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John Ziegler vs. Nate Silver
November 19, 2008 9:54 AM   Subscribe

You may have heard of John Ziegler. A former right-wing talk radio host turned right-wing documentarian, he was once the subject of a well-known David Foster Wallace essay about conservative talk radio. Ziegler later gained some notoriety by slamming Wallace heartlessly after the author committed suicide, calling him an overrated writer and criticizing the press for its coverage of his death. Now, Ziegler has once again made waves by going nuclear in an interview with pollster-watcher Nate Silver over the legitimacy of a commissioned Zogby poll. Silver questions the value of the poll, which contains leading questions, and which Ziegler plans on using in his upcoming documentary to "numerically prove" that Obama supporters are grossly misinformed idiots.

An excerpt from the end of the Nate Silver interview:

NS: Well, since you’re running a website calling people misinformed, I’d like to see if -- there are certain things you’ve said that I would consider misinformed.
JZ: Misinformed? You're a piece of work! You are never going to have the guts to post a representative transcript on your website! I thought you actually ran a legitimate website!

NS: Thank you, have a good day.
JZ: Go fuck yourself.

And here is an excerpt from the David Foster Wallace essay (Wallace sort of hammers Ziegler in the essay over Ziegler's obsession with OJ Simpson and his determined and frequent use of the n-word on the many radio shows he's been fired from):

The trouble starts when Tiger Woods wins the 1997 Masters. As part of his commentary on the tournament, Mr. Z. posits on-air that Tiger constitutes living proof of the fact that "not all white people are racists." His supporting argument is that "no white person would ever think of Tiger as a nigger," because whites draw a mental distinction "between people who just happen to be black and people who act like niggers." His reason for broadcasting the actual word "nigger"? "This all goes back to O.J. I hated the fact that the media treated viewers and listeners like children by saying 'Mark Fuhrman used the N-word.' I despised that, and I think it gives the word too much power. Plus there's the whole hypocrisy of how black people can use it and white people can't. I was young and naive and thought I could stand on principle." As part of that principled stand, Mr. Z. soon redeploys the argument and the word in a discussion of boxer Mike Tyson, whereupon he is fired, "even though there was very little listener reaction." As Mr. Z. understands it, the reason for his dismissal is that "a single black employee complained," and WWTN's parent, "a lily-white company," feared that it was "very vulnerable" to a discrimination lawsuit.
posted by billysumday (70 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
What in God's name do hipsters have to do with it?
posted by nasreddin at 10:00 AM on November 19, 2008


At long last, someone is going to numerically prove someone else is a grossly misinformed idiot. The world has been waiting for this.
posted by chlorus at 10:00 AM on November 19, 2008 [6 favorites]


What in God's name do hipsters have to do with it?

EVERYTHING!!!

Sorry if that was distracting, it was just sort of a throw-away line.

But seriously, hipsters hold the world together.
posted by billysumday at 10:03 AM on November 19, 2008


They are truly out of ammo.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:04 AM on November 19, 2008 [2 favorites]


Well, Ziegler certainly is stimulating.
posted by Pronoiac at 10:04 AM on November 19, 2008 [2 favorites]


You know, I considered posting this after reading the 538 piece, but I didn't want to poison the front page of MetaFilter unnecessarily, or provide traffic to Ziegler's site. Now you've done it. Ick.
posted by Eekacat at 10:08 AM on November 19, 2008


Poor Jim DeMint.
posted by thewittyname at 10:10 AM on November 19, 2008


Too bad Silver's legitimate story about John Zogby's ever-declining standards turned into a chance for this Ziegler jackass to become relevant again. I am disappointed in Silver for giving this guy a forum. It came across as self-promoting for him to try to have a discussion about the methodology of the poll/focus groups, as if there ever was a question this wasn't a total attention grab from a washed up radio host.
posted by uaudio at 10:10 AM on November 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


[per billysunday's request, I removed the hipster line]
posted by mathowie at 10:11 AM on November 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


I like Nate Silver's style, but I doubt his side of the interview was all sweetness and light. From the introduction of the post on FiveThirtyEight:

The transcript below is intended to be representative as possible from my shorthand transcript, with the exception of two or three rapid-fire ad-hominem exchanges being edited out.

You know, I can't really imagine what a Silver slapdown might look like. Would it be polite and restrained? Devastating and merciless? Or maybe filled with complicated sabermetrics-based insults that would only confuse and enrage Ziegler. I'd love to hear a recording of that conversation...

