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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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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