Wednesday, July 09, 2008

BREAKING: People Who Own Pets Like People Who Own Pets

You know, we are seldom surprised at the lengths the people who pass themselves off as reporters will go to avoid writing about issues that, actually, you know, mean something. After all, explaining complicated, issues; helping readers see the connection between often obscure policies and their day to day lives; and giving context and structure to world events is...well...hard. Besides, it takes time away from going to barbecues, and sharing donuts. It's just easier to let the person you're supposed to interview suggest the questions you should ask anyway. That way everyone is happy and what the public don't know won't hurt them, right?

(Eds: Yes we are aware of the irony of using the media to condemn the media. It is, as we have so often said, Ironicus at its Maximus)

With that in mind, you can understand our sense of ennui when we opened today's fish wrapper and found this:

If the presidential election were up to pet owners, John McCain could have a blue ribbon in his future. He has a veritable menagerie, including Sam the English springer spaniel, Coco the mutt, turtles Cuff and Link, Oreo the black and white cat, a ferret, three parakeets and a bunch of saltwater fish. Democratic candidate Barack Obama, on the other hand, doesn’t have a pet.

"I think a person who owns a pet is a more compassionate person — caring, giving, trustworthy. I like pet owners," said Janet Taylor of Plymouth, Mass. "Which is why I voted for Bush twice. OK, I could be wrong about that."

The poll found 47 percent of whites own dogs, compared with just 24 percent of blacks. Whites tend to favor McCain, while blacks overwhelmingly favor Obama. "Of course since owning a pet costs money and blacks are three times more likely to be living in poverty than whites, (PDF) that could be a reason too," said a spokesperson for the company that did the polling. "We didn't consider that as important as the cat/dog breakdown though."

The AP-Yahoo News poll is part of an ongoing study that tracks the attitudes and opinions of a group of more than 2,000 Americans to see how their political views evolve over the course of the election campaign.

When asked what owning a pet had to do with political views a spokesperson for the AP conceded it "didn't mean much. But have you tried to understand the FISA bill? What do you think we are, Einsteins?"

We had a dog named Einstein once. He enjoyed licking his own balls.

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