Torturing the numbers: accurate falsehood

Hoven describes several ‘fact checking’ efforts that are Fun & Games with Mainstream Media Numbers

“Frankly, I’m glad someone is looking into this. I don’t want to be one of that 0.01%. But I’m also relieved to see that the wrongful conviction rate is so low. (But I would be concerned that trying to blindly reduce that rate would increase the rate of wrongful acquittals. As an engineer, I know errors will be made. Our choice is mostly what type of error: letting bad guys go free, or putting good guys in prison.)”

“Like the previous story, what is actually good news is treated as bad news. The real news is that workplace fatalities are trending down (just as they were prior to OSHA’s existence — see chart below), to the point where the things that kill people at work are the same things that kill them when not at work: vehicles and violence.”

Wrongful convictions, occupational hazards, budgets, … all are subject to distortions that feed an ideology. One has to be careful, especially when reading MSM fact checking stories.

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