Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Breitbart - Targeting the Innumerate

This caught my eye today. I subscribe to the Breitbart email list, not so much because I believe the politics, but because it’s often amusing to see the ways a masterful lack of intellect can be played. It really is a class lesson in manipulation, and fear-mongering.

One of their more recent actions has been fundraising for the Republicans (shows how little they consider themselves a ‘news source’ when they’re openly campaigning for political candidates and PACs) but today there was one that caught my eye, mainly because it was so bold, I couldn’t let it pass without comment.

It starts by talking about a $2Million target that they set 2-3 weeks ago. Then, and here’s the important bit, they say any donation will be triple-matched. Those exact words
Every donation recieved in the next 48 hours will be TRIPLE MATCHED.
Then it goes on, for the less mathematically inclined, to give examples (screeengrabs of the emails are at the bottom), such as:
*** Your gift of $25 today is worth $75.
*** If you donate $50 right now, the NRSC will receive $150.
*** And if you can find a way to contribute $100, that will result in a total amount of $300, which would be an incredible help.
There’s just one big problem I’ve spotted here. That’s not Triple-matching. That’s DOUBLE matching.

Let me break it down.

If it is matched, then for every $25 given, it is matched with $25 to a total of $50
If it’s Double-matched, then $25 is matched with $50 for a total of $75
TRIPLE matching $25 would mean $75 is matched giving a total of $100

The fact is, the Breitbart site supposedly caters to the Right. Generally these people go on about how we must be better about money, and indeed many Breitbart emails have arrived in my inbox begging me to donate to Romney (a man whose business experience isn’t quite what it’s made out to be) to ‘save the economy’.

Turns out, the people they’re targeting, have no clue about basic maths. They’re being played for fools. It's also deceptive advertising.

And as a side-note, just who exactly is doing to be doing the double-matching? Neither the email, OR the site it links to (no less than 5 times) shows it (screengrabs are included below) give any indication who it is. Frankly, I’d be worried who it was, and why. But when you’re part of a crowd, racing headlong in the maelstrom of sheer pig-ignorance, you’re probably not thinking enough to ask basic questions like that.

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