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Bug #7465 closed:unresolved

Bloomberg's poll on offshore drilling ban

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This bug appeared in a news report published by Bloomberg News on Jul 14, 2010 by Bloomberg. View the original news report.
Bug Type:  Simple Factual Error

Bloomberg’s poll (PDF), which the story was based on, asked the following (bottom of page five): “Do you think the spill proves off-shore drilling is just too dangerous and should be banned in U.S. waters, or was this a freak accident and offshore drilling can be made safer and should not be banned?” Based on this question, the Bloomberg headline blared: Americans in 73% Majority Oppose Deepwater Drilling Ban. The story begins, “Most Americans oppose President Barack Obama’s ban on deepwater oil drilling in response to BP Plc’s Gulf of Mexico spill…” Bloomberg made the same false claim two days later in a Businessweek story


Obviously, there is a huge difference between an indefinite ban on all offshore drilling and President Obama’s temporary moratorium on deepwater drilling. Regardless, Bloomberg polled about the former and reported on the latter. And frankly, I use the word ‘reported’ extremely loosely here. What Bloomberg actually did is fabricate public opinion information on a highly contested public policy issue that is currently being considered in some form by all three branches of government. This is important because political actors, both within Congress and the Obama Administration, may look to public opinion polls like this one to determine the proper course of action.

Supporting Information:

More details here: http://www.enviroknow.com/2010/07/19/does-anyone-at-bloomberg-news-care-about-accuracy/

Attached Files:


Josh Nelson has not contacted Bloomberg News

Bug History

Jul 19, 2010 12:28 pm Open Josh Nelson
Jul 21, 2010 2:06 pm Open: Under Discussion Mark Follman
Aug 30, 2010 10:50 am Open: Responded To Mark Follman
Sep 18, 2010 9:00 am Closed: Unresolved admin
Oct 15, 2010 4:54 pm Open: Responded To Mark Follman
Oct 15, 2010 4:56 pm Closed: Unresolved Mark Follman

Discussion Leave a comment

We've emailed Bloomberg seeking a response about this bug.

Jul 21, 2010 2:06 pm

Today I reached Bloomberg managing editor Joe Winski by phone. The call was very brief; this was his response:

"We've said all we're going to say about that."

Jul 26, 2010 12:02 pm