Well, the time went by really quickly which helped me survive my interview on “The Blog Bunker” show a short while ago (Friday, July 11)!
First, I was really surprised that they called me only a couple of minutes before I went on. I was happy that the contact, a young woman, talked as fast I talk…but then again, the show is produced in NYC and I’m a native of the Metro NY area, so I shouldn’t have been surprised. But it was comforting, nonetheless. I had the brainpower to ask what it would be about and was told that it was about “polling.”
And so it was. The host, Joe Salzone, seemed to be interested in doing an interview on the basics of opinion polling. His questions were fine and I think I answered them so that the average listener, who is probably a lot younger than I am, could get a good, basic overview of how polling works and the problems that are inherent in any polling.
After I got off the phone, I took the dogs out for a walk, about 2 hours earlier than usual, which I haven’t been doing because it’s so hot. I think I was just anxious to get moving and work off the pent-up stress!
While walking I started to think of things I could have said. But I was following the interviewer, who calls himself a Libertarian. I listened to the show the day before and I got the feeling there was no interest in Clinton or how PUMAs may be affecting Obama at all. Since I had written about Zogby, the host could have brought him up and stirred up a bit of controversy about why his polling was way off in predicting big Clinton losses in states she won handily. During the discussion I started on bias in polling, the host could have brought up the fact that Zogby’s brother is active in the Democratic Party while being a “Senior Analyst” for Zogby International. If I had been quicker thinking and not so worried about what could be coming at me next, I probably could have injected some sort of PUMA concerns into the conversation. But, the interviewer was guiding the segment very tightly and I just couldn’t get it done.
The result was that I never got to mention PUMA. RATS!!
The only part of the segment that got me a bit nervous was when the host wanted me to come up with “fair and balanced” poll questions on a few topics, Iraq, Obama, “scandals” like the Jesse Jackson comments or Jeremiah Wright, and McCain’s age, which of course, was almost impossible to do on the fly, since it’s hard enough to do with a lot of thought. Instead, I focused on how questions might be framed within some sort of “historical context” or with some background to ensure the respondent knows what the question is about, or how a series of specific questions could break down opinion into more useful insights.
Overall, the whole thing went better than I expected, and the host and screener told me I was “excellent.” I’m just sorry I didn’t get a plug in for PUMA. But, the host obviously wasn’t interested in leading the conversation that way…and I wasn’t a quick enough puma to work things my way.
My apologies to fellow PUMAs but at least I informed a young audience about the perils of polling…