Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Outsourcing The Lies

If you've wondered exactly who the vast proportion of Americans are who think the Bush Administration and its policies are abject failures, you might investigate the source of the news. John Rosenthal at TechCentralStation.com has a startling examination of the AP-Ipsos polls of recent days.

So, maybe Americans are not turning French, after all. Maybe the anomalous AP-Ipsos results have to do rather with the firm that is doing the polling...What exactly is Ipsos? AP press releases identify Ipsos coyly as an "international polling firm"...as well as "non-partisan" and "objective". One would hardly expect them to say otherwise. But here is what neither AP nor Ipsos want Americans to know and assiduously avoid saying: Ipsos is a French polling firm...But AP and Ipsos undoubtedly fear that to many Americans..., in light of the current climate of Franco-American relations, it might at least raise some doubts about Ipsos's impartiality and objectivity...And what is worse: about this particular French polling firm, these doubts would be highly justified. On its home market, Ipsos is well known precisely for the unreliability of its polls and for being especially tight with the French political establishment....

I guess that if you can't get people to believe your "fake but accurate" news, do what everybody else is doing with productive activity, outsource it. The discovery that a poll is likely to be biased is not new or unique, of course. The careful manipulation of focus groups -- questions shaped for expected answers, etc., etc., -- is old stuff in advertising. But when such tactics becomes a basis for "objective" debasing of an Administration and American foreign policy, we're past marketing and into subversive propaganda. Select here for the rest of Rosenthal's article.


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