Sunday, November 22, 2009

Too Much about Too Little?



My, my but I have neglected this blog! No new post since the 9th of November. My excuse is that it has been difficult to find a subject to sink my teeth into as it were.

Yes, there is health care reform. And the latest flap about cancer screens being done too soon and too often. I have to smile on that last one because I blogged about that already. And I have blogged about the health care debate until it has made me a bit sick.

My subject for the morning is polls. Remember where there used to be just one - the Gallup Poll? Now it seems every talking head has a poll to quote from their desk. Great! Especially since they don't all agree. Polls can have different results for a number of reasons (I actually took a class in this at college). The big variance can be in who you ask. Needless to say Fox News Network is not calling liberals about their feelings on our Democrat president.

Another variant can be how you phrase the question. "When did you stop beating your wife?" is not fairly stated because it assumes you beat her. So "What is the most upsetting part of the President's agenda?" is equally unfair for much the same reasons.

Then there is how you crunch the numbers you obtain. And that silly disclaimer nobody reads - plus or minus a statistical error of 3 percent.

All that aside what I find so absolutely stunning about this endless chatter that President Obama has fallen below 50% approval rating on the Gallup poll (see previous sentence about statistical error) is that the previous president hovered for months and months (maybe years) between 20 and 23% and nothing much was said.

When I worked in radio there was this phrase, "Must be a slow news day." Anything could be the lead off of the news at the top of the hour on a slow news day. Even the fire department rescuing a kitten in a tree though that is more a visual for the television media. So I think so much is being made about the poll numbers because all those talking heads with 24/7 to fill are making a lot about some silly polls. Just like I am here.