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
Basically, he said that no candidate
has a decisive lead and a large number of voters are
But Pinkus and Finnegan only asked
and wrote about the five so-called leading candidates:
James Hahn and four of his challengers Antonio
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
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
And the bias was even more blatant.
Another Times pollster, Ted Werner, unwittingly
called a Moore supporter to ask questions regarding the
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
I e-mailed Pinkus to inquire why the
LA Times omitted Moore`s name.
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.
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
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:
- Graduate of the
Peoples College of Law that is not accredited by
either the American Bar Association or the
State Bar of California.
- Failed the California bar
examination four times.
- Avowed and unrepentant
- Father of two out of wedlock
- Wrote a letter in 1996 to
President Clinton seeking a pardon for convicted
Carlos Vignali. Villaraigosa`s political career had
generous contributions from Vignali`s father,
- Refuses to work to enforce the
immigration laws of the U.S.
- 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
- 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
- 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
It`s not hard to write fair stories. Journalists and editors know how to
What is so galling is that it easy
to follow the principles of
good and honest journalism.
"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
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.