Also, Silver's not the only 538er that can bring it. Co-writer Sean Quinn went nuclear on an obnoxious Daily Kos diarist a few days ago over political yard signs, of all things. And it was bad enough that they had to disappear it from the site. Entertaining read, though.
posted by Rhaomi at 10:12 AM on November 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


Focusing on the current poll in question, here are the questions and results [PDF]. Ziegler's response.
posted by Tehanu at 10:17 AM on November 19, 2008


And the hubbub about the Palin question is that Tina Fey said "I can see Russia from my house." So the correct answer on that one was none of the above.

It's a pretty slimy poll all around.
posted by Tehanu at 10:18 AM on November 19, 2008


I like Nate Silver a lot, but I think the pop quiz gotcha questions at the end of the interview were unnecessary and unprofessional, and I think I might have reacted similarly to them if I were the interviewee. No professional journalist would ask questions like that, and for good reason.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 10:21 AM on November 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm not in the media & even I'm aware that interviews often start with basic questions, just to provide background in their own words. Also, Ziegler's a weasel, asking misleading questions: how is this not a push poll? Is knowing about the telephone aspect of it really that crucial, judging by his response?
posted by Pronoiac at 10:21 AM on November 19, 2008


You know, Ziegler's point is self-defeating. Suppose by some miracle that legitimate, unbiased, methodologically-sound research shows that Obama supporters were less well informed than McCain supporters. Now, suppose one felt that the election went the wrong way as a result of this ill-informed majority of the electorate. It seems to me the obvious conclusion would be to pour money and resources into improving the education of groups that tended to support Obama: the poor, minorities, and those that live in urban areas.

Unfortunately, I don't think that's a conclusion that Ziegler and his unnamed backers would be very comfortable with.
posted by jedicus at 10:24 AM on November 19, 2008 [16 favorites]


Well that's nice.

Good to see Nate Silver staying in the news.
posted by delmoi at 10:25 AM on November 19, 2008


538 stopped being a daily stop for me once the election was over. I see I may need to change that.

I am surprised he didn't record the call, so he didn't have to rely on shorthand.
posted by cjorgensen at 10:26 AM on November 19, 2008


Thanks, Matt.
posted by billysumday at 10:26 AM on November 19, 2008


Unfortunately, I don't think that's a conclusion that Ziegler and his unnamed backers would be very comfortable with.

They won't get within a country mile of that one.
posted by Tehanu at 10:27 AM on November 19, 2008


I like Nate Silver a lot, but I think the pop quiz gotcha questions at the end of the interview were unnecessary and unprofessional, and I think I might have reacted similarly to them if I were the interviewee. No professional journalist would ask questions like that, and for good reason.

Have you ever actually watched a presidential debate? And anyway, as Silver points out, the subject matter of the interview is precisely this kind of pop-quiz knowledge and whether Obama voters have it. Perfectly justified way to end an interview with this guy.
posted by game warden to the events rhino at 10:27 AM on November 19, 2008 [3 favorites]


I think the pop quiz gotcha questions at the end of the interview were unnecessary and unprofessional, and I think I might have reacted similarly to them if I were the interviewee. No professional journalist would ask questions like that, and for good reason.

Brings to mind Andy Hiller's interview with George W. back in 1999: Bush Fails Quiz on Foreign Affairs.
posted by ericb at 10:27 AM on November 19, 2008


So "John Ziegler" is Cheney's sockpuppet account?
posted by DU at 10:27 AM on November 19, 2008


Also, Silver's not the only 538er that can bring it. Co-writer Sean Quinn went nuclear on an obnoxious Daily Kos diarist a few days ago over political yard signs, of all things. And it was bad enough that they had to disappear it from the site. Entertaining read, though.

Are you talking about this? Or was there a more recent one? I'd love to read it if there was, because Quinn's pieces about yard signs were some of my favorite from the whole election cycle. They were hilarious, and dead on accurate. I can't tell you how many times this happened to me:

New Volunteer: Hi! I'd like to help out with the campaign!

Me: Great! We could really use help canvassing, or making phone calls in the evening, or entering data into the computers.

New Volunteer: Oh. I was thinking more along the lines of driving people to the polls on Election Day. Or putting a sign in my yard.

It was incredible to see what percentage of people were interested in those two activities, and nothing else.
posted by EarBucket at 10:28 AM on November 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


I like Nate Silver a lot, but I think the pop quiz gotcha questions at the end of the interview were unnecessary and unprofessional, and I think I might have reacted similarly to them if I were the interviewee.

