Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Abdul May Be Making Stuff Up Again

Thursday, conservative blogger/radio host Abdul Hakim-Shabazz was touting an award bestowed upon his blog by the Society of Professional Journalists.

Since then, he's used his blog to attack fellow conservative blogger Paul Ogden. Then, today, he's back to perhaps reporting rumors and innuendo as something resembling fact.

In a "Political Potpourri" posting yesterday, Abdul claimed that "word" was that Mayor Greg Ballard's approval ratings were up in the neighborhood of the high positive approval ratings somehow enjoyed by Governor Daniels. When I challenged him on this to name what polls rated Ballard so high and what was the methodology of those polls, Abdul responded with a snarky "no one makes you read this blog" kind of response. See the comments for the full exchange.

Having had experience of buying an Abdul whopper hook, line, and sinker in the past, I can tell you that I am now more cautious. It could be true that Ballard has good approval ratings, but I just am not getting that feeling from folks I talk to. That includes some Republicans who feel that their man is in over his head.

No one disputes that Ballard is a very nice guy, and I wouldn't mind sitting down and having a beer with him. Perhaps that's what the polls were ranking.

Let's get real for a moment. Ballard has broken several campaign promises. He's presided over a murder rate that's now on pace to break records again. He's disappeared on many major issues where his leadership would have been needed. He's also about to hand over the water company to Citizens Energy without much public input prior to the announcement of the deal. I can't imagine that with all this plus tax and fee increases, libraries closing, and a high unemployment rate that Ballard gets high marks.

So, I say to Abdul. I respect you, and I like you as a person. We have had many great conversations, and I consider you a good acquaintance. But...excuse me if I don't buy this one unless I see it.


guy77money said...

I agree with you John, maybe being married is getting to Abdul ;) Ballard has let the Republican's down, although I understand his Easter Egg Hunt was a roaring sucess :) I hope we get a independent poll soon to see exactly where he rates with the voters of Indy. As for the Water Company and Sewer sale the main problem is the debt the city has rung up. There was no way the city could pay the bond payments (the debt is 950 million and will go over 1 billion just for the Water Company after the sale) and do the required maintenace and upgrades to the system. There are a whole lot of questions to this sale but remember it was Mayor Bart who started this whole mess.

Indy Student said...

See, this is the problem with Abdul. He acts as if reporting facts falls under the same standard as writing an opinion. He doesn't feel the need to justify it.

For example, he never sourced how the failed FSSA privatization "saved" $145 million. He also never expanded on how FSSA saved that money. I theorize that it's similar to me "saving" $30 from not buying gasoline by not driving any more, but because of that, I can't go to work, school, family events, etc... In other words, they cut from the bone and made it impossible for them to do their jobs.

He also had similar sourcing ("I hear" or something like that) that Ballard is polling very high among African-Americans. When called out on how ridiculous that sounds, he gave the same remark he used this time around.

Because we aren't privy to the source or methodology of polling, we can only guess how these numbers came about.

What's strange is Abdul acts as if we're personally attacking him. We're not. We just don't buy unsourced polling data and unsourced facts.

Also strange is Abdul uses these unsourced facts or rumors to score political points. For example, he used Mansfiled's supposed ban from that restaurant to illustrate why her position on the smoking ban was wrong.

He's a good guy, every now and then he writes a really good piece and maybe even breaks a story, but he plays loose with a lot of "facts" that he reports.