The now-sadly-defunct Factchecking Pollyanna spent eight months chronicling her manipulation and misquoting of figures to back up her—usually already tendentious—arguments; some of the examples were so blatant that one can only conclude that she had set out deliberately to deceive her readers.
Quite apart from her ongoing perfidy on the question of statistical evidence, her arguments have always come over as being more than somewhat motivated by the jealousy that so many Lefties resort to. But worse than that, despite the evidence of history, Polly has always refused to acknowledge that the state simply does not run things efficiently or even benignly.
Her contention, for instance, at the Bow Group lecture, that one of the things that the government runs well is the NHS would have provoked howls or derision if we had not all been knocked into a stunned silence by her chutzpah. As I speculated at the time, I suspect that had Dr Rant or Dr Crippen been there, the reply to her ridiculous assertion might well have been unprintable.
On another point, although she admitted that the vast marginal deduction rates inherent in means-tested benefits have damaged social mobility, Polly continues to cleave to the useless and inefficient tax credits as a decent means of redistribution. And she totally refused to acknowledge that the destruction of the grammar schools have influenced social mobility in any way; nor did she grasp or even entertain the idea of privatising schools and funding them through vouchers—in emulation of the Swedish model of which she is so fond—could help either. This is essentially because this would remove schools from the dead hand of the state and would depoliticise them, and then what would she comment on?
Many bloggers have spent an inordinate amount of time fisking Polly—examples can be found at the assorted Carnivals of the Pollykicking #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6 and ...Again—and they have done so not only because of her coronary-inducing smugness, but also because it is so easy: her arguments are spurious and effortlessly-refuted (often by the correct quotation of figures that she has fiddled into the piece). In short, Pollyanna is one of the last people on earth that you would hand a positive award to.
Thus, I can only conclude that everyone else in the MSM is even stupider than Polly herself. Incredibly, our own dear statist fuckwit has won the Columnist Of The Year at the 2007 British Press Awards. [EDIT: story is now here—DK, 09/07]
What the fuck?
If we needed any proof of the Leftist sympathies and utter mediocrity of the British MSM, this surely must be the clincher although I must admit that handing the National Newspaper of the Year to The Observer would also go some way to confirming the rightness of one's utter contempt for the entire sorry industry.
UPDATE: Bookdrunk quite correctly points out that my accusation of a Lefty bias was probably rather unwise given the number of times that right-wing papers and columnists have won.
If there's one thing that bloggers who cover the media agree on, it's that there's plenty of mediocrity and outright hackery for the entire political spectrum.
Absolutely. Polly's still something special in the mediocrity department though.