How would you describe the Tea Party movement? Well, if you went to MSNBC you'd probably find something unflattering. Over at FOX News, on the other hand, you'd expect to see something quite positive about the group.
That's what makes a poll on the FOX News website stand out.
Who are you?
FOX asked its visitors: What do you think the tea party movement is about?
Of the nearly quarter million votes cast, the overwhelming majority of the respondents (80 percent) clicked on the choice entitled: "Fruitless mix of racism, conspiracy theories."
Only 13 percent chose: "Small government and fiscal responsibility," while five percent selected: "Voicing outrage at out-of-touch politicians."
The remaining two percent split their votes between: "Exposing Democrats' Socialist agenda" and "Other."
And this is the FOX News web site? Of course, it's not a scientific poll and they clearly mention that on their site.
So what happened?
Looks like the poll was hijacked. Over at the conservative FreeRepublic forum, readers blame users of the social news website Reddit for sabotaging the results.
Under a post entitled, "Reddit Loonies Hijack FoxNews Poll," outraged forum faithful expressed dismay at the losing battle.
But, it was technically flawed in the first place according to one user calling himself "BornToBeAmerican."
"Whoever the dingbat is who put that poll up needs a flogging," he/she writes. "Only a complete idiot would put a poll up that let’s the voter, vote more than once (without at least changing subnet IP addresses)."
Ends justify the means
They have a point. On a very active thread over on Reddit, users discuss how to overtake the poll by casting multiple times. But, it's all justified writes one Reddit user.
"Every poll we highjack is one less poll we can prevent Fox from saying 'Well the majority of Americans think.....' It makes a small difference I think," writes Phogasmic.
There's not total consensus, though, that participation in the poll is a good thing.
"Honestly, the best thing to do is to IGNORE Fox news. The more you idiots talk about how wrong they are, the more attention they get as a station. Ignore them into oblivion," counsels one participant. "Talking about the makes them more powerful. Not unlike Freddy Kruger, huh?"
All for nothing
Anyone pay much attention to these polls? Not really.
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