Unprofessional? Deary me! Why should a fine upstanding gentleman like Ziegler be subjected to such crude behavior? He only dropped the F-Bomb a few times in the interview before the interview and he didn't just finish up hiring a company to ask pop quiz questions to hundreds of people himself, with the aim of showing them to be idiots.
posted by delmoi at 10:29 AM on November 19, 2008


It's like Jay Leno's 'Jaywalking' schtick!
posted by ericb at 10:31 AM on November 19, 2008


And Mark Blumenthal of pollster.com gets in on the action.
posted by billysumday at 10:32 AM on November 19, 2008


Zeigler's claim is absurd -- that the mainstream media failed its duty to fairly represent both sides equally. I could make an equally, if not more, absurd documentary about McCain voters. Ask them what Obama's middle name is, then McCain's and Palin's -- I'll give you a hint: they'll know only one of these.
posted by spiderskull at 10:32 AM on November 19, 2008 [4 favorites]


...I think I might have reacted similarly to them if I were the interviewee...
posted by Joakim Ziegler


Errr....speaking of sockpuppet accounts...
posted by DU at 10:32 AM on November 19, 2008


Um, yeah, no relation, I might have wanted to mention that. I assume you weren't serious about this being a sockpuppet account, though, I've certainly been around for a while.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 10:33 AM on November 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


and I think I might have reacted similarly to them if I were the interviewee

you're not a public figure. and speaking of professionalism, anybody who answers with "fuck off" to a journalist's question is hardly professionial in their behavior.

No professional journalist would ask questions like that, and for good reason.

says who? the guy's whole point is that others are uninformed. he brags that he's excellently informed. he gets asked, politely, two very simple questions. and Silver gets this guy not to deny that the push poll was paid by the RNC. good for Silver.
posted by matteo at 10:37 AM on November 19, 2008


delmoi: Well, I didn't use "unprofessional" in the sense of "rude". I'm fine with interviewers being rude, I think it's often a good thing.

But pop quiz questions in interviews are unprofessional because they're worthless. You can always come up with a question that the interview subject "should know the answer to", but they don't know the answer to, and then they look like fools. This applies to interview subjects from across the political spectrum. And on the other hand, when the interview subject actually knows the answers, like Ziegler did in this case, the interviewer ends up looking like a fool, because he asked questions that were clearly intended to be "gotcha" questions, and they didn't work.

And Ziegler's doing a great job of making himself look like a fool without questions like these anyway.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 10:38 AM on November 19, 2008


EarBucket: "Are you talking about this? Or was there a more recent one? I'd love to read it if there was, because Quinn's pieces about yard signs were some of my favorite from the whole election cycle. They were hilarious, and dead on accurate."

Nah, the one I saw was posted November 8th. I can't link to it, since it was removed shortly afterwards, but I do have the text of it in my Google Reader feed from the site. It's pretty long though, and somewhat unprofessional (hence the deletion), so I'm hesitant to post it here in public. Just MeMail me if you really want to see it.
posted by Rhaomi at 10:41 AM on November 19, 2008


NOTICE
posted by mattbucher at 10:51 AM on November 19, 2008


The only reaction I seem to feel for John Ziegler's antics is a joyful glee over his delicious tears.
posted by aapep at 10:57 AM on November 19, 2008


I think Silver's major intention is to embarrass Zogby over having performed this poll in the first place, and considering 538's dependence on legitimate polling data I don't blame him in the least. From his initial post on this topic:
Why Zogby International has decided to accept this client and conduct a survey in this fashion is not clear. I would hope, however, that any and all clients that need legitimate polling work conducted would take their business elsewhere.
I'm sure he's as loathe to provide a platform for Ziegler as we are, but Ziegler probably isn't his target. If I were Silver, I'd imagine that few people are going to have their opinion changed in Ziegler's favor due to greater exposure; but lack of exposure just leaves him with the air of authority that Zogby's blessing still connotes. Because really, it's not like Fox News cares that Ziegler is a nutbag. The only way to get them to stop presenting this poll as "from the experts" is to loudly and clearly point out that it's not.

That said, I too thought the questions at the end came off as snarky "gotcha" questions. I understand why Silver asked them, but I'd rather have seen him delve further into the technical failures of Ziegler's methodology. For example, the laughable claim that "oh, we happened to get faster responses in the predominantly black neighborhood" which, even if true, completely undermines it as an unbiased and representative survey.
posted by Riki tiki at 10:59 AM on November 19, 2008


Okay, so he asks Nate Silver to interview him, and then calls him a "pinhead" out of nowhere a mere four questions into the interview.

