Thursday, September 08, 2005

Not quite the full story

In a report about the finger-pointing over the response to Katrina, the BBC says:

Mr Bush and Mr Chertoff have not escaped blame for the crisis in the Gulf states.

A CNN/USA Today Gallup poll published on Wednesday said that 42% of Americans rated the president's response as "bad" or "terrible".

Just 35% described his reaction as "good".

That’s fair enough, although strictly speaking it is inaccurate. The 35% was made up of those who described it as “good” (25%) or “great” (10%), not just “good”. The bad/terrible breakdown was 18% bad, 24% terrible. Whether this was just a simple oversight (probably) or a deliberate slight (well, this is the BBC we are talking about), I leave it to you to judge.

But what the BBC hides from its audience is that the very same poll asked people directly who was “most responsible for the problems in New Orleans after the hurricane,” and that, of the 4 possible responses, Bush ranked lowest at 13%. Federal agencies were blamed by 18%, while state and local officials were blamed by 25%. Far and away the clear winner in the blame game, coming in at 38%, was….no one.

Perhaps the American people are sensible after all.


Anonymous xam said...

i read that too, not just on BBC. interesting how easy this one was to skew the numbers..

those figures on responsibility could be reported as saying that 31% said the blame laid with the federal govt. while only 25% said local authorities were repsonsible. and that's the other thing i am noticing.. sometimes they are using 'blame' and for other parties in the debacle they are using 'responsible'.

serpentine semantics.

i guess the only 'real' thing we could say is that 56% of people are looking to blame someone. the other 44% are still too glued to their tv sets to think about that.

11:04 PM  

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