Push Poller Fired By Newspaper

from the can't-have-that dept

One of the nastier political tricks these days is the “push poll.” One side of a political debate hires a polling firm to go out and “poll” users on an issue. However, the real purpose isn’t finding out how people feel about an issue, but to influence opinions on an issue. That is, the questions on the poll are worded in an extremely biased and leading way to make people think badly about the opposing opinion. Earlier this week, it came out (after an initial denial) that BellSouth and Cox had funded just such a push poll against muni broadband and muni TV in Louisiana. The poll included questions suggesting that a muni-backed TV offering would “ration TV watching” so you could only watch TV on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays — obviously a ridiculous idea. Well, now, it looks like the companies involved are getting some pushback for doing this. David Isenberg reports that a local newspaper that had been using the same research firm has fired them because of their involvement with the push poll. While the companies who really should be getting in trouble are BellSouth and Cox for sponsoring the push poll, it’s good to see others showing companies that do this kind of polling that there are negative consequences.

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