ThinkProgress recently noted that Politico failed to fact check right-leaning pollster Scott Rasmussen’s false claim that he “has never been a campaign pollster or consultant for candidates seeking office.” Yesterday, Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal fell for the same trap, publishing an op-ed by Democratic pollsters — and Fox News contributors — Pat Caddell and Doug Schoen about the “virulent attacks from left-wing bloggers” against Rasmussen:
The reaction against him has been strident and harsh. He’s been called an adjunct of the Republican Party when in fact he has never worked for any political party. Nor has he consulted with any candidates seeking elective office.
The attacks on Rasmussen and Gallup follow an effort by the White House to wage war on Fox News and to brand it, as former White House Director of Communications Anita Dunn did, as “not a real news organization.” The move backfired; in time, other news organizations rallied around Fox News. But the message was clear: criticize the White House at your peril.
The falsity comes from Rasmussen’s official bio. But according to the non-partisan Center for Public Integrity, Rasmussen has in fact been a paid consultant for the RNC and President Bush’s 2004 campaign. He accepted $95,500 and $45,500 from each, respectively, for “survey research.” Also, as Media Matters points out, The Wall Street Journal “failed to identify Caddell and Schoen as Fox News contributors, despite their defense of the network.” Nate Silver has more here on Rasmussen’s polling techniques.