Bogus crime rate comparisons

Jonathon Dursi details the spread of a bogus comparison between crime rate in US in Canada from John Lott to David Frum to Alan Gottlieb:

So here's the path of the lie as far as I can see it:

  • Aug 2005: Lott claims violent crime is twice as rampant in Canada as in the US; this is untrue, and comes from fallaciously comparing two different statistics from different countries.
  • Oct 2005: Lott makes other claims about Canadian crime rates in the National Post, equally cherry-picked.
  • Jan 2006: Frum play the same game in the National Post, comparing incommensurate `Total Specified Crimes' numbers
  • Jan 2006: Gottleib includes the Lott and Frum false
    comparisons and goes for the trifecta, comparing Canadian Sexual
    Assault numbers, which include groping, to US forced rape numbers.
    Gottleib's article is picked up on by some of the usual suspects such
    as NewsMax, the National Center for Policy Analysis, Mich News.

Of course, these bogus comparisons started long before Lott. Here's a post of mine from 1993 debunking another one.


More like this

I have emailed NCPA's website and referenced this blog and the PDF guide (from Statistics Canada) on comparing Canadian and U.S. crime figures. I essentially stated their mirroring of the Gottlieb article was irresponsible and requested they retract it from their site.

I requested a reply. I'll let you know what their reply is if and when I receive it.

By Mason Foley (not verified) on 28 Jan 2006 #permalink