Saturday, January 12, 2008

Instapundit Used "Net power"

When print journalists tell readers "my column today looks at how bloggers stack up against professional journalist backed by editors and respected news organizations," they almost never mention the updating and corrective "power" the Internet makes available to both bloggers and journalists.

In the post that follows, Instapundit's Glenn Reynolds blogging provides an example of how updating and corrective "Net power" serves fact-seeking readers.

Then, below the star line, I add a few comments.


From Instapundit - - -

RON PAUL RESPONDS TO HIS CRITICS ON CNN. But: "67% of blacks are in prison"? Surely that's not what he meant to say. Are 67% of prisoners black? I don't think that could be it.

UPDATE: Nope: "Although blacks account for only 12 percent of the U.S. population, 44 percent of all prisoners in the United States are black." Bad enough, but I don't see how that could be the source of his number.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Kevin Jones emails: "Have you considered the possibility that Paul said '6 to 7 percent' rather than '67 percent'? That still might be an inaccurate figure, but it's at least a little more plausible!" Yeah, but I replayed the video and it's pretty clearly 67%. You can listen for yourself -- it's at about 3:05 - 3:09.

MORE: Reader Brian Macker emails:

Ron Paul brought up 67% in context of drug war. He is using this statistic:

"Thirty-seven percent of drug-offense arrests are black; 53 percent of convictions are of blacks; and 67 percent -- two-thirds of all people imprisoned for drug offenses -- are black."

From here:

I don't think he's a racist. All the "evidence" seems to have innocuous explanations.

Well, the "innocuous" explanation is that Paul let people publish crap under his name and didn't care enough to read it so long as the money came in. Is that something we want in a President, or even a serious candidate?

As reader Corinna Cohn emails: "I really like Dr. Paul and I still plan on voting for him in the Nevada caucus, but what really bothers me about that interview is his attitude of, 'How can you hold me responsible? It was the editor's responsibility; I'm just the publisher.' Not a very 'buck stops here' type of attitude for someone who wants to be Commander-in-Chief." Nope.

STILL MORE: Reader Scott Adcox emails: "Looks like he may have gotten that number by prepping for the debate tonight. In SOUTH CAROLINA, blacks make up 67% of the prison population, at least they did in 2003." He's right -- it's at the link with the 44% figure above; if you scroll down you can see it broken down by states and South Carolina has the 67.2% percentage for black inmates.


A few comments:

"Net power" makes possible more fact-based discussions about "race in America" and other important subjects.

That can only be bad for demagogues and good for democracy.

"Nat power" exposed Dan Rather and 60 Minutes bogus Texas Air National Guard story.

"Net power" proved John Kerry did tell his Senate colleagues he'd spent "Christmas in Cambodia."

And on it goes.

Now, folks, it’s your turn to use "Net power."

Your comments, please.