John M. Lynch is reporting that Yahoo! is running two different stories about the same AP poll on people's opinions of what to expect in the coming year. The headlines are:
John just comments on the headlines, but he should have read the complete stories. These really are the messages of the two completely different stories.
The optimism story, by AP writer Nancy Benac, is the less remarkable of the two stories. Benac comments that, while people were generally downbeat about the state of the country, politics and international affairs, they were generally upbeat about the state of their family lives and hopeful for their personal futures.
The pessimism piece, by AP writer Darlene Superville, is interesting because of what she sees as bad things on the horizon. They are war with Iran or North Korea, bird flu, terrorist attacks, global warming, and legalized gay marriage. The inclusion of legalized gay marriage isn't a slip up--an out of place item included in a list--Superville draws the point out for comment.
Fewer than half the public think it likely the U.S. will go to war with Iran or North Korea. Should it come down to that, 40 percent think the battle will be with Iran while 26 percent said North Korea.
Higher gas prices, legalized gay marriage and the possible arrival of bird flu also are seen as being in the cards.
More than 90 percent of people think higher gas prices are likely. A gallon of self-serve regular gasoline averaged $2.29 last week, compared with $3 over the summer.
Also, 57 percent said it is likely that another state will legalize gay marriage. Same-sex marriage is legal in Massachusetts; four other states offer civil unions or domestic partnerships.
It's unclear from the article whether the poll respondents identified gay marriage as a bad thing or whether this is editorializing by the writer. I'm trying to locate the text of the poll. I suspect the poll was done as a value-free laundry list of items: "Which of the following do you expect to occur in 2007?" If that is the case, Ms. Superville has some explaining to do.
This article, with its message that gay marriage is a disaster on par with global pandemics and war with minor nuclear powers, is being sent out to hundreds of papers. Whose opinion is that. We at least deserve some clarification as to just what it is that's being reported here.