June 28, 2011
By Adam Bink
Okay, one poll is one thing, but two polls is an agenda.
Last week, I wrote about the News 930 WBEN poll (WBEN is a popular radio station back home in Western New York) providing four choices opposing the marriage bill and one supporting it:
Despite this, by the time everyone here and everywhere else was done voting, the one choice supporting equality was beating the other four combined with over 70% of the vote.
Today, WBEN has this new poll up:
This is really ridiculous. Again, I realize these things aren’t scientific, but they aren’t fair either. “What bothers you most” sets the tone from the start, implying that Grisanti acted incorrectly in some way, instead of something like “How would you rate Mark Grisanti’s handling of the same-sex marriage issue?” Any approval poll should have neutral language such as “How would you rate President Obama’s handling of x issue?”
Second, we again have two choices against one instead of a neutral scale. And third, since when did Mark Grisanti refuse to “discuss the issue prior to the vote?”
Here’s a piece from the Buffalo News quoting Grisanti on June 14th discussing his wrestling with the issue and his religious beliefs. Here’s another piece from June 19th where he mentions he will wait to see what changes are made in the bill with respect to religious exemptions. Here’s Sen. Grisanti’s chief of staff discussing his boss’ views. Here’s a piece even documenting how Grisanti sat down with gay and lesbian community leaders in March to discuss the issue. Perhaps WBEN is confusing “refused to state his position” with “refusing to discuss”, but the voting choice is just misleading at best, factually inaccurate at worst.
The reason this matters is because poll results like these get reported on-air, mentioned by word-of-mouth, and noted by other news sources, which influences opinion. As of this post, “they way he voted” is winning with 56% of the vote. The impression here is that Grisanti did something wrong. Let’s correct the record.
Update: Comment of the day, IMHO, from Greg:
Prop8TrialTracker should add its own poll:
What bothers you most about WBEN’s slanted polls? (Please choose one)
1. Their loaded questions
2. Their innuendo and anti-equality bias
3. The set of answers stacked in favor of an anti-gay mindset