CNN's Fareed Zakaria, referring to a recent Pew Survey, said
"On the question of confidence in various leaders to do the right thing regarding world affairs, China’s Xi Jinping and Russia’s Vladimir Putin got slightly higher marks than Trump. But German Chancellor Angela Merkel got almost twice as much support as Trump."
When I see something like this, I instinctively know it is a fake interpretation. There is no way anyone with the slightest knowledge of how surveys are taken or scored would suggest Zakaria's interpretation could be credible.
Remember, this is the guy who blamed Hillary's loss on the ignorance and racism of the American voter. "The election of Donald Trump is really a kind of class rebellion against people like us, educated professionals who live in cities, who have cosmopolitan views about things," Zakaria said. So it shouldn't be surprising that he would interpret any survey through the same resentful Progressive lense he applies to his worldview.
Like any data, it can be interpreted in many ways. Here is why I believe his report is contrived:
First, the question (which is not revealed) is about 'world affairs'. "On the question of confidence in various leaders to do the right thing regarding world affairs…" What, exactly, was the question? Who were the respondents? How were they selected? Was this survey conducted in California, Ohio, Kentucky, Paris, Ireland, or Yemen? The context and conditions under which the questions were asked and who participated, and how that was determined, play an enormous role in what kind of responses you might get. I am sure the Pew report does specify these points, but Zakaria doesn't. If you are asking about world leaders and world affairs, shouldn't the survey be worldwide?
If the survey asked specifically about Global Warming, you might expect one kind of answer. If it asked about refugees, or the overwhelming flood of unskilled and undereducated Muslims into European countries, you might expect another response.
I don't think Angela Merkel would have scored so high had the survey been conducted exclusively in Germany.
But what if 'affairs' mentioned food shortages in Venezuela? Or the kidnapping and rape rates in Germany having been exacerbated by the massive increase of unvetted Muslim refugees? What if the question mentioned the drastic reduction in mass bombing and vehicular murders, TV broadcast beheadings and homeland terror attacks and unvetted illegal US immigration rates just since Trump's inauguration? How would Putin and Xi Jinping be judged in regard to those issues, upon which Trump actually has tangible influence?
How can anyone correlate answers to subjective questions about "doing the right thing' regarding the entire world, or should it have been tied to German, French, Chinese, or Korean policy affairs? Kim Jong Il is a world affair, but he is not threatening Russia or China. Residents of those two domains would most likely give their leaders great marks, since the only news they see about North Korea is how the US is threatening them with nuclear war.
Who is determining what the right thing is? Is 'the right thing' expressed in the question? Is the right thing up to the respondent to decide? Have you ever heard of a Trump hater who ever recognized something Trump did, on any issue, as 'the right thing to do?"
So how were the respondents vetted and chosen? Were they surveyed about their preconceived notions? And if so, was a balance achieved before the survey taken? Zakaria never got into that…But his reference to far lefty Merkel, and Communists like Putin and Xi Juping as earning higher marks is consistent with his leftist sympathies.
Finally, China’s Xi Jinping and Russia’s Putin do not, in the same way as our elected officials, have to answer to anyone. They are leaders of monolithic parties of socialist (re: Communist) party organizations that fake democratic practices. They don't have constituents, or election promises to keep. They don't have to make compromises, or deal with venomous media assaults like Trump. Russian corruption and Chinese party authoritarianism are well documented. Open disagreements and policy debates are simply not permitted in China or Russia. Zakaria makes no distinctions between communist totalitarians and freely elected Presidents.
Even if all of those survey prerequisites were implemented, Zakaria conveniently fails to mention them and then makes biased extrapolations from only a select few of the survey responses. Zakaria is talking about surveys of unknown masses, responding to nebulous questions, and then comparing apples to oranges! I guess he figures Trump voters are just too dumb to notice.
But this is the typical template of CNN, the Contrived News Network..