Friday, February 8, 2008

Do you smell that? It smells like...B.S.

I sent this in an email to a coworker over a month ago concerning media sensationalism:

"So my wife is watching the NBC news this morning, I can hear it as I’m in the room but I don’t normally watch the news as I don’t believe one damned word those people have to say, and they are showing a video of the “sniper” that shot at Benazir Bhutto moments before a bomber blew himself up and ultimately caused her death. That’s fascinating because a real Sniper is a highly trained marksman who traditionally fires a rifle from a distance and concealment, not with a handgun from 3 feet. It does sound much more exciting when they call regular gunmen a SNIPER though, kinda like these guys who were also just gunmen and not snipers (see Logistics and tactics).

After that educational clip, NBC showed a nice cheerful chart of the number of U.S. military deaths in Iraq for 2007, broken down by month, which is also fascinating, because nothing good happened there in 2007.

Nope, no BiaS or sensationalism here!"

Update: Now it seems that the gunman missed with the pistol but managed to still get the job done with a bomb. My point being that it is unlikely that a sniper would miss.
'I do know the shots didn't hit her. The Interior Ministry allowed me to be party to photos and other materials that showed it wasn't a bullet.'

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