Fox News Really Needs to Up Its Push-Polling Game

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Steve Benen alerts us to the latest ridiculously-worded question in a Fox News poll:

In the aftermath of the Benghazi terrorist attacks, the Obama administration incorrectly claimed it was a spontaneous assault in response to an online video, even though the administration had intelligence reports that the attacks were connected to terrorist groups tied to al Qaeda. Do you think the Obama administration knowingly lied about the attacks to help the president during the ongoing re-election campaign, or not?

I’m not even going to bother pointing out all the ways in which this is wrong. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while and you still don’t know, then I’ve failed utterly.1

But here’s the funniest part: as Benen points out, the question Fox asked is roughly like saying “The administration totally lied. Do you think the administration knowingly lied?” And even so, Fox could only muster 51 percent agreement. Try harder, guys.

1Oh, all right. Here are the facts yet again: (a) Benghazi was an opportunistic assault, carried out with no more than a few hours of planning. (b) Reporting on the ground confirms that the video did, in fact, play a role in provoking some of the attackers. (c) Neither Susan Rice nor anyone else denied that Al Qaeda-affiliated groups were responsible. In the first few days after the attack they said only that we didn’t know yet. (d) In any case, Ansar al-Shariah is primarily a local group with local grievances, and is only tenuously affiliated with Al Qaeda. Abu Khattala, who also led some of the attackers, had no ties to Al Qaeda at all.

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ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Or at least we hope. It’s fall fundraising time, and we’re trying to raise $250,000 to help fund Mother Jones’ journalism during a shorter than normal three-week push.

If you’re reading this, a fundraising pitch at the bottom of an article, you must find our team’s reporting valuable and we hope you’ll consider supporting it with a donation of any amount right now if you can.

It’s really that simple. But if you’d like to read a bit more, our membership lead, Brian Hiatt, has a post for you highlighting some of our newsroom's impressive, impactful work of late—including two big investigations in just one day and covering voting rights the way it needs to be done—that we hope you’ll agree is worth supporting.

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