The Anecdotes of Pundits

Certain political pundits get caught up in a similar type of anecdotal fallacy. But it’s not the typical sort of anecdote, involving real-life interaction. It’s the anecdotal experience of the “very online” pundit who lets their Twitter or Facebook interactions color their perception of Christianity or Evangelicalism in the United States. Often these political pundits think they can appeal to one or two polls or some data to back up their anecdote. But some of the popular polls and data made use of by pundits aren’t as useful as they think. The first example that comes to my mind here is the article in The Atlantic about QAnon which, in part, relied upon the number of Facebook followers of an account as an indicator of QAnon believers. But of course following an account on Facebook or Twitter is no indication of believing or supporting the views of the account being followed.

And maybe it’s because I just finished reading The Morning Dispatch before seeing Justin Taylor’s tweet, but David French is who I first thought of after reading it. It seems as if all he can see about “Evangelicalism” anymore is a somewhat artificial, broad brushed composition that, as best I can tell, is pieced together from some misleading polls, some poor reasoning on his part, and his negative online interactions over the last five years.