Thursday, February 14, 2008

Great Moments in Selection Bias

The New York Daily News reports that its readers don't believe Clemens is telling the truth:

Seventy-nine percent of the 1,200 readers who voted in a poll on our Web site as of 5:30 p.m. Wednesday said they believed former trainer Brian McNamee was telling the truth - and not baseball legend Roger Clemens.

"The only person [at the hearing] who looks supernervous and cannot give a straight answer is Clemens," posted a reader with the user name Sparks8. "Clemens has dug himself a nice hole ... and he's burying himself."

"Roger is going to jail!" Sparks8 added.


Now that Sparks8 has spoken, I suppose the matter is closed.

Not that I don't agree with Mr. 8 (well, not the jail part). I'm just having a hard time featuring anyone caring all that much about yesterday's hearings unless they were steroid news-crazy, and I can't imagine anyone being steroid news-crazy unless they already thought anyone ever mentioned in the same sentence with the stuff was as guilty as sin (misguided bloggers notwithstanding).

In other words, I have this sneakin' suspicion that the Daily News' survey is slightly less than scientific.

1 comment:

Osmodious said...

A friend of mine and I were discussing this whole mess and trying to determine why everyone is so hung up on it and we came up with a few possibilities:
1) Now that the SuperBowl is done, and the other Northeast sports teams are so dismal, the Northeast biased media is dying for something to write about.
2) The mainstream media is doing their best to divert attention away from the various crimes of this administration and the fact, completely forgotten by most, that we are actually still fighting TWO wars.
3) As a country, we love heroes, but prefer them to be underdogs...so seeing a guy who was a superstar from day one torn down is like cocaine for us.
4) Meh. What else is there to do, watch American Idol?
5) The media has changed to the point where they no longer merely have a bias against positive stories or viewpoints, they are completely unable to report on them. Seriously, even stories that are 'happy' on the surface always have the negatives emphasized.
6) Everybody, especially MLB (and now Mitchell), wants to have ONE person that can be crucified so that 'we can get past this'. In other words, someone needs to be the 'face of evil' for steroids and Clemens has been ordained as the lucky guy (I thought Canseco already WAS, but apparently he is too wacky to be considered evil. Or something.).
7) There is no #7.
8) Some baseball people somewhere had nothing to do during the off-season so were figuring this would occupy their time until Spring Training...
There were a few more, but my sobriety is preventing their recall.
Os.