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Monday, February 07, 2005

LA Times: The Glass is 1/10th of 1% Empty

This is sometimes too easy. When the LA Times (or NY Times, Boston Globe, Washington Post, etc) decide to go negative with a story about some facet of the war in Iraq, just scratch a millimeter or so below the surface and watch the bias ooze out. And definitely don't rely on the headline. Case in point: The LA Times runs a 1500+ word story entitled "Breaking Ranks to Shun War" about how 150 of our service personnel in Iraq have filed conscienctious objector applications from 2002 through 2004. Why is this news? There will be some 135,000 troops in Iraq over the next 12 months. There have been between 140,000 and 150,000 over the last 12 months. If you take the full three year total of objector applications and compare it to the current reduced force, it comes out to about one-tenth of one percent. When 10% of Americans believe Elvis is still alive, why is this statistically significant? As importantly, the headline should have been rewritten to read: "Troops Almost Unanimously Back Mission in Iraq."

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