Is Faith-Based Plan Popular? Depends on Which Headlines You Believe

Did a poll find that President Bush’s faith-based initiative plan faces “hurdles” as support for it “is hedged”? Or, does the plan have the “public’s blessing,” as 75 percent of Americans “favor” the concept? It depends on which headline you believe.

These April 11 headlines were over stories on the exact same survey conducted by the Pew Research Center:

Washington Post:

“Survey Exposes ‘Faith-Based’ Plan Hurdles” subhead: “Respondents Back Bush Proposal in Theory but Balk When Asked About Specifics”

New York Times:

“Support for Religion-Based Plan Is Hedged”

Washington Times:

“Bush’s faith-based initiative has public’s blessing”

subhead: “75 percent in new poll favor concept”

USA Today:

“Poll mixed on faith groups”

To borrow from President Bush’s analogy for his tax cut, the Washington Post and New York Times were a bit too cold, the Washington Times was a bit too warm and USA Today got it just right.

The Pew Web site carried its description of what the poll found:

“As religion plays a more prominent role in public life, sharp divisions of opinion about the mixing of church and state are apparent. Most notably, while the public expresses strong support for the idea of faith-based groups receiving government funding to provide social services, in practice, it has many reservations.

Most Americans would not extend that right to non-Judeo-Christian religious groups including: Muslim Americans, Buddhist Americans, Nation of Islam and the Church of Scientology. Many also have reservations about allowing the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints — the Mormons — to apply for federal funding to offer social services.”

David Letterman's “Top Ten Things the Chinese Have Learned by Examining Our Spy Plane”

From the April 11 Late Show with David Letterman, the “Top Ten Things the Chinese Have Learned by Examining Our Spy Plane.” (Copyright 2001 by Worldwide Pants, Inc.)

10. American codes can be broken by anyone with a basic understanding of Pig Latin.

9. On-board computers were mainly used for Internet casino video poker.

8. According to plaque, “When Bush gives order, nod politely, wait to hear what Cheney says.”

7. Cockpit full of Colt 45 bottles.

6. Mission was to determine if Chinese people can fly like in “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.”

5. “Cloaking device” button only there because pilot's a Star Trek fan.

4. Maybe not the best idea to write “Spy Plane” on wings.

3. The plane's sole security feature: an angry kitty.

2. Plane is so high-tech lavatories feature futuristic blue water!

1. Americans smell like Doritos and Aqua Velva.

(This report courtesy of the Media Research Center.)

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