NYT Downplays Own Poll Showing More Think Spending Cuts Didn't Go Far Enough

August 5th, 2011 2:44 PM

The New York Times on Friday downplayed results in its own poll that found 44 percent of respondents think the cuts in the debt deal didn't go far enough, versus only 15 percent who said "too far." In an article starting on the front page, writers Michael Cooper and Megan Thee-Brenan didn't mention this fact until the ninth paragraph of page A-14.

Cooper and Thee-Brenan highlighted the survey's findings twice. Both times, however, they immediately followed up with caveats:

There were signs that the repeated Republican calls for more spending cuts were resonating with the public: 44 percent of those polled said the cuts in the debt-ceiling agreement did not go far enough, 29 percent said they were about right and only 15 percent said they went too far. More than a quarter of the Democrats polled said that the cuts in the agreement did not go far enough.

But by a ratio of more than two to one, Americans said that creating jobs should be a higher priority than spending cuts.

Towards the end of the piece, the Times journalists repeated:

Most of those polled said that the spending cuts included either did not go far enough or were about right. But with the nation’s unemployment rate at a stubborn 9.2 percent, 62 percent of those polled said that creating jobs should be the priority.

Despite the fact that 44 percent of Americans wanted more spending cuts, Cooper and Thee-Brenan failed to quote anyone holding that opinion. But, they did find a Republican who lobbied for more spending:

 Stanley Oland, 62, a Republican from Kalispell, Mont., said that the government needed new jobs to generate the economic activity and the revenue it requires.

That revenue supports the basic foundation for the economy, creates more jobs and stimulates the economy,” he said. “Unless you have working people you don’t have revenue from taxes. If you cut spending, jobs will be eliminated and you won’t get any revenue. Every dollar spent creates jobs.”