The Watcher Cat

The Watcher Cat

Monday, July 9, 2012

Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics (OK, no statistics)

So, I get an e-mail forwarded to me--I know, these never go anywhere good--about how the President (tellingly referred to as Barack Hussein Obama throughout--aye, that'll show him, eh?) is outsourcing road repair in the US to Chinese companies, citing an ABC News report, from September 2011. Of course, the report says, as noted by, nothing of the kind:
This email is an example of how things get distorted and go viral — even when the facts are just a click away. It’s true that ABC News did a report on Chinese firms winning contracts to repair U.S. bridges. But the report pointedly said states were to blame. It didn’t mention federal funds — let alone stimulus funds — except to note that California turned down federal money to avoid federal “Buy American” laws and hire a Chinese firm.

In a Sept. 23, 2011, broadcast, ABC News reported on bridge repair contracts going to Chinese firms in three states: Alaska, New York and California. But it gave details on only one project — a $7.2 billion repair of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. ABC News explained how and why the Chinese firm wound up with the contract, beginning with a decision by the California transportation department not to accept federal funds.
How much more patent distortion, propaganda, and deceit is festering out there in the electronic equivalent of direct mail? And how many people of good will are genuinely taken in by this stuff, and feed the beast by adding to the chain of forwards?

As Mark Twain has been quoted as saying, "A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes."

Or, more to the point,

(Edited to provide attribution without following link)

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