On its' signature TODAY show, NBC just did a political update from Iowa and NH. They are showing the latest polls that tell the viewers where the race is. ONCE AGAIN they show a Boston Globe poll from NH that shows Obama gaining and now having a 2 point lead. Later they talk about how it is statistically insignificant, but that Hillary had been leading big in that poll. They refused to add that other polls show Hillary with a significant lead and that an average of all the latest polls gives Hillary a small 4.8 lead.
Now on to Iowa, where there is exactly 1 poll that has been conducted recently. So similar to the Boston Globe, we're going to hear all about it, right?
NOT ONE MENTION of the American Research Group Poll of New Hampshire that shows Hillary with a large lead.
Even the right-wingers at www.realclearpolitics.com put the ARG poll in their averages, and now showing a clean sweep for Hillary, though it is really close in Iowa and South Carolina.
What makes me believe the political folks at NBC are conscious of this bias, is that they didn't mention any poll number from Iowa. I think they wanted to retain their appearance of honesty; if they could have, they could shown the Washington Post poll with Obama leading and say "the latest polling in Iowa shows", but instead they just left polls out of the discussion.
btw. Leaving polls out of the discussion is the best way to cover campaigns. But if you hitch your wagon to reporting poll results you need to be fair and intellectually honest and report all the results.
The truth is poll-reporting is news to creates momemtum, storyline, and the tone of the press. It's rare that a candidate gets bad news reported when a poll shows they have just taken a large lead. It's a part of our human psychology. NBC the leading network is rooting for "history" as Chris Matthews said this morning. Of course that was referring to Obama winning Iowa. Not Hillay being the first woman to win in Iowa statewide, and a Presidential Primary.