I Just Love New York Times Headlines Because …


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They're so transparently partisan. For example, I opened my copy this morning and caught this headline in the Prescriptions section ("Making Sense of the Health Care Debate") on page A15 over small item on health care polling:

Health Care Views Steady

Then the lede reads:

The results of the Senate election Tuesday in Massachusetts have been widely interpreted as a sudden indictment of Democratic health care legislation. Yet a spate of recent national polls signal that little has changed over the last six months: Americans have remained divided over the proposals without significant shifts.

Reading on reveals that in most polls Americans don't just "remain divided"; in fact, significantly more Americans continue to oppose the Democratic health care reform proposals than support them. I just loved the "yet" at the beginning of the second sentence suggesting that there has been no "sudden indictment" of Democratic health care schemes. And surely, that's right. The "indictment" is not at all sudden—the reform bills have been "indicted" by much of the public for six months now.

In any case, I went looking for the item so that I could link to it and poke some gentle fun at (indict?) the New York Times headline. But I couldn't find it online the way in appears in my hard copy. Apparently the article originated from the Times' Caucus blog two days ago where the headline originally read:

Polling on Health Care—Divided and Unchanged

And the lede once read:

Despite yesterday's special election in Massachusetts and the ensuing assessments that the election was a referendum on health care reform, a spate of recent national polls signal that little has changed the public's mind over the last six months. Americans have remained divided over the health care legislation, without significant shifts.

Loved the "despite" almost as much as the "yet." So what do the polls show? As the Times reports:

For example, a poll by The Associated Press, the most current, asks about "the health care reform plans being discussed in Congress" and finds an even split with 42 percent of Americans supporting and 42 percent opposing.

Similarly, a Pew Research Center survey asks respondents to weigh in on "the health care bills being discussed in Congress," and finds 48 percent of Americans oppose them, while 39 percent favor them.

The latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey refers to the plan as "Barack Obama's" and finds 46 percent of respondents say it's a bad idea and 33 percent say it's a good idea.

The ABC News/Washington Post poll describes the plan as "developed by Congress and the Obama administration," and finds 51 percent of Americans oppose it and 44 percent support it.

Yet Fox News does not tie either the president or Congress to their question about the legislation and finds a reading similar to the ABC/Post poll with 51 percent saying they oppose the plan and 39 percent favoring it.

So regardless of question wording, readings for each of the questions have remained essentially unchanged over the past six months as Congress and the Obama administration have hashed out the details of the bill.

Perhaps a better headline would have been:

Massachusetts Senate Vote Confirms Health Care Polls

Or maybe:

Polls: Americans Still Reject Democratic Health Care Reform

Any other suggestions?

NEXT: Obama Bemoans the Stampede While Juicing Up His Cattle Prod

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  1. Republican Obstructionists Manipulate Polling And Kill Health Care Reform As Indicated By Voters In Massachusetts

    Polls Suggest Americans Haven’t Adequately Understood The Presidents Health Care Message According To Consistent Polls And Sour Massachusetts Right-Wing Operatives

    1. Pretty good, but this is better:
      Evil brain dead fascist Republican Obstructionists and orphan rapists Manipulate Polling And Kill babies, the homeless, puppies, kittens,the handicapped, the virtuous, and Health Care Reform As Indicated By Voters In Massachusetts, who, according to Howard Dean, sent a clear and unmistakable message for the public option and medicare for all for free.
      No reality based intellect could disagree.

      1. I was quite certain Matthew’s head was going to explode in that interview with Dean. THAT was some good television. Matthews apparently had a tingle in his tea bag.

        1. Alright, last one:

          “Brown Stains Kennedy’s Seat; Matthews Gets Awkward Tingle in Tea Bag”

        2. For once I didn’t loath Dean, and he’s plenty loathsome, but Matthews has gone insane. The whole network seems to have become an asylum for broken-down lefty crackpots. Not that it isn’t wonderfully entertaining, in a schadenfreude sort of way.

      2. Bravo, bravo!!

    2. What a dolt you are. Americans clearly understand Obama’s healthcare message and his proposals and SOUNDLY REJECT THEM!!!


