Why Things Suck, Part 8,249

« December 2006 »

Memo to Lou Dobbs: YOU ARE DUMB.

Or your poll writers are. Either way, the fucked stops with you.

Every once in a while, if I have a little free time in the early evening, I watch a bit of cable news. Masochistic, I know, but I think it's good to check in on dipshits like Tucker Carlson (who today was flustered when both his Republican and Democratic guests agreed that Keith Ellison can swear on whatever the hell he wants. Their agreement nearly shattered the fabric of cable news as we know it), Brit Hume, and every single other human being they put on camera.

So I'm flipping past Lou Dobbs, and after about ten minutes of Lou using his ninja hand-to-hand skills to fend off hordes of Mexicans who are trying to host his show for $3 an hour, it's time for their stupid instant poll thing. You know, the completely unscientific, loaded question they pose to people who then get to vote over and over again on the Internet so that the meaningless results can be shown on screen toward the end of the show.

The questions are almost uniformly insipid and pointless. But today's question was so mind-bogglingly stupid that I decided I had to take a little precious time and write up a short hatespout about it. I suggest you brace your head, because the inevitable double-take as you read this question has been known to snap weak necks. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"Do you believe racial profiling, affirmative action and corporate diversity programs are constitutionally permissible?"

Your available answers, by the way, are "Yes" and "No". This question hits the trifecta of stupid - trying to equate racial profiling and affirmative action, trying to equate racial profiling and corporate diversity programs, and trying to equate affirmative action with corporate diversity programs.

And setting aside the conceptual and semantic problems for a second, from a purely practical standpoint, the question is hideously flawed. The people that support racial profiling (punishing other people because they don't look like I do), are not the same people who support affirmative action (rewarding other people because they don't look like I do).

And everybody supports corporate diversity programs until it's time for the mandatory seminar, at which point the programs become a complete waste of money and time, especially since that one dark-skinned guy in the mailroom seems pretty happy most of the time.

Five thousand people decided they could actually answer the question - either by careful logical parsing of the word "and", or by clicking on it accidentally trying to shoot the monkey and win an iPod. The majority said "no", which I find respectively comforting, unsurprising, and horrifying.

Just remember that the people who thought this question was a good idea are the people your neighbors are getting their news from. That oughta keep you up at night.