CNN’s Use of Trite, Tired Polls on “Creationism”
If you are CNN commentator Bill Schneider you think that intelligent design is just another name for creationism and that creationism is what schools are considering teaching. Now, ID is not creationism and, in any case, schools — with few exceptions — are only considering whether students will be exposed to the scientific evidence for and against Darwin’s theory, not whether to teach ID. But mere reality didn’t stop Schneider from warping the issue with polls that pit evolution against creationism during his Inside Politics news report on President Bush today.
The polls, incidentally, all favor creationism when posed that way — even Democrats and liberals answer in favor of teaching it as well as evolution. But it is a fake choice to pose to voters since the real public policy issue is something else. (Maybe voters even sense that and do the best they can with poor questions?)
So why does Schneider do it? Does he not know any better? Does he not know that surveys (by Zogby) pose the real choices (e.g., whether to teach the evidence for and against Darwin’s theory)? is he perhaps using his analysis of polling as a way to influence public opinion rather than report it? In other words, is he engaged in what might be called “push polling”, a counterpart to “push questionnaires” in political campaigns?