    4. Lemme help the NYT a bit. For health care:

      “Polls: Despite Blistering Attacks From Special Interest Groups, Support For Health Care Reform Remains Steady”

      “Polls Show Remarkable Level Of Support For Health Care Reform”

      “Experts: Polls May Understate Support For Health Care Reform”

      And for the Massachusetts special election:

      “Brown Squeaks By Coakley In Closer Than Expected Election”

      “In Deep-Red Massachusetts Coakley Runs Surprisingly Strong, Finishes Close Second To GOP Candidate”

      “Experts: Coakley Loss Sign Of Persistent Sexism In American Politics”

      1. these are brilliant!

  2. “Any other suggestions?”

    New York Times to follow lead of Air America – Chapter 7 filing soon

    Would be nice.

  3. At this point I think that “Man reads print copy of New York Times” is a pretty noteworthy headline.

    1. Ha. I like this one best.

    2. TXLimey said: “At this point I think that “Man reads print copy of New York Times” is a pretty noteworthy headline.”

      “Man reads print copy of NewYorkTimes, bites dog.”

      (New York)-Keith Olbermann, today, expressed outrage….

  4. I used to feel sorry for all of the reporters, editors, secretaries, IT people, etc. that would be put on the street when the NYT goes tits-up.

    I don’t feel that any more. Not even a little.

    1. We were just following orders.

      1. I’ll put in a good word for you guys at the detention facility.

  5. TXLimey: Hey. I’m waiting for a better electronic format for reading at breakfast to come along. 🙂

    1. There’s an App for That.

      1. Already got it. 🙂

  6. “Americans Don’t Know What’s Good for Them”

    1. Some things don’t count as news

  7. America 33% Educated, 46% Racist, 13% Truck

  8. Why is the health insurance ‘reform’ legislation unpopular even beyond the percentages that reflect the will of net tax payers? One reason, the little hippie freaks that make up a sizable chunk of Obama’s youth vote heard the democrats repeating the mantra, “health care is a right”, imagined that that meant they could show up at the local clinic with their hackysack injuries, their STDs in need of treatment, or to get their retarded fetuses scraped and not have to pay a dime. When they found out that that ‘right’ is a requirement to buy health insurance instead of a free gimme paid for by taxpayers they went, “Woah, back the fuck up. We need single payer (meaning not me)!”

    1. Cartman: Hello, ma’am. I’m working to clean up the neighborhood for parasites. Do you mind if I take a look around your house? I’m afraid you may have hippies.

      Old Lady: Hippies?

      Cartman: Yeah, they’ve been popping up all over the neighborhood lately. (Walks in and knocks on the walls) Ms. Nelson next door has seven hippies in her basement, they usually live in colonies.

    2. Posts like this make all opponents of the currently-proposed health care reform look bad. Let’s stay away from the ad hominem attacks. Let’s challenge the policy and not the motives.

      1. Sam,If you lie down with dogs, you will rise with fleas.

  9. How about: “Headless healthcare reform plan in bottomless pit”

    1. I like it.

  10. “Americans to Obamacare: Drop Dead!”

    1. “Free Speech Expanded, Women and Minorities Hardest Hit”

    2. that one’s for the Post, not the Times.

  11. Perhaps Nate @538 is writing them.. has the same tone of his blog the past few days

  12. Healthcare views remain steady. And the Generalissimo Franco’s condition remains stable in a Madrid graveyard.

    1. “” Generalissimo Franco’s condition remains stable in a Madrid graveyard.””

      I hear Garret Morris shouting when I read that.

    2. Generalissimo Franco remains seriously dead in a Madrid graveyard.

  13. “Healthcare Justice Imperiled By Haitian Orphan Enslaving Republican Conspiracy”

  14. Healthcare supporters are winning!

    There are only two Americans opposed to healthcare

    Healthcare opponents are lying every day. They are lying always, and mainly they are lying to their public opinion

    Healthcare supporters: fight them everywhere. Don’t give them a chance to breathe until they withdraw and retreat

    The healthcare supporters and Congress are in control of all the reforms, as we have witnessed. No big change in that. We are fighting against them

    Healthcare opponents: they are becoming hysterical. This is the result of frustration

    Healthcare opponents: they are not in the Senate. They are nowhere. They are on the moon. They are snakes in the desert.

