Saturday, July 13, 2013

Newsroom Factroom - The Greater Fool

In the spirit of the upcoming The Newsroom season 2, we're getting back to Factrooms.  I'm going to attempt to get the last few factrooms from season 1 completed as prep for the start of season 2, which begins tomorrow.

A reminder: accuratepotentially accurate, or inaccurate.  This is based on internet research from primary sources (and even Wikipedia when they do it best).  Luckily, with the scene set in modern day, these things are available via the web.  And, go...
  • "An estimated 20 million people do not have a photo ID in the United States."
    • Yep, actually it's closer to 21..
      • The numbers come from a study conducted by the Brennan Center at NYU, and the actual figure was 11% of the population (which was converted to a count based on the 2000 census numbers). This figure and this number have been attacked every which way (including questioning if those without IDs even show up to vote), so if you'd like to argue with the figure, here's a rebuttal by the Brennan Center to the then Kansas Secretary of State. For a more up-to-date view just before last year's election, try Everything you wanted to know about Voter ID, which even references the great Nate Silver.
  • "42% of Americas believe when we raise the debt ceiling, it means borrowing more money."
    • Rounding to no...
      • There's a reason Sloan quotes this number as coming from an 'ACN poll,' because that wasn't the question asked in the actual poll. 42% of respondents actually said they would want their member of Congress to vote against raising the debt ceiling. There was an option to claim uninformed on the issue, but that was only around 34%. No where in the poll results or in the analysis does it lend credence to the idea that those wanting Congress to vote against it have this misunderstanding. It seems to be a ploy for viewers to see Sloan as smarter, but she might need more accurate facts for that...
  •  In the first 31 months in office, Obama took 61 vacation days while Bush was away 180.
    • Technically true, but..
      • The connotation in the show isn't quite there in the article that uses those same numbers. The days Obama 'took for vacation' seems to be 'time not officially working,' as much as a President can do that kind of thing. The days Bush 'spent at his ranch where his staff often joined him' is not the same.  This really blurs the line but it was one of the top myths going around about Obama for a while.
Very accurate episode and strong with facts and numbers to end season 1. 
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