I've been following a variety of different blogs and news sites for a while now, and there is something that really bothers me especially in the "Wiki-age" (I don't know if that's coined yet, but I'll take credit for it). People often talk about stories they heard or things they were talking about with their friends, and while I appreciate the addition of these anecdotes to the overall discourse, I find it disturbing that people so often fail to cite any resources. Even a cursory glance through the various online encyclopedias would be enough for me to lend a small amount of credibility to what a person means to say. Instead, I predominately see that people will, online or in personal conversation, mention a news report they heard from wherever in order to lend themselves credibility in a given topic. Now, while I have been guilty of this in the past I usually save these "heard it on the radio" situations for times when I want to start a conversation or change the subject. Very rarely will I use them as a source to back up a point in a debate (or heated argument for that matter).
Whether in print or in person, I think the whole idea of good conversation regarding any matters of fact or politics would be better served if people would simply keep their mouths shut when they don't have any real cogent evidence to back up what they're saying. We can aruge theory, strategy or ethics until the sun comes up but when we think we can interject some unvarifiable content into the conversation we begin to stray away from what I believe to be honest discourse. Its not as though I believe these people or liars, rather that I simply can't trust their interpretation of the data they were presented, the slant which was put on it or the way they are choosing to convey it to me. There's a lot lost in the process of hearing, understanding, and relating for it to be of any importance to a decent exchange.
So in short, no one cares about that thing you heard on NPR which makes your side of the argument the correct one. And no, I don't believe your statistics, or theirs for that matter.