A few weeks ago, the Pew Research Center released a study about how well-informed Americans were and where they got their news from. At the time, I pointed out that the study didn't say what liberals and their accomplices in the media were saying it said.
What it found is that of the best informed Americans, those who watched the Daily Show and listened to Rush Limbaugh were better informed than those who watched FOX News. And even though ThinkProgress is loathe to point this out, CNN watchers did only slightly better and MSNBC's non-existent audience isn't even calculated. And for all that Keith Olbermann thinks Bill O'Reilly is a big liar, O'Reilly's audience seemed fairly well-informed, while the study couldn't even list an audience for Olbermann.
The point is that people read studies the way they want to read them, not the way they actually are.
Take the latest Pew study, this one on attitudes and opinions of Muslim Americans. Muslim Americans: Middle Class and Mostly Mainstream, trumpets the headline. That's very reassuring to most of us, but that's not exactly what the survey shows.
(B)y nearly two-to-one (63%-32%) Muslim Americans do not see a conflict between being a devout Muslim and living in a modern society.
Well, thank Allah! Of course, that means that a third of Muslim Americans do see a conflict between being a devout Muslim and living in a modern society. That's a much more troubling way to look at the figures, don't you think?
Or what about this:
Fewer native-born African American Muslims than others completely condemn al Qaeda. In addition, younger Muslims in the U.S. are much more likely than older Muslim Americans to say that suicide bombing in the defense of Islam can be at least sometimes justified.
Relatively few Muslim Americans believe the U.S.-led war on terror is a sincere effort to reduce terrorism, and many doubt that Arabs were responsible for the 9/11 attacks. Just 40% of Muslim Americans say groups of Arabs carried out those attacks.
Far from being the reassuring survey the Pew Organization (and various media outlets) want us to believe, this study shows that nearly half the Muslim American population reject the idea that Muslims carried out the terrorism of 9/11, 1/3 of Muslims see a conflict between modern life and living their religion, and younger Muslims think suicide bombers can be justified. It seems to me that this survey should be a wake up call to the threat such ideology creates. We don't want to be like Europe, after all.
UPDATE: Allahpundit dissects the numbers.