I realize this is going to make me sound old and out of touch - like John McCain about the Internet - but I still use AOL for most of my personal email. It's not very good, but I've had the account for a number of years, and when they finally made it a free service I figured I'd keep it. It's easier than trying to figure out how to tell everyone a new email address.
AOL's home page runs news stories from lots of different places, and it frequently runs its own polls (kind of like CNN) on the topic of the day. There is always a caution that the poll is unscientific, because readers opt into participating.
Well, we all know today's topic is Sarah Palin.
AOL is running a story about the McCain-Palin media feud, how the Republicans are "working the ref." It quotes Roger Simon's lovely snarky piece in Politico and Joe Klein's blog entry at Time.com urging reporters not to back down.
Here are the questions, with percentages of response:
- Do you think the coverage of Palin has been sexist? Yes 57%, No 43%
- Do you think the coverage of Palin’s personal life has been fair? No 58, Yes 42%
- Do you think the coverage of Palin’s professional record has been fair? Yes 58%, No 42%
- Do you agree w/how the McCain camp has dealt with the issue? Yes 62%, No 38%
Take a good look at those numbers - three out of five respondents basically think the media is trashing her in three of the four areas. Especially when it comes to how the Republicans are dealing with the press.
When I look at those percentages, all I can think is that AOL's current (shrinking) customer base must be made up of technology dinosaurs, just one or two steps more evolved than McCain. Whether or not it's fair, I tend to consider technophobes (not Luddites - there's a difference!) more likely to be older, white and Republican. Two of those labels describe me - but not that last one!
So I guess it's time to leave AOL behind for good. The neighborhood is suddenly less appealing.