Biased Fox News poll

July 26, 2008

How biased is Fox News? Look carefully at their poll questions, and you’ll see how much of an arm of the GOP they are. When you get past the generic poll questions, you’ll see a pattern when the questions address the specific candidate. I’ve indicated the number of the poll question in parens.

  • (19) Have you heard any of your friends and neighbors say there is something about Barack Obama that scares them?
  • (20) Have you heard any of your friends and neighbors say there is something about John McCain that scares them?
  • (23) Based on the campaign so far, has Barack Obama offered any truly new ideas?
  • (24) Can you please tell me one of Obama’s new ideas?
  • (25) Which presidential candidate–Barack Obama or John McCain–do you think most members of the media want to win the election?
  • (26) Do you think the national press is covering both campaigns objectively or is one campaign receiving more positive press than the other?
  • (27) Some people believe Barack Obama, depsite his professed Christianity, is secretly a Muslim. Others say that is just a rumor and Obama really is a Christian as he says, and point out he’s attended a Christian church for years. What do you believe — is Obama a Muslim or a Christian?
  • (28 ) John McCain was held capture for five years in a North Vietnamese prisoner of war camp. Do you think that experience would make McCain a better president or a worse president?
  • (31) Does Barack Obama’s popularity overseas make you more likely or less like to vote for him for president?
  • (32) Do you think Barack Obama’s trip to Iraq, Afghanistan and the Middle East is better described as a fact-finding trip or as a campaign event?
  • (33) Do you think Barack Obama had already made up his mind on Iraq before the trip or could this week’s visit to Iraq change his mind?

First, note that these questions are primarily aimed at Barack, which might seem like a positive thing, but the questions address several of the popular conservative attacks on Barack. Is he really a Muslim? Is he experienced enough? Is he a media darling? Does Obama have any substance?

Second, note that while several criticisms of Obama are reflected in these questions, not one criticism of McCain is presented as a question. The one question addressing McCain specifically is about his war experience. I don’t included #20 because, while it addresses McCain, it is actually a question about Obama, making the point that McCain doesn’t have such suspicions. (Also, it makes sense you’d hear fears about Obama since fear is the operating strategy for the Republican Party. Conservatives pundits and bloggers have called Obama a communist, a Marxist, a terrorist, a militant black, and, more recently, a figure reminiscent of Hitler. Why don’t they just call him the bogey man and be done with it?)

Question 27 is perhaps the most blatant piece of propaganda because it is such an obvious lie. There is no question these Muslim Obama rumors are lies, yet Fox News sees problem giving them validity, using such vague terms like “some people” and “others” and leaving the respondents to imagine some credible group making these claims rather than hate radio and their ilk.

The poll is effectively pushing a negative image of Obama with all of these GOP talking points and criticisms of Obama. Getting question after question about Obama makes a clear impression: McCain apparently doesn’t have so much controversy surrounding him.

I find ironic that Fox News uses a poll to question the media bias in favor of Obama when they themselves demonstrate extreme bias for McCain. Obama might have raised more campaign funds than McCain, but that’s not taking into account the Fox News budget.

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One Response to “Biased Fox News poll”

  1. NAU Says:

    I was attracted to anarchism as a young teenager, as soon as I began to think about the world beyond a pretty narrow range, and haven’t seen much reason to revise those early attitudes since. I think it only makes sense to seek out and identify structures of authority, hierarchy, and domination in every aspect of life, and to challenge them; unless a justification for them can be given, they are illegitimate, and should be dismantled, to increase the scope of human freedom. That includes political power, ownership and management, relations among men and women, parents and children, our control over the fate of future generations the basic moral imperative behind the environmental movement, in my view, and much else.NoamChomskyNoam Chomsky


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