Not Even a Majority for the Truth - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Not Even a Majority for the Truth

Mark Twain said if you don’t read the newspaper you’re uninformed. If you do, you’re misinformed. Our Samuel Langhorne wrote before TV news and Brian Williams, or he would have included our winsome but imaginative newsreader in his cynicism. 

In the wake of Williams’ admission that he lied (OK, his words were he misremembered) about how a chopper he flew in over Iraq was hit by a rocket propelled grenade, Rasmussen polled folks on what Williams’ future should be a NBC News. The results are hardly encouraging for fans of the truth.

Of those responding to the poll, the results of which were released Monday, 40 percent say Williams should resign from NBC. Another 35 percent say he shouldn’t resign. A confused 25 percent admit they don’t know what to make of it.

So there you have it. If Rasmussen’s 800 respondents are representative of the country — Rasmussen claims a margin of error of +/- 3.5 percent — then 60 percent of Americans either think it’s OK to have a liar for a news presenter or aren’t sure this is a problem. Can we no longer even muster a majority for the truth?

Other perplexing results from the same survey: Forty percent of respondents say they are less likely to believe what they hear from NBC News. A bizarre eight percent say they will be more likely to believe what they hear on NBC News. This lot should surely be captured, quarantined, and studied. There’s something very strange going on here. Fully 45 percent say Williams’ dishonest form of résumé building will have no impact on how they receive news from NBC.

In spite of Williams’ cheerful indifference to the truth in his stolen valor creation, and his carefully crafted apology, which was as dodgy as his original story, 43 percent tell Rasmussen they have a favorable opinion of Williams. An undeterred 13 percent, beguiled to the end, say they hold a very favorable opinion of Williams. Sadly, the pollsters did not ask what it was about Williams these folks approved of. His hair? His suits? Sonorous voice? Boy next door looks?

A third of Rasmussen respondents say they have an unfavorable opinion of Williams, a further 18 percent a very unfavorable view.

I’m not sure what I’ve learned from these puzzling results. But I have the feeling when I figure it out I’m not going to like it.

Larry Thornberry
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Larry Thornberry is a writer in Tampa.
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