Monday, January 22

Experiences in Albuquerque talk radio...

Okay, so I'm old. I leave my radio in my Jeep set to a talk radio station. It's the station that has Rush followed by Hannity. Unfortunately, it's also the station that features Jim Villanucci. He's a supposed "Libertarian", yet seems to revel in the tinfoil-hat wearing callers who say the absolute stupidest things. And I don't mean "revel" like Rush does.

Anyway, today they were discussing what people wanted to hear during the State of the Union address tomorrow. Pretty much every caller had something snotty to say, but one "woman" called and said "The only thing I want to hear is that he's resigning". Nice.

But what REALLY got me upset was this "statistic" he was throwing around (twice on his show now) about how "Half the troops don't support the war". That raised my eyebrow a bit, and I was very pleased that someone else had the guts to call and say "um...cite your source, please". Jim's response? "It's been on my show before. Go Google it." and hung up.

So. I Googled. And here's the article - I think - to which he's referring.

Barely one in three service members approve of the way the president is handling he war, according to the new poll for the four papers (Army Times, Navy Times, Air Force Times and Marine Times). In another startling finding, only 41% now feel it was the right idea to go to war in Iraq in the first place. And the number who feel uccess there is likely has shrunk from 83% in 2004 to about 50% today. A surprising 13% say there should be no U.S. troops in Iraq at all.

I wonder why. They feel that the general public doesn't approve of them or their reason for being there.

The poll also found that while the personnel believe the public has a positive view of them, they are convinced the media do not — only 39 % said they think the media have a favorable view of the troops.
From the Military Times article:
Almost two-thirds (63 percent) of those surveyed said the senior military leadership has the best interests of the troops at heart. And though they don’t think much of the way he’s handling the war, 48 percent said the same about President Bush.
And note that they're not disapproving of the war per se (unless you count those 13%) - they're disapproving of Bush's handling of it. That's kind of a big difference. Bush's handling of it could be anything from bad food to the troops feeling stretched too thin to be effective.

This doesn't surprise me:
While approval of Bush’s handling of the war has plunged, approval for his overall performance as president remains at 52%.

So for Mr. Villanucci to throw around stats like "Half the troops don't approve" is irresponsible at best and and outright fabrication at worst. He should have "reported" those statistics with a bit more context, in my opinion.

What do you guys think?

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