Patterico's Pontifications

11/3/2003

BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES IS

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:50 pm

BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES IS UP: When you link to the Bonfire of the Vanities, you are basically saying: “Go read my worst post — again!”

But it’s worth visiting, to see the other awful posts.

FROM THE “SHUT UP AND

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:03 pm

FROM THE “SHUT UP AND GO HOME” FILE: Today the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear Roy Moore’s appeal of the decision preventing him from displaying the Ten Commandments on government property. Judge Moore, shut up and go home.

Also, Bob Graham announced that he will not be running for re-election to the U.S. Senate. Great; another seat up for grabs. Now shut up and go home.

(But do keep us up to date on the application of your scalp medication!)

THE POWER OF THE JUMP™

Filed under: Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 6:59 am

Yet another installment in our semi-regular series, documenting examples of the Los Angeles Dog Trainer‘s use of its back pages to hide things it doesn’t want you to see. (Previous entries in the series can be found here, here, here, here, here, and here.)

Today’s entry is from a story titled Overall, Race No Factor for Low-Scoring UC Applicants. Here is the lead paragraph:

Latinos with low SAT scores are admitted to the University of California at rates only slightly higher than whites and Asians, while blacks who score poorly are significantly less likely to get in, according to a Times analysis.

Of course, the controversy hasn’t been over the UC system “overall,” but rather at the system’s two elite campuses, UCLA and Berkeley. It is at these institutions that an overwhelming favoritism has been shown towards minorities with low scores. For instance, according to this Oakland Tribune article:

According to an analysis by this newspaper, 90 percent of the 332 students admitted to Berkeley in fall 2002 with SAT scores 1000 or below were minorities. In 2001, 89 percent of the 388 students with low scores were minorities.

So, the real issue is not the UC system overall, but what is happening at the elite UCLA and Berkeley campuses. Does the Dog Trainer‘s analysis contradict that of the Oakland Tribune on that issue? Let’s read further, shall we? A few paragraphs down, we find this:

UC Berkeley, the original focus of the admissions debate, admitted low-scoring blacks and Latinos at twice the rate of Asians and whites with similar scores.

UCLA was about a quarter more likely to admit low-scoring African Americans and Latinos than whites and Asians.

I am reading this online right now. I guarantee you that when I trot outside and pick up my print version, I will see two things:

1) This story will be on the front page.

2) The language I just highlighted will not be on the front page, but rather on the back pages.

The Dog Trainer editors know: studies show that hardly anybody reads the stuff on the back pages. So when there is information you are ethically bound to report, but you don’t want people to see, you simply bury it on the back pages — after the “jump.” For most people, this is as good as not reporting it at all.

I will now go get my print version of the paper. Just hang tight — I’ll be right back.

Okay, I got it. You will not be surprised to learned that my predictions — which I assure you were typed out before I retrieved the print version of the paper — turned out to be correct. The information highlighted above appears on page A16. It couldn’t be buried any deeper.

Thus, by sleight of hand, the Dog Trainer editors make it sound like the original controversy — whether the elite UC schools were giving racial preferences in violation of Proposition 209 — was just a tempest in a teapot. In fact, the findings indicate that Proposition 209 is still being violated at these elite schools. But nobody will know this, because it’s after the jump.

I hereby take back the credit that I mistakenly bestowed upon the Dog Trainer for publicizing this story to begin with.

UPDATE: Brendan Smart says that the numbers were also skewed by comparing the acceptance rates of different races, rather than comparing the percentages of each race ultimately admitted. I’m not sure that the Dog Trainer‘s method is as misleading as Brendan seems to think, but I agree that both comparisons should have been done and reported.


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