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Selective poll-reading and defending talk radio; Ingraham and O'Reilly Valentine's Day gift to the right

Reported by Chrish - February 15, 2008 -

Laura Ingraham, frequent sub-host on the O'Reilly Factor, sat in the guest seat last night 2/14/08 and discussed talk radio and politics with fellow talk-radio host O'Reilly. How's that for fair and balanced, a range of perspective all the way from "I" to "me." It was a Valentine's Day love-fest.

Mitt Romney's endorsement yesterday of John McCain was characterized not as a flip-flop but as a matter of pragmatism. Huckabee, Ingraham said, is holding onto the "conservative" (read: far right) mantle and not playing the "lemming game."

Ingraham and O'Reilly did disagree on one point - she thinks McCain will go left now, for the general election, and O'Reilly thinks he'll go right. See, diversity of opinion! They talked about Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell's remark that some white "conservatives" won't vote for Obama just because he's black, with Ingraham spinning it brilliantly so that "the Clintons" came out looking bad, expecting to be "saved" by the racism of some Democrat voters. (Some Democrats could look bad too, except that Rendell noted that it's white "conservatives" who are "not ready.")

Ingraham said "the numbers today" (2/14) have Obama with a double-digit lead, and O'Reilly interjected "In a national poll..." and Ingraham agreed, "yeah;" but, O'Reilly said, Clinton was still leading in Ohio and he "hadn't seen any Texas numbers," which is hard to believe for a newsman....oh, wait. O'Reilly looked pensive for a moment, "...but a double digit lead in the national poll, which obviously they're in..." and asked her if she thought Obama had it wrapped up. But anyway, the double digit reference shocked me so I checked PollingReport.com, an aggregator, and all the current polls are virtual ties. Then it dawned on me, she must be talking about delegate counts - yet when he said it was national polls, she agreed, and he reinforced it moments later. Hmm, what are they talking about?

They went on to discuss an article by Wall Street Journal writer Mark Helprin about "political orthodoxy" in talk radio. Ingraham defended, noting that she and O'Reilly are not part of a monolith - they disagree at times (see above). (Actually, M-W contradicts her claim - definition #3.) Ingraham dismissed Helprin as "not getting it" and said her listeners tune in because they believe that she believes what she's saying. Of course, they tune in because she's saying what they already believe, but details, details.

***This morning on America's Newsroom Megyn Kelly also talked about a double-difgit lead, 12 points, in a national poll for Barack Obama and cited Rasmussen. I find a report of him leading by 8 . I wonder if they got their information from Michelle Malkin's HotAir, that states "Rasmussen daily: Obama leads Clinton 49-37 nationally" but links to the same Rasmussen page, above, that clearly says

"Friday, February 15, 2008 ---
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Friday shows Barack Obama with an eight-point lead over Hillary Clinton in the race for the Democratic Presidential Nomination. Today’s results show Obama earning support from 48% of Likely Democratic Primary Voters while Clinton attracts 40%."

Aah, if you drill deeper you find the daily poll numbers they refer to, but they fail to note that Rasmussen uses a four-day rolling average. Meanwhile, numerous other polls show a much tighter race, but that doesn't suit the FOX agenda of inciting angst and divisiveness in the Democratic Party. It's notable, too, that they failed to cite the "RealClearPolitics" average that they've used of late, a supposed "average", which puts Obama ahead by 1.2%, one-tenth of the spread they are excitedly promoting. Isn't it odd, how they reported the most extreme numbers they could find, and ignored the rest?