Friday, April 01, 2005

If you don't have a story, use statistics!

The oldest trick in the book. If you can't make something sound bad with plain old English (or your language of choice), use science or statistics.

In the same vein as the old Dihydrogen Monoxide scare that pops up from time to time, check out this article from USA Today. At first glance it seems to be portraying a pretty bleak picture of Afghan and Iraqi vets, that is until you look at the numbers a little closer. Here is a very interesting breakdown of the article from The Mudville Gazette (just to be clear, despite the title this is a blog and not a newspaper homepage).

The only problem, as shown by the analysis of the numbers the USA Today article sites, is that the numbers for veterans are actually BELOW the numbers for these same disorders when compared to the United States as a whole.

Just another case of sloppy journalism on USA Today's side, or a deliberate attempt to once again use whatever means to make the current American administration look bad. I'll leave that one up to you.

Thanks again to Little Green Footballs for the original link.


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