Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
October 28, 2002
POLITICS: Fraudulent Statistics

Starting at this post and scrolling down, Ombudsgod has a good series of posts on inflated statistics about sexual assault, domestic violence and related topics. These are real problems, but it is always frightening to see the need implied in these types of fraudulent statistics -- the need to shock, the need to insist that these are the biggest, the worst problems. It's the one-upmanship (one-up-personship?) of the agenda of victimization at work, in which it is not only important to show that a problem exists and must be addressed, but that the problem is so vast that it calls for a thorough uprooting of the whole society. There's also, I think, another dynamic at work: the statistics are intentionally inflated because their proponents want people to dispute them, so that they can invoke wedge-issue rhetoric about how their voices are being ignored, how this is just like ancient rules about disbelieving women who cry "Rape," etc. Stuff like this shouldn't bother me this much, but it does. It's also why I love my job: one of the great joys of being a litigator is having the tools at your disposal to confront and puncture untruths, one at a time.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 8:06 AM | Politics 2002-03 | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
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