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When is a problem not a problem?

When the New York Times makes it up. According to the Times' headline writers, "Wife Killings at Fort Reflect Growing Problem in Military". The article, of course, discusses the killings of four women at Fort Bragg by their military spouses over the last six weeks. It's certainly shocking, and worth reporting. So why do I criticize the Times? Because not one fact in the article substantiates in any way the Times' claim that the problem is "growing." Some data is cited, but that data is unrelated to the claim, and moreover, as even the Times admits:

The numbers have been sharply debated by experts and are difficult to calculate, because the military counts only married couples in incidents of domestic violence, not former spouses or girlfriends.
I'm sensing a pattern; on Monday, OpinionJournal noted (Scroll down) another example of the New York Times making up a headline that fit nicely with their editorial biases, but not with the facts in the story.

These are both examples of ideological bias, but they're also an example of a phenomenon I noted the other day: the Times' desperate need to "put events into context." Why write about four individual murders when you can write about a societal problem which is "reflected" by those four murders?


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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on July 30, 2002 4:38 AM.

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