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War "Statistics": The New York Times Deceives Again

Society & Culture  (tags: New York Times, Gaza, Israel, Palestinians, statistics )

- 1543 days ago -
During World War II, it is estimated that 378,000 German civilians were killed in British air raids, compared to 62,000 British civilians killed in German air raids. Knowing this, however, does little to help understand the nature of the conflict.


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David E (139)
Sunday July 27, 2014, 12:00 am
It is the very power of numbers, graphics and photographs that makes them compelling ways to prove a point, and lousy ways of explaining what is really going on.

Creating compelling clickbait in the form of infographics is a disturbing trend in news today. But that is not "all the news that is fit to print;" that is propaganda.

The visualization quantifies two elements related to the conflict: the number of deaths, and the number of attacks. It does not reveal who started the latest round of battle or why; who the dead are; how many civilians live under constant threat of indiscriminate shooting, or how that number accumulated over time. The numbers simply attempt authoritatively to represent an amount violence in the air, devoid of all context.

Jordan G (37)
Sunday July 27, 2014, 1:30 am
The facts behind the facts. TY. Finally

Past Member (0)
Sunday July 27, 2014, 1:33 am
I destroy my enemies when I make them my friends.
~Abraham Lincoln

Hilary S (65)
Sunday July 27, 2014, 1:36 am
indeed -
an al jazeera story i read showed statististics of casualties in gaza with pie charts, and which made it abundantly clear that the vast majority of their casualties are males aged in the range of a fighting force.

then there's the matter of the low value hamas places on all human life, with the exception of the lives of their own people and those gazan citizens who have become rich on the cream skimmed from international aid handouts.

Past Member (0)
Sunday July 27, 2014, 2:13 am
Extremely well put David. Thank you.

Stan B (123)
Sunday July 27, 2014, 2:39 am
Israel needs to wipe out this threat once and for all. That's what every other country would do. No more cease-fires.

P. L. Neola (21)
Sunday July 27, 2014, 11:14 am
You know, every time I look at a map, I get more and more confused.

Some atlases barely show Israel properly so that one can distinguish its borders. Others illustrate it in a way so that one can get confused.

I wish that I could say I am not very smart geographically; however, I have a degree in Geography with ArcMap, GIS, and Aerial Interpretation under my belt.

I am beginning to realize that cartographers across the world do their map designing with their own interpretation slants.

All the modern or more recently printed atlases do not do Israel any justice. I am going to search some older atlases for obtaining a better geographical perspective of Israel’s borders and dilemma!!!

Yes, yes, the Palestinians need to be eradicated out of Israel. Now, that the UN granted them their sub-state status, they will not stop attacking and warmongering against Israel.

Charlene Rush (79)
Sunday July 27, 2014, 11:30 am
It's getting to the point, that you can't trust anyone.

. (0)
Sunday July 27, 2014, 12:23 pm
you know i foud the side bar interesting. that the media is helping hamas get away with war crimes. if i remember correctly our own civil war caused more deaths then all of our wars together. good article

Sheila D (194)
Sunday July 27, 2014, 2:20 pm
Very good article...should always remember that the media is no longer impartial. Whoever signs their paychecks dictates the slant on each story. Thanks David.

Walter F (129)
Sunday July 27, 2014, 7:08 pm
As Stan stated no more cease fires.They will achieve nothing but a temporary lull in the fighting and give hamas the opportunity to. reorganize and rearm. then recommence its pledge to destroy the state of Israel..Despite a lot of criticism this time Israel must put an end the the insidious threat on its doorstep.

Monday July 28, 2014, 2:57 am
Someone once remarked that there are small lies, bigger lies great big whopping lies and then there are statistics. Statistics can be a useful but limited tool for science but only if the data in is verifiable and accurate and the results out are extracted, calculated and viewed within very strict limitations.

The ease with which any old hack digging for "news" or any crooked politician can churn out "statistics" often from thin air is evident every time we switch on our TV sets or PC's – but only if one has a functioning brain. Unfortunately when your average viewer has a problem spelling statistic let alone understanding the finer points of this form of mathematics they will happily accept the “scientific facts” of their favourite hack as long as it gives them their daily ration of “ain’t it awful” that fits their ideological narrative.
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