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Monday, March 22, 2010

Shocka: Haaretz manipulated Obama poll

On Friday, Haaretz ran a poll that claimed (at least in the headline's first incarnation) that most Israelis view President Obama as 'fair and friendly.' I criticized that poll, as did David Hazony, Shmuel Rosner and many others. Now, Haaretz's own pollster has accused the newspaper of using the poll unfairly. And not just - as Rosner pointed out - by combining those who said that Obama was friendly to Israel with those who said he was fair to Israel to reach a conclusion that most Israelis think Obama is fair and friendly. But worse: The Hebrew word that was used for that alternative in the poll (inyani) does not translate as 'fair.'
Haaretz misled readers to give the impression that an overwhelming majority of Israelis see US President Barack Obama as “fair and friendly” toward the country, the newspaper’s pollster, Tel Aviv University professor Camil Fuchs, said on Sunday.


The print and online versions of the newspaper’s Hebrew edition included a graphic indicating that just 18 percent of respondents considered Obama “friendly” toward Israel, 3 percentage points fewer than the 21% who called the president “hostile” to the Jewish state.

Ten percent did not know, and 51% defined Obama’s approach to Israel using the Hebrew word “inyani,” which can be translated as “matter-of-fact” or “businesslike,” but not as fair.

Fuchs, who chairs Tel Aviv University’s statistics department, said he received many reactions from people around the world who were surprised by the poll’s headline. He distanced himself from the headline and criticized the way his poll was presented.

“What can I do? Only the editor writes the headlines,” Fuchs said.

“When they write the number 69 together, it is correct but misleading. They could just as easily have combined the hostile and inyani categories and gotten a different large number.”

Fuchs was disturbed to hear that the English edition did not include the full distribution of the numbers. He also disagreed with the translation of the word “inyani.”

When told it had been translated as “fair,” he responded: “I definitely would not have translated it as fair. They must have a problem with English.”

The story has been removed from Haaretz’s online print edition archive. An edition of the story that remains online has been rewritten with no reference to the issue in the original headline. It instead focuses on the 27% of respondents who said Obama is anti-Semitic.

A Likud source called the original Haaretz headline a “trick intended to convince the public to like Obama more and Netanyahu less.”
Sounds like something the Obami themselves would have tried.

And of course Haaretz remains defiant.
Haaretz English Edition editor Charlotte Halle responded that “Haaretz published a fair and accurate representation of the survey conducted by Prof. Camil Fuchs at the request of Haaretz. Any attempt to claim otherwise by another newspaper is false.”
Anyone think the way that poll was published is fair and accurate? I don't.


At 9:08 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

No - its not. Its hard to reconcile with more reliable polls that show only 4% of Israeli Jews approve of Obama... which is probably a lot lower now and the only Jews he gets in Israel are those who've voted for Meretz - and there aren't too many of those around. What did Haaretz do?

It lied with statistics, pure and simple.

At 10:00 AM, Blogger ais cotten19 said...

I have never seen a media outlet so completely divorced from reality. Their statement assigning blame to their competitors takes the cake. How can this Haaretz have any credibility with anyone?

At 11:57 AM, Blogger yzernik said...

They asked for Obama to "rape" Israel, and they are finally getting their wish.

At 12:27 PM, Blogger Y.K. said...

Haaretz is no longer a newspaper. It's a propoganda rag which copies news from other newspapers[1], and covers up for employees charged with sexual assault[2]. Only surprise is that people still pay attention. Maybe that's only because no one ever reported on the offending material in English...

http://www.globes.co.il/news/docview.aspx?did=1000527551&fid=821 (copying financial news from Maariv)



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