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Absurd Alito Polling - In The Hands Of Pre$$titutes,

Polls Are Dangerous Things

Yesterday we commented on a CNN segment about public impressions of Samuel Alito: "What a joke. CNN, taking us for idiots, is reporting a CNN/USAT/Gallup poll on Samuel Alito's favorable ratings with the American public. Even professional political observers and online political junkies are still sorting through his record to figure out where he stands. And CNN expects us to believe that average Americans already know if he's "in the mainstream" or if they have a "favorable impression" of him? Pre$$titutes are adept at using polls to shape public opinion and create self-reinforcing loops. CNN and Gallup are experts at this charade."

Today, we get this WaPo headline: Public Supportive of Alito (Homepage headline)--Reaction to Alito Nomination Generally Favorable (Article headline)

Again, by what stretch of the imagination can average Americans form an educated opinion about someone who politicians and political junkies are still figuring out?

Do they like his glasses? His hair?

Is there nearly enough (if any) reporting of his actual ideology and career and rulings and opinions to give people the information required to determine whether he's "mainstream" or whether he should or should not be confirmed?


When the WaPo article says, "Alito begins the confirmation process with the support of 49 percent of the public while 30 percent currently say he should not be confirmed," that is nothing more than a reflection of the tone of the coverage, not any deeply considered opinions based on thorough knowledge of the nominee. Granted, people are entitled to form quick impressions of a candidate or a nominee, and pollsters - whose job it is to poll - have the right to ask about these superficial snapshots, but the question remains: why give this kind of a poll prominent coverage?

Simple: in the hands of Pre$$titutes, polls are dangerous things, to be used as a method of manipulation, as a means to shape public opinion. By pretending to report merely what "people are thinking," the media can tell people what to think. It's a devastatingly effective form of peer pressure, and it's been one of the primary tools in the fabrication of George W. Bush's image and in support of his agenda.