The other day, I put up the results of a funny Time Magazine online poll that declared the Daily Show's Jon Stewart America's Most Trusted Newsman, probably because the poll was designed to elicit that response. I learned two interesting things from that post. First, apparently there are a ton of very earnest people who did not get my joke about Stewart winning Time Magazine's Person of the Year award in 2006, which everybody won. That joke usually kills, but clearly, it needs to go back to the workshop, for tweaking.
The other thing I learned is that Iowa seems to have a tortured relationship with Time Magazine polls! In the Trusted Newsman poll, Iowa results favored Katie Couric, by a wide margin. But the overall results placed Couric in last place. Over at BuzzFlash, Matt Stopera took a look at previous polls and noted that "Iowa always seems to be on the opposite side of things."
It's quite curious. These polls would have you believe that Iowa is a redoubt of countering opinions. According to these polls, unlike the rest of the U.S., Iowa thinks that the U.S. should take a "stronger stance on the Iranian electoral crisis," that going to the moon wasn't "worth it," that North Korea should not go back on the the terrorist list, that Sarah Palin aided her electoral chances by quitting her job, and that Congress should not pass a resolution honoring Michael Jackson.
I'm not at all sure why Iowa is so consistently anomalous. And obviously, I don't want to put myself in danger by getting TOO CLOSE TO THE TERRIBLE TRUTH! But it seems to me there are three possibilities, here.
1. There is one very committed guy in Iowa who's dedicated himself to ruining Time Magazine polls.
2. Rick Stengel hates Iowa, and is miscounting their votes in an attempt to make them look stupid.
3. The ethanol lobby has their finger in every pot, and people refuse to pander to them at their peril.