    Be assured. Healthcare reform is safe, protected

  15. Wasn’t it Reason magazine where I read how the NY Times gained its reputation as a world class newspaper under staunch free-market capitalists… and has since been bought out by a bunch of socialists and government apologizers who have turned it into the bathroom reading material it is now?

    Unsurprising that they have to rely on blatantly false headlines to convince the public of their position.

  16. “46% of Americans Hate the Uninsured”

  17. Republicans Win Senate Seat; Women, Minorities Hardest Hit.

    1. Repulbican Wins Senate Seat; 40,000 Mass Voters Die Due to Lack of Health Insurance*

      *Death Toll Officially Calculated by Bernie Sander’s Office

  18. You could power a small city using the energy generated by Henry Hazlitt spinning in his grave.

  19. “Erstwhile Cosmo model wins MA senate seat. Spread featured President’s current choice of political attire.”

  20. “Polling Misleading – Acorn Unable To Elect Coakley”

  21. “Republican Obstructionism Impeding Progress on Overwhelmingly Popolar Healthcare Bill”

  22. How about “Obstructionist Republicans Impeding Progress on Overwhelmingly Popular Healthcare Bill”.

  23. Obstructionist Republicans Impede Progress on Overwhelmingly Popular Healthcare Bill.

    or maybe:
    Even We Can’t Spin a Positive Story with Shitty Numbers Like This.

  24. Headline are often hyped or not representive of the story. The Drudgereport is bad about that.

  25. The Pelosi health care is dead. Spinning the numbers won’t bring it back to life.

    Obama still has a big change of getting a major health care bill passed. The difference is that it will be bi-partisan.

    Obama will take anything he can sign and say he did it. Brown is not an enemy of univeral health care. With Brown’s help, Obama will probably get a bill. The election in MA won’t kill the health bill, it will modify it. The odds are it too will contain a mandate to purchase a service.

    1. I’d rate that a big-huge MAYBE but probably not.

      1. Don’t think the republicans are against health care reform, they are against one done totally by the dems. I can’t blame them for that. They want reform they can believe in too.

        Republicans brought you Medicare Part D, which mandates a prescription drug plan for those over 65. When you hit 65, the law requires you to have some sort of prescription coverage equal to or better than what Medicare would provide.

        It’s not a question of can Congress mandate you to purchase a service, they already have. The yet unanswered question is will it survive a SCOTUS review.

        1. I don’t disagree with what you’re saying. But what we’ve learned from this round is that the disagreements run broad and deep too.

          I think it’s going to be really hard for them to come to much of an agreement. That’s going to slow the whole thing way down.

  26. “”Obama still has a big change””

    Make that big chance.

  27. ObamaCare Remains Popular In Spite of Unpopularity

    The Zen of ObamaCare: Being Popular Without Being Popular

    1. Excuse me, that should have been

      Being Popular Without Being Popular

      1. Moving the italics – how zen!

  28. Polls Indicate Americans Off Cradle-2-Grave-y Train

  29. “46% of Americans Hate the Uninsured”

    I like it.

  30. Who’s seen the Hilter just found out Brown was elected video on youtube?

    I saw it for the first time last night, I thought it was funny.

    1. That was a hilarious video. Simply brilliant. Highly recommended.

  31. “Republican Truck Driver uses Election Victory to Pimp for Daughters”

  32. The New York Times is going out of business and they don’t realize it yet. They have sullied their own brand and have become a left-wing loon viewspaper for Manhattanites. Sad

  33. NYT “All The News that’s Manip to Print”

  34. NYT is a feckless joke. I take it used from Starbucks and use it to clean up after my dog….

  35. Re my headline entry above: For those who did not see Brown’s victory speech I should mention that he said during the speech that his daughters were unmarried and available.

    1. Opie, I’m so glad you were able to find a silver lining. I’m sure Senator Brown’s joke will doom his reelection in 2012.

  36. “Neanderthal, Knuckledragging Red Sox Fan On The Way To US Senate?”

  37. The funny part is that the NYT has been sore about Obama ever since he beat out hillary in the primary. If you really read the Times, you know that they miss no opportunity to snipe about him.

