This poll may prove the case that the media effectively "framed" Joe Paterno through the creation of a false and ratings-driven narrative.
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Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) August 14, 2012
A brand new national poll of Americans commissioned by http://www.FramingPaterno.com indicates that there is a shocking amount of ignorance with regard to the basic facts of the Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse scandal and raises serious questions about the nature of the media coverage on which the public has based its opinions about Penn State and Joe Paterno.
The scientific poll of over 1,000 adults was conducted by highly respected Wilson Perkins Allen Opinion Research on behalf of Los Angeles-based documentary filmmaker John Ziegler. Ziegler is studying the media's impact of the public's knowledge of the Sandusky case, along with four other accomplished writers/researchers, for their new website http://www.FramingPaterno.com and for a proposed documentary film, "The Framing of Joe Paterno."
Despite being designed for respondents to easily recognize the correct answers of mostly true/false questions, the poll results indicate that only 55% of Americans know that Joe Paterno was not accused of molesting children. Similarly, an incredible 68% incorrectly thought that a description of the little covered Syracuse child abuse case was actually that of the so called Penn State scandal (an astounding 1% correctly identified Syracuse, despite it being a multiple choice question).
Overall, respondents collectively failed to achieve even close to a meager 60% "success" rate on any of eight simple true/false questions about the basic facts of the case. On six of the nine overall "knowledge" questions, respondents did far worse than if they had simply guessed. The average "correct response" rate for all eight true/false questions was a stunningly low 21%. Interestingly, Pennsylvania residents scored significantly better than average on all but two questions.
Seven of the true/false questions deal directly with potentially "Pro-Paterno" facts which the media has largely ignored. The range of the "correct response" rate for these questions went from just 25% to an absolutely absurd 9%.
The tenth question of the poll measured opinion on the overall media coverage of Joe Paterno and, like the rest of the survey, it is a damning indictment of the state of journalism. Despite the lack of any other perspective currently being aired in the mainstream media, and most of the respondents being overwhelmingly ignorant of the "Pro-Paterno" facts, only 52% of Americans say that the media coverage of Joe Paterno during the scandal has been fair and accurate.
The full results of the poll can be found at Wilson's website here.
A stand alone link to the "Framing Paterno" release can be found here.
John Ziegler, who has no connection to Penn State or Paterno, selected the subjects, created the format, and paid for the poll (mostly with donations).
Ziegler is available for a limited number of interviews either in Los Angeles, or nationwide via satellite or phone. He has appeared as a live guest on countless national television and radio shows (including the "Today Show" and "The View"). His last feature film, "Media Malpractice," focused on the 2008 election and was most well known for its exclusive, news-making, interview with then Governor Sarah Palin about the media's role in her campaign for vice president.