It's totally not fair. I'm a crazy, short-tempered jerk, so why don't I have a radio show? Is it because I think autism is real?
posted by giraffe at 10:59 AM on November 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm a crazy, short-tempered jerk, so why don't I have a radio show? Is it because I think autism is real?

Well, perhaps you could get a show if you thought autism was caused by vaccines even though all the scientific evidence proves that it's not.
posted by billysumday at 11:06 AM on November 19, 2008


I assume you weren't serious about this being a sockpuppet account, though, I've certainly been around for a while.

Astro Zombie 3 has been around for a while.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:06 AM on November 19, 2008


An analysis of the numbers - safe for work, really - it has some of the questions. I'm pretty sure quoting the questions in full here would not be good.

If anyone's wondering, Ziegler hasn't had a radio show for just over a year.
posted by Pronoiac at 11:14 AM on November 19, 2008


Narf!
posted by InfidelZombie at 11:18 AM on November 19, 2008


My favorite bit from Ziegler's "rebuttal:" "His agenda was so obvious and his credibility so laughable..."
posted by Pronoiac at 11:19 AM on November 19, 2008


If anyone's wondering, Ziegler hasn't had a radio show for just over a year.

Yes, supposedly he was fired for some ominous reason, which caused Ziegler to write a long diatribe against his previous employer KFI and the many hosts employed by the station, stating, among other things:

* John Kobylt made one of the most racist statements ever made by a person in his position and, in the opinion of John Ziegler, is a racist
* Ken Chiampou is presumed to be a homosexual by nearly everyone at KFI and why that should matter to KFI listeners
* There is a lot that John & Ken don't want you to know about how they do their show and determine what they are going to say


The dude is paranoid as all get out. One wonders if all talk radio people are this insane.
posted by billysumday at 11:22 AM on November 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


I see six answers, which makes guessing the right one about a 16.6667% chance, the ratio of the devil.

I laughed.
posted by Tehanu at 11:22 AM on November 19, 2008


Asking who said they could see Alaska from their home is just as close to what Palin said as to what Fey said.

And yes, the poll looks like crap all round.

But I still think that the interview was terrible - Nate Silver didn't come off a whole lot better than John Ziegler.
posted by djgh at 11:39 AM on November 19, 2008


One wonders if all talk radio people are this insane.

Ceasing all surfing on the AM dial (except for summer ballgames, when needed) and getting rid of cable (and, more to the point, cable news) were two of the best gifts I ever gave to my blood pressure and IQ.
posted by middleclasstool at 11:44 AM on November 19, 2008 [2 favorites]


Yes, supposedly he was fired for some ominous reason, which caused Ziegler to write a long diatribe against his previous employer KFI...

"Glenn Beck, Bill O'Reilly and Lou Dobbs have been very successful in fooling people into thinking that they are 'nonpartisan' and beholden to neither the right nor the left."

Apparently I don't have my own radio show because I'm not able to make jokes nearly as hilarious as this one.
posted by giraffe at 11:50 AM on November 19, 2008


Oh wait, it's the same guy? Wow.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 12:01 PM on November 19, 2008


So 'John Ziegler' is Cheney's sockpuppet account?
NS: Thank you, have a good day.
JZ: Go fuck yourself.
Cheney to Leahy: 'Go Fuck Yourself.' All signs point to Yes.
posted by kirkaracha at 12:27 PM on November 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


What? His explanation of why he only surveyed Obama voters is insane. Really really insane. First of all how hard could it be to survey twice as many voters. Your basically going to have to screen McCain voters anyway. And, really, without a baseline what could it possibly mean?

And uh, "Which candidate said their policies would likely bankrupt the coal industry and make energy rates skyrocket?" is bogus.

I think the question is to what extent is Zogby a gun for hire versus what do they expect their name to say about the results that they gather.
posted by Wood at 12:37 PM on November 19, 2008


Yes, supposedly he was fired for some ominous reason

Oh wait, that was the OTHER time he was fired.
posted by Mcable at 1:24 PM on November 19, 2008


One of my housemates told me a few weeks ago that every time she sees the word Zogby in print, her brain translates it to ZOMG!

As soon as she mentioned it, I started having the same problem.

