Media Distortion

One quick example of how the media distorts numbers:

http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2012/12/18/gun_deaths_in_america_gun_deaths_outpace_motor_vehicle_deaths_in_at_least.html

The writer distorts in the following ways:
1. Make no distinction between suicide and murder. I think we can agree it is pretty easy to off yourself without a gun and since few claim they want to totally outlaw guns it seems any current proposed law wouldn’t prevent someone from suicide with a gun anyway.
2. Don’t mention in the headline what the chart really shows: Car accident deaths are dropping- great!
3. Make zero distinction or mention of states with tougher laws (Illinois, CA, DC (not a state but they have separate laws) versus states with more permissive law.
4. Talk about deaths per 100K a more accurate measure since it takes into account population growth- but then change the measure artfully to the sum total to try to show growth even though the per 100K number would show retraction.
5. Pretend to be objective at the end by giving incredibly weak argument to the other side.

http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2012/12/18/gun_deaths_in_america_gun_deaths_outpace_motor_vehicle_deaths_in_at_least.html

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s