Polling—Los Angeles Times Style


In more than

five years
of analyzing how the

press reports on immigration,
I have never found a
more obvious example of bias than the February 4th Los
Angeles Times story "

Hahn`s Woes Leave the Race Up for Grabs

The poll, conducted by Times
pollster Susan Pinkus [email

her
],  purported to be a comprehensive look at how
Los Angeles voters are reacting to the mayoral
candidates.

LA Times reporter Michael
Finnegan [email

him
] expanded on Pinkus` findings in his February 4th
"No
Clear Favorite in the Race for Mayor
" (and his
February 27th stories, "Win
May Hinge on Turn-Out
."

Basically, he said that no candidate
has a decisive lead and a large number of voters are
undecided.

But Pinkus and Finnegan only asked
and wrote about the five so-called leading candidates:
incumbent

James Hahn
and four of his challengers Antonio
Villaraigosa,

Bernard Parks,
Richard Alarcon and Bob Hertzberg.

Absent, despite having performed
impressively on Los Angeles talk radio shows and having
received the unanimous, unsolicited endorsement of the
Southern California Republican Women and Men, is Walter
Moore—the

lone immigration reform candidate.

Yet Moore is the only Republican in
the race—in a city that has 300,000 registered
Republicans (still!). As I

reported
last week, Moore calculates that a mere
125,000 votes would get him into the run-off that will be
held if no candidate gets over 50 percent of the votes
cast.

And the bias was even more blatant.
Another Times pollster, Ted Werner, unwittingly
called a Moore supporter to ask questions regarding the
five candidates.

The Moore supporter said: "I will
be voting for Walter Moore."

"Impossible," replied Werner,
"he is not a candidate."

Moore`s campaign manager
subsequently called Pinkus. She admitted, without
explanation, that she alone decided to list only five
names.

I e-mailed Pinkus to inquire why the
LA Times omitted Moore`s name.

Since I received no response, I will
answer for Pinkus. The Los Angeles Times favors

open borders
and

unlimited immigration.
Moore, on the other hand,
wishes to enforce immigration law.

Result: a complete black-out of the
Moore campaign that was finally lifted on February 28th
after Moore stalwarts barraged the LA Times with
phone calls detailing the polling outrage.  

(See reporter Jessica Garrison`s
story about Moore, "GOP
Candidate Makes Some Waves"
) [email
Garrison]

As refreshing as it is that the
LA Times
was finally shamed into covering Moore,
serious problems remain.

Let`s begin with Pinkus. Perhaps the
most amazing part of this story is that Pinkus is
employed at the Times—or anywhere else—in any
capacity, let alone as "Director of Polls."

On September 12 2003, a Pinkus poll
regarding the California Gubernatorial Recall election
predicted that Arnold Schwarzenegger would receive 25% of
the vote. But less than one month later, the final tally
had Schwarzenegger at 48.6% of the vote—an error of 23.6
percentage points.

An earlier

August 2003 Pinkus poll
citing Lt. Governor
Cruz Bustamante
as Gray Davis` likely replacement was

equally inaccurate.

The LA Times and its
Spanish-language sister publication, Hoy, endorsed
Villaraigosa half-heartedly. And, of course, the paper
has an editorial right to support whomever it pleases.

But it is an obvious conflict of
interest for the LA Times to push its corporate
agenda—in this case,

open borders
—by ignoring candidates who do not
promote its philosophy.

To see at a glance the extent to
which the Times will go, take a look at the
curricula vitae of Villaraigosa and Moore:

VILLARAIGOSA

  • Failed the California bar
    examination four times.

  • Father of two out of wedlock
    children

  • Wrote a letter in 1996 to
    President Clinton seeking a pardon for convicted
    cocaine trafficker

    Carlos Vignali.
    Villaraigosa`s political career had
    received

    generous contributions
    from Vignali`s father,
    Horacio.
  • Refuses to work to enforce the
    immigration laws of the U.S.


MOORE

  • Graduated with honors from
    Princeton University`s Woodrow Wilson School of Public
    and International Affairs.

  • Graduated with honors from the
    Georgetown School of Law and edited the Georgetown Law
    Journal.

  • Successfully tried cases for
    Union Bank of California, Taco Bell Corporation, and
    Clear Channel Outdoor

  • Represented clients in disputes
    regarding misappropriation of corporate assets,
    computer software, cellular telecommunications
    licenses, natural gas, wills and trusts and employment
    disputes

  • Promises to use all of the
    influence of the Office of Mayor of Los Angeles to
    enforce immigration law beginning by repealing

    Special Order 40.

If Moore had the same open borders
view as Villaraigosa, it is entirely possible that the
LA Times
might be writing glowingly about him as
"a breath of fresh air."

I asked Moore if he could explain
why the LA Times had shunned him for so long.

His simple answer: "The
Times
knows that when people hear me, they join my
campaign."

It`s not hard to write fair stories. Journalists and editors know how to
do it.

What is so galling is that it easy
to follow the principles of

good and honest journalism.

For example, in her September 2000
column "In
Pursuit of Fairness,
" Pulitzer Prize winner E.R.
Shipp, then Ombudsman at the

Washington Post,

wrote:

"No story is fair if it

omits facts
of major importance or significance.
Fairness includes completeness. No story is fair if it
includes essentially irrelevant information at the
expense of significant facts. Fairness includes
relevance. No story is fair if it consciously or
unconsciously misleads or even deceives the reader.
Fairness includes honesty–leveling with the reader. No
story is fair if reporters hide their

biases
or emotions behind such subtly pejorative
words as `refused,` `despite,` `quietly,` `admit` and
`massive.` Fairness requires straightforwardness ahead of
flashiness."

But, as we have seen before with the LA Times, someone has to
ride herd on them to keep them honest…especially if the
subject is immigration.

Joe Guzzardi [email
him], an instructor in English at the Lodi
Adult School, has been writing a weekly newspaper column
since 1988. This column is exclusive to VDARE.COM.