Cori Dauber has an excellent observation about the sensationalistic headline of this article in yesterday’s Dog Trainer. The story is about suicide rates among troops in Iraq, and is introduced with the headline “High Suicide Rate Among Troops Found.”
But the story reports:
The suicide rate for Army soldiers in the Iraq campaign in 2003 was 17.3 per 100,000. . . . That rate was still below the national rate of 21.5 suicides per 100,000 for men ages 20-34, the age range of most soldiers in Iraq.
So I could just as legitimately have written a headline reading “Army Suicide Rate Lower Than National Average.” I suspect the parents of American soldiers opening their morning paper might have preferred seeing that, don’t you?
The story also notes that the suicide rate among soldiers in Vietnam was 15.6 per 100,000 — hardly any different.
This is designed for people skimming the paper, who will just glance at a headline, and it isn’t even outrageous anymore. It’s saddening.
I don’t think this is so much an example of liberal bias as a preference for sensationalism. But it sure doesn’t strike me as responsible.