media media bias

The Tale of Two Polls, Tundra Tabloids Called It Right…….

I called it right. When I stated the obvious that the Finnish media will completely bypass this one poll in favor of another, I just knew they would stay true to form. It’s because the former (5ooo Iraqis sampled) gives a more favorable result while the latter (2000 Iraqis sampled) does not.

The first poll to come over the wire was in the NYT’s edition of the Times On Line: “Iraqis: Life Is Getting Better”.

The second poll to come out in the last two days I spotted on the BBC’s website: Pessimism Growing Among Iraqis

Which of the two polls did Finland’s state TV (YLE) choose to publish? The latter of course, the one that depicts Iraqis as losing hope. “Irakilaiset yhä epävarmempia tulevaisuudestaan / Iraqis are still uncertain about the future.”

This is proof of the reluctance that exists within the Finnish media’s major news outlets, to report stories that contradict their preconceived notions and ideological points of view. So it comes as NO SURPRISE that YLE chose to ignore a poll that showed Iraqis as having a more positive outlook on their future.

Regardless if either poll actually represents the true sentiments of the Iraqis as a whole, the Finnish public will be privy to only the one viewpoint chosen by the “gate keepers” of the Finnish media. The brainwashing of Finnish society continues. *L* KGS

Update: In response to an email I sent to one of YLE’s editor’s Atte Jääskeläinen, concerning their whitewashing of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s statement of “wiping Israel off the map”.

I received the following from YLE’s EIC Atte Jääskeläinen:

“Sir,The purpose of YLE News is not to lead the Finnish public to believe in anything, but to report on news. In that we try to present several points of views, if possible.”

I can’t think of anything more ironic and hypocritical than YLE Editor-in-Chief Atte Jääskeläinen’s statement of “we try to promote several points of views”.

Puh-leeeeeze. *L* KGS

Tundraman adds:
This is an excellent example of the media bias in more than one way:

Not only did YLE choose to report the one of the two polls which came to the conclusion they wanted, but they also chose the one :

(a) which was conducted by the media itself, not by researchers, and

(b) they published it before having ANY information what so ever on how it was done:

“The poll was commissioned by the BBC, ABC News, ARD German TV and USA Today. The survey was conducted by D3 Systems. Full details of the poll will be available on this website at 1200 GMT on Monday.” (they were not yet there when I checked!)

In contrast, the poll with the results the media does NOT like was:

(a) carried out by professionals (a UK polling firm O.R.B., which has been tracking public opinion in Iraq since 2005) and

(b) where the details were made available immediately when one reader had commented that

“(w)ithout a more detailed account of the polling process, the reported statistics are meaningless”.

Here are the details:
Results are based face-to-face interviews amongst a nationally representative sample of 5,019 adults aged 18+ throughout Iraq. The standard margin of error on the sample size is +1.4% The methodology uses multi-stage random probability sampling and covers every one of the eighteen governorates within Iraq. Interviews conducted 10th – 22nd February 2007.

Proof that the gate keepers (editors) of the Finnish media, are biased and are brainwashing the Finnish public. *L* KGS

Update: (20.03.07) Helsingin Sanomat mimics YLE and reports only the media commissioned poll by the BBC, USA Today ABC news and ARD. “Irakissa tehty kysely osoittaa pelon ja toivottomuuden leviävän / Iraq poll shows the spread of fear and uncertainty”

Tundra Tabloids was right again.

6 Responses

  1. Tundra tabloids


    Curiously I am interested if Israel had made anything wrong in her history.
    As a finnish citizen I appreciate Your patriotic attitude.

  2. Keeping in line with the subject material at hand, Israel has prime examples of a ideologically run news media, such as for an example, the Haaretz.

    It is not by accident that the Haaretz is the most often cited Israeli newspaper, since it’s one of the most flagrantly critical souorces of Israeli policies.

  3. I fully understand the possible criticality of our foreign minister Tuomioja because Israel army killed the finnish officer, captain lieutenant Jarno Tapio Mäkinen by air bombs.
    Mäkinen was in the service of the United Nations.

    Here is his picture

    Until now the offender(s) has not been found. Somebody pulled the trigger.