Now I just need an amusing mindvirus for the name Ziegler and I'll be all set.
posted by nebulawindphone at 1:30 PM on November 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


I think the question is to what extent is Zogby a gun for hire versus what do they expect their name to say about the results that they gather.

Well, that ought to be the question. And given that stats and polls are Nate Silver's bread and butter, he's the right guy to have asking it. This business about Ziegler getting all riled up is sort of a distraction — I mean, if Zogby turns out to be selling out or significantly biased, that's big news, but if you push a washed-up talk-radio has-been into swearing at you, what exactly does that prove?

Zogbyzieglerzogbyzieglerzogbyziegler....
posted by nebulawindphone at 1:33 PM on November 19, 2008


I read the comments here before I read the transcript, and I expected the guy to fall apart near the end, but boy, he's insulting by question three and full-on defensive by question four. It must be nice to have a cause to internalize, so that you can justify all of your pent-up rage.
posted by davejay at 1:34 PM on November 19, 2008


I see six answers, which makes guessing the right one about a 16.6667% chance, the ratio of the devil.

I laughed.


Thanks. I tried to keep it light.

I though the "Not Sure" jokes were better, but then again, I'm a bit biased.

But yeah...when you dig through the actual results, his interpretations leave a lot to be desired.

I did noticed that he fixed the most blatant math error. Luckily, I took a screen shot before that happened.

-RPN
posted by wah at 1:36 PM on November 19, 2008


I don't have the slightest doubt that the vast majority of US voters, myself included, are misinformed, illinformed or uninformed about any number of topics.
posted by _aa_ at 2:12 PM on November 19, 2008


Actually Obama was vetted far more by the media than McCain was over the last year.
Why?
Obama was in a tough primary fight and was in the media eye for a year. McCain didn't start to get big media attention until well after the primaries. To most voters any media coverage of McCain prior to this year doesn't much count.
I would like to see a documentary of all the misinformed McCain voters who still claim Obama is a Marxist Muslim born in another country. I think Ziegler believes it himself.
posted by Rashomon at 2:39 PM on November 19, 2008


Can you imagine if the world were actually the way people like this described it?

Wouldn’t you feel crazy?

I mean, I’m thinking of Steve Martin here talking about how if you died and it was just like the fable - pearly gates, clouds, bearded old man, people with wings playing harps, naked babies flying around.
It’d be surreal.
But it’s out of context with the real world.

This is supposed to be reality.
Like there’s reporters actually sitting behind their desks fondling themselves when Obama speaks. And they really are ‘enemies’
And Obama really is a ‘secret’ muslim. Like you somehow in an “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” moment, run up to him while he’s taking the oath of office, snatch the book he’s got his hand on and find out it’s the Koran with a torn off cover of the Bible wrapped around it.
And he’s working with Bill Ayers to blow things up. Obama is actually going to sneak out of the White House and wire bombs.
Or there’s some subgroup of humans who really are ‘niggers’ - as opposed to just folks who are black - who have some sort of low animal cunning where they intuitively know how to game the welfare system and dupe college graduates so they can laze about drinking, eating fried chicken and watermellon, and doing drugs.
And the New York Times is actively working to support this agenda by actively spreading disinformation.

I mean I used to get a kick out of some of that. Not at all taking it seriously. Now it’s like listening to madmen rave about a world that not only doesn’t exist, but couldn’t possibly exist, except they’re in earnest about it.

It’s not like the UFO folks are saying things are actually going to happen as a result of their beliefs. There’s no reality overlay.

And I find myself at an increasing loss as to how to react. I mean, nothing makes an otherwise rational man of conscience reach for a firearm quicker than the thought that “those fuckers are crazy dangerous” and can’t be reasoned with.
posted by Smedleyman at 2:57 PM on November 19, 2008 [12 favorites]


I would like to see a documentary of all the misinformed McCain voters who still claim Obama is a Marxist Muslim born in another country.

And to see their reaction when they find out that McCain was actually the one born in a foreign country.
posted by ericb at 3:03 PM on November 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


[clip long detailed analysis]

There are so many holes in Ziegler's premise and execution that you could drive armies of trucks through them. It's not worth wasting the time on in this forum.

Just for kicks though, I like to tell people I voted for an America-hating, terrorist-loving, secret-Muslim. Because even if all those things were true, it would still be better than having the Republicans in power.
posted by Xoebe at 3:23 PM on November 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


Stay classy, Ziegler.

