August 6, 2013

JAMES TARANTO BUSTS THE DAILY NEWS: True ‘Lies:’ A New York tabloid has trouble with the distinction.

In this case, what Friedman describes as a lie is no such thing. Nor is it a joke, or even an inadvertent falsehood. It is a true statement, and Friedman acknowledges as much. His dispute is over its implications, not its accuracy.

The comment in question was part of what Friedman describes hyperbolically as “a war between the states”–actually a verbal argument between the Big Apple’s Mayor Mike Bloomberg and the Old Dominion’s Gov. Bob McDonnell. Bloomberg “railed”–Friedman’s verb–that a plurality of firearms used in New York City gun crimes came from Virginia. “We’re getting killed, and we’re getting killed with guns . . . from elsewhere,” moaned the mayor.

Whereupon “the office of Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell tried to turn the tables, arguing that Virginia’s ‘homicide and robbery (rates) are significantly lower than New York City’s.’ ” A McDonnell spokesman “stood by the governor’s claims, and made a city-to-state comparison, noting that New York City’s murder rate (5.1 per 100,000) was higher than the state of Virginia’s (3.9 per 100,000).”

Virginia’s murder rate is 23.5% less than New York’s, which certainly seems to us to be “significantly lower.” And Friedman concedes the accuracy of these figures. His dispute is over how to interpret them.

Of course. One must establish the narrative first. By the way, what kind of guns do Bloomberg’s bodyguards carry?

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