What do you believe?

Question: Do you have a personal philosophy?

Andrew Kohut: Well the personal philosophy that I’ve developed is to be independent and not . . . I’ve worked very hard to not let my own political point of view get in the way of what I do. I think that’s an awfully important thing to do for . . . for people in the polling business and in the media more generally; to not let your own views about . . . about an issue or about an individual color the way you write questions, the way you interpret questions. If you begin to bring your own take to things, you will do yourself in ultimately in terms of writing accurate and honest reports. The other important thing to recognize about what we do is unlike a lot of . . . of material that’s . . . that’s . . . that’s put forth about politics and media, we get . . . we have a report card. You know come Election Day . . . The day before the election we put out a poll, and we say, “This is what we think is going to happen.” Or, “This is where the other electorate is as of today.” And we also talk about what might happen between today and tomorrow. And the world gets to . . . Since we are on the public record, the world gets to see whether we’re right or wrong. Now having that challenge, and having that . . . being put up to that kind of scrutiny, you really work very hard to get it right. I mean I . . . One of the great things about my career is that I worked for the pioneer. I worked with George Gallup. And I can also remember Gallup being completely flummoxed by people who accused him of being, you know, a Republican or a Democrat. You know, and what Gallup wanted was to get . . . get . . . get the damn poll right. And I think that’s what most of us who work in the public . . . Well not most of us . . . all of us who work in the public domain . . . I mean the worst thing in the world is you’ve had a poll that’s shown consistently this, that, or the other thing, and it . . . reality turns out to be something else.

 

 

Recorded on: 9/14/07

Kohut has a philosophy of keeping his own philosophy out of the way.

James Patterson on writing: Plotting, research, and first drafts

The best-selling author tells us his methods.

Videos
  • James Patterson has sold 300 million copies of his 130 books, making him one of the most successful authors alive today.
  • He talks about how some writers can overdo it by adding too much research, or worse, straying from their outline for too long.
  • James' latest book, The President is Missing, co-written with former President Bill Clinton, is out now.
Keep reading Show less

How to vaccinate the world’s most vulnerable? Build global partnerships.

Pfizer's partnerships strengthen their ability to deliver vaccines in developing countries.

Susan Silbermann, Global President of Pfizer Vaccines, looks on as a health care worker administers a vaccine in Rwanda. Photo: Courtesy of Pfizer.
Sponsored
  • Community healthcare workers face many challenges in their work, including often traveling far distances to see their clients
  • Pfizer is helping to drive the UN's sustainable development goals through partnerships.
  • Pfizer partnered with AMP and the World Health Organization to develop a training program for healthcare workers.
Keep reading Show less

Why the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner won’t feature a comedian in 2019

It's the first time the association hasn't hired a comedian in 16 years.

(Photo by Anna Webber/Getty Images for Vulture Festival)
Culture & Religion
  • The 2018 WHCA ended in controversy after comedian Michelle Wolf made jokes some considered to be offensive.
  • The WHCA apologized for Wolf's jokes, though some journalists and many comedians backed the comedian and decried arguments in favor of limiting the types of speech permitted at the event.
  • Ron Chernow, who penned a bestselling biography of Alexander Hamilton, will speak at next year's dinner.
Keep reading Show less