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Did a CID-Gallup poll last week indicate that a plurality of Hondurans support the military coup against democratically elected President Zelaya? Yes, according to the Washington Post (July 9), the Wall Street Journal (July 10), the Christian Science Monitor (July 11), and Reuters (July 9), which all reported that the poll showed 41% in favor of the coup, with only 28% opposed.
But in fact the poll showed that 46% — a plurality — were “opposed” to the coup, according to the New York Times (July 10), the Associated Press (July 11), and the president of CID-Gallup, in an interview with Voice of America on July 9th. . .
Of course, even if a poll had showed a plurality in favor of the coup, that would not legitimize the coup. But the opinion of the population, even if difficult to discern in the repression following the coup, is without question a key fact in understanding the situation. To misreport such a key fact is to substantially misinform. To fail to correct such a mistake compounds the error.
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
I recently spent a semester teaching writing at an elite liberal-arts college. At strategic points around the campus, in shades of yellow and green, banners displayed the following pair of texts. The first was attributed to the college’s founder, which dates it to the 1920s. The second was extracted from the latest version of the institution’s mission statement:
The paramount obligation of a college is to develop in its students the ability to think clearly and independently, and the ability to live confidently, courageously, and hopefully.
Let us take a moment to compare these texts. The first thing to observe about the older one is that it is a sentence. It expresses an idea by placing concepts in relation to one another within the kind of structure that we call a syntax. It is, moreover, highly wrought: a parallel structure underscored by repetition, five adverbs balanced two against three.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A naked man believed to be under the influence of LSD rammed his pickup truck into two police cars.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”