Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Blame the bloggers

This AP story seems to say it is bloggers' fault for spreading the incredibly wrong early exit data that appeared on the Web yesterday afternoon.

"I think people believed them, and it's particularly the case with Internet bloggers," said Kathy Frankovic, CBS News' polling director. "That's unfortunate because it sets up expectations that may or may not be met. I think it's a good exercise because it reminded people that early exit polls can be unreliable." Bloggers picked out different numbers to use for their purposes, said Joseph Lenski, who ran the poll with partner Warren Mitofsky for the NEP. As the day wore on, later waves of exit polling showed the race tightening.
I'm the first one to admit I was overjoyed at those early numbers, but saying it is the bloggers who put it out there is just stupid. If NEP had any doubts about the accuracy of the numbers or thought that the data did not reflect what was actually happening, then they shouldn't have released it. Bloggers link to stories and data that is already available on the Web. I would like to take a moment ot defend how we handled that situation. Almost all the blogs that had those numbers up or linked to in any way, had some kind of caveat that they could be very wrong. It was handled with journalistic integrity, something people at Fox News know little about since they were more than happy to call Ohio and Florida early for Bush last night.


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