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Thursday, February 18, 2016

Reporter math

"Math class is tough." -- Barbie, October 1, 1992


CNN ran a story about students being allowed to carry concealed weapons on the campus of University of Texas at Austin, as per a new state law. The story contained this paragraph:
But the move by the University of Texas is controversial. In October, CNN reported more than 280 professors and counting have signed a petition calling the new legislation a "direct assault on our free speech rights."
What is missing?

Think about it.

That is right "more than 280 professors and counting" out of how many?

The university has 3,071 people on its academic staff -- and 21,000 administrators.

So less than 10% are protesting.

This is an all too common mistake. Telling me how many is not enough in thiss circumstance. I need to know how many so I can judge whether it is just a few or many.

7 comments:

  1. What did you expect from CNN? - Elric

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  2. That was no mistake...

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  3. Idjits. They got to say what they wanted and nobody topped them. They GOT their free speech. Profs not payin' attention!

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  4. Oh, I thought you were going to point out this was not a "free speech rights" issue to begin with. It's not about the 1st A., it's about the 2nd. Maybe those 280 people weren't literate enough to read beyond the 1st section of the Bill of Rights to see there were 9 more amendments to go.

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  5. 21,000 administrators and 3071 academic staff indicates a bigger problem to me.

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  6. 21,000 administrators and 3071 academic staff indicates a bigger problem to me.

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  7. Journalists see their role as lying to us so they can have the world they want. There is no more contemptible form of life in the universe.

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