Lying Media Bastards

October 17, 2005

Popular as Syphilis

According to a poll last week, George W. Bush’s approval rating among African-Americans now stands at 2%. That’s pretty astounding. I don’t think that number could drop any lower unless Bush starts burning crosses on the White House lawn.

Well, to be fair, that poll had a 3.4% margin of error, which means that maybe his popular rating could be as high as 5.4%. Or, that 0% of Black America approves of him, and, I dunno, 1.4% of the black population has risen from the grave to disapprove of him. Or something.

But, there is some good news here for Bush. A 2% approval rating among African-Americans here in the US means that in Bizarro World, 98% of African-Americans approve of his presidency.

But… in Bizarro world, approve means disapprove.

But disapproval is a good thing there!

But to them, good is bad.

And up is down, and right is wrong, and poop tastes delicious.

Strange place, that Bizarro World.

But this poll also tells us that Bush’s approval rating among all racial groups stands at 39%, and only 28% of Americans think that the country is headed in the right direction.

After reading all this, I began to wonder at what point the press will start referring to Bush as “an unpopular president”. I mean, during the corpsegrinder of Vietnam and the humiliation of Watergate, Nixon’s approval got down to about 31%. Does “8 points above Nixon” count as “unpopular”? One would think so.

But then I realized the answer to my own question. The press will begin to refer to Bush as “unpopular” as soon as they feel certain that his numbers are not going to come back up. They know how powerful Bush has been, and they know how ruthless his administration can be to those it considers “enemies.” If a news outlet called Bush “unpopular”, only to see him rise from the ashes, like a really stupid phoenix, then (to continue my bird and fire motif) their goose would be cooked.

So that’s why Bush isn’t referred to as “unpopular”. Fear. And reasonable fear, really. The Bush Boys play for keeps, bringing guns to every knife fight.

We all have this image in our heads of the mythical white knight journalists who protect us from evil, but apart from a few shining moments (which are so special that they are the subject of star-studded movies), this seems to be a bogus. No one’s gonna protect us but us.

Posted by Jake on October 17, 2005 6:33 pm

3 Comments »

  1. Niggling question from the unwashed masses:

    3.4% margin of error is for the entire poll, but does that apply to the 11% of respondents who were African American? (That poll’s background info can be found for the time being here.) 11% of 807 is 89 — doesn’t the sample have to be more than triple that to be statistically useful? (I don’t remember my stats class that well…) Wouldn’t the margin of error on that 2% of black respondents be way higher than 3.4%? I don’t know.

    The ever-useful Wikipedia tells me that, with a sample size of 89 (N=89), the margin of error at 99% confidence is 13.6%. Isn’t a 2% at 13.6% MOE quite different from 2% at 3.4% MOE? Granted, even 15% approval among black folk is dismal, but it’s better than 98 out of 100…

    Honestly, I don’t know enough about polling to say whether the 2% is valid. Sadly, only the pollsters traffic in that kind of truth, and why would they spread the word of their inaccuracy?

    Sixth and lastly, hasn’t every president since Kennedy enjoyed an under-40% approval rating at the nadir of their term?

    I’d never support Bush & Co.; rather, I’m more concerned about the spread of a specious statistic. After all, there’s lying bastards among the media, or so I read somewhere…

    N

    Comment by N — October 18, 2005 @ 8:51 am

  2. Oooh, a little more digging found this gem: an analysis of Presidential approval ratings since 1937. I recommend page 8 — way to go, Bubba! (still the best politician I ever saw)

    I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again: I love the Internet.
    N

    Comment by N — October 18, 2005 @ 9:01 am

  3. Fuck. Sorry for the blogjacking. I was reading my first comment and realized that 2% at 13.6% MOE still would not mean a possible 15% approval rating among black respondents. I have, like the rest of the unwashed masses, misinterpreted what margin of error really means.

    Oh, is there no one to deliver us evil? Where have all the flowers gone. . . long time passing?

    Done.
    N

    Comment by N — October 18, 2005 @ 9:04 am

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