Thursday, December 08, 2005

IT'S HOW YOU FRAME THE QUESTION

In my 12-4-05 post "The Real Kool-Aid Kids" I disputed the interpretation NewsMax applied to a FoxNews poll which asked the arguably loaded question "Do you think the world would be better off or worse off if the U.S. military had not taken action in Iraq and Saddam Hussein were still in power?"

Four choices were offered: Better off, worse off, the same, and don't know. The numbers were 27%, 52%, 8% and 15%, respectively.

Now we have a new poll from CBS which is, BTW, receiving considerable press because GWB's approval ratings are up significantly:

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/12/07/opinion/polls/main1107196.shtml

Buried in this poll is the following question:

"Did [the] U.S. do the right thing going to war with Iraq?"

Given two choices - yes and no - the poll deadlocked at 48% each.

Interestingly, the party-line split NewsMax emphasized is seen in this poll as well, without the deliberately inflammatory strawman-making inclusion of Saddam Hussein in the question...

It's all in how you frame the question - or the answer. And that's what slanting is...

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