Saturday, January 14, 2006

Polls on NSA Spying/Eavesdropping

So what do Americans think about U.S. government eavesdropping? CNN published their poll results on Tuesday with the headline “Poll finds U.S. split over eavesdropping.” Fox News, on the other hand, published their poll the next day. The link to the poll results said “Fox Poll: Most Americans favor NSA spying.” The opening sentences give dramatic differences in perceptions of where Americans stand on the issue. I believe that the opening sentences are very important in that they set up a frame of reference for the rest of the article (if the reader even reads the rest). CNN starts with a negative statement about a trend in more skepticism of the White House. Fox though is much more supportive of the Administration’s position. Here are the sentences:

CNN:

“Though Americans are growing more skeptical of the White House record on civil liberties, the nation is divided over whether the Bush administration should use wiretaps without first obtaining a warrant, a recent poll shows.”

FOX:

“A majority of Americans think the president should have the power to authorize eavesdropping on domestic phone calls with suspected terrorists without getting a warrant, though many say they are concerned government efforts to track terrorists are harming civil liberties.”

The poll questions were slightly different but were the questions themselves biased? CNN’s question specifically points out President Bush while Fox’s question is more on a general principle. Here are their questions and results:

CNN’s question was: “Question: Do you think the Bush administration was right or wrong in wiretapping these conversations without obtaining a court order? They found that “50 percent of those polled believe it's OK to forgo warrants when ordering electronic surveillance of people suspected of having ties to terrorists abroad. Another 46 percent said the policy is wrong, and 4 percent said they had no opinion.”

Fox’s question was “Do you think the president should or should not have the power to authorize the National Security Agency to monitor electronic communications of suspected terrorists without getting warrants, even if one end of the communication is in the United States?” Fox states that “By 58 percent to 36 percent, Americans think the president should have the power to authorize the National Security Agency (NSA) to monitor electronic communications of suspected terrorists without getting warrants, even if one end of the communication is in the United States.”

Links to articles:

http://www.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/01/11/poll.wiretaps/index.html

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,181462,00.html

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think your assumptions are correct CNN is showing there Liberal Bias.

Anonymous said...

This simply proves that America is now populated by fools that do not understand that this is an invasion of their privacy.

They are willing to trade Constitutionally guaranteed freedoms for safety.

They deserve neither !