Saturday, March 28, 2009
Now, it is hardly a new tactic to put a sitting POTUS in a situation with friendlies before letting the cameras roll -- why create trouble for yourself? -- but the way in which CNN treats this as a model of the "transparency" that then-Senator Obama talked about while campaigning is remarkable. I happened to be watching CNN earlier today when the discussion turned to the success of the Town Hall meeting, and it was almost as if they believed Daniel had gone into the Lion's den.
I was interested to read the comments by JoeCollins1 in the article in the link above, who said of course the East Room was going to be full of Obama supporters, D.C. went for him 9 to 1, so a random sample of 6 people would be likely to yield 100% Obama supporters. Well, I guess it depends on whether the calculations are done with or without "replacement," but without replacement, chances were pretty good to pick the one red ball from the canister after 6 tries.
CWCID: Glenn Reynolds
Well, I guess it depends on whether the calculations are done with or without "replacement," but without replacement, chances were pretty good to pick the one red ball from the canister after 6 tries.
There is no "replacement" as replacement means the same person asking a second question.
Here is how you do this type of problem:
There were 100 people in the audience. Assuming your 9:1 ratio, that means 90 democrats and 10 republicans. Probability of picking 6 questions without picking a republican is:
(90/100) * (89/99) * (88/98) * (87/97) * (86/96) * (85/95) = 52.2%
Rohan - Exactly. It's not like there are "follow-ups" in a Town Meeting. You made my point - it's slightly better than a 1 in 2 chance that at least one questioner would have been "red" and not "blue," contrary to JoeCollins1 (assumuning his figures about D.C. are correct).
Welcome to the world of Orwell ... where words often mean the opposite. This wasn't a "Town Hall" format ... there was no opportunity for open discussion, and ... no surprise ... the questioners were vetted.
The uber-story we're being fed is that Obama is open and accessible, and not just reading scripts from Teleprompters.