Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Three sensational claims in just one paragraph!!!

Back in April I blogged about encountering articles from content mills. Last month I found one with an amazing first paragraph. That article was written by Jay (A.) Jenkin and published on April 23, 2010. On Articlebase it was titled Speaking with confidence, while on Ezine Articles it was titled Speaking to a crowd with confidence. The first paragraph says:

“There is no doubt about it: speaking in front of people is one of our culture's biggest fears. A recent study asked a group of United States Air Force pilots, guys who can land a multi-million dollar fighter jet on an aircraft carrier at night without breaking a sweat, what their greatest fear was. Their answer? Public speaking. Another study found that most people would rather be in the coffin at a funeral than up at the pulpit giving the eulogy. All in all, only 5% of Americans are ready and willing to command the public platform.”

His first claim begins with the second sentence - there was a survey of pilots about their fears. I looked around on Google and the databases at my public library and could not find it. But, Air Force pilots don’t land fighters on aircraft carriers. Naval aviators do, as many who saw the movie Top Gun will recall. The Navy already had called the guys who took ships into ports or other confined zone pilots. To avoid confusion they called their fliers aviators. (An earlier article by Jenkin claimed the survey was on combat fighter pilots).

The fifth sentence has his second claim - that there was a study which said people would rather be in the coffin than giving the eulogy. That just was a two-decade old Jerry Seinfeld comedy routine, not a study.

The last sentence has his third claim that only 5% of Americans are ready and willing to step up and speak. It’s just a restatement of the silly claim that 95% fear speaking - a pandemic of fear which I’ve debunked before. So, all three claims are bogus.

The Puck cartoon came from back in 1897!

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