Saturday, October 08, 2005

Does LA Times Editorial Page Really Rely On Jay Leno's Monologue For Its Facts? Seems So!,0,4170304.story?coll=la-home-oped

In an otherwise excellent editorial about NAFTA and the benefits of free trade, the LA Times Editorial Page attempts a stab at humor, with the usual disastrous results:

Salsa has replaced ketchup as the nation's favorite condiment; perhaps it's little wonder that guacamole may now be its favorite dip.

Now I just happen to recall when the survey done by the American Condiment Association was released, and I also remember what Jay Leno said that same night; they, alas, were not the same thing. The survey said that ketchup and salsa were tied as America's favorite condiment in a 1,000 person survey:

A new survey commissioned by The Association for Dressings and Sauces reveals some interesting facts about consumers and condiment sauces, including salsa, salad dressing and mayonnaise. In the recent survey of 1,000 Americans completed by Synovate, salsa and ketchup tied for the 'favorite' condiment with mayonnaise, salad dressing and barbecue sauce close behind.

Jay Leno however said - that salsa was now the most popular of the two - and an urban legend was born! There is, however, a lot more to this story. To begin with, it is true that salsa has passed ketchup in sales when it comes to dollars spent

But the much higher cost of salsa compared to ketchup, makes ketchup easily the best selling condiment. In addition, other surveys show that the number of homes that have ketchup in them is between 95% and 97% and the highest percentage of homes that I could find with salsa in them was... 37%, making ketchup the clear winner as 'favorite' condiment in terms of what people actually buy and keep in their homes.

A very minor point in some ways - but of all places where getting at the actual truth, however inconvenient or nuanced it maybe, should be of primary import - the Editorial Page is the number one place in the paper. Alas - it is also the very last place in the LA Times where 'facts' can be trusted.

Myself, I way prefer salsa to boring ketchup - but it's relish that is my favorite.

PS - The LA Times Editorial Page has yet to correct its sugar trade editorial on-line (just in the corrections section) and it has yet to issue any corrections on its almost totally false earthquake/Katrina editorial, among many other still uncorrected errors.

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