While skimming down the front page of the Union Leader’s website this morning, I had to do a double take to ensure that I was not mistaken in what I was seeing displayed there. It was surprising to discover that a respected statewide periodical would permit such a crass poll question as the site today so prominently displays. With seemingly no circumstantially associated content to support it, a multiple-choice poll asks, “Which type of driver would you most enjoy Tasing?”
The options presented describe different stereotypes of motor vehicle operators, some more potentially dangerous than others. Trying to get a sampling of which types of drivers most annoy others on the road can certainly be done in a tasteful and mature manner, but the presentation of the question as posed is designed specifically to provoke individuals lacking in civility and class, who resort to fantasizing violence against those with whom they have disagreements.
Because there is no option in the poll that expresses the position that electroshocking others is not an activity that should be enjoyed, I could not bring myself to select from the options. When I attempted to view the results without voting, I was met with the following window.
Perhaps the editorial board of the Union Leader does not individually approve each poll question that is posed to the general public, but one would expect that an inquiry which is published prominently on the front page of the website goes before the eyes of someone who who has enough presence of mind so as to not imply that their reading audience consists solely of sadistic simpletons.
UPDATE: At 7:14pm, a new poll question was discovered to have replaced the previous entry. Now asked of the audience is the inquiry, “With fewer travelers and a weakening outlook, Moody’s downgraded the bond rating for Manchester-Boston Regional Airport this week. Did the city overbuild its airport?” Possible options are, “Yes”, “No”, and “Too early to say”.