84 Percent of Americans Happy With Lives

Wednesday's Example of Media Bias   —   Posted on January 23, 2008

Jump to...

Print

Directions

-Read the excerpt below from Noel Sheppard's Jan. 2 post at NewsBusters.org.
-Read "Types of Media Bias" in the right column. Then answer the questions. 

If you listen to the…media…, the overwhelming majority of Americans think they’re falling behind financially, are despondent about their lives and their futures, and are desperately looking for a change. 

Yet, a new poll out from … Gallup confirms what … the Media Research Center ha[s] been saying for years: people are far happier with themselves and their lives than press members care to report.

In fact, the difference between what people feel about their immediate environment and what they think is going on outside of their sphere of influence is a stunning indictment of just how skewed media’s account of the world really is.

For instance, here’s the first result from Gallup … (emphasis added throughout):

According to the Dec. 6-9, 2007, poll, 84% of Americans say they are satisfied with the way things are going in their personal life at this time, while 14% are dissatisfied. These results have been fairly stable since Gallup first started tracking Americans’ personal life satisfaction in 1979. The percentage of Americans who say they are satisfied with their personal life has averaged 82% over this period, with a low of 73% in July 1979 and a high of 88% in December 2004. (It is worth noting that in the same Dec. 6-9 survey only 27% of Americans said they were satisfied with the way things are going in the United States at this time, providing a vivid contrast between Americans’ view of things “out there” across the country and their view of their own personal lives.)

Let’s break this down, shall we?

First, who provides folks’ view of things “out there?” 

That would be the press, right?

As such, more than three times as many Americans believe things are going well with what they can directly see with their own eyes versus what they have to rely on the media to report to them.

Pretty stunning, yes?

Furthermore, quite contrary to what [the media says], people are actually happier with their lives under the current president than the average since 1979.

That certainly goes counter to what we see, hear, and read from press members on virtually a daily basis, isn’t it, and quite suggests that the media couldn’t be more wrong about the temperament of the society.

……………………

Go to NewsBusters.org for the original posting.

Questions

1.  Do you think the media affects the way people view how things are going in the U.S.? 
2.  Ask a parent if he/she is surprised by the excerpt below and to explain why or why not.


Scroll down to the bottom of the page for the answers.
























Answer(s)

1. and 2. OPINION QUESTIONS.  Answers vary.