August 5, 2010

Survey says

Posted in media coverage, Obama administration tagged , , , at 9:09 am by realitytax

You may have seen stories telling you that over 40% of Republicans or Tea Partiers think the current President wasn’t born in this country, or heard Rush Limbaugh talking about them in dramatic terms.

One small problem, no matter if you’re listening to Limbaugh, watching cable TV, or reading in Salon: Surveys only tell you what people say – what they claim, not what they actually think. Pundits who go beyond that are guessing.

Some may want to infer the Republicans responding to such surveys “think Obama wasn’t born in America,” but it’s equally valid to infer they wish he wasn’t, or to suggest they want you to think they think he wasn’t, or any number of other possible interpretations.

But the data, the only factual material, is how those surveyed responded, nothing more. You can’t know what a person is thinking, which is why the American legal system is predicated on actions, not media coverage, commentator speculation, or inferences drawn by partisan pundits.

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