Monday, December 12, 2005

Not good at numbers

Perhaps John Simpson and I share that in common, but I think that I've calculated accurately when I say that comparison of this years's BBC survey and last year's BBC survey of public opinion in Iraq shows one interesting statistic- the level of optimism there hasn't declined; if anything it's increased.

To their small credit, they reported the optimism in the headline of their news item.

Simpson however does his typical 'don't bother me with facts' analysis where the usual BBC tactic of placing their subjective opinion over and above what is demonstrable is on display.

Undoubtedly the situation in a country as repressed and damaged as Iraq will be complex, such that peace doesn't always mean progress (pace some parts of Iraq under Saddam), and unrest doesn't indicate unworkableness except for those who attempt the usual unrealistic activities of a media tourist (pace Simpson).

Yes, clearly, 'Things have changed radically in Baghdad since March last year - and not for the better' (for Simpson)- but do we really need this subjective browbeating of unwelcome survey findings from the BBC's most senior Foreign correspondent? Isn't it prejudicial when already the Beeb were struggling to find a way through the straightjacket of statistics to reassert their chosen interpretation of Iraq (to which they are sticking)?

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