Friday, May 12, 2006

Push poll

You may have read - and been shocked - by reports that a poll says that 2/3rds of Americans have no problem with the Bush administration mining phone calls.

Here is the actual question:

It's been reported that the National Security Agency has been collecting the phone call records of tens of millions of Americans. It then analyzes calling patterns in an effort to identify possible terrorism suspects, without listening to or recording the conversations. Would you consider this an acceptable or unacceptable way for the federal government to investigate terrorism? Do you feel that way strongly or somewhat?

Note that the question itself ASSUMES that the act is benign, and states things as fact that WE DON'T KNOW (such as that conversations are not listened to or recorded). The question is framed in terms of fighting terrorism, falsifies the known facts, fails to mention the questionable legality, and was obviously thrown together on the fly. For many poll respondents, this was probably the first time they HEARD about it.

This is a push poll.

And I suspect that other polls released in the coming days will show very different results.

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