Friday, April 13, 2007

Bogus poll

The Freeport Journal-Standard, which soon will be a sister paper of the Rockford Register Star, has a bogus poll question on its Web site today. It reads:

Do you think President Bush should veto any legislation presented by Congress to stop funding the Iraq war and redeploy American troops?

But Congress has voted to increase funding for the Iraq war and to set a deadline for redeploying American troops, and Bush has threatened to veto the measure.

Of course, any online poll is inherently bogus, no matter how the question is phrased. I don't know why so many media sponsor such crappy polls -- and then pretend to have absolved themselves of irresponsibility with disclaimers that the surveys are unscientific and are just for fun.

As I noted here in another context a couple of months ago, when numeric values from an unscientific poll are reported -- even with a disclaimer -- the public has been ill-served.

1 comment:

MR. BASEBALL said...

Couldn't agree with you more Rascal. The Register-Star used to run a poll and may still do on the "best" whatever in the Rockford area and publish the results. To take part, you had to send in your ballot. The number of people who actually responded was laughable but the results were indeed published. The results were sometimes used by the winners in their advertising. I challenged the editor on this and she said it was just for fun. When I questioned how this reflects on the credibility of the newspaper, she said she'd take that under consideration. She apparently either didn't get it or did not want to admit that she got it.