Jon Stewart Rips Right-Wingers A New One

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    No Wrongdoing With Benghazi

    Right-Wingers Fuel Racism And Paranoia

Monday, October 5, 2009

A (Numbers) Correction

A correction on a previous post:

In that post, I was referring to how right-wingers are using word counting to make Obama's education speech look like he cares more about himself than he does about education.

The right-wingers were pointing out that in Obama's education speech:

Obama says "I" 56 timed.
Obama says "education" 10 times.

The right-wing blogs were saying that since Obama used "I" more than he used "education", this obviously shows he cares more about himself than he does education.

So, I linked to a PDF file of an education speech by George H.W. Bush to show how many times he says "I" vs. "education".

Since I couldn't grab the numbers off TheFoxNation like others did for the Obama speech, nor did I have time to hand-count, I converted the PDF to a DOC and used word-counting software. The conversion unfortunately garbled the text and gave incorrect numbers.

Thomas Lindaman pointed this error out and gave corrected numbers. I'm going to assume his numbers are correct, so the corrected numbers are below:

H.W. Bush's Education Speech:

Bush says "I" 31 times.
Bush says "education" 8 times.

And no, I did not point out how many times "school" "teacher" "learn" "homework" or "student" were used in the Bush speech. Nor the times "me" or "my" were used. Because that wasn't the criteria used for the Obama speech. No context, remember?

So even with the corrected numbers: Bush says "I" much more than he does "education." So going by right-wing standards, Bush is an egomaniac that cares about himself more than he does education, during an education speech.

Which is nonsense, of course. I am NOT actually saying that H.W. Bush's speech was centered more on himself than on education. The point is exactly the same as in the original post, which is simply this: Word counting is meaningless. What matters is context.

If you wish to word-count the Obama speech, the term "You" is apparently used 158 times. Again, I did not hand-count and am using a better counting method than before. You can check the validity of the number with whatever method you prefer. The speech transcript is here:


Using the bizarre standard of word-counting rather than context, it "proves" Obama isn't self-centered.

But the actual point is meaningless, since all that matters is that the numbers were wrong. Correct? That's why Lindaman only focused on the word count numbers being wrong instead of the point that word-counting is nonsense.

That's why Lindaman closes with this:

Looks like there's a certain Leftist who needs to go back to school. Class dismissed.

Since software is school, apparently. And the school should teach Intelligent Design, right?

Why don't we start picking apart spelling errors and grammar, rather than the point, while we're at it?

One good thing did come of this: This is the first time I'm aware of, that he's directly linked up to a citation (the PDF itself).

UPDATE: DEAD SILENCE from Lindaman. The coward couldn't dispute the actual facts, as usual. He loses again.