  4. The “offender” as you put it, was the IAF, and they have admitted as much, as well as expressing their condolences.

    But please, when talking about a situation that happens in the fog of war, its worth to present as much context as possible.

    Just last week, Maj. Hess-von Kruedener wrote an e-mail about his experiences after nine months in the area, words Maj.-Gen. MacKenzie said are an obvious allusion to Hezbollah tactics.

    “What I can tell you is this,” he wrote in an e-mail to CTV dated July 18. “We have on a daily basis had numerous occasions where our position has come under direct or indirect fire from both (Israeli) artillery and aerial bombing.

    “The closest artillery has landed within 2 meters (sic) of our position and the closest 1000 lb aerial bomb has landed 100 meters (sic) from our patrol base. This has not been deliberate targeting, but rather due to tactical necessity.”

    Those words, particularly the last sentence, are not-so-veiled language indicating Israeli strikes were aimed at Hezbollah targets near the post, said Maj.-Gen. MacKenzie.

    “What that means is, in plain English, ‘We’ve got Hezbollah fighters running around in our positions, taking our positions here and then using us for shields and then engaging the (Israeli Defence Forces).”

    Israel has indeed expressed its deepest condolences, but I am curious as to why the Finnish gov’t hasn’t expressed its indignation over Hezbollah’s use of the Khiam UN station as a human shield? The Hezbollah’s use of the UN peace keepers is what led to the tragedy.

  5. You should listen to today’ Dianne Rehm show ( that talked to the people behind the ABC/BBC/etc. poll and also discussed the other poll that the Sunday Times reported in some detail. The discussion of methodology was interesting and sounded like all were using best practice. They had no problem with the ORB poll either, and when you look beyond the Times’ and BBC’s headline simplifications, they are actually quite similar. The polls were different in that ORB polled more people but only asked 8 questions, whilst the ABC/BBC/etc polled fewer, but asked over 50 questions in half hour plus face to face interviews. I’m not sure from a brief reading of the ORB poll whether they telephone interviewed or went also did face to face.

    There is so much detail in the two data sets that you could probably make just about any headline you want out of either. The Times in it headline for example neglects to note that whilst only 26% thought the Saddam was better, another 16% thought then and now are equally bad, and it wasn’t quite a majority that actually thought things were better- only 49% nationally (i.e. including the Kurds and more peaceful provinces).

  6. Hi Toby,

    As Tundraman reported, “Results are based face-to-face interviews amongst a nationally representative sample of 5,019 adults aged 18+ throughout Iraq.”

    The interesting and most damaging aspect of how these two reports were treated, was in how the Finnish media treated the ORB poll findings. The Finnish media’s flag ship companies (who set the tone for the rest of the state) created a complete “black out” of one poll in favor of the other which was already being trumpeted as the more damaging (negative) of the two.

    “Without even having the details of how the study was done”, YLE had already published the poll’s more damaging results.

    Toby:”There is so much detail in the two data sets that you could probably make just about any headline you want out of either”

    True. Looking at the BBC/ABC poll
    Iraqis are asked “how things overall in your life will be in a year from now,” Shiites and Kurds are actually optimistic: 51% of Shiites and 55% of Kurds expect life to be better, while 30% in each category expect it to be the same. Only 18% and 12% respectively expect things to be worse. Again, the average is dragged down by the fact that only 4% of Sunnis expect life to be better, while 61% say “worse.”

    If what you say is true, then both polls would have been used in much the same way, which was not the case. Even the BBC/ABC ORB poll found that

    “Only 27% think there is a civil war in Iraq, compared with 61% who do not, according to the survey carried out last month. And by a majority of two to one, Iraqis believe military operations now under way will disarm all militias. More than half say security will improve after a withdrawal of multinational forces.”

    By cherry picking the ABC/BBC’s poll’s findings, even this bit of news got buried.

    The botton line here is, that both polls “are a mixed bag”, but the ORB poll was projected clearly as the one containing the more positive results and thus rejected by our Finnish media “gate keepers”. A CLEAR CASE OF MEDIA BIAS and LEADING OF THE PUBLIC.

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