Tuesday, January 21, 2003

Fun With Numbers

The Commercial Appeal has an Associated Press story by Bill Poovey that samples a few Tennesseans he calls "hopeful Bredesen watchers" to generalise out to his headline, "Bredesen watchers want quick action on spending."

But as always, the Devil is in the details. Poovey talks to six people, a thoroughly non-representative sample. Worsening the bias is the fact that four of the six depend on State money for their livelihood! The fifth is a former newspaper reporter, a group known for its income tax sympathies. The sixth is the mayor of Knoxville, which also depends heavily on State spending. Naturally, they're all looking for "tax reform," soon.

The word "hope" re-occurs in the story, and the hope seems to be that more money will be forthcoming to their particular interests, once taxes have been reformed. All expect more money to be available at no cost to them.

Don't you love a non-partisan, balanced, unbiased press?

(An aside: the print version of this story is directly above a picture of an apartment fire. That building is just two doors down from where I live! Small world.)

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