TheBlaze’s Steve Burguiere was joined Wednesday by Emily Ekins, director of polling for the Reason Foundation, to discuss a disturbing new poll that shows a majority of Americans are comfortable with the U.S. government’s surveillance programs.
“Most people apparently support this crazy invasion into our privacy through surveillance,” Burguiere said, “56 to 41 percent. I can’t believe that. Is that true?”
“Well,” Ekins replied, “it depends on which poll you’re looking at.”
Here’s the specific PEW Research Center poll Burguiere and Ekins are referring to:
To get to the truth of the matter, Ekins explains, one has to look at how survey respondents are questioned by pollsters.
For instance, CBS News and the New York Times conducted a joint survey on the same topic and its results are vastly different from the PEW poll:
According to Ekins, it’s because the CBS News poll made distinctions between ordinary Americans and person suspected of wrongdoing.
The CBS poll found that if you ask respondents whether ordinary Americas should have their phone records tracked by the government, most say, "no." Likewise, if you ask specifically whether persons suspected of terrorism should have their phone records tracked, most answer, “yes.”
The PEW poll didn’t make distinctions between “suspected terrorists” and “ordinary American” and that may account for its somewhat depressing results.
Watch the discussion unfold here:
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