Take the results, for example, from the news network’s latest national survey, published this morning. It included this truly extraordinary gem:The impressive part is that the operation seems self-sustaining; you don't have to be good at the news or good at polling so long as you serve up the news and polling your audience wants to hear. It is a fine antidote to having to report things that will make your audience feel bad, although for some reason the Fox News audience always wants to be convinced that things are even worse. Bunch o' masochists, that lot. Thankfully, they're masochists with short-term memory issues, because otherwise the job of trying to piece together all the various supposed conspiracies and counter-conspiracies would be a lot harder.
“In the aftermath of the attacks on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Libya, the Obama administration falsely claimed it was a spontaneous assault in response to an offensive online video, even though the administration had intelligence reports that the attacks were connected to terrorist groups tied to al Qaeda.”
Remember, this is part of a question in a poll conducted by an ostensible news organization. It went on to ask respondents, “Which of the following do you think best describes why Obama administration officials gave false information?”
My colleague Mike Yarvitz flagged another gem from a Fox News poll several months ago:All right, that one's downright funny. I could do this, let's see: "Some scientists say that manatees are plotting to take over the Eastern Seaboard, possibly using some sort of clam-powered death laser. In light of recent government ammunition purchases, are you worried that the Obama administration is secretly helping our manatee enemies?"
“The Internal Revenue Service admitted it targeted Tea Party and conservative groups for extra scrutiny. How concerned are you that the government’s surveillance program designed to track terrorists using phone and Internet records will be used in the same way to target specific groups and individuals that may disagree with an administration’s policies?”
What a soul-crushing job that must be, trying to come up with entire surveys that toe the required party line, always trying to come up with wording that will get the "correct" answer, always worried that some poll will turn out differently from what you had intended and you'll have to throw the whole thing out. Gawd.