Can pollsters and mainstream media be trusted?

Can pollsters and mainstream media be trusted?
Anyone watching the current American media coverage of the election campaign and not having a healthy suspicion of polls and mainstream media coverage must be naive indeed.  Take for example a recent Reuters poll that they “re-worked” to obscure a 17-point swing towards Trump in order to “bring it into line” with the rest of the mainstream media’s polls. Pat Caddell a respected longtime Democratic pollster and political consultant after reviewing the differing methodologies Reuters uses concluded “This comes as close as I have ever seen to cooking the results.”
As long as human beings are doing polls you can be assured there will never be such a thing as an unbiased political poll. The polling questions are more often than not generated, timed and delivered to favour one candidate over another. Torturing data long enough will yield results partial to your particular point of view.
Cliff Zukin, a polling expert at Rutgers University stated that “Polls can no longer make fine distinctions. People can trust polls on broad issues — like what voters are most concerned about — but not so much on the political horse race.” Polls conducted by the mainstream media consistently oversample registered Democrats by as much as 15% in order to get the results that satisfies their narrative.
In commenting on the media’s coverage of the election campaign  and a Media Research Center study showing that 91 percent of media coverage was on Trump and all negative.  Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee said recently “The media has become about as popular as a whole gang of cockroaches in your kitchen today.”
Consumers value fairness, balance, accuracy and completeness which has all but vanished and the mainstream media can only redeem themselves by returning to these values.
Gerald Hall
Nanoose Bay, B.C.

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