Statistics: for when the facts get in the way

Discussion in 'Politics' started by The_Blob, Dec 14, 2010.

  1. The_Blob

    The_Blob performing monkey

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    There's lies, damned lies, and then there's "carefully researched" Washington Post articles

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    The Washington Post dedicated a team of reporters to a yearlong investigation into the sources of guns used in the killings of police officers. The Post presumably focused on police officers as there were not enough data available for a more sympathetic demographic, say, nuns, or orphans, or small fuzzy bunnies, or small fuzzy orphan nun bunnies.

    Unfortunately, once they compiled all the data, it turns out that not only were 100% of these heinous crimes traced back to the act of an individual and not the spontaneous act of the firearm itself, but also that the vast majority of firearms used by these criminals had been obtained illegally, as has long been the argument of activists who support the legal ownership of firearms.

    However, just because the facts were insufficiently compelling didn't mean the Post had to abandon its preferred narrative.

    You see, guns were not just "stolen" but also "taken" from friends (stolen), otherwise seized from officers (stolen), or secured through various other illegal means. What does breaking down all the guns that were obtained illegally into several subcategories while lumping those that were legally acquired into just one accomplish?

    The Post gets to claim:

    "Legal purchase was the leading source of weapons used to kill police officers."

    Now that's pretty impressive. Sure, you could technically claim that the leading source of weapons was "unknown," since 170 guns couldn't be tracked. You could also point out that a careful reading of the statistics reveals that police officers are at less peril from gun show sales than from the guns they have in their holsters when they go to harass gun shows, but that's not what's important.

    What's important is that you can use the Washington Post's professional approach to statistical analysis in your own life.

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    belly fat 20%
    *** fat 10%
    "love handles" 7%
    "moobs" (man-boobs) 8%
    skeletal structures 10%
    internal organs 15%
    skin 5%
    muscle mass 25%

    thank you, Washington Post, I am no longer morbidly obese (or a drunkard), since I have more muscle mass than anything else, now maybe Michelle Obama will STFU and let me eat my chili cheese fries (that I'm chasing with Guinness) in peace
     
  2. SurviveNthrive

    SurviveNthrive a dude

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    Ever notice that the talking heads don't refer to the book 'Lying with Statistics' anymore because they do?