From the realm of misstatement and error: After posting our previous report, we began perusing this front-page report in the New York Times about opposition to defunding New York City's police.
Some black pols, and many black citizens, oppose the cry to defund police. This is an intriguing report. Eventually, though, we hit this puzzling passage:
MAYS (8/10/20): Figuring out how to handle violence is one of the most complicated parts of the effort to defund the police. Overall, serious crime in New York City has not jumped this year, but murders and shootings have: The city is on pace to to surpass 800 shootings for the first time in three years.Say what? Let's run through that again.
There have been 793 shootings as of Aug. 2, compared with 450 over the same period last year. The shootings have fueled a 31 percent increase in homicides: As of Aug. 2, 237 people had been killed, compared with 181 people by the same time in 2019.
According to TimesThink, there were 793 shootings in New York City through the first seven months of the year (plus two days in August). According to the Times, this puts the city on pace to surpass 800 shootings for the entire year!
We have no idea why this deeply incompetent newspaper keeps setting 800 shootings as its benchmark for the year. We're fairly sure that we marveled at another such report about a month ago.
As you can see, the Times seems to be working from the data in this recent CompStat report. But nothing in that report explains where that benchmark would have come from.
By our own reckoning, New York City's 793 shootings through August 2 actually put the city on a pace to experience 1250 shootings this year. That is quite a few more than 800. But for some reason, the Times keep offering this weird approach to this shooting statistic.
Is New York City "on pace" to exceed 800 shootings this year? Almost surely, a whole week later, it has already done so! But so it goes as our brightest newspaper attempts to deal with a simple statistic.
No anthropologist pointed this out. Who except a New York Times editor would have failed to notice the oddness?