Words matter for the Telegraph's new editor Gary Linnell we were told in The Oz's media section this morning but there has to be some doubt about whether he cares if they are fact or fiction. For the Tele on its website this morning (having read it there I couldn't bring myself to actually pay for my normal newsprint copy) has perhaps the bodgiest opinion survey ever used by a news organisation in search of a cheap headline. No wonder the story on the web is without a by-line as any self respecting journalist would be embarrassed to put his name over "Kevin Rudd 747 rates an 'F' with readers, failing Prime Minister". The so-called evidence for this proclamation is an on-line poll from the newspaper's own web site where, of 1600 replies, 55.4 per cent said the Prime Minister had done a poor or really bad job. Just 26.2 per cent said he had done a good or a really good job, with 18 per cent describing it as "average". The story boldly concludes that this majority view of Telegraph responders justified the declaration that Kevin Rudd has been a failure since his election 12 months ago.
The Gary Linnell Tele would have us believe that this is "crushing news" for Kevin Rudd while the story admits that "the survey didn't cover a representative cross-section of the electorate and about 60 per cent of respondents did not vote Labor on November 24, 2007" and "it clashed with opinion surveys showing the Government and the Prime Minister in strong positions over the Opposition of Malcolm Turnbull." The story surely marks a new low point in the idiocy of the Telegraph's version of political journalism.