NY Times Finds New Yorkers “Deeply Divided” on Mosque

Wednesday's Example of Media Bias   —   Posted on September 8, 2010

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-Read the excerpt below from the "Best of the Web" post by OpinionJournal.com's editor James Taranto (original post date 9/2/10).
-Read "Types of Media Bias" in the right column. Then answer the questions.

Will the Ground Zero mosque be funded by foreign regimes hostile to America? That is a very important question not to answer, according to New York’s mayor. The New York Times reports:

Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo should not investigate the financing of the proposed Islamic community center near ground zero, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said on Tuesday, reiterating his support for the project.

“I think it’s a terrible precedent,” he said. “You don’t want them investigating donations to religious organizations, and there’s no reason for the government to do so.”

Mr. Bloomberg made his remarks about the controversial development project, known as Park51, in response to questions about a Quinnipiac University poll released on Tuesday that found voters in New York State deeply divided, with more than 70 percent of them wanting Mr. Cuomo to investigate the project’s financing.

That “deeply divided” is an interesting formulation. The actual poll finds that New Yorkers “say 71-22 percent that Attorney General Andrew Cuomo should investigate the financing of the mosque.”

Now we suppose “deeply divided” characterizes the quality of the division rather than the number of people on each side. But wouldn’t it be clearer to say that Mayor Bloomberg and 22% of New Yorkers are deeply divided from the vast majority?

Read the original post at OpinionJournal.com. (It is about halfway down the page: “Deeply Divided”)

Questions

1.  Do you think this excerpt is an example of bias by spin on the part of the New York Times reporter?  Explain your answer.

2.  Ask a parent if he/she considers a result of 71 to 22% “deeply divided” and to explain his/her answer.


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
























Answer(s)

1.  Opinion question. Answers vary.

2.  Answers vary.