Tuesday, March 31, 2009

How Conservative Blogs Change Facts

Dowdification is a word created by bloggers when a write omits information to support his or her bias.

Used as noun or verb. The willful omission of one or more words so the meaning of the statement is no longer understood but that the statement suits the needs of the writer in launching an ad hominem attack whether or not the construction is truthful or grammatically complete.

Named after Maureen Dowd, based on her manufacture of a quote attributed to President Bush in her May 14, 2003 column (as first reported by Robert Cox on TheNationalDebate.com).

Glenn Reynolds writes his usual one sentence post.

A LOOK AT which voters cared about race in the 2008 elections.

I knew from that loaded sentence Reynolds was going to link to another blogger suggesting Democrats are racist. Sure enough, blogger Jon Henke blockquotes one sentence from a CNN artice.

Those who said race was an important factor voted 55 percent to 44 percent in favor of Obama.

"So, as Mike Turk had predicted last year," writes Henke. "Racism was a more common factor among Democrats than Republicans in the 2008 election."

I doubt Henke has any idea how to read a poll. He certainly is skilled at Dowdification. Henke omits the rest of the paragraph that defeats his thesis. Here is the whole paragraph from the CNN article.

Those who said race was an important factor voted 55 percent to 44 percent in favor of Obama. But Obama also was the winner by a similar margin among those who said race was not important, "which suggests that race was not a decisive factor in this election," Schneider said.

In polling two trends can offset each other. People that wanted a black President polled similarly to voters that preferred Obama and were not influenced by his race. Some pollsters and pundits, at the time, argued that the latters numbers were lower due to the Bradley effect.

The article doesn't go into sample size or question wording. Yet, this lack of information didn't stop Henke from deeming black Democrats racist. The full text of the paragraph states "race was not a decisive factor in this election." How Henke came to the conclusion Democrats are racist is laughable. It is even more pathetic that a tenured law professor would link to this factually inaccurate polling data.

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At March 31, 2009 4:14 PM , Blogger Brian said...

Yeah, but Reynolds is also a libertarian who applauds the notion of "going Galt" while simultaneously taking a paycheck from a secure job at a state institution. Intellectual honesty isn't his forte--he's practically allergic to it.

At March 31, 2009 4:45 PM , Blogger Michael Hussey said...

Reynolds will one day overload, like the Lost in Space robot, from competing contradictions.

At April 13, 2009 7:05 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stop whining already, you pathetic Liberal Marxist.


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