This is “Recommended Viewing”, section 7.6 from the book 21st Century American Government and Politics (v. 1.0).
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Ask a Silly Question (1998). A respected Canadian journalist employs humor to raise important issues about the power of public opinion polls to shape policy.
Atomic Café (1982). A lively documentary consisting entirely of government materials that were used to influence public opinion about the atomic bomb during the Cold War.
Constructing Public Opinion (2001). A scholarly and engaging examination of the ways in which politicians and the media use polling data to construct public opinion.
Gentleman’s Agreement (1947). Originally titled Public Opinion, this Academy Award winner stars Gregory Peck as a reporter who pretends to be Jewish to uncover opinions about racial and religious prejudice.
Magic Town (1947). When the small Midwestern town of Grandview is found to replicate Gallup poll results for the entire nation, a pollster (Jimmy Stewart) uses the town to gauge public opinion, causing its citizens to change their behavior while shouldering this great responsibility.
North Carolina Voices (2005). A series of documentaries—“The State of Aging,” “Looking for Work,” and “Touched by War,”—that examines trends in public opinion about issues. The series incorporates historical footage, interviews, and public opinion polls.
Recount (2008). A chronicle of the recount of Florida votes as the results of the 2000 presidential election hang in the balance.
What America Needs: From Sea to Shining Sea (2003). Documentary filmmaker Mark Wojahn traveled the country by train, asked more than five hundred people from all walks of life the question “What do you think America needs?” and recorded a plethora of opinions.