UPDATED: 9News Finds a “Newsworthy” Poll. Or Maybe Not
Following a controversial decision by KUSA-TV/9News to ignore an unflattering approval poll of Republican Senator Wayne Allard, the sole Colorado media sponsor of SurveyUSA reported as a “top story” a poll on the 7th Congressional District Democratic primary that has some local politcos scratching their heads.
On July 26, Colorado Confidential’s Sen. Allard Dead Last in Approval Rating scooped the local media including the apparent media sponsor of the poll.
When 9News vice president and news director Patti Dennis was contacted by this reporter for comment on media watchdog Colorado Media Matters’ story about the station’s failure to report on the poll, she remarked that Sen. Wayne Allard’s ranking as the “Worst Senator” was not newsworthy.
Dennis also denied that the poll was commissioned by the station in contradiction to national pollster SurveyUSA’s listing of KUSA-TV/9News as a media sponsor:
As noted above, the website also requires that “You must credit SurveyUSA and the media sponsor if you broadcast, print, or cite these results in whole or part.” Colorado Confidential complied with that requirement in its original reporting of the poll. 9News never contacted Colorado Confidential to request that the alleged incorrect attribution be removed from the story.
Colorado Media Matters later posted a response from Dennis on its website in which she continued to deny the station’s involvement in the poll though, again, it was pointed out that SurveyUSA claimed otherwise.
This afternoon, KUSA-TV/9News listed as its top story “a 9News poll conducted by SurveyUSA” on the Democratic primary for the 7th Congressional District seat vacated by Republican gubernatorial candidate and current U.S. House Rep. Bob Beauprez:
Today’s poll results have been a hot topic of conversation among political bloggers at SquareState.net and DailyKos.com. Some are questioning whether the current poll is an outlier, or random statistical fluke, as previous polls have showed a much closer race between leading contenders former Colorado Senator Ed Perlmutter and former Colorado Representative Peggy Lamm.
It’s heartening to note that KUSA-TV/9News has deemed a political race important to Colorado’s future to be as newsworthy as a kitten being rescued from a drainpipe in Buffalo, NY. Evidentally, that and other more important stories prevented the station from reporting on the nation’s bottom-ranking senior senator from Colorado and member of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee whose ineffectiveness could be attributed to the state receiving a mere 79-cents on every dollar contributed in federal taxes.
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