Lots, Few, Who’s Counting?

We’re a day late here (and needed an alert reader to tip us off), but we’re still getting our ruler out from our drawer and aiming for some knuckles on this one.

In this case, the knuckles belong to Paula Span, writing in yesterday’s Washington Post about opposition to the war in Iraq among military families.

Out of nowhere, Span writes:

“The number of military families that oppose Operation Iraqi Freedom, though never measured, is probably small.”

Not a clue anywhere before or after that sentence as to what drove Span to that conclusion.

We weren’t the only ones taken aback by Span’s blithely-asserted assumption. Blogger David Sirota reacted just as we did. “This is how myth/opinion becomes conventional wisdom,” he writes.

We agree.


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Susan Q. Stranahan wrote for CJR.