Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Biased questions? No thanks.

Today, I declined to be a part of some political poll or other. Since the caller never identified whose campaign or cause they actually were, I can't tell just who it is that's trying to doctor data.

The call began like this:

"This is not a sales call. Senator ____ is planning to vote for a bill that would raise taxes on US oil and gas companies. Are you in favor of this?"

I said, "I'm sorry, I can't give my opinion based on only one sentence of information about the bill."

She went on, "This bill would raise taxes on US oil and gas companies, making it hard for them to compete at home and abroad. Are you in favor of this?"

Now, it should be patently obvious to anyone with the IQ of an end table that they're trying to skew as many answers as possible to be NO. They are hoping to make this bill sound like it's the worst possible legislation that Senator ____ could ever support. They want people to hear "raise taxes" and answer NO, we do not favor this. Or they want us to hear only "raise taxes" and "hard to compete at home and abroad" and answer NO, we do not approve of this bill.

Then they can spin it to show that the American public is against this bill and/or Senator ____'s representation of his constituents.

I wasn't going to play along. I told them I'm sorry, but I can't take part in a survey, as I work from home and need to keep the line clear. (Both true.) End of conversation.

No way on earth am I going to give my opinion of this bill, based solely on the content of BLATANTLY biased questions. I still have no clue which bill this is (meaning I can't look it up and form my opinion based on actual information) or what political group it was that called me. It could be anything from oil/gas company lobbyists to Senator ____'s opponent in the next election. Either way, I'm not playing their game.

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