“Boomerang kids: 85% of college grads move home,” blared a headline on CNNMoney.com. “85% of college grads return to nest,” echoed the New York Post. “Survey: 85% of New College Grads Move Back in with Mom and Dad,”said Time magazine’s website.
Recently, the 85 percent figure emerged in the presidential campaign, in an ad from the Republican group American Crossroads that blames President Barack Obama for the boomerang.
We rated the claim False, but as we dug into the number, we found the media had repeated it with little scrutiny. Journalists were content to copy a number from other news reports without verifying it — or even asking when the survey was conducted.
If the reporters had looked deeper, they would have found some oddities about the firm that claimed to have conducted the survey, a Philadelphia-area company called Twentysomething. The company’s website had an impressive list of staffers, but when we checked on them, we found several who either didn’t work for the company or appeared to be fictional.
The whole story is even weirder than you might imagine, and cane be seen over at Politifact. Moral of the story, news without public citations is suspect.
With all the crap wikipedia gets on accuracy, they are quite good about creating a culture of “citation needed”. We need more of that.
You’d think by that headline this was a zombie invasion, and not a snow storm. Then again, Samhain is only 7 hours away, so maybe they are on to something.
And now you can do things like go to page 2 of a story, or even use the search box, and not be assaulted by popups and half page expanding ads that push all the content off the page.
Having learned nothing from Balloon Boy, apparently cable news was all over turning contrails into ICBMs.
Lack of familiarity with the night sky has led a number of people in Washington state to call 911 for a UFO sighting. The police pulled out their binoculars, and correctly determined that it was Jupiter. This happens a lot when one of the bright planets (Venus or Jupiter) are near one of the horizons at sunset.
Jupiter is low in the East at sunset, and the brightest thing in the sky right now besides the Sun and the Moon. If you have a set of binoculars you can even see up to 4 moons lined up on either side of it. It’s really pretty spectacular, and definitely worth doing wherever you live. In a telescope you can see atmospheric bands on the planet, and we had a great view of that last night.
“This nation was founded on the principle that the government must never choose between religions or favor one over another. The World Trade Center site will forever hold a special place in our city, in our hearts. But we would be untrue to the best part of ourselves and who we are as New Yorkers and Americans if we said no to a mosque in lower Manhattan.
“Let us not forget that Muslims were among those murdered on 9/11, and that our Muslim neighbors grieved with us as New Yorkers and as Americans. We would betray our values and play into our enemies’ hands if we were to treat Muslims differently than anyone else. In fact, to cave to popular sentiment would be to hand a victory to the terrorists, and we should not stand for that.
“For that reason, I believe that this is an important test of the separation of church and state as we may see in our lifetimes, as important a test. And it is critically important that we get it right.
His speech has shown up many places, this transcription is on Salon. It’s really worth reading in it’s entirety.
I’m sure this will end up in an arms race at some point, but for now, I’m really enjoying it.