Chris Hayes makes a strange pair of corrections!

WEDNESDAY, JULY 8, 2020

Does anyone here know anything other than storyline?:
No one can sensibly blame Chris Hayes for what Michael Williams said.

Williams is president of the Memphis Police Association. Last Tuesday night, he appeared on All In during a special town hall program about urban policing.

Four big-city mayors appeared as Hayes' guests. Midway through, Williams was interviewed. As we noted yesterday, he made this wildly inaccurate presentation about fatal police shootings:
WILLIAMS (6/30/20): Police answered over 10 million calls last year. Out of those 10 million calls, I think you–the FBI said you had about 1,000-and-some individuals that were shot.

Out of that 1,000 individuals, you had 400 that were armed–or unarmed. I believe you had 19 Caucasians that were shot and killed by the police last year. You only had nine African-Americans that were killed by the police last year.

Now, don't get me wrong. Anybody that's killed needlessly, that's wrong and it needs to be addressed. But at the same time, I think that we're definitely putting a lot of emphasis on the police when we have, in this city, 222 individuals were murdered in this city last year.

HAYES: Memphis Police Association president Michael Williams, in the city of Memphis. Thank you so much, sir. I appreciate it.

WILLIAMS: Thank you.
That presentation was wildly inaccurate, but it went uncorrected that night. The basic problems are these:
Number of people shot: Williams seemed to say that "about one thousand" people were shot by police officers last year. In fact, that's the approximate number of people who were shot and killed by police.

Number who were unarmed: Williams seemed to say that about four hundred of those thousand people were unarmed. (Despite his initial stumble, it was fairly clear that that was what he meant.)

It's harder to settle this factual matter. The Washington Post's Fatal Force site says that, of the 999 people shot and killed by police last year, only 55 were unarmed.

The Post reaches that judgment because it counts Tasers, baseball bats, knives, shovels, crowbars and cars as weapons. The Post says that 599 of the 999 people shot and killed were actually "armed" with a gun, and that 55 of the 999 had no weapon at all.

Black and white people shot: Williams seemed to say that police shot and killed only 19 white people and nine black people last year. That claim would be crazily wrong.

Williams seems to have gotten those numbers, and other numbers, from the Fatal Force site. Until about a month ago, the Fatal Force site listed those as the numbers of unarmed white and black people shot and killed by police last year. For some reason, the numbers then changed to 25 white people and 15 black people. Today, the site lists the numbers as 25 and 14.
People, can we talk? We know these things because we've puzzled over these numbers at substantial length.

This is a very high-profile topic. We sometimes wonder if any "journalists" ever consult any such data at all, as opposed to treating the topic as storyline all the way down.

We're familiar with the data from the Post site. Listening to Hayes on Wednesday night, we wondered if he has ever spent any time perusing any such data at all.

Williams made his wildly inaccurate presentation on Tuesday, June 30. Hayes said nothing at the time, but he offered a somewhat puzzling correction of Williams the following night.

He also offered a peculiar correction of his own peculiar misstatement about coronavirus testing, a groaner from last Monday's program.

Does anyone here play this game at all? Last Wednesday night, Hayes started his two-part correction like this:
HAYES (7/1/20): Last night, we held a special town hall on cities, police and the movement for black lives.

One of our guests was the president of the Memphis Police Union, Michael Williams, who at one point began rattling off some statistics about police shootings in America I had not heard before.
Some statistics he hadn't heard before?

In fact, Williams had rattled off some statistics which were crazily wrong. Anyone with any knowledge of this topic would have instantly known that.

At this point, Hayes made a journalistically strange decision; he played the videotape of Williams' misstatements all over again. Then, as he continued along, he made his own strange remarks:
HAYES: In the moment, those numbers struck me as implausibly low. But these data can be hard to find, so we tried to get Michael Williams to help us out, we tried to track him down.

We could not find them, which might not be surprising since the FBI database on police use of force, launched last year, which I think is what he was citing. has not yet publicly released any information.
The numbers "struck him as implausibly low?" Does that mean he didn't know that they were crazily wrong?

Meanwhile, data about police shootings aren't "hard to find" at all! As Hayes continued, he seemed to reverse this peculiar claim, then provided some actual data:
HAYES (continuing directly): In fact, various media organizations, because the reporting's so bad on this, have had to build their own systems from scratch in light of the lacking public data.

Now one of the best of those databases, which is from the Washington Post, found that police shot and killed 14 unarmed black people last year and 25 unarmed white people.
Those are the numbers which now appear at the Fatal Force site. According to that site, police shot and killed 25 unarmed white people and 14 unarmed black people last year.

From there, Hayes noted that some people die in encounters with police officers without being shot. Eventually, Hayes said this:
HAYES: The Washington Post database shows about one thousand people a year being shot and killed by the police, for example, a disproportionate number being black and Hispanic.
Hayes didn't give the actual numbers. He merely said the numbers were "disproportionate."

You can't sensibly blame Chris Hayes because a guest on his program made a jumbled presentation which included some wildly inaccurate claims. You would assume that a major corporate-paid journalist would have known that the presentation was crazily wrong in real time.

That's especially true of a figure like Hayes, who was plainly intelligent and sophisticated coming in. Since then, it seems to us that he has increasingly become a captive of storyline.

At any rate, Hayes' statement on Wednesday night struck us as highly peculiar. It's hard to believe that he didn't know how far off-base Williams' claims had been. But he managed to put that thought in our heads with the things he said Wednesday night.

Last Monday night, Hayes had made his own peculiar misstatement about coronavirus testing in Oklahoma (for transcript, see yesterday's post). In this case, a statement made by Hayes himself made no apparent sense.

