Since the publication of Rick Shenkman book
, I've been hearing look-how-dumb-we-are statistics more often. Such gems include "70% believed that Saddam Hussein was behind 9/11", "Six in ten can't find Iraq on a map", and "33% of young Americans cannot find Louisiana on a map". There are many others, but you get the idea.
I've always been hesitant to take these stats at face value because the news stories about them are usually without context, and the stats themselves look suspiciously cherry-picked. But since Shenkman's book has caused these stats to pop up with more frequency, I want to know just how accurate they are. Is America that stupid, or do these studies get played up because it makes a good story? Are any of these studies online, and if so, do they break their results down by demographics? Are there any particular studies that are, well, more
disheartening than the ones already mentioned?
I'm most interested in the demographic breakdown in these studies, actually. I've always figured there were more to these stats than the AP wire stories ever say. Any help, AskMeFites?