Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Goodbye, Rudy Tuesday

Because our linguist friends seem somehow not entirely convinced that this one occurs in the wild:

Convention keynoter Rudy Giuliani Tuesday upbraided a reporter who asked whether Palin's daughter's pregnancy was distracting from the convention.

Does that make him Mr. Guiliani Tuesday on second reference? Just wondering.

OK, kiddies, there are a few things to be concerned about elsewhere in the text. One is the difference between statistical and practical significance:

"But Democrats and unaffiliated voters are clearly more skeptical of Palin's candidacy now than they were" in an earlier poll, he said.

It's entirely possible (or it would be, if McClatchy was in the habit of providing enough numbers for us to judge) that this statement is true. There could be a significant difference -- one that's unlikely at a predetermined level of confidence to have happened by accident -- in "skepticism about Palin's candidacy" among Democratic and unaffiliated voters. The more relevant issue here is practical significance. Palin's candidacy came into being on the day before a holiday weekend, and any stats reported here couldn't be later than the day after that holiday weekend. So what exactly are we comparing, and why are we supposed to presume it has any relation to any underlying political issues?

And this is just ... oh, the inability of reporters to put stuff together in the order in which it's spoken, ones supposes:

Leading up the speech, Republicans worked Tuesday to assure the country that they wholeheartedly support Palin, that questions about her daughter's pregnancy are an invasion of privacy and that criticism of her experience as a small-town mayor is sexist.

"It's demeaning to women," said Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn.

"Would the reaction be the same if this were a man?" said Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minn. "Look, she has some family issues and she'll deal with them."

Didja notice that Senator Coleman is talking about something entirely different than what the reporter is talking about, sexism-wise?


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3:16 AM, November 13, 2008  

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