Your daily Letter to the Columnist — Jan. 11, 2013
Dear Mr. Casey:
Thank you so much for your January 8, 2013, exposé of Morgan Griffith’s phony “survey.”
As a retired professor, I have constructed surveys, piloted them, and had to change questions because they were unclear or directive to a certain answer. Even the most skilled survey writer has to do a lot of editing before a survey is ready to collect the data that would be most helpful.
My question is, “How does he get away with this stuff?” The only thing I can come up with is that if you repeat a lie enough times, people start to believe it.
The “clean coal” scam and the idea that the “poor” coal mine operators are having problems due to EPA regulations are sterling examples of this tactic. Coalmine operators had a free ride from the EPA during the Bush I and II administrations; thus, mountain-top removal. Coal is in trouble for two reasons: it is getting scarcer and more expensive to mine and natural gas is getting cheaper. Simple economics.
The other topics on this “survey” are presented in an equally biased way. In light of the recent tragedy in Connecticut and the fact that even after the years that have passed, I was surprised that Griffith was bold enough to include a gun question. How slimy and callous must one be to include a question like that?
I hope you continue to call out these hypocritical politicians. The next Virginia governor’s race should be a real circus and will provide much fodder for your column.
Carol Burger, Ph.D.