Et tu, MSNBC viewers? The all-news cabler has been named one of the “Worst Ideas of the Millennium,” alongside communism, war and the Holocaust — by the Web site’s own users.
MSNBC polled readers on what they thought were the biggest boneheaded moves of the last 1,000 years. Forget about religious persecution, genocide or other human tragedies: Out of 31,000 votes, Coke’s decision in the mid-’80s to replace its old formula with “New Coke” was chosen as the foul-up of the millennium (receiving 557 votes).
In second place, with 512 votes, was millennium hype such as the very one MSNBC was compiling (irony is apparently a strong trait of the site’s readers). Then came stuff that was actually a little more heady than Cola flavors and media hype: communism (511 votes) and war (481 votes).
Of course, a poll like this one is about as unscientific as they get. MSNBC said its ballot was stuffed with 5,500 responses listing the obscure Balfour Declaration, a 1917 British measure suggesting the formation of a Jewish state in Palestine. “It’s important to keep in mind that ‘The Worst Ideas of the Millennium’ was intended to be a lighthearted survey,” wrote MSNBC editor in chief Merrill Brown on the site, which chose to ignore the votes.
MSNBC itself received 47 votes as worst idea of the past thousand years from a number of wise-ass respondents. No word on whether those votes came from e-mails with the domain CNN.com.