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Oops! Brian Kilmeade Reverses Poll Results Showing Americans Favor Collective Bargaining Rights

Reported by Guest Blogger - February 23, 2011 -

By dd

This morning, Brian Kilmeade was discussing the Wisconsin protests with Robert Zimmerman, Democratic Strategist and Jim Glass, Director of the Bush Center and author. The segment was designed to make President Obama look as if he "is out of step with history" and "taking a big risk" by supporting the unions.

Zimmerman disagreed with Kilmeade and said that Obama is "showing respect for history and respect for our history of supporting the rights and safety of workers." He went on to say that Obama is speaking for the mainstream of our country and the Republican governors who are not siding with Gov. Walker in his efforts to overturn collective bargaining.

Kilmeade countered by saying about a Gallup poll, "a relatively mainstream poll has a different view. And here's the question that was posed - ah, should you take away, er, will you favor or you, uh, disfavor of taking away collective bargaining when it comes to salaries for government workers. 61% in favor of taking away, 33% oppose, 6% still up in the air."

The accompanying on-screen graphic said:

Collective Bargaining - Take it away: Favor or Oppose?

Favor 61%
Oppose 33%
No Answer 6%

However, the Gallup Poll actually had the OPPOSITE results and Kilmeade botched the wording of the question. The actual question was: "Would you favor or oppose a law in your state taking away some collective bargaining rights of most public unions, including the state teachers union?"

"Americans strongly oppose laws taking away the collective bargaining power of public employee unions, according to a new USA TODAY/Gallup Poll. The poll found 61% would oppose a law in their state similar to such a proposal in Wisconsin, compared with 33% who would favor such a law." (my emphasis)

Too bad Zimmerman wasn't familiar with the Gallup Poll or he could have called Kilmeade out on it right then and there. As far as Glassman, he took the FOX "news" point of view - no surprise there. But the fact remains that Kilmeade and his Fox & Friends producers falsified the poll results for their viewers.

Hmm, guess we'll see what happens with regards to FOX's policy about "zero tolerance" for on-screen mistakes and their claim that "immediate disciplinary action" would take place "against those who played significant roles in the "mistake chain," and those who supervise them."

At the end of the show, about 44 minutes later, Kilmeade said that he wanted to "correct a poll that we did about 22 minutes ago from Gallup. 61% oppose taking collective bargaining away from those people in Wisconsin, 33% in favor. I had it reversed. I apologize."

Video via Media Matters.

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