Patterico's Pontifications


Hewitt Adds Patterico

Filed under: Blogging Matters,General — Patterico @ 7:27 am

It appears that I have been added to Hugh Hewitt‘s blogroll. Thanks, Hugh!

My Letter to The New York Times Ombudsman and Paul Krugman

Filed under: Media Bias — Patterico @ 6:31 am

Here is my letter to the New York Times about Paul Krugman’s recent column. I copied Krugman himself.

In his August 22 column, Paul Krugman misrepresented the results of a 2001 study conducted by the Miami Herald and other news organizations. He owes his readers a correction and apology.

Krugman claimed that 2 of 3 scenarios gave a win to Gore, and the third scenario involved an unrealistic standard. But the study actually concluded that 3 of 4 scenarios gave a win to Bush, and the fourth was unreliable.

Here is Krugman’s misrepresentation:

About the evidence regarding a manual recount: in April 2001 a media consortium led by The Miami Herald assessed how various recounts of “undervotes,” which did not register at all, would have affected the outcome. Two out of three hypothetical statewide counts would have given the election to Mr. Gore. The third involved a standard that would have discarded some ballots on which the intended vote was clear. Since Florida law seemed to require counting such ballots, this standard almost certainly wouldn’t have been used in a statewide recount.

Here’s what the study actually said:

The newspapers then applied the accounting firm’s findings to four standards used in Florida and elsewhere to determine when an undervote ballot becomes a legal vote. By three of the standards, Bush holds the lead. The fourth standard gives Gore a razor-thin win.

. . . .

The USA TODAY[/Miami Herald/Knight Ridder] study shows that Gore would have won Florida by 3 votes if this [fourth] standard were applied to undervotes. Because of the possibility of mistakes in the study, a three-vote margin is too small to conclude that Gore might have prevailed in an official count using this standard.

Mr. Krugman owes his readers a correction and, by now, he knows it.

I’ll let you know what they say. I also sent an e-mail letter to Bob Somerby of the Daily Howler, who yesterday defended Krugman without mentioning the howlers in Krugman’s latest column. I told Bob that he is “vitriolic but seemingly honest” and that he therefore should have called Krugman on this egregious mistake. I admit to provoking Bob a bit (I signed the e-mail “Love and kisses, Patterico”) but that’s only because I am looking forward to the vitriol that I expect will saturate his response.

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