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Monday, October 23, 2006
NewsBusters Nonsense, Noel Sheppard Edition

NewsBusters' Noel Sheppard was quite the busy beaver this weekend, making several dubious and hypocritical claims:

-- In an Oct. 21 post on the Senate race debate between Hillary Clinton and her opponent, John Spencer, Sheppard noted that "[a]s one would expect, the New York Times gave the win to the Democrat" but that "Dick Morris felt Hillary lost 'big time.' " Sheppard described Morris only as a "former Clinton administration advisor" and not the professional Clinton-hater that he is. Thus, Morris' conclusion would also be "as one would expect," something Sheppard failed to note.

-- In an Oct. 22 post, Sheppard touted the "new highs set by the Dow Jones Industrial Average last week" without noting -- as his fellow MRC'ers did when oil prices hit record highs -- that it's not a record when adjusted for inflation.

-- An Oct. 22 post bashed Bill Maher for criticizing "some of America’s leading conservatives, as well as right-wing think tanks for having been so wrong in their predictions about the Iraq war." Why? Because he "didn’t mention one liberal or left-leaning group that has been just as wrong about events crucial to Americans, including those that have been disseminating consistently bearish views about the economy in the midst of 20 straight quarters of growth." Sheppard adds:

No, Bill, as is typical, you only focus negatively upon conservatives, and refuse to acknowledge when anybody on the other side of the aisle makes a mistake even when it’s glaring.

But Sheppard does exactly what Maher does -- attacks liberal economists and never addresses the issue of whether Maher has a point about conservatives' support for the war. In other words, he's as "shameless" as he accuses Maher of being.

-- Yet another Oct. 22 post yet again falsely claims that a poll's political breakdown of respondents is "skewed" because more Democrats than Republicans were polled. Sheppard complains that "It shouldn’t be hard to find equal numbers of Republicans and Democrats to answer questions, especially when the total sample is only 1,000," but he offers no evidence that equal numbers of Democrats and Repubicans would make a poll more accurate. As we keep pointing out every time Sheppard does this, Republican strategist Rich Galen states that Rich Galen admits that "[i]n the general population, those who claim to be Democrats outweigh those who claim to be Republicans by 7 to 9 percentage points." Thus, it skews a poll to have an even number of Democrats and Republicans, as Sheppard demands.

In the poll he cites, he claims "24 percent more Democrats were surveyed than Republicans." But that's a meaningless statistic. What's more important is the percentage breakdown: he provide a percentage breakdown of the respondent breakdown: 282 Republicans, or 29.3%; 349 Democrats, or 36.3%; and 330 Independents, or 34.3%. The breakdown accurately reflects the general population.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:54 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, October 23, 2006 12:56 AM EDT

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