A Zogby poll that might have been helpful a week ago

Recall that the ABC and CBS polls were showing that 68% of Americans were “in favor of letting Terri Schiavo die…” Other polls also reflected a general acquiesence on the part of most Americans as to whether Terri should “be allowed to die” or not.

Recall that the questions they asked asked the question in a very specific way,which I am tired so I’m just going to paraphrase for now: “Terri Schiavo is in a persistent vegatative state, and has been for 15 years, she is in a coma and will never recover, should she be taken off life support?”

Well…sure…you ask a question like that…you’ll get a number like 68% saying, “yes, let the poor woman die…”

Then Zogby asks the question a different way:

“If a disabled person is not terminally ill, not in a coma, and not being kept alive on life support, and they have no written directive, should or should they not be denied food and water,” the poll asked.

A whopping 79 percent said the patient should not have food and water taken away while just 9 percent said yes.

We all knew it, didn’t we? We knew that if how a question is phrased has everything to do with how it is answered.

David Limbaugh writes: There was NEVER any doubt in my mind that if the public knew even a fraction of the facts in the Schiavo case, including that we were talking about removing a feeding tube, not a respirator, from a person who is not terminally ill, they would not say they favored killing her. I said as much on a radio interview yesterday. Rush has been saying it non-stop. The poll questions have been skewed. Well, now Zogby releases a poll, after Terri’s death, after having asked the right questions and determined that 79% of the respondents said Terri should not have her food and water taken away and only 9% said she should. This is staggering, but unresponsive.

The press ran with those first polls – they were reported everywhere. “This is what America thinks should happen!” We heard. “President Bush, Governor Bush and the congress are way outside the mainstream!”

I haven’t seen these Zogby poll results anywhere but at Lifenews and on the blogs. If anyone else has seen ‘em on tv, let me know, ok? I’d like to give what my son Buster calls “mad props” to the MSM outlet that actually reports on this poll.

Michelle Malkin has great links, including one to an angry Pat Caddell, spitting fury at what he considered to be essentially push-polls.

Keep this in mind the next time the media offer up a poll – any poll – as evidence of anything, anything at all. Then think for yourself.

About Elizabeth Scalia