Friday, October 31, 2003


There is a real sob-story from a Leftist in The Washington Post saying how the American people are misinformed about the Iraq war. He quotes public opinion poll data showing that viewers of Fox news believe “false” things about the Iraq war. As ChuDogg points out, however, the supposedly “false” beliefs are true! Fox viewers have got it right!

I actually had a look at the poll results themselves and THAT makes clear what was really upsetting our Leftist sobber: Roughly two thirds of Americans have continued to think that America did the right thing by invading Iraq! I suspect technical irregularities in some of the interpretations of the other poll data (cell sizes in some of the crosstabs being very small, statistical significance is unlikely) but the whole thing is a bit too silly for me to bother investigating that.

Even if our sobber were 100% right in his interpretation of the poll data, however, he still overlooks that what most people believe is OFTEN an imperfect guide to the facts. Even if people get the general impression right, they will often oversimplify the details. Not everybody is a specialist. And you will also often get what psychologists call a “halo effect” -- i.e. if one thing is believed, other things that are congenial to the belief concerned will be assumed to be correct as well.

And what viewers of the other networks believe about such things as the “global warming” myth would be interesting too! What you hear from the mainstream media about that is almost pure propaganda.

Discriminations has more details and commentary about the story.



The new issue of City Journal is out, and it includes a cover story called "Why We're Not Losing the Culture Wars Anymore" -- it's about the blogosphere and the revolution in conservative media. Also of interest: Victor Davis Hanson v. Francis Fukuyama on the direction of history; Heather MacDonald on policing in L.A. -- and what challenges Chief Willam Bratton faces; and Sol Stern on the tragedy of school reform in NYC. Plus lots of “Theodore Dalrymple”.


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