Green Room

Great moments in media math

posted at 1:46 pm on July 15, 2013 by

Maybe the New York Times’ layers of fact checkers and editors think there really are 57 states.  Via Instapundit and Megan McArdle, Mike Munger explains how math works to the Paper of Record:

Six months ago, I visited North Carolina’s state treasurer, Janet Cowell – the only Democrat in the administration now – and met with citizen advocates.. Our trip had impact, on us at least. On the plane coming home my colleague turned to me shell shocked, “How can it be legal to have so much poverty in such a wealthy state?” 

Ask two questions: How rich is the state? And what percentage of its children live in poverty? That’s a working definition of good fiscal policy…. Let’s look at North Carolina. It is the 39th richest state, and yet it ranks 12th for the percentage of children living in poverty – only 11 states fare worse. 

Um, ma’am….if it is the 39th richest state, that means it’s the 12th poorest state.  That means there are 11 states that are poorer. And if it is the 12th for percentage of children living in poverty….then again there are 11 states that are poorer. It’s exactly the same proportion, not out of line at all.  What’s with this “And yet…” thing you got going?

I think what the NYT and Teresa Ghilarducci meant to say was “And yet, this is a conservative state, so it must be awful.”  Layers of fact checkers and editors agree, apparently.

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We need ab IQ rest for elected officials and media controlers.

BADLY!!!

FOWG1 on July 15, 2013 at 1:51 PM

We also need typists (ab=an). Sorry.

FOWG1 on July 15, 2013 at 1:52 PM

We need ab IQ rest for elected officials and media controlers.

BADLY!!!

FOWG1 on July 15, 2013 at 1:51 PM

We also need typists (ab=an). Sorry.

FOWG1 on July 15, 2013 at 1:52 PM

I was also wondering what an “IQ rest” is?

Bitter Clinger on July 15, 2013 at 2:01 PM

The biggest problem we got from the left IS IQ rest!

jdpaz on July 15, 2013 at 2:08 PM

just kidding FOWG1. just kidding you and your T-rex arms trying to type on that cursed I-phone.

jdpaz on July 15, 2013 at 2:09 PM

I suspect these same people are responsible for their climate and energy articles. They don’t seem to have much of a clue in their positions on those areas either.

KW64 on July 15, 2013 at 2:24 PM

Doh!

claudius on July 15, 2013 at 2:32 PM

Statistics is like that – truth can be expressed in so many complicated ways.

ExpressoBold on July 15, 2013 at 2:50 PM

just kidding FOWG1. just kidding you and your T-rex arms trying to type on that cursed I-phone.

jdpaz on July 15, 2013 at 2:09 PM

“I have a big head and little arms!” Like that?

GWB on July 15, 2013 at 2:59 PM

FOWG1 on July 15, 2013 at 1:51 PM

I’ll give you a pass; trying to be bishop comes with a lot of pressure.

pain train on July 15, 2013 at 3:09 PM

They don’t have to know math, they feel the pain.

Cindy Munford on July 15, 2013 at 3:23 PM

Great moments in media math

I think the winners have to be the ’08 and ’12 election when they carried The One.

Flange on July 15, 2013 at 3:25 PM

“I have a big head and little arms!” Like that?

GWB on July 15, 2013 at 2:59 PM

Can’t even hardly see the keyboard.

jdpaz on July 15, 2013 at 3:30 PM

They said there would be no math in journalism class.

BobMbx on July 15, 2013 at 3:35 PM

In addition, since all states have more debt than assets, they are all poor states.

Which makes NC the 12th poorest state.

A technicality lost on the MSM.

BobMbx on July 15, 2013 at 3:38 PM

The New York Times imagines itself as the #1 most respected media outlet in the country, and yet only one-third of 1% of the population reads it!

That means that 99.7% of America never reads the New York Times.

How do you like them numbers?

Zombie on July 15, 2013 at 3:58 PM

It’s all in the presentation.
As a co-worker mentioned recently – back during the cold war, there was a particular Olympic event where only the USSR and USA competed. USA won.
However, the Pravda report stated “the grand Soviet team got second place in this event, while the American team came in next to last place”.

dentarthurdent on July 15, 2013 at 4:01 PM

To confirm my stats with math:

In 2009 article circulation dropped 7.3 percent to about 928,000; this is the first time since the 1980s that it has fallen under one million.[6]As of December 26, 2010, the paper reported a circulation of 906,100 copies on weekdays…

1 million NYTimes readers (rounding up)
316 million Americans (census)

1/316 = .003.

