"Is our children learning?"

The real state of the union.


Tim Grieve
June 25, 2007 8:43PM (UTC)

A few minutes ago, we noted that the latest Newsweek poll has 41 percent of the American public believing that Saddam Hussein's regime was "directly involved in planning, financing, or carrying out" the attacks of 9/11.

There's more where that came from.

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Newsweek's pollsters asked Americans if they could name the chief justice of the United States. Eighty-one percent of them said no. Just 19 percent had the confidence to say yes, but nearly half of them proceeded to name someone other than John Roberts. In the end, only 11 percent of Americans correctly identified the chief justice.

That's the same number -- but probably not the same people -- who said that, to the best of their knowledge, the United States has already tracked down and captured Osama bin Laden.

But before we get to feeling too superior here, we'll have to admit that 18 percent of Americans know something we don't: The name of the person who won "American Idol" this year.


Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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