A major difference between the worldviews of liberals and conservatives, is this: For conservatives, data informs policy. For liberals, feeling is as good as knowing. Case in point: Arbitron is a radio audience research company in the United States which collects listener data on radio audiences similar to that collected by Nielsen Media Research on television audiences. Arbitron collects data by selecting a random sample of a population in roughly 100 metros throughout the United States. Everyone agreeing to participate is provided a diary for each member aged 12 and older for one week. With the interest in the collection of more accurate ratings data, Arbitron has introduced the Portable People Meter (PPM). The PPM is a wearable portable device much like a pager or cell phone, that electronically gathers inaudible codes that identify the source of a broadcast, such as a radio station. Now what happens if the data shows a drop in listenership of minority owned stations? Washington, DC Chairman Edolphus Ed Towns (D-NY) today announced that the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is set to hold a hearing on Wednesday, December 2, 2009 to examine Arbitron's radio audience measurement device, the Portable People Meter (PPM), and its effect on diversity in radio broadcasting. Specifically, the Committee will examine whether the PPM technology and methodology accurately measure radio audiences and whether PPM has a disproportionately negative impact on radio stations owned by minorities or targeted toward minority listeners. Moreover, the Committee will address such factors as the effect of PPM as currency in a radio market; the importance of diversity in broadcast media; the impact of PPM on minority broadcasters and communities; and issues affecting sample quality in PPM technology. Oversight Hearing to Examine Minority Owned Radio Stationsâ Ratings Decline So, lets review. If more accurate data works to the detriment of protected groups, the government will legislate that different data be used. Does this smack of the same kind of procedures the warmists dabble in? Or government sponsorship of NPR? Or government discussions of subsidies to newspapers? Here is the difference between equality and liberty.