NPR: The economy may be booming (crashing, stagnant, uncertain) in Indiana, but not everyone agrees. We interviewed Mark Carmela, who runs a bicycle shop in downtown Anderson who says times are tough.
MC: Yeah, last year at this time we had customers lining up outside the door, but this year I haven't seen a customer in three weeks, y'know?
NPR: Tomorrow, we'll travel to North Dakota and collect another anecdote there. It's supposed to make the news real, give it a human face, but actually it just allows us to conclude whatever the hell we want and pass it off to you as reporting. Live, from Mark's Pedal World in Anderson, Indiana.
On any given day, it's compassion. But day after day, is it really? It seems more like allowing NPR listeners to feel as if they are identifying with the common man without actually having to talk to any of them, or to have their preconceived notions challenged in any way. The plural of anecdote is not data.