The Hands-Down Dumbest Story about the Debate, via A Very Serious Blogger Ethics Panel

Walmart Moms, guys:

Undecided “Walmart moms” in Milwaukee, Wis., gave the presidential debate win to President Obama by a narrow margin – but they’re not sold yet.

What are “Walmart Moms,” you guys?

In a bipartisan focus group conducted by Public Opinion Strategies and Momentum Analysis and sponsored by Walmart, a group of undecided female voters were asked to vote for who they thought won the second presidential debate. Five women in the group said Obama, three said Mitt Romney, and two said they thought it was tie.

Emphasis because YOU DON’T FUCKIN’ SAY.

It couldn’t possibly have been designed to get Walmart’s name in the headlines, could it have? Because that would never work. Very serious journalists who are the guardians of our democracy would never fall for such an obvious marketing ploy.

They certainly wouldn’t fall for it twice.

And you know, I’m sure some defenders will say the disclosure makes it okay. It doesn’t. This is about story selection and agenda-pushing, and allowing Walmart this much of the national conversation is still letting them get away with something, even if you point out in paragraph one or two that you’re letting them get away with it.

A.

7 thoughts on “The Hands-Down Dumbest Story about the Debate, via A Very Serious Blogger Ethics Panel

  1. Outrage Broken says:

    The stats have been officially rolled back to 3.48 / 1.78 / 1.09..

  2. rickterp says:

    Sometime late Tuesday night, MSNBC went to a segment with a panel of six undecided voters. When they asked for a show of hands, one thought Obama won the debate, one thought Romney won, and four weren’t sure. When they started asking questions of these solid citizens, I reached for the remote as fast as I could. Geez people, just flip a goddamned coin and get out of my living room.

  3. frazer says:

    I love these statistically significant sample polls. 10 voters, 6 voters–that tells us everything we need to know about how 250 million Americans think.

  4. MapleStreet says:

    You mean Walmart Moms is for real? AARGH (the emotional outburst, not the poster on this board).
    I consider http://www.peopleofwalmart.com/ as a page recommended to me occaisionally, but although I get the humor in it, I think of it as cruel – especially since so many of the pictures are matter of personal appearance. But look at that page, and ask if you want the people pictured there guiding your vote.
    As pointed out above, the sample size is too small that there is no way to have any statistical significance. as well as you point out the possibility (and I even say likelihood) of stacking the deck. Not to mention skewing the sample (are people that shop at Walmart representative of the population as a whole? Versus say the people who shop at Whole Foods?)
    Being in a medical field, I am acutely aware of the medical schemes based on poor statistics. Sometimes intentionally designed to be misleading. Sometimes someone just happens to think they see something of benefit so they do a poorly designed study “showing” that some treatment is of benefit. It would be funny if medicine weren’t full of treatments that were discovered this way and now waste resources on treatments of questionable value which sometimes are counterproductive and even harmful.
    As I use in classes. You have a perfectly tossed coin – guaranteed 50% heads and 50% tails. You toss it 3 times and get heads 1 and a half times.

  5. MapleStreet says:

    A, I have a contender for the title of dumbest story on the debate.
    Just looked at web page for Local T V News web page. Story gives location of Ottumwa, IA with title “Local Republicans call second debate a win for Romney “. The story states that local repubs call it a win for Romney. Second half of story is local dems call it a win for Obama.
    http://www.heartlandconnection.com/news/story.aspx?id=814232
    To add to the qualifications for your award, in both cases uses the plural such as republicanS and democratS but quote one political personality from each side without any reason to think that anyone else agrees. So it would be more accurately titled, “A local Repub says____ and a local Dem says _____”

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