Universalis, your very own breviary in pixels...

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Lies, Damned Lies and Polls

Zogby looks into what American Catholics think of their shepherds.
Overall, how would you rate (a) Pope Benedict XVI (b) the American Catholic Bishops' efforts to address the sexual abuse situation within the Catholic Church?
Pope Benedict XVI American Catholic Bishops
Excellent 15% 8%
Good 23% 12%
Positive 39% 20%
Fair 26% 29%
Poor 30% 43%
Negative 56% 72%
Not sure 6% 8%
Ummm.... since when is "fair" a "negative" descriptor?


1.free from bias, dishonesty, or injustice: a fair decision; a fair judge.
2.legitimately sought, pursued, done, given, etc.; proper under the rules: a fair fight.
3.moderately large; ample: a fair income.
4.neither excellent nor poor; moderately or tolerably good: fair health.
5.marked by favoring conditions; likely; promising: in a fair way to succeed.
And while I'm at it, whining about others' diction -- I know Zogby is a pollster and all, but isn't the word "plurality" pretty meaningless in this context? in a poll giving choices along a continuum?

"A plurality of respondents gave Pope Benedict XVI .... a "poor" rating on their efforts to address abuse within the church."

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