words, these polls were worthless. Worse, they suggest some intentional manipulation, as they all made their error in only one direction (against Trump and for Clinton), much like the tampered global temperature data that we see coming from NASA and NOAA. It could be that there is confirmation bias going on here, producing results these liberal news outlets wish, but I do not think so. NBC, and its sister station MSNBC, have repeatedly in the past five years committed some egregious journalist frauds, all of which designed to make conservatives and Republicans look bad and to promote the interests of the Democratic Party. The network has made no moves to correct the problems. Nor has it fired anyone.

I think it very reasonable to suspect intentional fraud here, specifically aimed at helping the Democrats.

More important, this story illustrates why we should all laugh uproariously the next time we see a mainstream media journalist note pompously that the poll he or she is citing has a margin of error of 3%. He or she either doesn’t know what they are talking about, or they know very well and think you are too stupid to notice.
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Will Piers Morgan apologize for spreading a racist hoax?

Will Piers Morgan apologize for spreading a racist hoax?

I doubt it, but even if he does apologize (as has happened a lot at NBC recently), he won’t really mean it. When you are a hate-filled bigot, working at a hate-filled television network, apologizes don’t mean you’ve mended your ways, only that you are looking for cover so you can spread more hate.

Note also that Deval Patrick, Democratic governor of Massachusetts, also joined Morgan in spreading this lie.

Five years of hate and falsified news at NBC.

Five years of hate and falsified news at NBC.

This article is important because it documents the repeated times NBC has been caught deliberately faking news stories by dishonestly editing material. Worse, it also shows that, despite being caught at it, the network has refused to stop. If anything, it appears they have doubled down on their dishonesty in the last two years.

This says nothing good about NBC. It also tells us something far more terrible about its audience.

The bottom of the barrel.

The bottom of the barrel.

NBC News was once a trusted source for news, a destination millions of Americans turned to in times of national events. It’s now a punchline, a disgrace.

This didn’t happen overnight, and it didn’t happen by accident. There was a conscious decision on behalf of the management team to change, and change it did. You don’t scrape the bottom of the barrel and come up with the type of loathsome, hate-filled bile spewers regularly filling those airwaves by accident. You scrape all the way to the bottom because this is what you want.

It is very important to emphasize the level of hate coming from this so-called outlet of news. It is also very important to emphasize how unaware or glad NBC is that its reporters and anchors express this hate, repeatedly.

The media’s ten worst predictions for 2013.

The media’s ten worst predictions for 2013.

Most of these predictions involved major issues — Obamacare, climate change, the federal budget. In every case, the media either was either starkly wrong, badly misinformed about stuff they should be experts at, or participated in political lies to prop up their partners on the left. Thus, this list of news sources is a good guide for the news sources no one should rely on for information.

Not surprisingly, the list includes bad reporting from the news divisions of NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, and MSNBC. Interestingly, the one media cable news outlet not mentioned at all in this list is Fox. It appears that this news outlet avoided making any of these foolish predictions, and thus avoided looking like a fool.

Update: Just to confirm the above conclusions: CNN’s top five credibility catastrophes in 2013.

Virgin Galactic has signed a deal with NBC to televise the first commercial flight of SpaceShipTwo.

Virgin Galactic has signed a deal with NBC to televise the first commercial flight of SpaceShipTwo.

I note that with this announcement Virgin Galactic has backed off from its previous schedule for launching this flight this year. They now say it will happen in 2014.

After warning repeatedly last year that the sequester would damage the economy, NBC now says “Nevermind.”

Doing the work of the Democratic Party: After warning repeatedly last year that the sequester would damage the economy, NBC now says “Nevermind.”

It wasn’t just NBC. I can’t count the number of news sources and politicians that screamed “We’re all gonna die!” because sequestration was going to cut the federal budget a mere few percent. I said it then and I say it now: They were lying.

That news organizations participated in this lie however was particularly shameful. It didn’t take much research or thought to realize that these were lies. For NBC and other mainstream news organizations to not do that research tells us a great deal about how unreliable they are.

And by the way, remember the long lines threatened at the airports due to sequestration? We had those for about one day, and then things returned to normal. More evidence that it was all lying crap coming from this administration, forced upon travelers to make some dishonest political points, which were further aided and abetted by a lapdog press.

NBC News struggles with significant ratings decline.

NBC News struggles with a significant ratings decline.

Beyond “Today,” which is down about 4 percent in total viewers and about 9 percent in that 25-54 age group, “NBC Nightly News” has declined about 11 percent among those 25-54. Its main rival, ABC’s “World News,” also is down about 8 percent. (CBS’s newscast is up 1 percent.) On Sundays, “Meet the Press” is still the most watched show, but its lead over the second place “Face the Nation” on CBS has shrunk to just 2 percent in total viewers, while “Nation” is now ahead in the 25-54 group. And NBC’s effort to start a newsmagazine, “Rock Center,” led by its chief anchor, Brian Williams, has been greeted with some of the lowest ratings in prime time.

The article cites “talent transitions, weakness in prime time and late night programming, and changes in consumer behaviors” as reasons for this decline. I suggest it might be a loss of creditability. When you fake the news, get caught, and then refuse to clean house, the audience will desert you for more trustworthy sources.

NBC has been caught again, for the third time this year, of selectively editing news footage to create a false scenario.

NBC has been caught again, for the third time this year, of selectively editing news footage to create a false scenario.

In all three cases the false scenario aided Democratic leftwing politics.

I mention this story only to emphasis how completely unreliable NBC is as a source of news information. Sadly, none of the other media networks are much better.