Comments on: Adventures with CNBC anchors’ statistics A slice of lime in the soda Sun, 26 Oct 2014 19:05:02 +0000 hourly 1 By: Nameless Sun, 22 May 2011 08:22:06 +0000 “Related to the disproportionate emphasis on the most serious end of the crime spectrum is the portrayal of the demographic characteristics of offenders and victims presented by crime fiction. Offenders in fiction are primarily higher-status, white,
middle-aged males (Pandiani 1978: 442–7; Garofalo 1981: 326; Lichter et al. 1994: 290–5; Reiner et al. 2000a and 2000b). … Apart from gender, the demographic profile of offenders and victims in fiction is the polar opposite of criminal justice statistics (Surette 1998: 47 calls this ‘the law of opposites’). (See also Pandiani ibid.; Garofalo ibid.; Lichter et al. ibid.; Barclay and Tavares 1999: chapters 2 and 3. Sparks 1992: 140–45 offers a qualitative analysis.)”

By: Beezer Sat, 21 May 2011 21:09:22 +0000 …but Kernen is, after all, a TV personality (and on CNBC at that). Only a fool expects such a person to have any more than the most tenuous relationship with accuracy.”

As a former stockbroker and small businessman, now retired, I watch CNBC regularly. Kernan, like Kudlow, has a narrative he uses to explain all that he sees.

The relationship between Kernan’s POV with what is actually going on out in the world of finance and investment is indeed tenuous.

By: mrtoads Fri, 20 May 2011 19:06:07 +0000 I see that the long-understood link between absinthe and decrease in reasoning ability is correct.
Disregarding that trivial point that Absinthe appears to be discussing a column other than the one you wrote, I find myself a little unclear about the question of the study you quote Kernen as referring to. It would seem clear that the study you cite is presumably not the study Kernen does, as the cited study shows no categories for CEOs, drug dealers or gang leaders, and the listed percentages (businessmen vs gangsters) are not 4:1, but rather about 2:3.
The Ben Stein blather is not really worth mentioning, as are most of his statements. The question is left hanging there, however – were these the only two examples you found? Were there no other studies besides that one which might have been the source for Mr. Kernen’s assertion? Remember – inquiring minds want to know!
Actually, I lean toward your explanation: for most of us, no story is so good that it can’t be improved, and if a number isn’t strong enough, doubling or tripling it to make your point is morally acceptable. More than quadrupling it might be pushing the point a little, but Kernen is, after all, a TV personality (and on CNBC at that). Only a fool expects such a person to have any more than the most tenuous relationship with accuracy.

By: absinthe Fri, 20 May 2011 16:45:13 +0000 Apart from your point that he’s trivially incorrect (yes, drug dealers must be committing crimes unless they’re in some weird jurisdiction), your statistics don’t disprove him.

Those aren’t *conditional* probabilities, about which Joe was speaking – and at least on the shows I watch, there are far more drug dealers than CEOs onscreen. It very well may be that the CEO mostly shows up to commit a murder (let’s face it, they’re boring otherwise), while less than 25% of drug dealers kill people. (Also, have you seen The Wire? 25% is probably way too high.)

“Gang leader” really confuses me though, because I can’t think of a single depiction of a gang on TV where the gang abstains from murder. It’s reasonable to say that the leader is responsible in those cases, so that would make it 100%.

By: EricVincent Fri, 20 May 2011 14:25:22 +0000 It’s not viewers who want cacophony. It’s the advertisers who want the cacophony. Because the cacophony leaves the viewers in a state of brainwashed delirium, a desirably impressionable state for when the commercials run. The commercial programming is really the point of television. Television “programs” are really just filler for the commercials.