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Grapevine Whine - Yet Another Spinning Poll

Reported by Nancy - January 5, 2006 -

FOX News never tires of telling its viewers that "national security" is more important than civil liberties. From subway searches, to torture, to "detaining" US citizens indefinitely without charges, to spying on US citizens, Fox trumpets the Bush administration fear-mongering line -- Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid -- & uses any tool it thinks will reinforce the idea that we don't need no stinkin' civil liberties. Last night (1/4) on Special Report, Brit Hume joined the chorus again, this time with results of a poll that allegedly shows that "most" Americans don't place much value on our hard-won civil liberties.

At 6:27pm (ET) Hume read a teaser: "We'll tell you what Americans think about that wiretapping program -- you may be surprised."

Following an ad break & headline news, Hume then read "picking" #1:

Amid the uproar over National Security Agency phone intercepts, 59% of Americans say the legal system is tilted too far in favor of individual liberties at the expense of national security or is well balanced between the 2. That's according to a new Rasmussen poll, which reveals that 29% think there is too much concern for national security at the expense of individual freedoms. Meanwhile, 50% of Americans say the President broke no laws in authorizing the NSA to intercept phone conversations between terror suspects in other countries & people living in the US; 33% believe the action was illegal.


Comments: First, note the language (emphasis added):

"Amid the uproar " -- what "uproar"? According to Rasmussen, there's no "uproar" because "most" believe spying on US citizens is A-OK.

" phone intercepts ... to intercept phone conversations " -- more euphemisms for "spying"

"people living in the US" -- aha! So these people are just "living" here! They aren't our fellow citizens! Well, then, they must be evildoers!

"59% of Americans say the legal system is tilted too far in favor of individual liberties ...29% think there is too much concern for national security" -- note the difference between "say" (a strong, assertive word) & "think" (a weaker word in the Fox lexicon)

"50% of Americans say [Bush] broke no laws ... 33% believe the action was illegal" -- again, those who support spying "say" (strong) while those who oppose it merely "believe" (weak).

Second, note how Hume had to combine 2 answers to imply that 59% of respondents favor "national security" over civil liberties -- "59% of Americans say the legal system is tilted too far in favor of individual liberties at the expense of national security or is well balanced between the 2" -- instead of giving the actual breakdown:

Some people say that there is a natural tension between protecting individual rights and national security. Does our legal system worry too much about...
Protecting Rights 32%
National Security 29%
Balance About Right 27%

Here's the Rasumussen poll, for anyone who cares. The title alone ("Americans Okay With Current Balance Between
National Security and Individual Liberty") is a good giveaway of the agenda behind the questions asked. If you bother to check it out, please note how the questions asked are slanted to obtain specific results. Frankly, all this poll shows is that more than half of the respondents were idiots.

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

NOTE TO READERS: Please stay on topic (Special Report's use of selective polls to promote the anti-liberty agenda). O/T comments will be deleted. Thanks.