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"Mixed" Views on DADT Repeal Not the Same as "Positive" Views

12:55 PM, Nov 30, 2010 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
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The Pentagon's report on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" hasn't been released yet, but ABC highlights some interesting numbers: 

Surveys were sent to 400,000 service members and 150,000 spouses. Each survey had close to a 30 percent response rate. Earlier this month the Washington Post reported that 70 percent of the respondents believed that allowing gays to serve openly in the military would not have much of an effect.

As for the claim that "70 percent of the respondents believed that allowing gays to serve openly in the military would not have much of an effect," the Post actually reported on November 11 that 70% of respondents thought the effects of repeal would be "positive, mixed or nonexistent." Having "mixed" views--i.e. both negative and positive--on repeal is quite different from thinking the affects of repeal would be "positive" or "nonexistent." But for some reason the Post, ABC, and other media outlets misleadingly lump them all together.

And for all the reporting on the not-yet-released DADT report, I haven't seen any report examine whether the Pentagon got an accurate sample of the military's views. Out of 3,000,000 active duty and reservist service members, only 400,000 (13 percent) received the survey and fewer than 120,000 (4 percent) actually responded.

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