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Vigilante Pollster Surveys Interesting Subject

You are probably visiting the Lance’s website to find out the results of a poll that was posted on the kiosk bulletin board in the quad. Perhaps this is the first time you’ve heard of the Lance. We are a group of student journalists dedicated to exposing the truth behind current affairs, and to getting that message to you – our readers.  We try to open up the most interesting topics of the day and bring them to your attention. Today the most interesting subject is the story of a daring pollster who conducted a survey of what he/she thought as the Best and Worst Mothers of 2013 – who was not a part of the Lance.


I will admit that we were in quite a disagreement about what to do about this poll – news that some stranger speaking about such a controversial subject behalf of the Lance is enough to flush our cheeks. But I am probably unique in our group in that I see what this individual did as a service, not a sin.


What?! Now don’t get me wrong. I do have a problem with someone does not write for the Lance doing a poll on behalf of it. But that reaction was softened by what was keenly obvious to me – this person had a really interesting idea!


There is not any poll out there quite like this one. It was fashionable! I know that word sounds a little strange, but what it means is that it was focused on the present. The candidates for the Best and Worst Mom were freshly picked out of the year 2013. Who can ignore that we have had some pretty controversial Moms this past year?


Sharon Osbourne was just awarded the Medal of Hope for her work with the charity she started on behalf of her son, Race to Erase MS though she still grapples to help Ozzy Osbourne tame his addictions. Gwyneth Paltrow has two kids and just came out with a line of children’s bikinis, plus she is ambassador to Save the Children. Caitlin Tiller stood up for her baby, the most meaningful person in her life, when her yearbook photo was pulled.


Darker candidates included Zubeidat Tsarnaev, the mother of the Boston Bombers who said in a CNN interview that “she didn’t care her son was dead.” Judi Dench’s “M” character played the surrogate “Mom” to MI6 agents James Bond and Diego Rodriguez in Skyfall; and Paula Broadwell was recently interviewed while she tries to rebuild the family life she left behind while she was in an affair with Former CIA Director General Petraeus.


But another thing that was so interesting about this pollster, who obviously had little regard for rule-following, is that he/she kept the news objective. None of the facts about these nominees were exaggerated, or lied about. I saw it as he/she wanted these celebrities to be judged on the merits: what would your mom be like? Should we judge these celebrities differently because their celebrities?


In a way I liked that it challenged the immunity some famous people have. You may react with something like, “Oh the celebrities, they’re judged so harshly,” and that certainly is true sometimes. But motherhood is such a sensitive topic for all of us that it’s hard to resist judgment, especially when a child’s wellbeing is at stake. Even the hypothetical stories about mothers who stick up for their children, or the reverse, who abandon their kin, shake me up. So it has an even greater impact when it is about semi-real people – like celebrities.


And I love being a journalist. I think it can be one of the noblest professions out there. But I believe that is because it has freedoms other jobs don’t have, and that freedom can be abused and reporters can harm more than help sometimes. But as to which this recent poll does? I think neither. I thought it was interesting. My Mom did too.


Happy Mother’s Day everyone!

By Adam Carlson

Comments (2)

  • Concerned

    This poll was terribly sexist and not worthy of coverage by The Lance How about a poll about the worst fathers? How about an article says about what this poll says about gender issues on campus?

    • a14dronic21s

      Thank you for your post,The Lance really appreciates feed back. The Lance would like to see more articles based on student polls and opinions. As you may know, the The Lance is a completely student-run paper and we encourage any member of the student body to submit articles. So, if you feel passionately about this issue, I hope to see an article from you soon. All the best, Editor-in-chief, Matthew Laurie.


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