The GOP deployed a “Mainstream Media Accountability Survey” Thursday night that should make the veins pop on every thinking person in this country, because it’s an utterly offensive packaging of rampant bias in the guise of a scientific instrument used to gauge public opinion. But the worst part is question 21, in which they rewrite their history of six straight years of non-stop Congressional obstructionism, as if it never happened.
Why this is a fake survey
Where do we start? It violates almost every rule of social science. These are things that even a D-level student in Intro Psych knows not do. As NPR noted, the survey
- Uses fake or incomplete results of other opinion polls to suggest what the public already thinks. This is also known as planting an idea and asking the respondent to confirm it.
- Asks leading questions that sway the respondent and that take swipes at the subjects of the poll (also known as a “push poll”).
- Uses awkward and confusing questions that don’t make sense.
- Has unconventional language like “movement” rather than “people,” which can pressure the respondent by making them feel included or excluded in a group.
- Only asks each question one way, so that public opinions can’t be scientifically gauged.
- Misrepresents or revises history and events to suit its agenda.
- Asks for money to support Trump and the GOP at the end, which shows how blatantly partisan this is.
They may just be using this as a gauge of what messaging will work better for their base. But imagine if they will claim their preordained results reflect the opinion of a majority of Americans. It’s ironic, that the survey is titled “accountability,” given that this tool has absolutely none at all.
But we’ve already seen plenty of that kind of “alternative fact” spin. Like every time Trump cited flash news polls as statistically significant evidence that a majority of Americans supported him. Clearly, they didn’t, but he keeps to that message.
How in one survey question, the GOP revises 6 years of documented history
Question 21 says it all:
Do you believe that if Republicans were obstructing Obama like Democrats are doing to President Trump, the mainstream media would attack Republicans?
If Republicans were obstructing Obama? If??? It’s indescribably offensive that we have to remind the GOP of their endless litany of stunts they pulled to block anything and everything that Obama tried to do. Here’s a thorough enumeration by Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
It’s even more offensive that they have the audacity to claim to be the victims here. It’s one thing for Trump and his henchmen to make a complete perversion of facts, but it’s entirely another when the GOP’s national committee jumps on board. This survey, and especially this question, are full-scale endorsements of a national political policy of rampant and unrepentant dishonesty. And we have to put the right word to it. Not “untruths” or “misleading facts.” Lies, plain and simple.
The survey’s validity may be fake, but its message isn’t
This survey clearly has one point in mind: to continue Trump’s campaign strategy of polarizing Republicans into believing that they are the hapless victims of a massive media conspiracy. But now it isn’t the candidate who no one thought could win. It’s the national GOP. Embracing “alternative facts” and “fake news” to both justify their propaganda machines of lies, and normalize those lies so their base declares it morally acceptable.
Well, they left a door wide open for Americans to tell them what the majority really thinks. It is already obvious that Trump is dissatisfied with this survey’s results. Take the survey and lend your voice to the truth.