How could anyone seriously think that everyone tested in Oklahoma had tested positive for two consecutive days? It's like thinking a cow had jumped over the moon. But that's what Hayes had said.

After correcting what Williams had said, Hayes offered a correction for that strange howler too. For better or worse, we can't show you what he said because of the latest slacker conduct from his slacker "news channel."

All last week and all through this weekend, MSNBC left its programs untranscribed from last Tuesday on. Over the weekend, in an excess of caution, we ourselves transcribed what Hayes had said last Wednesday night about Williams. We planned to use the transcript they would eventually prepare for his self-correction.

As of yesterday, the slacker channel had finally posted some transcripts. Last Tuesday's transcript had always been there. Now, last Thursday's transcript was posted as well, but the slacker channel had skipped right over last Wednesday!

(Tape of the show is no longer available.)

This is the way these lazy, incompetent corporate lapdogs function. They've been this way for the past thirty years. Nothing is going to change this.

As Springsteen said, Take a good look around. This is your hometown.

Did Chris Hayes know that Williams' presentation was crazily wrong? And hpow on earth had he managed to claim that everyone tested in Oklahoma came up positive for two consecutive days?

Putting it a different way, does anyone on "cable news" know anything other than storyline? Is it really all narrative now? If the news just two warring novels?

23 comments:

  1. “Meanwhile, data about police shootings aren't "hard to find" at all!”

    The data aren’t actually easy to find. First, you have to know that the Washington Post maintains such a database. Second, you have to have a paid subscription to the Post to view the data. Third, how accurate can this database be, given that it is maintained on an ad hoc basis by a newspaper?

    As Hayes said: “the FBI database on police use of force, launched last year, which I think is what he was citing. has not yet publicly released any information.”

    It is 2020, and the public still doesn’t have a federally maintained database of these incidents.

    Police chiefs like Williams don’t even know the correct statistics.

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  2. "We know these things because we've puzzled over these numbers at substantial length."

    Somerby needs to find a better hobby.

    ReplyDelete
  3. "How could anyone seriously think that everyone tested in Oklahoma had tested positive for two consecutive days? It's like thinking a cow had jumped over the moon. "

    This would not be an unexpected finding in places where you must have symptoms in order to get tested at all. Also, note that the number of tests is small, which would make the likelihood of 100% testing positive higher.

    Hayes was correct in his statement, but the numbers were later corrected due to a lag in reporting. Somerby's contention that Hayes reported an incorrect number is wrong. It was accurate on the date that he reported it, and he did correct it later, when more accurate data became available.

    Somerby doesn't read his comments or he wouldn't keep making this misstatement about Hayes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 'Somerby doesn't read his comments or he wouldn't keep making this misstatement about Hayes.'

      Sure he would. Somerby is a malevolent Trumptard, and the first rule of Trumptardism is to lie, like, lie.

      Delete
    2. Centrist, you're like a broken record. It's tiresome. You only make conclusory statements, with no back up, that are completely defamatory. It's unpleasant when someone lyingly calls someone else a liar and a 'trumptard' over and over again, as you do.

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    3. AC/MA, you just called me a liar ? How unpleasant is that ?

      Calling someone a Trumptard is an opinion. Since Somerby spends 95-99% of his time attacking liberals and defending the likes of Roy Moore, DJT, AH Barr and others, it's perfectly logical to call him a Trumptard.

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    4. AC/MA your comments typically express a tilt towards current Republican talking points nonsense that suggest why you have an affinity for TDH.

      For whatever reason Somerby has joined the likes of Jimmy Dore, and I appreciate Centrist calling him out.

      Delete
    5. Centrist - I notice you haven't provided any substantiation (never mind any fair substantiation) of your allegations about how TDH has "defended" Roy Moore, DJT, AH Barr or any others. He has criticized what he considers invalid attacks - what's wrong with that. If you could make a reasonable case that any of that criticism is invalid, then maybe there would be some substances to your repetitive, annoying, unintelligent and conclusory invectives. (Aside from anything else, your 95-99% figure is objectively ludicrous). Everyone is entitled to their opinion in America, even stupid ones.

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    6. Anon 12:56, perhaps if a large segment of "liberals" and liberal pundits and authorities hadn't gone off the rails on various things, e.g., "defund" the police, white supremacy, anti-racism, as opposed to just not being a racist, cancel culture, etc., the Republicans wouldn't have so many talking points. As far as I'm concerned, the issue with Republican talking points is whether they have merit (though so many of them have little or none or are heavily slanted). Why serve them talking points on a platter? Why is criticism of twisted factual presentations wrong?

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    7. OK AC/MA glad we can see a glimmer of where you truly stand. Guess you won't be kneeling anytime soon. No Republican talking points have merit with anyone other than Republicans.

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  4. "And hpow on earth had he managed to claim that everyone tested in Oklahoma came up positive for two consecutive days?"

    Why doesn't Somerby look this up? The explanation is at Snopes.com.

    ReplyDelete
  5. The fumbled statistics notwithstanding, Williams was trying to say that the number of shootings by police is fairly small. 10 million calls, 1000 suspects shot, 19 of them unarmed and white, 9 of them unarmed and black. (He obviously meant “unarmed” when he cited those numbers.) He was actually being a polite apologist for the police.

    Hayes did the right thing by noting the error to his viewers. It isn’t clear, however, what “storyline” he was supposedly pushing.

    ReplyDelete
  6. "Is it really all narrative now?"

    Yes, dear Bob, liberal-hitlerian narrative. As if you didn't know.

    ReplyDelete
  7. The police put about 50-55k people in the hospital each year. This is disturbing.

    ReplyDelete
  8. There are multiple sources of research into this, here is one:

    Police-Related Injuries Send 50,000 People to ER Yearly

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