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Hannity Promotes Powerline’s Discredited Attack On Times' Health Insurance Poll

Reported by Ellen - June 23, 2009 -

Sean Hannity was so desperate to attack the New York Times and even more desperate to attack Barack Obama, that he seized upon a discredited blog post last night (6/22/09) without bothering to check his facts. With video.

As Think Progress reported,

Yesterday, the New York Times and CBS News (NYT/CBS) released a new poll showing broad support for health care reform, with 72 percent of respondents favoring the creation of a publicly-funded health insurance option. The conservative blog Powerline immediately took issue with the poll, arguing (wrongly) that the sample was skewed because 48 percent of respondents reported voting for President Obama last fall, while just 25 percent of respondents reported voting for Sen. John McCain (R-AZ). Powerline compared the NYT/CBS figures to the actual election results in which Obama won 53 percent of the vote and McCain won 46 percent... Powerline is wrong to conclude the sample is skewed based on the data they cited. As Slate’s Christopher Beam explained last week, the disparity between last fall’s actual vote tallies and the results reported by NYT/CBS yesterday comes down to respondents being too embarrassed to admit that they didn’t vote.

Furthermore, as Nate Silver, at fivethirtyeight.com noted,

The NYT's polls have a reputation for having somewhat left-leaning demographics. This is not entirely undeserved -- their samples generally contain somewhat more Democrats and somewhat fewer Republicans than the consensus. (EDIT: Although this particular poll at a 10-point D-R gap, which is pretty typical these days). Nevertheless, even 50 percent of Republicans favored the public option in this poll. If you re-weighted the demographics to put more Republicans in the sample, the public option would still be extremely popular.

Hannity, Media Matters’ 2008 Misinformer of the Year, earned his title again.

Don't hold your breath waiting for a correction.