Friday, August 05, 2005

News Flash: 8 of 10 Americans Make 80%

Arianna's vanity project is proving to be even worse than anyone could have anticipated. Routinely, stories are given spins that would shame Paul Begala, and headlines seldom bear any resemblance to reality. 97% of the posts and news stories revolve around the timeless 'progressive' theme of Bush hatred, and the 'celebrity bloggers' she promised have fled in droves, to replaced by little known, intensely partisan hacks.

Today, Huff'N'Puff gives us the breathless headline "77% Of Americans Think Admin. Is Hiding Something Or Lying In Plame Investigation...". What is your initial thought when you see that headline? I'll tell you what mine was - "No way do 77% of Americans even know who Karl Rove is, much less what the Plame investigation is about".

And indeed, the underlying story puts the lie to Huff'n'Puff's deceitfulness. Let's look at what the poll really says:

Americans are skeptical about the Bush administration's behavior and public statements about the 2003 leak of the name of undercover CIA officer Valerie Plame to reporters. Only 12 percent think the Bush administration is telling the entire truth about the matter; more than half - 55 percent - think the administration is mostly telling the truth but hiding something, and another 22 percent think it is lying.


Telling entire truth
Hiding something
Mostly lying

Over half of Americans say they have heard or read at least some about this issue. Those who have heard or read a lot about the matter are more apt to think the administration was involved, and to view the administration's actions as part of a larger effort. Democrats (19 percent) are about as likely as Republicans (17 percent) to have heard or read a lot about the issue. Men are more apt than women to have heard a lot, as are those over age 45 and those with more education.


A lot
Undecided/haven't heard
Well, clearly, something's amiss here. If 75% of Americans are undecided(???) or haven't heard of the Plame Leak, how can 77% think the Bush administration is hiding something or mostly lying?

We're given no additional information to reconcile this conflict, leaving me to believe one of two things: either the 77% figure refers to the subset who have heard of the scandal (this is definitely not the way it is worded in the article, however), or, more likely, people hear about a 'scandal' from the media, don't want to appear stupid, and take the implication that is handed to them on a platter.

In a world dominated by headlines about how Jennifer Aniston feels about her ex-boyfriend, though, I can assure you that Arianna's headline is not only wrong, but intentionally deceitful...

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