Bogus Survey of the Week
Charting the future of public relations
Holmes Report

Bogus Survey of the Week

Paul Holmes

If a giant multinational corporation asked voters whether they would vote against a candidate who would “destroy jobs, raise taxes on millions of working people, and drive up the price of gasoline,” and then used the answer to “prove” that Americans hate environmental regulation, the NGO community would be quick to cry foul. And rightly so. So this poll from the Natural Resources Defense Council, which asked whether voters were likely to support a House candidate who supported legislation that would "create millions of new jobs, reduce our use of foreign oil, hold corporate polluters accountable and cut the pollution that causes climate change” is deserving of similar scorn. I’m actually in favor of cap-and-trade, or anything that will help to slow the pace of climate change. But the wording of this poll is so manipulative and dishonest as to render the poll results meaningless. Why Politico is dignifying the story with coverage is a complete mystery. Bogus surveys are equally reprehensible whether the organization commissioning them is a for-profit company or a public interest NGO, and PR people who perpetrate this kind of fraud on the public deserve opprobrium regardless of their employer—ethical communication is about means, not ends.
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