Polls say masks have support, but our own eyes tell us otherwise when Americans have a choice
By Gary Abernathy
Real-world evidence makes mask polls suspect at best
It was heartwarming to see the various videos Monday of airline passengers wildly cheering the announcement that they could ditch their masks, thanks to a federal court ruling.
Many in the media aren’t happy about it for some reason. And polls suddenly sprang forth to convince us that most Americans are pro-mask.
News outlets soon reported on a new Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll claiming that “56% of Americans favor requiring masks on planes and other shared transportation, 24% are opposed and 20% are neutral.”
Such polls fly in the face of real-world experience. Virtually anywhere you go where masks are optional, the vast majority of people don’t wear them, including on planes. Obviously a lot of people answering “yes” to the poll question apparently want other people to wear masks while they ditch theirs.
Asked Tuesday about the court ruling, and whether people should wear masks on airplanes, President Biden replied, “That’s up to them.” That should have always been his answer, and the answers of governors and other elected leaders, instead of mandates, lockdowns and closings.
Study says Twitter isn’t biased, Republicans just lie a lot
It’s interesting watching many on the political left melt down over the prospect of Elon Musk controlling Twitter. They seem especially worried that restrictions on speech might be lessened, much in the way it was before Twitter caved to demands to clamp down on conservatives.
A really hilarious take on the subject was provided by Paul M. Barrett, the senior research scholar and deputy director of the NYU Stern Center for Business and Human Rights, who writes for The Hill. Barrett cited a study which found that, heavens no, Twitter is not biased against conservatives. It’s just that Republicans spread disinformation a lot more than Democrats.
Now, researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Yale and the University of Exeter have released the first study that I’m aware of that takes an independent, empirical look at the bias claim. Twitter, they found, does tend to suspend Republican users far more frequently than Democrats. But that’s not necessarily because of partisan favoritism. Instead, it’s just as likely that Republicans were suspended because they tend to spread far more misinformation.
So much for “an independent, empirical look” at Twitter’s suspension rates. It’s not that we hate Republicans; it’s that Republicans lie so much compared to those pure-as-snow Democrats.
Try again, and get back to us.
Trump’s support of Vance leaves GOP dazed & confused
In a bizarre development, former President Donald Trump has endorsed J.D. Vance for the U.S. Senate seat in Ohio being vacated by Sen. Rob Portman (R), who’s retiring. Yes, that J.D. Vance — the one who trashed Trump mercilessly in 2016-17, and who has never previously voted in a Republican primary, according to more than 40 Ohio GOP leaders who begged Trump not to endorse Vance.
Trump chose Vance over three other candidates who have a lot more of a claim to his support than Vance.
Trump has often had his finger on the pulse of Republican voters, but this time (as I point out in a new Washington Post column that should be available tomorrow) he may well have found a way to finally alienate his base. Or maybe not. We’ll see.
CNN suddenly announces it will be minus CNN+
News comes that CNN is shutting down its new “CNN+” streaming service, less than a month after it launched.
The shutdown is a stunning and ignominious end to an operation into which CNN had sunk tens of millions of dollars, from an aggressive nationwide marketing campaign to hiring hundreds of new employees to recruiting big, high-priced media stars, including the former “Fox News Sunday” anchor Chris Wallace and the former NPR co-host Audie Cornish.
It sounds like the decision involves a bunch of internal infighting pitting the new leadership against anything that has the fingerprints of ousted CNN boss Jeff Zucker. But it’s still a rather embarrassing episode for a news organization that can’t seem to get out of its own way. It’s particularly embarrassing for Chris Wallace, who let everyone know that CNN+ was where he would be focusing after leaving Fox News.
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