The Dutch in Old Amsterdam Do It

February 28, 2012
Posted by Jay Livingston

Amsterdam – “It’s a Disney World for ‘those’ people,” says Bill O’Reilly in the video below.

This clip is a further illustration of the role that the Netherlands plays in the imaginations of US conservatives, the topic of yesterday’s post.

Although it’s nice to have my perceptions confirmed, I’m a bit embarrassed not to have known about the Fox News frenzy over Amsterdam, which apparently goes back to at least 2010.  

Erik Voeten at The Monkey Cage posted the video, and advised us to pay close attention to O’Reilly’s keen sense of methodology evident at the end of the clip.  When one of the women mentions the rates of ever using marijuana – “Forty percent of people in the USA and only 22.6% of people in the Netherlands” – O’Reilly says,  
The way they do statistics in the Netherlands is different.  Plus it’s a much smaller country, a much smaller base.
Maybe he's using a Bayesian approach that we need Andrew Gelman to explain.

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