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On September 5th, PBS program NOW posted a poll on its Web site asking readers, Do you think Sarah Palin is qualified to serve as Vice President of the United States? Respondents were directed to voice their opinion by clicking “Yes” or “No.”
Since then, the poll’s become kind of a big deal. E-mails were circulated telling Internet users on both sides of the Palin divide to make their opinion known; people clicked, clicked, then clicked some more; some people got pissed off about various aspects of the poll, calling it sexist, liberal, frivolous. Long story short, PBS stumbled upon a traffic-driving gem of a mindless Web feature.
But since the poll has gained momentum, various PBS reps have been defending the user-generated hype machine with some old-school tactics—-actual words.
First, PBS Ombudsman Michael Getler wrote a September 19th column defending PBS’s poll question [words dedicated to defending the poll: 303]. He then directs the reader’s attention to a response from NOW Executive Producer John Siceloff, who also defended the poll [word count: 514].
Yesterday, NOW’s Director of New Media, Joel Schwartzberg, circulated an e-mail [word count: 286] pointing to another note from Siceloff [word count: 731] defending the poll.
Current count is 1834 words—-that I could find—-defending a throwaway Internet poll. Hey, I thought those Web features were supposed to write themselves. And to think, I’ve only gotten 272 words out of the thing.
But enough from me. Reader: What do YOU think?
Do you think PBS NOW should issue another statement defending their defense of the poll? Lacking advanced PBS technology, dump your vote in the comments.