Is the Georgia Straight encouraging vandalism with irresponsible surveys?

The latest issue of Vancouver’s Georgia Straight contains a poll asking “Is VANOC encouraging vandalism by placing the Countdown Clock in such a prominent place?” This came out in response to the placement of the Olympic countdown clock outside the Vancouver Art Gallery. The underlying implication of the poll question is that anti-Olympics residents are the type of people who would deface or destroy public property – and might very well be entitled to do so.

Fortunately, the Straight had the integrity to publish the following comment from professor and associate director at the SFU school of criminology, Neil Boyd: “There’s a constituency that supports the clock. To ask, ‘Does that encourage vandalism?’ is to say that if you disagree with something you ought to be entitled to vandalize it, and I don’t think that’s a reasonable assumption.”


The protesters at the unveiling were just dicks.

6 Comments so far

  1. Sean Orr (unregistered) on February 23rd, 2007 @ 3:53 am

    So by that logic, anything the media reports they are planting ideas in people’s heads. “A pig farm? Thats a genius idea!”

  2. Jonathon Narvey (unregistered) on February 23rd, 2007 @ 8:31 am

    Sean, thanks for yet another really terrible analogy.

    Clearly, it’s not the same thing. But if the Georgia Straight had a survey question reading, “Are sex workers encouraging their own murders by servicing clients on pig farms?”, that would be a little closer to the Straight’s latest poll question.

  3. Gregg (unregistered) on February 23rd, 2007 @ 11:13 am

    I’ll have to agree with Jonathon’s comment. To analyze something, such as murders, after the fact is the job of the media. If the clock had been defaced multiple times, that’s a great story to run. But otherwise, it’s just fishing for stories on a slow day.

    And yes, making up a story on a slow day that talks about defacing the clock is encouraging defacement much more than erecting the clock in the first place.

  4. Sean Orr (unregistered) on February 24th, 2007 @ 12:29 am

    “Sean, thanks for yet another really terrible analogy.”

    What? I don’t think I’ve ever posted here before. Weird. Anyways, whatever. VANOC hired a security firm to watch it 24 hours. So by your logic its VANOC that is encouraging people to vandalize the clock. Or hey wait, maybe they put it in a reallllllly stupid place, and hey maybe the Olympics aren’t very popular, and maybe people threw stones at the opening. Maybe thats why they asked the question.

  5. Jonathon Narvey (unregistered) on February 24th, 2007 @ 9:57 am

    Sean, while I believe it is true that you haven’t commented on MetroBlogging before, I was referring to your previous comment on my personal blog (technically, not an analogy, but a copied and pasted list). I apologize for the semantics mixup, but stand by my opinion that your logic software needs an upgrade.

    My opinion in this post had nothing whatsoever to do with the new example you’ve given. Clearly, companies that hire security companies are not encouraging criminal activity, but responding to a perceived threat. You know this is a red herring. I’m afraid your example is a waste of space. Cheers.

  6. DBarclay (unregistered) on March 2nd, 2007 @ 3:51 pm

    My first thought after hearing about the location of the clock was “wow, are they going to have security guards around it 24/7?” So there is at least one person (me) who would answer yes to the poll question.

    Also, my wife is a relatively mild-mannered person and even she has a pretty strong urge to vandalise the countdown clock.

    I don’t think it is an unreasonable poll question. It could be rephrased as “is the VANOC countdown clock an attractive nuisance?”

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