Wednesday, February 21, 2007


Pravda on the Hudson, Print Edition

The Big Apple's own Soviet-style propaganda rag, The New York Post, front-paged a dishonest poll purportedly demonstrating that there was 57% support for remaining mired in the swamp that is the Iraq War. Here's an excerpt from the story:

The poll found that 57 percent of Americans supported "finishing the job in Iraq" - keeping U.S. troops there until the Iraqis can provide security on their own. Forty-one percent disagreed.

By 53 percent to 43 percent they also believe victory in Iraq over the insurgents is still possible...

First of all, The Post somehow failed to mention that the poll was taken by a Republican pollster. But of course, the Post is to journalistic ethics what Britney Spears is to motherhood.

But that omission is hardly The Post's or the pollster's worst sin. Not surprisingly, the poll questions were worded so that respondents would give the answer desired by the pollster. Greg Sargent, over at The Horse's Mouth, spoke to another Republican pollster, David Johnson of Strategic Visions, who said that the first question was "designed to elicit a positive response" while the wording of the second question was "completely unprofessional."

One of the commenters over at The Horse's Mouth said it best: This poll is as bad as when Stephen Colbert asks a Democratic congressman, "President Bush -- great president or greatest president?"

UPDATE: I'm not a statistician but the demographics of this poll look even more skewed than the questions. 72% of the respondents are 45 and over??? 49% are 55 and over??? 25% are 65 and over??? Those percentages just seem wildly out of sync with the American voting-age population. (And aren't they similar to Bill O'Reilly's demographics?)

You missed another error - the assumption that "job in Iraq" is "keeping U.S. troops there until the Iraqis can provide security on their own."

The job in Iraq is to stay there forever.
The job in Iraq is to stay there forever.

I've assumed that was the case since the beginning of this misadventure. Of course, when I mention my suspicion in public, a lot of folks look at me as if I'm wearing a 10-foot-high tinfoil hat.

BTW, you're the first-ever commenter on this blog. I suppose that means I have to award you a Golden Frist :-)
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