OK

You may see the headline crop up: "Poll: Voters Against Obama 'Wealth Redistribution' Plan."  It's been published through Reuters and picked up several places.

The report is about a poll commissioned by ATI-News and run by Zogby.  The detail is that the poll didn't ask about Obama's plan, it asked about John McCain's characterization of Obama's plan.  Respondents were asked about a hypothetical plan, not Obama's plan:

ATI-News/Zogby asked likely voters:  "John McCain and other critics say Barack Obama is heavily influenced by people and organizations which seek social justice through redistribution of wealth in America.  Do you agree or disagree with efforts to bring social justice by the redistribution of wealth?"

This is a push-poll, straight up, and it's pretty disappointing (but not surprising) to see it reported in such a misleading fashion.

Who is ATI-News?  It's some kind of media service run by a wingnut named Bradley O'Leary.  Here's his bio on their site (emphasis added):

In addition to serving as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Global Luxury Living  Mr. O´Leary serves as chairman of PM Direct Marketing, and as president of Associated Television News.  Mr. O´Leary is also the executive producer or producer of over 12 television series and 27 one-hour television specials, including Dr. Paul Irwin´s Sunday show, American Bible Society Presents, the award-winning Lords of the Mafia (www.associatedtelevision.com), hosted by the late Robert Stack, a series of shows on the KGB hosted by Sir Roger Moore, and the award-winning CrimeStrike series (www.associatedtelevision.com).

[snip]

In addition to authoring several travel books, he´s authored a number of political books, including Presidential Follies, which Human Events called "as one-sided and impertinent as all getout, and yet it´s also acute, knowing and percipient, not to mention wonderfully readable." The book recounts Bill Clinton´s 1994 mid-term election disaster—an event which resulted in Esquire magazine in 1995 naming Mr. O´Leary as one of the principal architects of the political defeats suffered by President Clinton that year.
         
In 1999, Brad O´Leary received the Humanitarian Award at the Gala Ball hosted at The Century Plaza by Dan Aykroyd, Diahann Carroll, Fran Drescher & Howie Mandel. The  event´s National Honorary Chairs were Vice President and Mrs. Gore and Dinner Chairs were Joanna & Sidney Poitier. Presidents Ronald Reagan, President George Bush and President Bill Clinton all paid tribute to him at the gala.

This poll should never have seen the light of day, but this guy is obviously well-connected.  It needs to be opposed.  Write the media organizations where it surfaces.

Update: I'd just like to note that it's interesting that one third of Americans support social justice through the redistribution of wealth.  Wow.

Originally posted to The Red Pen on Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 11:46 AM PDT.

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