Tip of the hat: Slate's Mickey Kaus continues to be on fire over the misleading New York Times poll from Friday that broke down the immigration bill into parts, thensweetened them up to make them more palatable to respondents.
He has multiple examples, like this:
"That NYT -CBS poll purporting to show support for the Kyl-Kennedy semi-amnesty isn't as bad as I realized. It's worse! Here's the key question, which pulled a 67% 'favor' response-
"63. Would you favor or oppose allowing illegal immigrants who came into the country before January to apply for a four-year visa that could be renewed, as long as they pay a $5,000 fine, a fee, show a clean work record and pass a criminal background check?"
"The question says that if illegals pay the fine, the fee, etc. they can 'apply' for a four year visa. That suggests that even after the fine, etc. there is some discretion to turn down the 'application' - the way other visa applications are turned down. No. In the proposals being considered, if you satisfy the fine, fee, and background check requirements, etc., you get the visa. An ordinarily ill-informed respondent just hearing this question might easily think it was a whole other sort of program being considered - something like, 'Sure, they can apply and we'll take the ones we want.'"
Kaus also asked:
"Does the average poll respondent even know what a 'visa' is? I'm not sure I do. Why not be honest and say something like, 'Would you favor giving them legal status that would allow them to stay and work in the country'? Instead, the NYT -CBS pollsters adopted the deceptive euphemisms of the proposed law (which must have tested well or else the proponents would have come up with other deceptive euphemisms)."