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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Coner Friedersdorf - 3 = a banana

Always click the link -- K Drum

Fridersdorf wrote "In 2008, 59,934,814 Americans voted for John McCain. During election week, Fox News as a network averaged 3.54 million viewers. (Perhaps liberals would have more success trying to persuade the other 56,394,814 Republican voters.) " Evidently he assumes that all Fox viewers vote Republican. Good to know.

However, he has no clue about this new concept called "arithmetic." He clearly has no idea what the word "averaged" means. The number of people who viewed Fox that week is not an average.

I clicked the link which he provided and read

"Fox News' primetime lineup for Tuesday, January 19, accounted for three of ad-supported cable's 10 most-watched programs, as "The O'Reilly Factor" drew 5.23 million viewers at 8 p.m., followed by "Hannity" (6.81 million) and "On the Record with Greta van Susteren" (6.4 million)."

So at the very very least 6.81 million people watched Fox that week. In fact on the Tuesday of that week. Of course not every single person who watched Fox that day watched Hannity that night. And not every person who watched Fox that week watched on Tuesday.

If Mr Friedersdorf took a refresher course on arithmetic, he might not make a total fool of himself.

59,934,814 Americans minus 3.54 viewers on average is not a number of Americans or an average number of viewers. the number 56,394,814 carefully typed out by Mr Friedersdorf does not enumerate anything at all. He is not capable of handling numbers. The concept is too subtle for him.

I am absolutely serious and think I am being absolutely fair to Conor Friedersdorf.

The effort at subtraction demonstrates that Friedersdorf doesn't understand the concept of subtraction.

update: I'm not sure I made it clear just how totally utterly nonsensical Friedersdorf's argument is. The main point isn't that the maximum number of people viewing Fox news is greater than the average, but that the total number of people who view Fox news is much greater than the number viewing at a given time.

Consider a Pew survey aiming at measuring public knowledge. Pew reported "Other television sources were also popular, with somewhat fewer than half watching network evening news (46%), the Fox News Channel (43%), and CNN (39%). " in a "Pew Research Center survey that interviewed a representative national sample of 1,502 adults between Feb.1-13, 2007." So 43% of adults claim to watch Fox News. I'll give you a hint, 3.54 million is not 43% of the number of adults in the USA.

Now Friedersdorf might argue that watching Fox news for one hour probably doesn't have a big effect. That is, he might choose to change the subject, because arithmetic is too hard for him to handle.

However, there can be no doubt that he can't manage arithmetic.

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