An opinion poll on a factual issue for which there was (on Jan 9-10, and still is as of this moment) zero factual evidence? What the fuck?
Nearly six in 10 Americans say the country’s heated political rhetoric is not to blame for the Tucson shooting rampage that left six dead and critically wounded U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, according to a CBS News poll.
Overall, 57 percent of respondents said the harsh political tone had nothing to do with the shooting, compared to 32 percent who felt it did. Republicans were more likely to feel the two were unrelated – 69 percent said rhetoric was not to blame; 19 percent said it played a part. Democrats were more split on the issue – 49 percent saw no connection; 42 percent said there was.
Unlike the issues of whether abortion is murder, taxation is theft, etc. the question of whether Loughner was motivated by overheated rhetoric could be determined to be factually true or false by interviewing him. He might not cooperate or his answers might prove ambiguous, but it’s at least possible that he would make some statements that would remove room for doubt as to where he’s coming from. Whether or not Loughner was influenced by violent rhetoric is not a matter of opinion, so what the fuck is the point asking people what they think at any stage, let alone within 24 hours of the shooting taking place?
It’s pretty fucking revealing that within a day of Giffords getting shot, a representative polling sample showed that at minimum, 85%* of people thought they had it all figured out. Could we be any more self-absorbed? I’m sure Colbert’s character would love seeing CBS News use phrasing that indicates that hat’s truly important here is what we feel happened.
*the poll has a 4% margin of error