Showing posts with label Fox News. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fox News. Show all posts

Monday, March 2, 2015

Dissecting "Lies and The Lying Liars Who Tell Them" (From the American Family Association)

Listening to all the debate on whether Fox anchor Bill O'Reilly lied about his claims of being in a war zone in Argentina and the Falklands reminded me of how Al Franken (then a comedian now a US Senator from Minnesota) in 2003 wrote a book Lies and the Lying Liars who Tell them: A Fair and Balanced Look at The Right.  In that book he used statistics and fact checking to debunk a lot of the claims of the right as in the clip above.  If Fox News really cared about the truth they would've canned O'Reilly years ago.

Last year, I used this method to investigate claims about the above map from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) that California was a hotbed of hate groups by adjusting the number of groups in each state with the population in each state and a different pattern emerged.  One of the groups named in the above map is the Anti Gay Evangelical American Family Association (AFA) who has responded by creating the below anti Christian "Bigotry Map" of groups that are against their agenda (including SPLC).

At first glance, the two maps may look similar.  A much greater concentration of groups is seen in the east rather than the west with some increased clustering on the west coast and it is interactive.  The most glaring difference is that the SPLC map has numbers listed of the types of groups exist nationwide and their website provides the counts of groups in each state which allows for someone like me to double check.  The AFA map by comparison does not provide numbers.  When one goes to the interactive version we see that many of these groups are atheist, secular, LGBT, and hate group monitors like the SPLC.  I don't have the time to go through each state and count the number of groups to find out which state has the highest concentration of "bigots."  

Looking at my home state, Pennsylvania, I counted a grand total of four groups of "bigots" as opposed to 41 hate groups there.  These four groups are the Freedom From Religion Foundation in State College (an Anti Christian Group), the Pennsylvania Nonbelievers in York, PA (Atheist Group), GLSEN Pittsburgh (an LGBT group), and Americans United in Yardley, PA.  Dividing by the population of PA (12.7 million) that gives a rate of 0.31 groups of "bigots" per million and a rate of 3.21 hate groups per million.  The size of the icons on the map makes them seem a lot more numerous than they really are.

**Related Posts**

A Wave of Hate Groups in California? No in Washington, DC

 

A Geographical Representation of the Mode and Ethnicity

 

Correlation with the Number of Hate Groups per Million, Poor Health Suggests More Hate

 

Monday, June 27, 2011

Fact Checking the Factcheckers

Much was made of last week's tussle between Jon Stewart and Mike Wallace's son Chris on Fox News Sunday.  I know I'm late to this brouhaha. The website Politifact.com corrected Stewart when he said that Fox News viewers in surveys were consistently the least informed of cable news consumers.  Stewart responded with a laundry list of fact flubs that Politifact has called Fox on in the past while accepting their criticism grudgingly.


I have done many posts on surveys (especially in health care) and how they are manipulated in by others as tools of propaganda (see below).  This can be true of all political stripes.  I have talked about how the questions on surveys and polls can skew the results.  More specifically which questions are or aren't asked, how they are asked (phone, internet, in person, or mail), their wording, the sample size selection, and other things can skew the results of surveys and or polls.  Even when these issues are not a serious issue, there is always statistical uncertainty in surveys.  Comments are often made on 1% differences in surveys as if they are real when they are really random noise. 

The surveys that Politifact site show variability in the results that they give.  Giving blanket statements like the one Stewart gave can be dangerous.  Media Matters published it's own analysis of the surveys that Politifact sites.  I don't have time to go into the merits of the arguments today but you can apply the principles that I discuss in the related posts below to Media Matters and Politifact's discussions. Aside from this kind of finger pointing the real problem is ignorance of the facts in general.  In the clip below the Fox News anchors are gloating that according the Pew research their viewers have a 20% average knowledge ahead of MSNBC by 3% and CNN by 6%.  They do not say what the margin of error was.



