An Observation On The Bumper Sticker Way We Get Our News
So I was watching the new Obama campaign commercial and CNN’s Wolf Blitzer comes on screen and says, “…given Osama bin Laden’s role in killing 3000 Americans…” Not “almost 3000” or “just short of three thousand” and certainly not the actually number. That got me thinking that we’re so lazy in how we deliver and receive our news that we round up the number of deaths in the greatest national tragedy in a generation because it sounds better. There were 2977 killed plus 19 hijackers. How many people actually know that number off the top of their head? I know I didn’t although I know I’ve seen it before. I’m conditioned to think “3000” and I’m willing to bet most of you are, as well. Why? Because that’s the number you hear all the time and you only hear it because it’s “catchier” than two thousand and seventy seven.
If we, as a country, deliberately embellish such a basic piece of information because it makes a better slogan, is it any wonder we have such a misinformed electorate?