I always suspected your line about being more ideologue than partisan was a steaming load, and now I have proof.
posted by chimaera at 3:56 PM on November 19, 2008


Aw, I can't find the comment that boiled down the core tenets of Republicans or talk radio, to be "others are getting what's yours" or "you're getting ripped off" or something. I was just wondering what the opposite side of that is, what Ziegler's triggering: abuse of authority for intolerance or bigotry? Because he really seems trollish here, & he's getting an outsized response that he doesn't deserve.
posted by Pronoiac at 4:09 PM on November 19, 2008


John Ziegler is the worst person in the world and it would be poetic justice if his suicidal ideation returns.

I am focusing my comments on the issues, topics, and facts at hand. There are bad people in the world and as long as they are not members of the site I don't see how such comments break any rules. If they do, please let me know which public figures we can say bad things about - bin Laden? Hitler? Idi Amin? - and which are off-limits for some arbirary reason.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 5:49 PM on November 19, 2008


Also note that Ziegler had a plan to murder O. J. Simpson so it's not like this guy is just saying stuff; he is genuinely dangerous and evil.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 5:52 PM on November 19, 2008


Just, wow. Perhaps the appropriate response should be sympathy, but I am just dumbstruck with disgust after reading his response to Wallace's piece. Having just recently read the Atlantic piece, and having been moved by the compassion and curiosity Wallace offered this true piece of work of a man, I'm actually surprised at being surprised by the vitriol and self-aggrandizement of his response. Wallace was clearly portraying an aggrieved nutjob, but the fascination he presented led me to believe Ziegler might be worth talking to at least, might be one whose neuroses could be receptive to dialogue. That maybe it might no be too late for America, because clearly Ziegler's experience expresses equal or at least relative trauma to all those others he shits upon nightly for a salary. But if that is the height of humility he can muster for someone recently dead, by their own hand, who like him suffered clinical and medicated depression for years... This election, and Obama's whole promise, has been about the promise of reconciliation, but if this is the antipode we have to work with, I can't say I am very much optimistic right now about the future of democracy.

Ziegler: "I never spoke to Wallace again after that fiery phone call (when I immediately called back to apologize for hanging up on him he didn’t answer the phone)."
posted by kaspen at 6:31 PM on November 19, 2008


I have to qualify my statement that "Ziegler's experience expresses equal or at least relative trauma to" those he denigrates. Obviously I don't mean to equate sordid past of firings and minor controversies, delineated in Wallace's essay, with the inter-generational cataclysm of slavery and oppression. As much as I see his lunacy and prickishness as an elaborate complex of self-delusion resulting from what I'd consider historical trauma, one can't just equate the ups and downs of life with true gross atrocities. But there is a sort of PC truism that we can't judge the suffering of another, and it was this along with the drive towards post-partisan reconciliation which motivated this perhaps crass seeming statement.


posted by kaspen at 7:33 PM on November 19, 2008


For a while, I wondered if Ziegler was just having a really bad day and had grown horribly frustrated by Silver's write-up. I could understand -- sometimes, it's really painful when your work gets criticized.

Then I got to the part where Ziegler talked about how CLEARLY Obama MUST have been a Muslim at one point in his life, but was he now a Christian? No way to know.

Sheesh. Just sheesh.
posted by Ms. Saint at 7:47 PM on November 19, 2008


Ugh, so it's not a push poll because of definition? That's such bullshit.

All of the questions with Obama/Biden answers were SCANDALS that were not focused on by the "liberal media".

All the questions with Palin/McCain answers were all over the media.

I think it qualifies as a push poll simply by the way the questions are designed and how they were asked only to Obama supporters. Although, I guess it doesn't really 'push' anything since they had already voted.
posted by graventy at 10:55 PM on November 19, 2008


But pop quiz questions in interviews are unprofessional because they're worthless.

Not true: if the point was to get Ziegler worked up. It worked. "go fuck yourself" is quite a few magnitudes ruder than "who are the senators of _________".
posted by RockCorpse at 6:18 AM on November 20, 2008


--
Although, I guess it doesn't really 'push' anything since they had already voted.
--

Push polls are advertising, not polls. You do them to as many people as the budge allows and you don't really care what the answers are. It's a rumor-mongering, FUD-tactic.

Ziegler was right about that. Nate was right that those are the kinds of questions that push-polls normally use.
posted by wah at 8:55 AM on November 20, 2008


Politico: Zogby won't duplicate Obama poll
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 12:23 PM on November 20, 2008


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