New Adventures in Hackwork

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Tuesday, December 08, 2009 at 4:23 pm

This article by Fox News Washington Managing Editor Bill Sammon would be problematic even if its main data point — President Obama’s 47-percent approval rating in the Gallup poll — weren’t negated by the time the article was published. (Obama’s number has crept back up to 50 percent.) The problem is that Sammon fudges the methodology for determining how popular other presidents were “at this point in [their terms].”

Sammon argues that presidents since FDR “all had higher job approval ratings than Obama at this stage of their tenure.” But he pulls his numbers from Gallup’s list of presidential approval ratings from the December of their first year in office. And so far in December, Obama has averaged 50 percent, not 47 percent. That’s slightly better than the numbers for Ronald Reagan and Harry Truman.

This, however, is my favorite part of Sammon’s article.

Obama’s immediate predecessor, President George W. Bush, had an approval rating of 86 percent, or 39 points higher than Obama at this stage.

Now, think: Were there any events in late 2001 that altered George W. Bush’s approval rating? Sammon doesn’t mention any.

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strangely_enough
Comment posted December 8, 2009 @ 5:03 pm

“Facts are stupid things.”
Per Gallup, Bush's approval rating on 9.1.01 was 51%, disapproval was around 40%…


Name
Comment posted December 8, 2009 @ 8:22 pm

Conservative slanted “journalism” fails to mention 9-11? Is this some kind of historic first, or what?


texasskeptic
Comment posted December 8, 2009 @ 9:27 pm

Shock! The second paragraph, referring to Bush's approval, NOW concludes with the following sentence: “Bush's support came shortly after he launched the war in Afghanistan in response to the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.” There's no indication of when this was added or even that it was added–the top just states the article was “Updated December 08, 2009″, unlike the AP or HuffPo, which state just WHEN an update occurred.

There's also no context for the approval ratings of such presidents as Truman (who took over when FDR died), Johnson (who took over after Kennedy was killed) or Ford (who took over after Nixon resigned). That there is no context to mark these different from those elected to their own terms just adds to the evidence that the article was written in such a way as to prove the point the author wanted to make. Not that I'm surprised, but it's not very sophisticated. Then again, it IS aimed at Fox News readers . . . .


strangely_enough
Comment posted December 8, 2009 @ 10:03 pm

“Facts are stupid things.”
Per Gallup, Bush's approval rating on 9.1.01 was 51%, disapproval was around 40%…


Name
Comment posted December 9, 2009 @ 1:22 am

Conservative slanted “journalism” fails to mention 9-11? Is this some kind of historic first, or what?


texasskeptic
Comment posted December 9, 2009 @ 2:27 am

Shock! The second paragraph, referring to Bush's approval, NOW concludes with the following sentence: “Bush's support came shortly after he launched the war in Afghanistan in response to the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.” There's no indication of when this was added or even that it was added–the top just states the article was “Updated December 08, 2009″, unlike the AP or HuffPo, which state just WHEN an update occurred.

There's also no context for the approval ratings of such presidents as Truman (who took over when FDR died), Johnson (who took over after Kennedy was killed) or Ford (who took over after Nixon resigned). That there is no context to mark these different from those elected to their own terms just adds to the evidence that the article was written in such a way as to prove the point the author wanted to make. Not that I'm surprised, but it's not very sophisticated. Then again, it IS aimed at Fox News readers . . . .


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