FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 202
Also, the statistic which never barks: We chatted with George Stephanopoulos at an elite July 4 soiree way back in maybe 2001.
He seems like a very nice guy! In fact, we complimented him for the sly way he'd contradicted Sam and Cokie on several occasions, perhaps without seeming to do so.
On the whole, Stephanopoulos did a decent job with our speed-talking commander in chief during Tuesday night's town hall. Still and all, ABC News was the host of that show, and we live in a country where the commander can say things like this, knowing he'll never be asked about a certain set of statistics:
TRUMP (9/15/20): We really—we’re starting to get very good marks [for handling of the virus]. If you look at what we’ve done compared to other countries, with the excess mortality, the excess mortality rate, we’ve done very, very well.
When you see our testing, we’re going to be at 84 million tests, 84 million, think of that. And next would be India with about 50 million less testing programs, far greater.
I brought this along today because I think it’s something that’s really, very special. We have a new test. It came out literally today. That’s just showing you numbers of how well we’re doing relative to other countries.
But we’re very proud of the job we’ve done, and we’ve saved a lot of lives, a tremendous number of lives.
TRUMP: The excess mortality rate is among the best in the whole world. I mean, I can show you. There’s a chart that just came out a little while ago, excess mortality rate is compared to Europe, compared to other places, it’s about 25 percent better.
In one case, it’s over 60 percent better. And we also have a very big country. You know, this—we’re talking about a lot bigger than most countries.
Trump was actually rather careful this night on the subject of Covid deaths. He talked about our "excess mortality rate," which he said is "among the best in the whole world."
In one case, it's over 60 percent better! That just shows how well we’re doing compared to other countries!
Of course, no one knows what the "excess mortality rate" is. No journalist will have any idea how to critique Trump's claims about such matters.
No journalist will have any idea if Trump's claims are accurate in this murky area. But he seemed to be saying we're doing amazingly well, mortality-wise.
He also spoke about all the lives he has saved through his topnotch anti-virus work. To cite one example, the commander said we've done amazingly well with swabs.
But how about the many lives our country is losing compared to all those other nations? At no point did Stephanopoulos cite such astounding statistics as these:
Deaths from Covid-19, September 10-16
United States: 6,258
United Kingdom: 78
South Korea: 23
Does it look to you like we're doing well compared to other countries? Does it look to you like Donald J. Trump is saving a whole lot of lives?
When it comes to ongoing daily and weekly deaths, why in the world do we have such horrible numbers? Whatever the answer may be, we can assure you of this:
Very few people have ever seen any such horrible numbers. Those horrible data remain undiscovered by our sleepwalking upper-end press.
In his unimpressive attempts to question Trump about Covid deaths, Stephanopoulos stuck to Total Deaths to Date, an increasingly irrelevant statistic which ignores our nation's ongoing daily/weekly disaster.
Also, this sad exchange occurred:
STEPHANOPOULOS: But you know we have 4 percent of the world’s population, more than 20 percent of the cases, more than 20 percent of the deaths.
TRUMP: Well, we have 20 percent of the cases because of the fact that we do much more testing. If we wouldn’t do testing you wouldn’t have cases. You would have very few cases.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But these are actual cases.
TRUMP: Well, Dr. Fauci said we’ve done a fantastic job. He just said it yesterday actually. He said we’ve done a fantastic job, that we didn’t mislead anybody.
Truth to tell, that wasn't the world's greatest question in the first place. But Stephanopoulos asked the commander about cases and about deaths.
When Trump responded with a disclaimer concerning cases, Stephanopoulos followed him down. Just like that, Covid deaths disappeared!
Last week, our nation sustained well over six thousand coronavirus deaths; Germany had thirty. But even now, eight months in, our "journalists" and "news orgs" still haven't discovered that gruesome data set.
Where in the world do these people come from? (Answer: Harvard, Columbia, Yale! ABC News, New York Times!)
For a second end-of-week point, consider something Juan Williams said Tuesday night on The Five.
The gang was discussing the recent shooting attack against two Los Angeles police officers. Has Juan perhaps formed a misperception? We dreamed about that major survey we'd like to see someone conduct:
WILLIAMS (9/15/20): There is overwhelming consensus in our country of the need for police reform. And this kind of violence [against police] doesn't undercut that need.
People who are mentally ill, people who may be reaching for a knife or drop a—that doesn't mean they have to die, that they should get killed
What Americans are saying is, there is a clear pattern. There's a clear pattern here of people who are killed by police. And overwhelmingly, they are minorities, and generally blacks.
To see the full discussion, just click here, move to minute 35. Warning! The discussion gets a bit unpleasant, thanks perhaps to Greg Gutfeld's sacred anger.
Gutfeld was weirdly hostile. That said, has Williams perhaps formed a misperception? He seems to think that, "overwhelmingly," the people shot and killed by police officers are minorities—and that, "generally," such shooting victims are black.
Overwhelmingly? Those statements aren't even close to accurate, but that's what a person might think from ongoing press coverage. (According to the Washington Post's Fatal Force site, 26% of such victims have been black since the start of 2015.)
We've dreamed of a survey in which people are asked how many people of various groups they think get shot and killed by police. We'll guess that a certain number of people would say that no "white" people ever get shot and killed.
We're curious about the extent to which misperceptions are being formed. This is a very important topic, and the coverage has been highly selective and perhaps misleading.
Williams is nobody's dope. For that reason, we were struck by what he said. We expect to return to the larger, deeply depressing topic next week.
As with other topics, so too here. False and mistaken statements have long been part of the coverage. Such statements rather typically lead to false and mistaken belief.