Tea Party vs Occupy Movement – Boston Herald’s Confusing Take

By Edmund Jenks, West Coast Editor, Politisite

The Media’s Guide to Protestors - Image Credit: William Warren via Liberty Features (2011)

Over the weekend, the Boston Herald posted an article that tried to make the case of commonality between the Tea Party Movement and the Occupy (wherever) Movement. The proposition that the article tried to make from a national poll with 1,005 American adults (no background on demographic … assume random) was that people were becoming tired of public political activism.

While the title of the article delivered a direct comparison and linkage of the Occupy Movement to the Tea Party Movement, the first five paragraphs were devoted to the Occupy Movement, the next three paragraphs were devoted to the Tea Party Movement, and the balance of the analysis placed the two movements side-by-side with the conclusion as follows:

This excerpted and edited from the Boston Herald –

Thumbs down for Occupy, Tea Party in new nationwide poll
By Joe Battenfeld – Originally posted November 6, 2011

The Occupy Wall Street movement may be starting to lose its luster with the American public, with four in ten now saying they have an unfavorable view of the protests, a new nationwide UMass Lowell/Boston Herald poll shows.
—-
But the UMass Lowell/Herald poll shows one clear trend — that Americans have a more negative view of the Tea Party movement than the Wall Street protests.
—-
More than 71 percent of all American adults have an unfavorable impression of the federal government, including 72 percent of Occupy Wall Street supporters and 86 percent of Tea Party sympathizers. And about three-quarters of all Americans say that political action committees and large corporations have too much influence in politics.

This indicates the most successful strategy for winning office in 2012 would be running against both Washington and Wall Street — a strategy already being tested in Massachusetts by Democratic Senate challenger Elizabeth Warren and the current incumbent, Republican Sen. Scott Brown.

But while Tea Party and Occupy supporters may share some views, they don’t have much else in common, according to the UMass Lowell/Herald poll.

Nearly two-thirds of Tea Party sympathizers describe their political views as conservative, while just 14 percent of Occupy Wall Street backers call themselves conservative.

A third of those who have a favorable view of the Occupy movement say they are liberals, while just 5 percent of Tea Party backers describe themselves as liberal.
[Reference Here]

The following poll was featured in the sidebar on the right side of the Boston Herald article:

Herald Pulse

Where do you stand on the Occupy and Tea Party movements?

27% – Occupy campers annoy me
14% – I back what Occupy has to say
7% – The Tea Party annoys me
36% – I’m all for what the Tea Party stands for
4% – I like them both
12% – I dislike them both

Total Votes: 2,018

What if the poll answer choices were arranged a little differently as in like-with-like questions:

Positive
36% – I’m all for what the Tea Party stands for
14% – I back what Occupy has to say

Negative
7% – The Tea Party annoys me
27% – Occupy campers annoy me

General Attitude
4% – I like them both
12% – I dislike them both

When arranged in this way, one comes away with a completely different picture of the attitudes of the two thousand plus Boston Herald reader respondents.

For those having a positive view of either approach, just add “I like them both at 4%” to the affirmative question posed for each movement.

For those having a negative view of either approach, just add “I dislike them both at 12%” to the negative question posed for each movement.

Tea Party Movement
Positive – 40% / Negative – 26%
(66% response attention)

Occupy Movement
Positive – 18% / Negative – 39%
(57% response attention)

Last Comparison
TP Positive – 40% | OM Negative – 39% = 79% similar attitude camp

OM Positive – 18% | TP Negative – 26% = 44% similar attitude camp

Sorry, it just seems that the Boston Herald has its focus on the wrong set of information numbers and thereby performs a disservice to its readers with the conclusions they choose to highlight and put forward. The media seems bent on using polls to shape opinion as opposed to inform opinion.

Why doesn’t  the Boston Herald just look at their own reader respondent poll which seems to be as vetted and directed (with twice as many responses – over 2,000) as the poll they used for the development of the original article that ultimately tries to paint the Senate seat contest between Democratic Senate challenger (OM attitude camp) Elizabeth Warren and the current incumbent, Republican Sen. (TP attitude camp) Scott Brown as … wait for it … a toss-up.

A deeper look at the sidebar poll seems to suggest a different projected outlook.


<Article first appeared as Tea Party vs Occupy Movement – Boston Herald’s Confusing Take at Technorati>

About the Author

Edmund Jenks - West Coast Editor Biography: Edmund Jenks is the Managing Editor of five Weblogs: MAXINE, Symblogogy , Oblate Spheroid, Carter’s Second Term, & notes from The EDJE. He provides consulting and relationship services and has been republished by Pajama’s Media, LATimes, Execupundit, Library Clips, Japan Only, Planet CellPhone, The Grocery List, BlogoWogo, Instapundit, PoliticalOpinions, Slate, AOLnews, WIRED, and WSJ Online …to mention a few. He’s also a Feature Page Manager for Motorsports and Feature Page Editor for Tech & Biz on NowPublic, member of the Motor Press Guild, registered citizen journalist on BlogRoll of Pajamas Media, and has appeared on Pajamas TV. Edmund Jenks has joined the Politisite team with his expertise in National Politics with a West Coast Conservative Flair. We are honored to have Ed as part of our growing portfolio of journalists and commentators.

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