Thursday, March 22, 2007

And more bizarre poll smoking

Good lord. What the heck was that?

We watched the second installment of the CBC's newfound love of Probe Research's services last night, which focused on the result that 54% of respondents said they'd like to see a public inquiry into the Crocus collapse.

We'll address that matter in a minute, but we nearly fell out of our seats when the esteemed high-standard journalists at the Mother Ship ran a reaction piece from three "average" Crocus investors. Who were these off-the-street, average Joes?

We missed the name of the third man, but the other two were Linda West and Bernie Bellan.

Neither were identified as partisans (Linda is already the nominated Conservative in Radisson, Bernie says he's running for the Liberals). And Bellan wasn't identified as the leader of the class action lawsuit naming everyone under the sun (although he did mention the lawsuit in his comments).

Is this even remotely ethical? We think not. It's a travesty.

(We did think it slightly humourous though that only West agreed there should be an inquiry.)

Furthermore, CBC did not report their results with any context whatsoever. Although just over half of respondents said they would like to see an inquiry, if you go to you will find another interesting question. When asked,
four out of five people -- a full 80% -- said they are not paying attention to the Crocus issue.

What's the most likely conclusion of these two results? If you ask people if they would like an inquiry into just about any perceived problem, they will most likely say yes.

Wow. Instant headline news.

Interesting as well is that just 9% put blame at the feet of the Doer government, whereas about half of that place blame with the former Filmon government.

Too bad Probe didn't ask whether the underwriters, Wellington West, the folks who were allegedly the experts and attested to the actual value of Crocus's portfollio, were at all to blame.

What a schmozzle. Between the Probies whose skill in their craft seems questionable and the ham-handed media outlets that don't seem to understand the information they commission, Manitoba news consumers are not getting much enlightenment.


Oh, as a footnote, we just heard that when the Probe/Free Press material was being compiled last Friday, enterprising reporter Mia Rabson was busy chasing down the top line piece of vital info from the poll -- that the new number one issue for Manitobans was not health care, not infrastructure -- but crime.

She spent all morning and well into the afternoon getting reaction from the government and others to this shocking information.

That is, until she was informed late in the day that in fact that's not what the poll showed. In reality, health care was still at the top, with crime as a distant third.

Wha? How on earth did that happen?

This, we understand, remains a mystery between Probe and the FreePies.

Drinks all around, folks.