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PEW asks possibly the dumbest poll question ever

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What is it with these people? It's like a massive cause of stupidity has hit every reporter and every organization dealing with the issue of Bush wiretapping Americans without a warrant.

To wit, PEW's latest poll:

Reports about President Bush authorizing wiretaps of Americans suspected of having ties to terrorists has drawn far more attention than the Abramoff case. But there is not an outcry or even consensus opinion about the government's monitoring, without court permission, the phone and email communications of Americans suspected of having terrorist ties; 48% feel this is generally right while about the same number (47%) think it is generally wrong. Public attitudes on this issue are highly partisan, with 69% of Republicans saying the government actions are generally right and nearly as many Democrats (62%) saying they are generally wrong.
Ok, did you catch that? PEW's poll showed only 48% of Americans, less than half, believe that the government should, without search warrants, tap the phones of Americans suspected of having ties to terrorists.

Again, did you get that?

Americans suspected of having ties to terrorists. And we STILL only have less than 50% support tapping them without a warrant.

Now PEW actually did ask the REAL question in this debate, namely, should the government be allowed to tap Americans' phone calls, but they buried their result way down in the report. How do Americans feel about having their phones tapped? 73% oppose. Hello? Kind of an amazing result, and one that very clearly speaks to "outrage," dontchathink?

But for PEW to say that the results from just the first question - the one that includes terrorist ties - shows there isn't an outcry, well excuse me. But fewer than half of all Americans think it's okay to tap the phones, without a warrant, of people with suspected ties to terrorists? That's a heck of a big deal. I'd have thought most Americans would say "if you've got ties to terrorists, all bets are off."

I don't mean to knock PEW, but these kind of mistakes impact us all. It's nice that they asked the real question later on, but Jesus people, that's your headline, that's your outrage, 73% of the public is opposed to what these people are doing.

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