Spinning the hoax, saucing the gander

Bloggers who made the Dishonor Roll for mindlessly passing along a hoax quiz designed to pillory Hillary Clinton failed to make amends. So far as I can tell, not a one has apologized for the hoax, and a couple have their backs arched to hiss that they won’t change until or unless . . . well, they say the hoax is fair.

Really? Hoaxes are good things? Politicians make fair game?


Part of the problem comes from the way the questions plop out at people on that quiz. Any national polling firm can give us chapter and verse on the need to phrase questions and potential answers just so, so that they do not mislead the people questioned into making an answer choice they would not normally make. Any teacher can tell you that phrasing of questions and answer choices can affect the way students perform on a test.

So, let’s rephrase the quiz. How about a hoax quiz that makes Hillary look good? I’ll wager not one of the blogs that runs the earlier hoax would dare to run this quiz:


American Free Enterprise: Who said it?

A little history lesson: If you don’t know the answer make your best guess. Answer all the questions before looking at the answers. Who said it?

1) “We’re going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good.”

A. Abraham Lincoln
B. Alexander Hamilton
C. Andrew Jackson
D. None of the above

2) “It’s time for a new beginning, for an end to government of the few, by the few, and for the few…and to replace it with shared responsibility for shared prosperity.”

A. Ronald Reagan
B. Franklin D. Roosevelt
C. Jesus
D. None of the Above

3) “(We)…can’t just let business as usual go on, and that means something has to be taken away from some people.”

A. Herbert Hoover
B. Theodore Roosevelt
C. Rudolph Giuliani
D. None of the above

4) “We have to build a political consensus and that requires people to give up a little bit of their own…in order to create this common ground.”

A. Winston Churchill
B. Sam Houston
C. Lincoln
D. None of the above

5) “I certainly think the free-market has failed.”

A. Ludwig von Mises
B. Milton Friedman
C. Herbert Hoover
D. None of the above

6) “I think it’s time to send a clear message to what has become the most profitable sector in (the) entire economy that they are being watched.”

A. Alan Greenspan
B. Ben Bernanke
C. Teddy Roosevelt
D. None of the above

Answers below the fold.


(1) D. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton 6/29/2004
(2) D. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton 5/29/2007
(3) D. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton 6/4/2007
(4) D. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton 6/4/2007
(5) D. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton 6/4/2007
(6) D. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton 9/2/2005

In this form, quiz copyright © 2007, by Ed Darrell; you may copy this freely so long as attribution is kept on the same page.

Gee, the quiz rather loses its punch with those answer choices, doesn’t it? Feel free to spread it around, see if anyone’s history quotient rises with different answer choices.

2 Responses to Spinning the hoax, saucing the gander

  1. びっくり says:

    Actually, the quiz only loses its punch if the person taking the test falls into the expected pattern. If people take your new quiz and answer D on most of the questions, it still implies what they think of those words. Neither quiz is the best way to go about things, but circulating this one probably wouldn’t make her look any better. It really comes down to what words she said and how people feel about her.


  2. bernarda says:

    Maybe Hillary should call her husband to account. Starting with Reagan and continuing largely with Clinton and even worse with Bush II, the rich got richer, and don’t even mention the middle and the lower.


    “From 1947 to 1992, the top 5 percent of all families never consumed more than 17 percent of the national “aggregate income.” But since 1993, that top 5 percent has never earned less than 20 percent of the national bundle.

    Before 1985, the middle class — the middle 20 percent of families — always earned at least 17 percent of “aggregate income.” The middle 20 percent essentially kept pace with the top 5 percent. Since 1993, the families in the middle have never gotten more than 15 percent of the pie. This is called a trend.

    Just as it would be wrong to pick on the persecuted fund managers, it would be wrong to proclaim this primarily an issue of unfair taxation.

    The new IRS figures I was talking about also show that the top 1 percent of earners (the ones who snagged that 21 percent of national income) also paid 39.4 percent of all federal income taxes. The bottom 50 percent paid only 3 percent of the national income tax bill. Looked at broadly, this is more than fair, though many super-duper rich find ways of paying at lower rates than their secretaries, as Warren Buffett has pointed out.

    All of the Democratic presidential candidates talk about the issue without talking about the issue. They discuss changing the tax laws, upping the capital gains rate or changing the taxation of hedge funds and private equity. These options ought to be debated, but they miss the fundamental concern, which is a matter of values and political philosophy. On those bigger issues, the Trickle Up crowd seems to have won — not just in Washington but in the nation. “


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