THE BLOG
03/13/2012 10:37 am ET | Updated May 13, 2012

Another Concern About the Legitimacy of Some Polling Questions

Okay, for the most part I really do appreciate the hard job that our media has and what it takes to do the job that they do, but it's times like this that I remember why so many people have such a strong dislike for the media.

First and foremost, unless you are going to start conducting polls asking about every presidential candidate's religious beliefs, PLEASE STOP including poll questions about if President Obama is a Christian! The fact that any legitimate media outlet still includes this question in a poll suggests that THEY are the ones who have questions about it. The funny thing is that the whole story forming around this is how bad this makes people in Mississippi and Alabama look when I think it really makes the media outlet that conducted the poll look bad in that they insist on asking this kind of juvenile question three years into this man's presidency. Bottom line, ask it about everybody or don't ask it about anybody! Sorry but this REALLY makes me sick!

Next, while it is mostly a majority agreed upon principle that the president of the United States has little to no control over global oil prices, our esteemed media outlets produce polls (like the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll) that ask the superficial question: "Do You Agree With How The President Is Handling Gas Prices?" Now, how can you in good conscience ask this question in a poll while knowingly admitting that there is very little, if anything, the president can do about it? And to add insult to injury, every other media outlet then legitimizes the question by leading off their talk shows with an in-depth discussion about "how the president is handling gas prices." That's like asking my Mom how she's handling enforcing my curfew after I moved out and got my own apartment. While you're at it, why don't you also ask how the president is handling the migration of the wildebeest because he has just about as much control over that as he does over global oil prices?

Now, if you are going to ask a question like this in a poll, you should at least follow it up with a question like: "What Do You Think The President Should Be Doing About Gas Prices?" At least then you'd get some useful feedback on what people are thinking rather than just something to stir up a conflict. And I for one would love to see the media report on the answers they get from that one!

So my bottom line on this is: Is it dishonest for the media to spend three weeks telling us that there is little to nothing that the president can do about gas prices... and then conduct a poll in which they ask the American people, "How do you think the president is handling gas prices?" This is nothing more than mining for a juicy story and things like this, my dear friends, is why so many people say that they have such a distrust of our illustrious media.