Browsed by
Category: Facts

Study used cherry picked data to prove a false conclusion

Study used cherry picked data to prove a false conclusion

A fake study cherry picks the start date of the pandemic to make a false claim that billionaires became far richer due to the pandemic. The actual purpose of the “study” is propaganda messaging using the methods of cherry picking, appeal to authority, and emotion. The errors made are large enough to be treated as lies, as well.

Journalism: Story refutes its own headline

Journalism: Story refutes its own headline

Time Magazine ran with the headline “Accidental Poisonings Rise After Trump Disinfectant Comments”; the headline, however, is refuted by the story’s own text. In fact, the rise in accidental poisoning began six weeks before Trump’s bizarre comments, and was part of a longer term trend in an increase in accidental poisoning. The sharp increase that began in February was due to many people acquiring and misusing (and making accessible to children) alcohol-based sanitizers and bleach.

Journalism: Does a coronavirus test cost $3,270? No, it does not.

Journalism: Does a coronavirus test cost $3,270? No, it does not.

A new report with a poorly written headline has been interpreted as the cost of a Covid19 (coronavirus) test is $3,270. In fact, the CDC is not charging for their diagnostic tests. However, this meme has taken off on social media – that a test costs $3,270 – and this claim, in turn, is used for propaganda messaging on a variety of political and health topics.

Politics: The enduring Scandinavian socialism fantasy

Politics: The enduring Scandinavian socialism fantasy

Some politicians and popular memes assert that Scandinavian socialism is a model for the world. Except the Scandinavian governments themselves note they are not socialist countries. They are free market economies with high taxes supporting a large social safety net; they are not socialist countries. If the U.S. had the same tax structure as Denmark, then you would pay an income tax of 55.9% above $65,000/year in income.

Journalism: “Oregon ranks high in rising rate of natural disasters”

Journalism: “Oregon ranks high in rising rate of natural disasters”

The news headline says Oregon ranks high in natural disasters, which the text explains, is wildfires in the State.

This claim comes from a press release from a small, little known online Internet insurance sales web site. This type of press release is put out in hopes of garnering free publicity – and it certainly worked for them – in large part because the media, like all of us, is more likely to succumb to a fear-based scary headline.

However, if we practice factfulness and look at the long term trend in Oregon fires we see that a small rise at the right end of the chart has been translated into a crisis and a catastrophe. The chart above is the official chart from the Oregon government’s Fire Statistics page, and shows actual acreage burned and total fires burned in Oregon since 1911.

The slight increase at the extreme right edge is the basis for the scary headline. By leaving out all historical context and by focusing on large percentile increase in a tiny number at the right edge of the chart, the media creates unwarranted fear and hysteria in viewers.

Journalism: “Fears of economic recession could derail the holiday shopping season – MarketWatch” – Social Panic

Journalism: “Fears of economic recession could derail the holiday shopping season – MarketWatch” – Social Panic

A month ago, the media gave us scary stories that “Fears of an economic recession could derail the holiday shopping season”. Actual sales rose by +3.4% year over year, even with a shopping season that was six days shorter than the prior year. Unfortunately, mindless speculative “news” is used to fill up air time and web page time with something new.