Thursday, August 19, 2010

Obama the Muslim? Bad Reporting...

So the news story of the day, as much as anything else, is the "shocking" revelation that somewhere around 20%-25% of Americans think Obama is a Muslim. Now, that by itself is interesting, but not particularly blog-worthy: the numbers are trending up, but really, it's not like it matters too much; people should be much more concerned with Obama's actions rather than which deity he professes to be subservient to. However, I can't let go of the bad reporting associated with this issue.

Look closely in the Time article, for example, where they state unequivocally that 24% of American's "mistakenly believe" that Obama is a Muslim. Um, wait, what? When did you, the editorializing reporter, become an expert on what is factual based purely on the unverifiable statements of politicians? Moreover, this is a politician we know, for a fact, has no problem lying directly to the American people, over and over again, whenever he thinks the lie will serve him better than the truth. See statements about unemployment and the "stimulus" bill, his being a socialist, top priorities for his administration, or any of other clear, well-documented lies he has told just while in his current office. Why, out of the blue, does he get a free pass on stating his religion, something which clearly would affect many people's perceptions of him?

Now, I'm not particularly religious, and it makes very little practical difference to me if Obama is actually a Muslim or not. I have significant issues with many of his ideas and policies, but that's fairly irrespective of his religion. What I do have a problem with is traditional news outlets subjectively editorializing opinions as facts. The fact of the matter is that if you disregard Obama's statements (as any jury would, for example, given his complete lack of credibility), his actions would support the claim that he is, in fact, Muslim. Throw in some previous statements to that effect, and you could see how it's at least a reasonable conclusion. It's irresponsible and inaccurate to dismiss the conclusion as mistaken: at the very least, it should only be "in conflict with Obama's current claim".

Shame on the media for bad reporting, again; not that I expect better, but it's worthwhile to continue to emphasize it for people who may not be convinced.


  1. Read the fine print. At the end of the article, as they are required to do, Gallup said this:

    “Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted Aug. 17, 2010, on the Gallup Daily tracking survey, with a random sample of 1,009 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, selected using random-digit-dial sampling.”

    That was the opinions of 1,000 people of the 300 million in the USA. Anyone who has access to the Internet. reads newspapers or news magazines, or even carefully watches TV news would know that President Obama in a Christian. He is promoting freedom of religion, as did our Constitution, and trying to avoid bigotry toward Muslims. He probably has more sensitivity to it because he once lived in Indonesia.

  2. Read my complaint, and you'll find that I'm not contesting or even commenting on the opinions of the American people, which may or may not be accurately represented by random-sample polling. Also, I contest your assertion: I obviously have access to the internet, I read quite a bit, am reasonably intelligent, and I find the evidence for Obama's actual religious beliefs to be slanted enough toward Islam that if I had to guess, I'd say he's most likely a Muslim, based on everything I have observed.

    I also think he was promoting freedom of religion, and although I disagree with him on most issues, I think he was in the right on this one. That, however, is independent of his religious beliefs, and both are independent of my complaint: namely, that the [liberal] news media takes something Obama claims, in the face of no method of proof and virtually all the circumstantial evidence to the contrary, as implied factual truth, which I think is absurd.