**Related Posts**


POLL: Dislike of healthcare law crosses party lines, 1 in 4 Dems want repeal - TheHill.com (But Doesn't Ask Why)

 

Health Care Law - New Rasmussen Poll Down the Memory Hole

 

The Audacious Epigone 

 

A Pennsylvania Survey of the Uninsured | Healthcare 4 All PA Education Fund 

 

The Need for CSI Without Dead Bodies (& Similar Websites)

 

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Need for CSI Without Dead Bodies (& Similar Websites)

We live in times of disconnect.  With three wars raging that the US is still involved in, a widening gap between rich and poor, and many unsolved problems still raging.  So far I have avoided writing about the upcoming 2012 Presidential Election because there is nothing of substance to people's lives discussed yet.  The media intelligentsia is hyperfocused on things like whether Sarah Palin will run or not (she might as well with candidates like Rick Santorum, Michele Bachmann, and Herman Cain in the race) and right now Weinergate. 

Fox News loves to crow about how they rout their competition in the cable news ratings.  While this is true because it tells their conservative viewers what they want to hear and they are distributed more widely Comedy Central's The Daily Show gets better ratings than any of their shows except The O'Reilly Factor.  The Daily Show and it's spinoff The Colbert Report get a lot of mileage out of skewering the cable and network news industry (not just Fox News) for not dealing with relevant issues to people's lives as in this clip on the treatment of Palin's (possible Presidential candidate and Fox News employee) butchering of the history of Paul Revere's famous ride.


While these shows provide necessary catharsis (relief) from the disconnect from reality they do not go far enough to remedy the disconnect.  They do not go beyond that chatter on those networks.  In my blogposts and the ones on my blogroll attempts are made to go past this chatter and ask deeper questions.  In my field of statistics I try to show that at least some of these deeper questions can have some light shed upon.

**Update**


Journalist legend Bill Moyers appeared on the non profit radio/tv program Democracy Now to discuss the state of public/private journalism, it's relationship to power, and his role in that symbiosis from the Johnson administration in the 60's onward.



**Related Posts**

What is Sanity? 

 

My N Word 

 

CSI senza cadavere

 

Bullying & Society



Friday, April 8, 2011

Auf Wiedersehen Glenn Beck, Hello Merv Griffin

Glenn Beck has given Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, many other comedians and pundits, and myself lots of great material with his paranoid rantings and ravings.  Stewart & Colbert mostly dismiss him as silly.  This funny clip from last night's Daily show was cut in threes to maximize ad revenue, those commies.  I and the folks at Media Matters see him as inspiring something more sinister.  (See my posts on Bullying, Beck inspired shootings, and Sanity linked below).

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Glenn Beck Announces His Departure
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogThe Daily Show on Facebook

Now that Beck's show is ending before the world does.  Is he really going away?  He says he will still work for Fox News producing news shows much like Merv Griffin making a fortune producing TV shows like Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune after his talk show ended.  He then went into the casino business and took on Donald Trump for supremacy in Atlantic City.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Glenn Beck Was Sent by Jesus
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogThe Daily Show on Facebook

True Beck's show was costing Fox news a lot of money in advertising revenue but that is only a small part of his usefulness.  He attracted a loyal following which is channeled into other things besides television.  His Restoring Honor rally which Stewart & Colbert later parodied attracted thousands in Washington on the 47th anniversary of the March on Washington.  His main usefulness is promoting the ignorance in the masses which distract them from their real problems (Never mind if a few like Richard Poplawski or Byron Williams take the message a little too far).  This keeps his wealthy backers in power and happy to return the favor.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Barack Obamayan
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogThe Daily Show on Facebook

Beck will now find other ways to disseminate his message than using his 5PM talk show and morning radio show.  He will find some Vanna Whites and Pat Sajaks with less checkered pasts to deliver the message in a friendlier way.  Then the cottage industry (this blog included) that is geared towards Beck and others at Fox News will have to adapt to counter its effects.



**Update**

Glenn Beck is building a TV studio in Texas in addition to doing his rally in Jerusalem.  He may be lucky to leave Fox News when he did as Rupert Murdoch's media empire is now plagued with a cell phone hacking scandal in Great Britain which may spread overseas.


It’s official: Glenn Beck is Texas-bound











Glenn Beck strikes $100 million radio and online deal


See I told you so.

**Related Posts**

Two Years Ago in Stanton Heights 

 

What is Sanity? 

 

Bullying & Society 

 

Glenn Beck Is Going To Hold A Rally In Israel This Summer Called 'Restoring Courage'