Wednesday, July 26, 2006


Lies, damn lies, and misleading graphics

This graphic comes from today's New York Times online, but I've seen similar graphics in many places practically every day, including in the paper I read (the San Jose Mercury News), but they don't put the graphics online.

I'm sure the point I want to make is immediately obvious. Look at a graphic like this and you'll think that Hizballah is firing 50% more weaponry at Israel than Israel is firing at Lebanon. Of course this is complete nonsense.

On a related subject, a friend pointed out a phrase that hadn't penetrated my brain, but which is quite telling. Over and over we hear and read about Hizballah "raining down" rockets on Israel. Has anyone here ever heard (from any corporate source, anyway) anyone talk or write about Israel "raining down" missiles on Lebanon? I sure haven't.

Update: Just a little more on the statistics themselves. The New York Times reports this today: "Hezbollah continued to strike at Israel, firing nearly 100 rockets as of Tuesday night, the Israeli military said." The Washington Post says: "Hezbollah fighters fired more than 90 rockets" (no attribution in the Post, but obviously the source is the Israeli military). Now ask yourself this -- how many missiles and rockets and bombs did the Israelis fire yesterday? Surely the Israeli military knows that a lot more accurately than they know how many Hizballah rockets were fired, and since they are the source of the information for the American media, why isn't that being reported? Search the Times or the Post for that information. Your search will be in vain.

Why stop here? There's more...

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