Doug Menefee indulges in a little sarcasm over on his site on the subject of Push Poll Madness in which he tracks the twists and turns of the representatives of BellSouth and Cox as they try to worm their way out of the spotlight. Take a look; his amazement is justified. The spectacle of these guys scuttling to get out of the spotlight is revealing.
While Doug's take on this is fun, on one point I just can't agree: he takes the protestations of ignorance on the part of the local heads of Cox and BellSouth at face value. I just can't--and don't think the idea is credible. The idea that Cox's Cassard was ignorant of the content a poll that hundreds of his customers--and only of his customers--were receiving is not credible. Of course he knew what was going on, why it was being done, and what its purpose was. No doubt he didn't think the firestorm would be so bad, else he would have never let it be launched. But ignorant of the basic purpose and nature of the poll? No way. Slithering away by claiming not to know exactly how foolishly they were phrased won't play. It isn't the silly "rationing TV" language that should embarass Cassard --it's that he and his company would even try such a tactic.
The same but more so for BellSouth's Mr. Williams. His company, on Cox's account, came up with the idea. He too had to know what was coming down. He too knew what was going on, why it was being done, and what its purpose was. But he had the gall to deny it entirely. It will be interesting if he sticks with his version.
In fact it will be interesting to see if either of them stick with their protestations of ignorance. Their corporations have put them in an impossible position. Either they are willing to engage in deceiving the public or they just don't know what is going on.
Either way there is no way we should take what they say from now on out seriously.