Thus, .3% of the population reads the NYTimes.

99.7% doesn’t.

Zombie on July 15, 2013 at 4:05 PM

Most liberals aren’t very smart, and yet they vote for Democrats on a regular basis.

hawksruleva on July 15, 2013 at 4:38 PM

Yu So Dum

faraway on July 15, 2013 at 4:39 PM

Reminds me of a Dilbert strip.

Lost in Jersey on July 15, 2013 at 7:19 PM

I was also wondering what an “IQ rest” is?

Bitter Clinger on July 15, 2013 at 2:01 PM

That’s what Joe Biden has built into his Lazy-Boy recliner, and he needs it after a hard day’s VPing.

CitizenEgg on July 15, 2013 at 7:23 PM

Most liberals aren’t very smart, and yet so they vote for Democrats on a regular basis.

hawksruleva on July 15, 2013 at 4:38 PM

FIFY

Pervygrin on July 15, 2013 at 7:36 PM

First there was Old Math, in which 1+1=2.

Then there was New Math, where 1+1=something close to but not quite 2, in accordance with Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle.

Then there was New New Math, in which it only mattered how you felt about 1+1; did it make you sad, or angry, that it was supposed to be 2?

Now we have Progressive Math, in which 1+1= whatever number you need it to be for the purpose of your social engineering agenda; 1, 8, eleventy-seven, Googolplex, Double Googleplex to the power of Zorgleboogie Snarchnoid, etc.

I suspect the final stage will be Caveman Math, in which if you are seen scratching 1+1= on a cave wall with a piece of flint, some hairy nerfherder will grunt “OOOGG!” and smash your brains out with a club made from the leftover driveshaft of a Prius, because it’s unfair that some people (like you) can actually do math.

Most attempts at creating Utopia tend to do exactly the opposite in the end. Doubly so for those which try to ignore the laws of reality.

clear ether

eon

eon on July 16, 2013 at 8:32 AM

Reminds me of a Dilbert strip.

Lost in Jersey on July 15, 2013 at 7:19 PM

Nice , I think this one fits as well.
http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/2005-04-21/

TXChas on July 16, 2013 at 8:36 AM

I’ll never forget a CNN report I caught back in the 90′s during the heterosexual AIDS scare. It went like this:

“Most Americans are underestimating they’re chances of contracting the AIDS virus. In a new poll, 75% say they have little or no chance of being infected, while scientists say 1 in 4 Americans are at risk.”

RadClown on July 16, 2013 at 8:46 AM

“How can it be legal to have so much poverty in such a wealthy state?”

Well then, just pass a law to make poverty illegal. That will fix everything!

Upstreamer on July 16, 2013 at 9:43 AM

Bad math aside, it never occurs to these geniuses that NC’s poverty rate may something to do with the national poverty rate being the highest since the 1960′s.

“How can it be legal to have so much poverty in such a wealthy state?”

Cripes, what an idiot.

RadClown on July 16, 2013 at 10:06 AM

The Liberal Algebraic Method to Increase Wealth:

Let A = B.
Multiply both sides by A.
A^2 = AB
Subtract B^2 from both sides:
A^2 – B^2 = AB – B^2
Factor both sides.
(A+B)(A-B) = B(A-B)
Divide both sides by (A-B).
A + B = B.
Substitute A = B.
B + B = B
2B = B.
Divide both sides by B.
2 = 1.

Now that we have mathematically proven that 2 = 1, every poor starving American has the right to trade one dollar against two Obamabucks (after all, by mathermatical equality, it is a fair trade).

Then the poor starving American trades each of the two Obamabucks against two Obamabucks, and now he/she has four Obamabucks.

After every poor starving American repeats this procedure 20 times, each of them has 1,048,576 Obamabucks.

And here’s the good news: we’re all millionaires!!!

Ain’t Obama great?

Steve Z on July 16, 2013 at 10:22 AM

Steve Z on July 16, 2013 at 10:22 AM

That made my head hurt.

Bitter Clinger on July 16, 2013 at 10:48 AM

They don’t have to know math, they feel the pain.

Cindy Munford on July 15, 2013 at 3:23 PM

It’s easy to feel someone else’s pain. It only gets tough when it’s your own pain that you feel.

ss396 on July 16, 2013 at 12:11 PM