Switters’ Blog

Sayville’s Changing Face and Newsday’s Continuing BS

Posted by switters on January 7, 2007

In case you missed it, Newsday featured an article today called “Sayville’s Changing Face.” Millpond pointed out some of the articles, uhm, inconsistencies, on the sayville.com forum (if they delete the thread, you can see a snapshot here). Good work Millpond, but you missed two biggies.

The first is the whole damned article. The Changing Face of Sayville ??????? By what standard does 1.2% constitute a meaningful demographic shift?

Perhaps we’re talking about growth trends…..?

Yes, that must be it.

Well, let’s crunch some numbers. At the current rate of growth (per the article), in the year 2080 Indians will comprise a full 5% of Sayville’s population! OH-MY-GOD! Better tell Crickets to stock up on curry powder and have those girls at Debra Canavan swap out those skirts for saris.

Talk about a non-story.

The other fabrication in the article is the line: “In the early 1990s, a professor from California State University at Fresno labeled Sayville the “‘friendliest town in America.'”

I think its time we put this nonsense to rest. It’s one thing when residents and the chamber of commerce pretend that the “friendliest town” title really means something, but it’s really funny when it’s Newsday repeating it – since they’re the ones who made it up in the first place.

Here’s the truth:

In 1994 some pyschologist at Cal State with too much time on his hands developed a friendliness test for cities. In response, a reporter from Newsday with too much time on his hands decided to see how Long Island stacked up.
The result of his research, as we all now know, was to name Sayville the friendliest town in America. Unfortunately, the whole thing is meaningless. I’m pretty sure the article was intended to be slightly tounge in cheek, but now everybody uses the phrase as if it is really based on something. Why do I say its meaningless?

  • The author of the original study, who also compiled this data, is quoted in the article as saying that you can’t compare the results to the national data: “It would be one thing if you were doing a comparison between the suburbs of Houston and the suburbs of New York. But you’re weighing suburban towns against cities of at least 350,000 people.”
  • You can’t compare really compare it to Long Island either, since the research only included 6 communities. Not exactly a large sample size.
  • You can’t even truly say that Sayville is the top of the 6, since the deciding factor in the research was conducted in the parking lot at the Sayville Borders, which of course is in Bohemia (not to mention the fact that on any given day its customers could be from any town within 15 miles).

I’m not saying Sayvillians aren’t friendly – there are some great people here and some real jerks too – just like everywhere else. But the “friendliest town” title is about as meaningful as the words “# 1 chef” on a barbecue apron.

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4 Responses to “Sayville’s Changing Face and Newsday’s Continuing BS”

  1. millpond said

    The reporter in Newsday did no fact checking whatsoever. THe Indian “family values’ he forgot about includes “bride burning” There are over 25,000 REPORTED burned per year
    See: http://www.indiatogether.org/wehost/nodowri/stats.htm

  2. millpond said

    The 25,000 figure in dead and injured, but that is just reported. Most are not reported, the brides disappear.

  3. dakeeper said

    LOL- yeah, I forgot they do that. Plus the aborting of females. Every culture has their demons. I gotta admit though, I’d rather have these folks than some Shirley-Mastic skells living near me.

    As far as Newsday goes, as a civil servant I KNOW they conveniently leave out details in their reporting, especially when it comes to law enforcement issues. Every year for example, they put on the front cover of their paper, usually in February, the top overtime earners and how outrageous it is for people to be making that kind of money.

    What they don’t tell you is the stupid f*cks earning that salary have no life, they work days off, come in on vacations, they incur health problems left and right- basically sacrificing their family and well-being to supplement their pay. These people work 16 hours a day 3 or 4 times a week or more and it’s blood money. Newsday would have us all believe people are scamming money hand over fist.

  4. switters said

    For whatever its worth, I’ve worked with a few Indians over the past few years and I have to say that every one of them was a damned good worker (and the folks I’m describing ran the gamut from a cashier, to some middle managers, to some tech people). But I personally think its just as demeaning to reduce people to positive stereotypes as it is to reduce them to negative ones. (ok, maybe saying, for example, that latinos are good lovers isn’t quite as offensive as saying that say, French people are cowards, but stereotypes are sterotypes.)

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