I was not surprised that a recent Washington Post article gleefully asserted, “DC’s left leanings confirmed in poll.” I was surprised at the seeming air of objectivity that the writers attempted to project. I was skeptical of the article and its conclusions for several reasons. First, it was commissioned and paid for by the Post (not to impugn the work of SRBI, Inc of New York). Second, a poll could yield very skewed results by focusing on selected wards. Third, private polling obtained by Stand For Marriage DC shows very different results.
The writers asserted that their telephone survey of just over 1,135 participants showed that the majority of the city’s citizens were pro same-sex marriage, for the legalization of medical marijuana, and desired the creation of an elected attorney general’s post. Surprisingly, in order to lend credence to their poll, Post writers acknowledged that 60 percent of DC residents would like to vote on the issue of same-sex marriage.
Before I take a moment to explain my skepticism about the Washington Post’s poll, I would like to make a brief statement about other marriage battles. In California, Florida, and Maine opponents of traditional marriage boasted that they would achieve their first wins. Ironically, support for traditional marriage is historically under polled as the vote against same-sex marriage in these states has shown.
I wish the Post would stop writing sophisticated trash talk and encourage the DC City Council, the US Congress, and the Courts to let the people vote. Since their own polls suggest that most Washingtonians would like to vote on this issue, we should let the people vote.
Let’s return for a moment to the incredibly slanted article. The writers boast that the average voter is in synch with the city’s “progressive, activist social agenda.” Although it is no secret that the Post has generally supported this liberal political direction, I would at least like to see a semblance of objectivity. Objectivity simply means that news is reported without bias. Further, objectivity would call opinion or advocacy pieces exactly what they are.
Bishop Harry Jackson is chairman of the High Impact Leadership Coalition and senior pastor of Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, MD, and co-authored, Personal Faith, Public Policy [FrontLine; March 2008] with Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council.