Friday, July 11, 2008

CNN incompetance

It really is quite remarkable just how bad is. I seem to find that they completely fail to provide accurate information on a regular basis. Just now for example I log on to see the lead story:

Report: Teen pregnancy rate highest in 15 years.

Now, I know something about my statistics, for that to be an actually true statement an entire 15 year block of declines would have to be countered in a single years massive increases. So, I click on the article expecting something fantastic. What I find is an article titled:

Report: Teen pregnancies up for first time in 15 years

Those two headlines have nothing like the same meaning. Not only is the second headline something that a devoted watcher of demographic data would have known for quite some time(the data was for 2006) but it makes an entirely different claim than the first. Either several people at cnn have no knowledge of basic math at all, or they are blatantly trying to manipulate the data to create a real story out what is more than likely a tiny statistical blip on a larger trend. Given that the article itself is mostly accurate, I suspect it is the former. Still, in the ten minutes I have written this the headline is still up on the top of their page, incompetence seems to be taking the day. I probably wouldn't be bugged so much if I hadn't seen this sort of thing from them before on several occasions. Or maybe it is the house cat adopts baby panda video that by being near the top of their articles for the day clearly labels them as something other than a serious news source.

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