Tuesday, January 10, 2006
I have been in work meetings starting at 8am today and finally came out of my last meeting drained at 3pm. I was anxious to see how the Alito hearing was going. Checked a few blogs and it appears he's doing pretty well. Then I decided to visit some MSM sites to see what they were saying, but I got distracted. The first site I hit was CNN's and what I knew would be a bogus and slanted CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll was on the front page "Poll finds U.S. split over eavesdropping". What I hate about this is that most people don't bother to look at the actual polling questions and see if they think they are asked in a unbias way. Of course I don't think I have ever seen a poll (at least one anybody uses for their cause) that is unbiased. What's interesting is that this poll asked questions in way, I suppose, they thought would elicit an anti-Bush sentiment...it didn't.
For example they asked "Do you think the Bush administration has gone too far, has been about right, or has not gone far enough in restricting people's civil liberties in order to fight terrorism?". You could argue that since the NSA eavesdropping program was only done on those shown to have some connection (like their phone number shows up on a suspected terrorist's cell phone speed dial!) to a suspected terrorist. So a more appropriate question on this would be "Do you think the Bush administration has gone too far, has been about right, or has not gone far enough in monitoring communications of those shown to have ties to suspected terrorists?". They did ask the question in this form when they asked about how much people were following the story. But in the end the responses didn't go against the intent of the NSA program. Only 38% thought the Bush administration went to far, a total of 59% said it was about right or not far enough! I think the poll shows that more people than probably liberals would like to believe see our security as trumping the "civil liberties" card so often played. None the less CNN starts the story saying "Though Americans are growing more skeptical of the White House record on civil liberties...." and I assume they based this leap on a poll number they show for 2003 where 69% (10% more than today) say it was about right or not far enough. And I'm sure if you asked it in 2002 it would have been 79%. They could have as easily said that 4+ years after 9/11 the majority of Americans think the administration is on track or could go farther in restricting people's civil liberties in order to fight terrorism.