Dick Gregory, a man for whom I have great admiration, always used the quote, “knowledge is power, and great power is great knowledge”.
This is a statement that I have found to be very true. We can no longer accept the words of someone else regardless of their title...i.e. newspaper editor, newspaper reporter, or minster if they cannot accurately and divinely relate the truth based on facts and God’s word. God tells us in his word that man may let us down, but he would always be there for us.
On March 29 I read an article in a newspaper titled The Weekly Defender. As I read the newspaper, I saw a statistical prediction of the outcome of the Rocky Mount City Council Ward 1 election. The voting results projected John Manley with 65 percent and Andre Knight with 35 percent. Given the amount of work and expense it takes to perform a statistical analysis of this size, I had questions about its validity and preciseness. Therefore, I spoke with the editor-in-chief Nehemiah Smith Jr., to inquire of him how he accomplished such a great task. Mr. Smith expressed to me that he set up a polling site on the Internet, “Who are you supporting for Rocky Mount’s Ward 1 council seat?” The following questions were presented to Mr. Smith for clarification of his analytical statistical results: How did he ensure his demographics?, How did he ensure that no one voted twice? And how did he ensure that everyone whovoted resided in Ward 1? Mr. Smith informed me that he knows that there is a margin of error and that the site had 200-plus hits.
I have more than 35 years of an extensive statistical background career, and I am obliged to say to the public that there is not a “margin of error.” There is a 100 percent error in his statistical results. I don’t know Mr. Smith’s purpose in putting out this data, but I plead with him to apologize to his reading audience. I always thought that a reporter and editor’s main function was to ensure accurate and non-biased data to their reading audience. It’s very clear that these terms were not applied here.
So to the reading audience, be careful where you get your knowledge!
ROBERT LEE DAVIS