Why polls failed in 2020 still unclear

(A version of this essay originally was posted at the Conversation online site on 20 May 2021.) More than six months after the acute polling embarrassment in the 2020 U.S. elections, survey experts examining what went wrong are uncertain about what led to the sharpest discrepancy between the polls and popular vote outcome since Ronald […]

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Getting it right about a legendary newspaper editorial

(This essay was first posted at Media Myth Alert blog on 21 December 2020.) The timeless paean to childhood and the Christmas spirit, published in 1897 in the old New York Sun, long ago became the single best-known, most-reprinted editorial in American journalism. It also is a myth-distorted artifact, as suggested by errant media descriptions […]

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Our incurious press

(This essay was first posted at Media Myth Alert blog on 30 November 2020.) “The press has had little to say about most of the strange details of the election — except, that is, to ridicule all efforts to discuss them. This animus appeared soon after [Election Day], in a spate of caustic articles dismissing […]

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