"The consciousness of good intentions disdains ambiguity. I shall not, however, multiply professions on this head. My motives must remain in the depository of my own breast. My arguments will be open to all, and may be judged of by all. They shall at least be offered in a spirit which will not disgrace the cause of truth."
-'Publius' The Federalist No. 1
Generally, individuals do not gravitate towards and shy away from presumption, particularly those that act in a presumptuous manner. In a similar vein, the old adage of what happens when you assume is applicable. Specifically, making too many assumptions leads one to making incorrect decisions from time to time.
Why is it then, in some of the most important circumstances of our daily existence, do individuals assume statements by presumptuous people?
The announcement of Sandra Day O'Connor's retirement highlights this phenomenon. Commentators in newspapers, on radio talk-shows, visiting as 'talking-heads' and countless other media outlets presumptuously proclaim the assumed answers. (and, yes; both left and right side of the aisle are proactively engaged in this campaign) One would think that the general populace would take a moment to find answers on their own.
Maybe this stems from my legal background, but it is somewhat disturbing to hear factually incorrect answers to straightforward inquiries warranting a fact-based response. Questions that do not even warrant spin systematically are being spun to fit someone's agenda. Why must everyone interpret everything for the general public?
I find it somewhat presumptuous that it is always assumed that we do not know the answers, or cannot find them for ourselves...