  38. “Overwhelming Approval of Obamacare Confirmed by a Staggering 47% of Massachusettes Voters”

    Byline: “52% Remain Confused, Racist, or Both”

  39. Front page headline of todays Pittsburgh Post Gazzette

    Court lets more corporate cash in politics

  40. The NYT is as corrupt as Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, the Lousiana Purchase, the Cornhusker Kickback, and teh $60 billion payback to the unions! Its not even news! When you read the NYT these days its just to know what not to believe the way the Russians use to read PRAVDA! Unless of course you are a liberal! In that case you read it to get your talking points for the day!!! In this case I hope the NYT convinces the Democrats to go right ahead and come up with a way to pass the corrupt mess. If that happens it will be interesting in Nov to read how the times spins a Congress with No Democrats in it as a progressive victory!!! 🙂

  41. How about: Public Fails to Live Up to NYT Facts


    1. Your caps lock is on.

  43. “Obama learns from Brown victory and promises to increase his public exposure. He will now be appearing nude in Cosmo.”

  44. Obviously, you’ve never read the Fox News website.

  45. Why is it when Americans dont agree with the health care bill before congress, liberals always say that they don’t understand what’s in it.

    Why is it that liberals feels it nice to insult the intelligence of the American voter?

    I guess they felt the same way when Americans voted for Obama in November of 2008, oh no, I forgot, they were smart and needed a new course and direction..

    Any Body But Obama in 2012.. I want, hope and pray that he fails..

  46. “Polls Show People Like Health Care Reform Bill.”
    Of course, more people don’t, but the headline is still true in a Clintonian way.

  47. How about “Coakley Polls Better Than Expected In Massachusetts” or

    “Dems Heartened by Massachusetts Vote; Expand Health Care Agenda to Include Bank Regulatory Reform in Pursuit of ‘Big Bang’ First Year” or

    “After Massachusetts Vote Polls Indicate Many Support Dem Health Care Proposals” or, finally,

    “After Massachusetts Vote Pelosi and Hoyer Declare It ‘Un-American’ — State Ceded to Canada”

  48. “Citing Support for US Business, Obama Orders GM Pickup Trucks for Dems”

  49. “Stupid voters shoot themselves in feet. Times offering free euthanasia to Brown supporters and their unborn children.”

    In classic Dem fashion, as people flee traditional media, they’ve announced a tax increase. I have $50 that says the Laffer Curve will apply, and they’ll find demand for their tripe to be very price elastic.

  50. Our cat loves the NYT. He uses it in his cat box in place of sand. I am not making this up.

  51. “Fearing Unlimited Campaign Cash will Flow to Republicans, Obama Calls for Tough Taxes on Banks”

    “Facing Stiff Voter Resistence to Health Care, Obama Consults John Edwards on Denial Techniques”

    “Obama Creates Bipartisan Commission to Investigate Widespread Reports that Candidate Brown Talked Directly to Voters”

    1. “Facing Stiff Oppostion, Obama Admires the Fine Erections Produced by Old Men, and Immediately Slaps a New Tax on Viagra.”

  52. “Obama Vows to Seat Brown Immediately; Orders Whoopee Cushion”

  53. “Speaker Pelosi Calls Cosmopolitan to demand Photo Shoot; Magazine Suspends Publication”

    1. “Obama Cites Camp Mantra: If it’s Brown , Flush It Down.”

  54. New York Times heading
    “Coakly Finishes Second…Brown Next To Last”

  55. Let’s challenge the policy and not the motives.

    Yeah, the motives are good!

  56. Elaborate NYT News Hoax Revealed

    In a stunning reversal of months-long coverage of Democratic health care reform efforts and the special election in MA to fill the late Ted Kennedy’s senate seat, the NYT admits it was just joking.

    According to an editor who wishes to remain anonymous, “We were just pulling everyone’s leg — really! We’ve known for months the public hates the health reform proposals floating around capitol hill. What’s really funny is nobody saw through our ruse; I mean we even printed the poll data!”

    Regarding Martha Coakley’s lackluster campaign our source said, “She REALLY fell for it, didn’t she? I mean, who runs a campaign like that, even if you ARE a Democrat running for a seat vacated by a dead Kennedy?”

    The NYT editorial board calls the hoax a new ‘marketing gimmick.’ “Now that people know we make stuff up we can have a contest,” said our source. “Readers can send in their vote for the story they think we made up. Winners, chosen at random, will have the opportunity to make up their own story for future publication.”

  57. The NYT is a rag. It isn’t taken seriously by truly serious people.

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