Monday, August 23, 2010

Fact finding mission

With all the journalists out of work, it’s becoming harder and harder to dog_phonefind the facts behind the “news” stories.  There is a headline, a provocative statement, and 7 minutes of punditry, but no one asks the things I want to know.  So here are a few things I have tried to unearth, then I am going back to not listening to the news or the radio because frankly I know less when it’s over than if I never heard it.

1. What was that poll question?

According to the Pew’s own site, it was:

“Do you happen to know what Barak Obama’s religion is? Is he Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, atheist, agnostic, or something else?”  Most people answered that they did not know.  The Pew has asked this question 4 times in the past 2 years, and it is true that most people have said Christian (between 47-51%) until this year, when most people said they did not know.  “I don’t know” was the 2nd largest group until this year.  Now it is #1 and Christian is number 2.  The Muslim answer is up 7 points, still under 20% for 4 years running.  3003 people were polled.  540 answered that he is Muslim.

2.  Where is the proposed Islamic cultural center site?wtc

45–51 Park Place, Manhattan.  1 and 2 WTC were off Vesey Street.  .2 mi away. 

3. Who from Target gave money to whom?

This wasn’t easy to pin down, since even Target’s site won’t give you a simple answer.  They proudly announce that they donate $3M a week to community causes, so some of that is going to get away from you.  I had to go to the 2009 Annual Report to see where $150,000 to MN Forward.  It had fruit on the cover.  Not kidding.  It did not have a list of everyone it gave money to, or how much, or its definition of “dependent” for employee benefits, so keep looking. I did find Robert Ulrich’s personal donations (Chair and CEO).  I can also tell you that Rupert Murdoch gave about a million to the GOP – not that we needed that to prove NewsCorp was right wing.

But that led me into Newsmeat, where I intend to wander for a few hours exploring everyone’s (and I mean everyone’s) financial activism.  Call me for breakfast.


  1. Can you get to the bottom of the traffic jam in China? I cannot imagine any group with the patience to sit in their car until mid-September

    "The congestion was expected to last into mid-September as the road project will not be finished until then, the newspaper said."

  2. Hi. I love the site layout and, as always, enjoy taking a tour of your brain with every post. :-)

  3. I swore off the news several years back for some of the same reasons you cite. I don't think I'm missing much.


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