Fox News Pollsh*t: Even A Biased Source Should Do Better

Fox News Poll

COMMENTARY | Fox News prides itself on asking the most biased polling questions on the face of the planet. Honestly, the news agency doesn’t even attempt to hide its outright bias. This week, a Fox News poll went after President Obama and his love of golf.

Fox News asked its followers this question:

“Former President George W. Bush stopped golfing after the start of the Iraq war. Do you think President Barack Obama should stop golfing until the unemployment rate improves and the economy is doing better?”

The question, if framed different, might have sounded better, but that isn’t the issue.

While President Bush claimed to give up golf following the August 2003 bombing of the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad, that simple wasn’t the case. President Bush never gave up golf. The former President was caught playing via dated video coverage from multiple cameras.

Then again, Fox isn’t known for its fair and balanced questions. Here is a poll dug up by MSNBC‘s Steve Benen:

“Do you think illegal immigrants from Mexico should be given special treatment and allowed to jump in front of immigrants from other countries that want to come to the United States legally, or not?”

Even the framing of the golf question is wrong. In fact, the unemployment rate has been improving, and, according to The National Association for Business Economics employment, housing and spending metrics will continue to improve throughout 2013. While the organization admits the recovery will carry on at a “sluggish pace,” it is still a recovery nonetheless. The organization expected unemployment to level out at 7.5 percent by the end of 2013. The Congressional Budget Office reports similar findings; the non-partisan group does admit that unemployment is slow to correct but is improve.

Is our economy improving? By all discernible factors, the answer is yes. Sure, it is slower than we would like, but the question Fox asked is “…and the economy is doing better?” outwardly suggests it is doing not better.

As a graduate with a degree in Communications, I honestly can’t find a single thing the poll taker did right from an ethical standpoint with that poll question.

In a way, Fox News got it right. President Obama is golfing, and, since the unemployment rate and economy are technically improving, he should keep on playing.

Perhaps Fox should have stated the question as such:

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“Former President George W. Bush stopped golfing after the start of the Iraq war. Do you think President Barack Obama should stop golfing until the unemployment rate improves to better than 6% and the economy is doing better in terms of spending, home purchasing and refinancing, and production, all at sustainable growth levels?”

Sure my question is even more loaded than Fox News’, but at least it doesn’t shroud the question in a bunch of horribly veiled BS.

While Fox News attacks President Obama for playing golf one internet user cleverly poses a better question, why doesn’t Fox News ask polling questions that matter? For example:

“Should Congress work more than 3 days a week and should they stay in session when there is a looming financial crisis?”

Do you think Fox News should do a better job in framing its poll questions?