Bad Chart Thursday: CNN Pot Pie
We are living in the age of the infographic, and no chart is safe, least of all the ordinary pie chart. Making the chart visually appealing comes first, and clarity comes second . . . if at all.
If you’ve got information to display in a pie chart, you can make the chart into any image you like–a doughnut, a planet, a basketball, a festering boil.
You can even put your weed in it.
CNN recently did just that in a chart they tweeted as part of the publicity for a series about the legal pot industry, High Profits.
Now, sure the percentages don’t add up to 100, and it takes a while (and perhaps a search for the data source) to realize that the percentages are out of 100% surveyed within each age group,* making the pie chart a terrible format to begin with, but LOOK, it’s a pot leaf for a chart about WEED!
Following CNN’s lead, I decided to create my own highly reliable chart depicting how exactly the CNN chart ever made it to the public:
* Gallup did not survey anyone under 18.
H/T to Nicole Gugliucci and Frank Bi for not bogarting this chart.