Sunday, September 23, 2007

Update: The devil is in the details.

It's a pattern. Another appallingly worded poll question, another Murray article.
Given the number of dishonest polls, looks like Murray won't ever have bother with reporting again.

Steve Benen notes it too

So does Klein the younger who is not to be confused with Jung the smaller.

Ditto for Mad Matt who has finally posted a decent photo of himself

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Greg Sargent crticises Shailagh Murray of the Washington Post for writing an article on the political debate in which she quotes only Republicans. Also he argues, convincingly, that the Republicans are lying about US public opinion. One particularly egregious example is Murray's coverage of a recent Gallup poll

The piece descends deeper into absurdity:

GOP Senate offices circulated the results of a Gallup poll released this week that showed 54 percent of those surveyed think Petraeus's plan for removing troops is the right pace, or even too quick. One-third of those surveyed viewed the withdrawal as moving too slowly.

As it happens, the very same poll that Murray allows these GOPers to cherry pick from has a bunch of other numbers in it, too. It finds that 59% want a timetable for withdrawal and that barely one-third think the surge is having a positive effect. Indeed, the pollsters themselves conclude that most of the public's opinions on Iraq "run contrary to the message delivered by Petraeus to Congress last week."

I would add that I think that Gallup too misbehaved badly, as they mislead respondents with their question:

"Still thinking about this plan, do you think General Petraeus' plan calls for -- US troops to be withdrawn too slowly from Iraq, withdrawals to occur at the right pace, or US troops to be withdrawn too quickly from Iraq"

In the question, Gallup asserted that Petreaus specified a rate for his proposed troop withdrawals not a rate for the first 30,000 (that which he conceded, under oath, was implied by the decision to not extend tours of duty over 15 months) but for his proposed withdrawals in general. In fact, Petraeus presented no time dimension on his draw down figure. Therefore the Gallup question implies a false statement of fact.

It is clear from other Gallup questions that the public does not agree with Petraeus on the timing of withdrawal. The majority think it should be scheduled and he refused to do so (obeying his commander in chief of course).

Reading the Gallup question, someone unfamiliar with Petraeus' so called plan, would naturally assume that Petreaus presented a complete schedule. People so convinced might then say they agree with Petraeus, because they have been mislead by Gallup about his proposal.

via Atrios

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