As I write this late on Saturday night, CNN-IBN has “just” crowned Dr Raj Kumar as the most admired Bangalorean.
This is purportedly the verdict of an “opinion poll” conducted for the channel, and its print partner Deccan Herald and radio partner Radio City, by "India’s leading polling agency", AC Nielsen.
The programme was recorded all of a week ago in front of the Vidhana Soudha, with star-guests including the chief minister. Which means the poll should have been completed before the programme was recorded.
Indeed, Ramachandra Guha, one of the guests, was in Delhi and Dehradun when the poll was being telecast
But, here’s the amazing part. All this week till as recently as this evening, the channel was inviting viewers to take part in the poll via SMS or through online voting.
If the verdict had already been sealed days ago, why were viewers being led up the garden path? How much more desperate television can get for some TRPs? What does it tell us about their credibility?
And what of the poll itself?
Globally, opinion polls are required to publish the size of the sample, and the dates and locations where the poll was conducted. But none of those details have been made available.
What does it tell us about the veracity of opinion polls, and those who carry them? And what does it tell us of those who fall for them?
If this is CNN-IBN's "Eye on Bangalore", how wonky must its vision be?