◼ A four-year “study” shows that Americans who obtain their news from Fox News Channel have an average IQ of 80. This study was sparked by the outcome of the recent election, comes from an institution that’s admittedly a fake, and uses a sample that was chosen with a particular result in mind. Hm. Sounds plausible. - Charlie Martin/PJM
...The press release has a name — “P. Nichols” — and a phone number attached, so I called. I got a call back from a 202 area code. Okay, Washington, D.C. Not clear why the press release is datelined “Birmingham Alabama” but okay. Oddly, the phone number turns out to be a free Google Voice number.
The caller identified himself as P. Nichols but didn’t give a full first name. He was happy to be interviewed about the study, however.... Now, I’d Googled for the “Intelligence Institute” — all I found was a guy in Sydney, Australia, who does business intelligence consulting (and whose email I suspect will be a real horror by tomorrow). So I asked about that. “Oh, that’s a pseudonym,” Nichols said. “The people who funded this study wanted these results to come out, and the news release organization wouldn’t accept this unless we gave an organization name.”... I finished the interview by asking some summary questions. Were the results going to be published? “No, can’t publish the results, I wouldn’t risk the funding groups’ lawyers.” And the funding source was confidential? “Yes, I can’t identify the source of the funding.”
I pointed out that this added up to a not very convincing story — the population selection was, by his own admission, made with a predetermined outcome in mind, and he couldn’t identify the source, or the source of funding, and they were releasing it using an admittedly made-up institution as the supposed source. He agreed. He said, “The funding source wants these results out. They’d rather have people not believe it’s real than be identified....”
A four-year study sparked by the outcome of the recent election, from an institution that’s admittedly a fake, from a company that won’t identify itself, supposedly funded by a Republican PAC trying to “cut off” the Tea Party like a cancer, using a sample that was chosen with a particular result in mind, with a contact number that’s an anonymous free Google Voice number.
By the way, the link for “further information on this study” actually points to a Huffington Post story about last years’ Fairleigh Dickinson University study