Friday, December 26, 2008

No pollster called me, but ...

I'd pick none of those recorded as "man Americans admire most" in a USA Today poll published today. One-third of those called by USA Today pollsters named the prez-elect.

All of the others listed, including the current president, were at five percent or less. Bush 43 and Sen. John McCain did edge out Pope Benedict XVI, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, and the first black U.S. president, Bill Clinton.

Most polls are dubious in my humble opinion. No respectable media outlet should commission or conduct its own polls for the purposes of making news or manipulating public opinion. Media organizations should exhaustively examine and report on the methodology and standards of polls they publish, no matter how "newsworthy" or "respectable" the source seems to be.

Ruby, my dog, could craft a poll of Americans who would pick Hugo Chavez as the most popular American man. After all, Venezuela is one of several American countries.

And then they're outright sexists at USA Today. The women aren't mentioned until the third graph and were segregated from the men. The future Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, rated highest with 20 percent of the 1, 008 "American" telephone and cellphone owners. Alaskan Gov. Sarah Palin, at 11 percent, ranked higher than Oprah, Vicar of Daytime Television, who garnered 8 percent.

Here are two U.S. citizens in the public spotlight I admire: Libby Callahan, police revolver champion and four-time U.S. Olympic Shooting Team member; and Thomas Sowell, economist and author. The only politician who comes to mind is former Oklahoma governor Frank Keating.

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