Dec 3, 2008

Headlines, Oh my! Those headlines!

Not aiming to get here too deep into the embargo issue, but the headline I read this morning in El Nuevo Herald made me yawn.

Contra el embargo el 55% de los exiliados (55% of exiles are against the embargo).

It was like: OK, here we go again, with those surveys and those results the media insist to portray as definitive opinion trends. The perennial vice to put in your mouth the words you've never said.

That headline does not reflect, at all, the fine print inside the article that says the telephone survey was conducted among 800 people of one Florida district --Miami Dade.

So what! There was not space to add "55% de los exiliados del condado Dade".

Penúltimos Días has a round up of more of those headlines.

And I even got my own in my Google feed news: "Miami Cubans oppose embargo", from the BBC News. They go above and beyond in the dropped headline: Most Cuban-Americans living in Miami want an end to the US embargo against Cuba, a new poll suggests.

According to the 2000 Census, there were 1,097,594 of people self-identified as Cuban or of Cuban ancestry in the US. That made up the 0.4% of the US population.

Currently knocking in the doors of 2009 -and with another census long overdue- logic indicates that both figures should have increased, especially when we have seen the news reports about the higher number of Cubans arriving to the US by all means after the inheritance of power within the castro's clan.

I need someone to mathematically explain me how 800 individuals within a community of more than a million suddenly become "most Cuban Americans", "Miami Cubans", "el exilio cubano", "mayoría de cubanos en Miami", "Cubans in the US".

Did they offer that "Data distortion" class at J-School? I must have missed it.

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