The Facts Machine

"And I come back to you now, at the turn of the tide"

Friday, July 01, 2005

ALWAYS, ALWAYS CLICK THE LINK

As others have pointed out, one of the cardinal rules for reading Instapundit is that you always, always click the link. Don't take his word for shit.

Case in point...

Here's a Glenn post from this afternoon, with all of his formatting preserved:
I'M SURPRISED THAT THIS POLL didn't get more attention:
Gallup announced yesterday that it had taken a snap poll after the speech given by George Bush on the war in Iraq from Fort Bragg. The poll showed some movement bolstering support for the war. In fact, it showed Bush picking up ten points on whether we are winning in Iraq (up to 54%), twelve points on keeping troops in Iraq until the situation improves as opposed to setting an exit date for their evacuation (now at 70%/25%), and seven points on whether Bush has a clear plan for handling the war in Iraq (up to 63%/35%).
This would seem pretty newsworthy to me. (Emph. added).
The link, you'd assume, goes to the Gallup site's story, or a news site's story on the poll. Er, no, it doesn't. It goes to Captain's Quarters, a righty blog run by Ed Morrissey who, generally, is intellectually honest. Being so, Ed notes a couple things that Glenn does not, including:
All of these gains were made, Gallup points out, despite the fact that the speech had the lowest ratings of any prime-time presidential address in Bush's terms of office. Only 23 million people watched the speech, and Gallup notes that most of them consisted of Bush supporters.
(emphasis mine) I'm not sure what the viewership numbers for the speech has to do with its effectiveness, so I guess Ed is on his own on that one.

Also, Ed's principal charge about the poll -- that CNN did not cover its own poll -- was retracted in an update at the end of his own post ("my bad" is how he put it).

So there you have it: Glenn presents a poll as cut and dry, wondering why the media hasn't been paying attention to it. Click the link and you find out the truth: It was a limited poll of a skewed sample, and yes, it was reported.

Always click the link.

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