Wall Street Journal: Lying for Bush

Did someone snooze through math class? The reporter for the Wall Street Journal is so eager to spin a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll for Bush that it verges on lying.

But what’s surprising about that?

Today’s WSJ, in an article by John Harwood starts out:

Public Gives Bush Slight Reprieve
U.S. War Dissatisfaction Eases a Bit,
But Opinion Favors Democrats

September 13, 2007; Page A6

WASHINGTON — Public discontent with the Iraq war has eased slightly, a new Wall Street Journal-NBC News poll shows, suggesting President Bush may have a little more maneuvering room at a critical point in debates over war costs and troop levels.

And then, the Big Lie:

The change in his Iraq approval rating, driven by improved marks among Republicans, independents and men, pushed Mr. Bush’s overall approval rating up to 33%, from 31% in July.

Which is, ON THE FACE OF IT, specious. Statistical sampling and public opinion polls ALWAYS include a margin of error, which is, in this case:

The telephone survey of 1,002 adults was conducted Sept. 7-10, with most interviews completed before their Monday testimony; the survey’s margin of error is 3.1 percentage points.

Gee, a 2% increase in a 3.1% margin of error? Statistically (e.g. rationally, logically, scientifically) meaningless. The figure can ONLY be analyzed as being the same. But Harwood and his propaganda masters at the WSJ somehow are able to divine that this slight “increase” within the margin of error is “real,” and, therefore, can be trumpeted as:

Public Gives Bush Slight Reprieve

Lie long enough, and you see what you want to see.

To be fair, in some areas, gains are slightly higher than the margin of error, but the objective conclusion would be that Bush’s (dis)approval ratings have remained remarkably consistent. Slight variations really aren’t worth the ink spilled, and the conclusions of “improvement” in the dismal prospects of this maladministration are more wishful thinking than scientific fact.

You’d think that any commercial enterprise like the WSJ — which depends on public good will for its very existence — would be careful about lying and propagandizing for an extraordinarily unpopular political figure whose hard-core support couldn’t sustain him from impeachment in the House and conviction in the Senate were his poll numbers translated into actual votes.

But that would be good business, and make good business sense. Odd that a business newspaper would itself make such dopey business decisions.

Unless, of course, the WSJ’s target audience is drawn almost exclusively from that 31-33% who still drink the Bush Koolaid.

But geez: hire someone who didn’t snooze through math class, wouldja? This is just kind of pathetic.


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About Hart Williams

Mr. Williams grew up in Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas and New Mexico. He lived in Hollywood, California for many years. He has been published in The Washington Post, The Kansas City Star, The Santa Fe Sun, The Los Angeles Free Press, Oui Magazine, New West, and many, many more. A published novelist and a filmed screenwriter, Mr. Williams eschews the decadence of Hollywood for the simple, wholesome goodness of the plain, honest people of the land. He enjoys Luis Buñuel documentaries immensely.
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2 Responses to Wall Street Journal: Lying for Bush

  1. Darrell Prows says:

    At least they got the “slight” part right. Got to give credit where credit is due.

  2. Darrell Prows says:

    At least they got the “slight” part right. Got to give credit where credit is due.