Ignoring two polls to the contrary, Asman falsely claimed "the one poll that we've seen" on NSA phone record program "shows that over 60 percent" support it

››› ››› BEN ARMBRUSTER

Fox News' David Asman falsely claimed that "the one poll we've seen" on the National Security Agency (NSA) program to collect phone call records of tens of millions of Americans "shows that over 60 percent, a big majority, believe this is not spying, that it is not violating Americans' rights." Asman was presumably referring to a flawed Washington Post/ABC News poll that indicated that 63 percent of respondents said the program is "acceptable." However, Asman ignored the fact that USA Today/Gallup and Newsweek have each released polls on the topic indicating that a majority of Americans disapprove of the reported data collection program.

On the May 15 edition of Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto, guest host David Asman falsely claimed that "the one poll we've seen" on the National Security Agency (NSA) program to collect phone call records of tens of millions of Americans "shows that over 60 percent, a big majority, believe this is not spying, that it is not violating Americans' rights." Asman was presumably referring to a flawed May 11 Washington Post/ABC News poll that indicated that 63 percent of respondents said the program is "acceptable." However, Asman ignored two other, more recent polls -- by USA Today/Gallup and Newsweek -- indicating that a majority of Americans disapprove of the reported data collection program. Further, the Newsweek poll contradicts Asman's assertion that polling shows most Americans believe the program is "not violating Americans' rights," finding that the majority of those polled said it invades people's privacy.

Discussing the revelation that the NSA has been secretly collecting the phone records of millions of Americans, Asman said to radio talk show host Bill Press: "I guess you think it was ... a political blow to Bush." Press responded: "I think this is like owning a toxic waste dump, owning this issue." Asman then countered: "[T]he poll that we have seen -- granted, it was an overnight poll, but still, the one poll that we've seen on this shows that over 60 percent, a big majority, believe this is not spying, that it is not violating Americans' rights."

In fact, Asman ignored two other polls finding that a majority of Americans view the NSA phone data collection program unfavorably. Contrary to Asman's assertion that Americans believe the program is not violating their rights, a May 11-12 Newsweek poll found that 53 percent of those polled said the program "goes too far in invading people's privacy," while 41 percent said it is a "necessary tool to combat terrorism." Additionally, a May 12-13 USA Today/Gallup poll found that 51 percent of those polled said they disapprove of the government program to collect phone records, while 43 percent approved.

From the May 15 edition of Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto, which also featured Republican strategist Angela McGlowan:

ASMAN: Bill, Angela has just outlined for you what the Republicans are going to say about this NSA -- and Newsweek says the NSA revelation was a blow to Bush. I guess you think it was, too, a political blow to Bush.

PRESS: I think this is like owning a toxic waste dump, owning this issue. It's George Bush's issue. Republicans are going to have to go out and sell it. And David -- look, I'm not saying that anything is a slam dunk for anybody because politicians can make mistakes. Buy if Democrats stand tough and oppose this, I think that it is a home run because Democrats can say, "We believe in fighting terrorism, but we also believe in the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Fourth Amendment."

ASMAN: But so far, Angela, the poll that we have seen -- granted, it was an overnight poll, but still, the one poll that we've seen on this shows that over 60 percent, a big majority, believe this is not spying, that it's not violating Americans' rights.

Posted In
Justice & Civil Liberties, Domestic Spying
Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
David Asman
Show/Publication
Your World w/ Neil Cavuto
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