Fox Promotes Gun Banners’ Propaganda—Again
How many times before it’s a pattern?
July 11, 2012 - 3:30 pm
In a recent gun-related article, Fox News had space to repeat anti-rights propaganda:
“States with the highest levels of gun ownership have 114 percent higher firearm homicide rates and 60 percent higher homicide rates than states with the lowest gun ownership.”
Here’s the problem: Journalists should report what’s told them by their sources, so including statements like the one above, even if you disagree, is reasonable. But if Fox is “fair and balanced,” shouldn’t they also present data from the other side?
“Don’t Kill a Dream” runs gun turn-ins in Chicago, posts these “statistics” on their Gun Facts page. So including them is truthful copy. But their “facts” are mostly lies.
For example, they claim: “Gun death rates are 7 times higher in the states with the highest compared with the lowest household gun ownership.”
In 2001, the state (Wyoming) with the highest “gun death” rate in 2001 had 3.7 times the total rate as the lowest (Hawaii). In 2002, it was 6.5 times higher (same states). With a little rounding you get your “7 times higher.” But that’s where the truth ends and data manipulation begins.
Because D.C.—a self-governing entity with a population larger than Wyoming—is the deadliest jurisdiction in American, it behooves anti-rights propagandists to ignore it in order to produce prettier results.
Here’s their problem: D.C. had the lowest gun ownership rates. Comparing Wyoming to D.C. shows that D.C. had a 50% higher total firearms death rate than Wyoming in 2001, and 76% higher in 2002.
They must have done similar fudging in order to claim that higher gun ownership means higher firearms homicide rates. In both 2001 and 2002, states with the lowest firearms were the deadliest, averaging the highest firearms and non-firearms homicide rates (see table below). For both years, the Spearman’s correlation coefficient (Rho) indicated a fair to strong negative values: As gun ownership increased, firearms homicide decreased.
This isn’t the first time we’ve caught Fox doing this to the Second Amendment.
Were Fox “fair and balanced,” it seems reasonable they would have included some vetting like this, instead of a major media outlet lending credence to anti-rights lies by simply repeating them unchallenged.