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Inside the Beltway
Question of the Day
Five new press designations for videographer James O’Keefe, under arrest and charged with an attempt to illegally tamper with the office phones of Sen.Mary L. Landrieu, Louisiana Democrat.
So that’s it
The heavily Democratic and/or liberal pollsters at Public Policy Polling revealed Tuesday that Americans only deem Fox News as “trustworthy” — about half trust the network — followed by CNN, NBC News, CBS News and ABC News. There are huge partisan divides in opinion, of course. And the explanation for the Fox victory?
“A generation ago, you would have expected Americans to place their trust in the most neutral and unbiased conveyors of news,” says Dean Debnam, president of the North Carolina group. “But the media landscape has really changed, and now they’re turning more toward the outlets that tell them what they want to hear.”
Well, maybe. See the complete poll here: www.publicpolicypolling.com.
Just so you know
Do humans have “free will,” or are their choices controlled by neurological forces, the unconscious or environmental influences? Florida State University philosopher Alfred Mele has been awarded a $4.4 million grant from the John Templeton Foundation to find out, and he is intent on finding an answer by 2013.
“I want to make significant progress on discovering whether we do or don’t have free will. It’s not as if in four years, we are going to know. But I want to push us along the way so that we can speed up our understanding of all of this,” Mr. Mele says.
“If we eventually discover that we don’t have free will, the news will come out, and we can predict that people’s behavior will get worse as a consequence. We should have plans in place for how to deal with that news,” Mr. Mele adds.
Poll du jour
• 69 percent of Americans say “resentment of Western power and influence” plays a significant role in motivating terrorists.
• 58 percent say their motivation is based on “making Islam the world’s dominant religion.”
• 58 percent say they are motivated by “U.S. support for Israel.”
• 34 percent say terrorists are motivated by “death and damage caused by the U.S. military.”
• 32 percent say they are motivated by their disagreement with “Western freedoms.”
About the Author
A graduate of Syracuse University, Jennifer Harper writes the daily Inside the Beltway column and provides additional coverage of breaking national news, plus long-term trends in politics, media issues, public opinion, popular culture, Hollywood foibles and “eureka” moments in health and science.
She has been a frequent broadcast commentator on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, C-SPAN, Voice of America, Citadel Broadcasting, ...
By Matt Kibbe
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