Using emails, community sites, political blogs and Tweets, conservatives have mounted a strike to "win" an online NPR poll on the war between the White House and Fox News.
On Thursday, the conservative watch dog blog Newsbusters featured a post entitled "Really? Online NPR Poll Finds Even Split in White House-Fox News Feud."
Newsbusters' Tim Graham wrote:
In today's example of "Are online polls reliable?" is a poll at NPR.org, which found an almost exact split among readers of the NPR blog "The Two-Way" on whether the White House or Fox News should win the battle over reputations. (As of 5 pm Eastern time.) NPR blogger Mark Memmott asked it this way.Are you supporting:
-- The White House on this one; Fox News isn't "fair and balanced." 49% (151,983 votes)
-- Fox News on this one; it asks questions others don't and the White House should be able to handle them. 49% (152,482 votes)
-- Neither side. They're both trying to play this "feud" to their advantage. 2% (5,896 votes)
Memmott wrote it in such a way that it did not require NPR fans to suggest Fox News is fantastic, but it does suggest that position is on the side of giving adequate scrutiny to the White House.
However, earlier Thursday morning, the White House had a sizeable lead over Fox, although Mediaite's Glynnis MacNicol thought that the "sixty percent or 118,081" vs. "thirty-nine percent or 76,324" margin was "sort of a low number if you consider that in the big picture NPR listeners tend to skew to the left."
All day long on Thursday, conservatives bragged in Tweets that they were helping spin the poll back in favor of Fox.
A message reading "If you haven't heard this, the White House is accusing Fox News of not being a legitimate source of news, calling them biased, etc. They have tried to block Fox reporters from news conferences, etc., but the other news networks are fighting back (in favor of Fox) and caused the White House to back down. NPR has put a survey online for us to voice our opinion. If you want to vote in this survey, go to the link below and cast your vote. Currently it is in favor of the White House, but there are not that many votes. It has been circulating around NPR folks, but now that it has gotten out elsewhere, let's turn that around. Let's show them how we feel about honest conservative news reporting" spread like wildfire across blogs, email lists and social networks including the RNC Facebook page.
A front paged Free Republic post on Thursday cried out,
Freep this poll
the White House is accusing Fox News of not being a legitimate source of news, calling them biased, etc. They have tried to block Fox reporters from news conferences, etc., but the other news networks are fighting back (in favor of Fox) and caused the White House to back down. NPR has put a survey online for us to voice our opinion. If you want to vote in this survey, go to the link below and cast your vote. Currently it is 71% in favor of the White House, but there are not that many votes ......... less than 2,000 all together. Let's show them how we feel about honest conservative news reporting.
At Democratic Underground, liberals did their best to "Freep" it the other way around.
One DU user named DFW complained in a post he entitled "NOT a true poll, but a Freeper heaven--you can vote as often as you want!!"
If I had as much time on my hands as an unemployed Freeper retard (and from their spelling and grammar on the comments section, they must all have the week off), I could skew the poll against Fox single- handedly. All you have to do is click "back" and vote again--and again and again and again. That's not a poll, it's an endurance test.
Blogs are bragging Friday that they helped win this one for Fox.
Keith Brock at Can You Hear Us Now! gloats, "National Public Radio put up a poll and asked a question: who do you support, the White House or Fox News. Yesterday, because of the liberal views of much of NPR's listeners the White House was winning 55% to 45%. Fox News was down 10,000 plus votes. We have made that up and are pulling ahead - but we want to send a message to NPR, a very strong message: We stand behind Fox News because they are the only ones asking the tough questions. That will send the message to them that they need to start asking a lot tougher questions and stop making Fox News carry all the water."
Curiously, the earliest post Raw Story could find did show Fox News in the lead by a considerable margin, but the email campaign may have preceded it.
But on Wednesday, the blog Moonbattery applauded the then "heartening results" which showed Fox winning by a 2-to-1 margin with less than 13,000 votes.
Over half-a-million more votes have been registered since, and at press time Fox leads with 69% (401,437 votes) over the White House's 29% (167,659 votes).
Or perhaps more liberals than conservatives feel similarly to DU user newtothegame, who writes
We complain that people can vote more than once in this poll, but then we're posting "DU this Poll" here for every single poll we find online everyday. We complain about unscientific polls, but then we're encouraging our fellow DU'ers to make every unscientific poll out there even more unscientific by flooding it with votes from DU. And for what? And if we're worried about the 'American Public' getting a false impression of the nation's views by a poll being "freeped," then what's our excuse when we flood the same polls with our votes?
Early Halloween morning, NPR's Mark Memmott, host of the Two-Way news blog, added the following update, which touched upon this report:
I would like to say thanks to all those who were inspired to vote. As Raw Story explains, the poll touched off a competition. That's a good thing, in my opinion. These kinds of surveys aren't meant to be scientific. They're intended to stimulate discussion and give folks another way to express themselves. We certainly accomplished that.
Now, can I make a small request? Perhaps some who came here to vote and comment could come back on occasion and contribute again to the discussions? We value your input.
For those still keeping score, the current tally stands at 22% (175,901 votes) for the White House and 76% (610,350 votes) for Fox News, with just 2% (12,965 votes) voting for neither side.
Since the publication of this article, nearly a quarter of a million votes were added to the total of a poll, which before attracting attention in the last four days had only gotten 13,000 votes in total for its first five days.