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Grapevine Whine - Another Fox Fantasy Poll

Reported by Nancy - December 2, 2005 -

Last night (12/1) Hume led off the Grapevine segment on Special Report with another one of those Fox polls that seems entirely divorced from reality. The poll results that were highlighted support the "Happy Iraq" scenario that Fox has been pushing since May 2003. But there was one number that even Hume couldn't spin: 44% said Bush intentionally misled the American people about the presence of WMDs in Iraq.

According to Hume, a new FOX poll shows that

52% believe the world would be worse off had the US not invaded Iraq & deposed Saddam Hussein
59% say Iraq would be worse off if the US not invaded
44% say Bush intentionally misled the American people about the presence of WMDs in Iraq
61% (including 43% of Dems) say there are still weapons in Iraq or that it did have weapons, but they've since been moved or destroyed.

Hume's tone of voice & facial expression indicated he was stunned that 44% of respondents said Bush "intentionally misled" people about WMDs, but he perked up & got downright cheerful when he was able to note that 43% of Dems "say there are still weapons in Iraq or that it did have weapons, but they've since been moved or destroyed."

Comments: Where does Fox find the respondents for these polls? In the Green Zone? The White House? Ahmad Chalabi's extended family?

As for language, I love the PC phrase "intentionally misled" instead of the more direct "lied."

The answers to third & fourth "questions" from the poll Hume reported would seem to be mutually exclusive, yet the numbers add up to more than 100%. So I dug around the Fox News website a little bit, but couldn't find this poll. I was curious to see exactly how the questions were phrased or if any other questions were asked.

Ever since I first started monitoring Fox, I've found these "polls" highly suspect -- there's never any explanation of methodology, they never specify the population from which subjects were drawn, & they never tell you how the original questions were framd. Fox & its polling partner, Opinion Dynamics, are opaque about the details of their polls. Most reputable & non-partisan pollsters provide reams & reams of boring background data, well beyond the simple margin of error. Not Opinion Dynamics. Their website is utterly unhelpful.

Their home page has a section called "Who We Serve" which lists:

Financial Services
Food Services
Travel & Tourism
Entertainment Industry

Curiously, it doesn't list "news organizations" or "media outlets" or anything else that could describe Fox News -- unless, perhaps, it's the "Entertainment" category.

Their "Products" section may be more revealing:

Issue Management Panels - The Need for Rapid Response

A breaking news story or an opposition advertisement often requires a political or public relations campaign to obtain immediate public feedback. The time sensitive nature of this feedback frequently does not lend itself to traditional market research methods such as telephone surveys and focus groups.

To address this constraint, ODC developed Issue Management Panels (IMPs). IMPs consist of a representative sample of the relevant population (voters, consumers, members, etc.) who are empanelled for the duration of a specific campaign. All or part of the panel can be interviewed, or brought into group discussions, over the course of the campaign to tackle unexpected issues and to provide fast, reliable and relatively inexpensive guidance.

Hmm, "Rapid Response Issues Management" -- that sounds about right for Fox.

If you'd like to complain to Fox about this, email: special@foxnews.com

NOTE TO READERS: Please stay on topic (Fox polls in general, this poll in particular). O/T comments will be deleted. Thanks.