How Is The Conservative Media Making Its Readers Stupider Today?
April 19, 2017

The Huffington Post's Ryan Reilly reports on an uptick in the U.S. murder rate:

The national murder rate rose again last year, with much of the deadly spike concentrated in just a handful of U.S. cities, according to a report released Tuesday.

A new report from the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law says Americans are “safer today than they have been at almost any time” in the past quarter-century, but projected an 8 percent increase in the nationwide murder rate.

The report’s authors calculated the estimates based on preliminary FBI data from the first half of 2016. When the FBI releases its full set of 2016 crime statistics later this year, the Brennan Center predicts, the national murder rate will be at 5.3 murders per 100,000 people, about the same as it was in 2008. The national murder rate peaked at 9.8 murders per 100,000 people in 1991, nearly double the estimated 2016 murder rate....

Three cities ― Baltimore, Chicago and Houston ― “account for around half of the increase in murder in major cities between 2014 and 2016,” the report says.

So: Murder is up, but still well below its peak in the early 1990s. And significant increases in a few cities are largely responsible for the uptick.

But why the increase? According to John Nolte at Ben Shapiro's Daily Wire, the problem is the evil Democrats:

Three DEMOCRAT-Run Cities Are Most Responsible For National Murder Rate Increase

... According to a new report, across the country, the murder rate rose 8% over last year, but this is primarily due to a handful of cities -- Chicago, Baltimore, and Houston. And all three of those cities have been run exclusively by Democrats for decades....

How bad do things have to get before the residents of these cities wake up to the fact that Democrats are utterly incapable of managing anything?

Really? Here are the numbers for Boston, which has had nothing but Democratic mayors for 87 years:


Boston's murder rate has bounced around since the late 1990s, and had an uptick last year, but crime and violent crime have declined significantly in the past generation.

What about New York? For twenty years it had non-Democratic mayors -- Rudy Giuliani and Mike Bloomberg -- but in 2013 the city elected Bill de Blasio, who was a Democrat and an opponent of stop-and-frisk. Many predicted that the city would become a crime-ridden hellscape.



I guess Democrats aren't completely useless.

And now let's turn to Joe Simonson from the right-leaning Heat Street, for his response to the Brennan Center report:

Trump Was Right: Murder and Violent Crime Spiked in 2016

Looks like President Trump wasn’t so crazy when he said crime is on the rise in America’s cities....

Trump was right? Not really. Since he began his presidential run, he got one murder statistic mostly right, according to PolitiFact, but that one concerned 2015, not 2016:

"We have an increase in murder within our cities, the biggest in 45 years."

— Donald Trump on Sunday, October 9th, 2016 in the second presidential debate

PolitiFact's explanation:

... Trump seems to be referring to a set of annual statistics released by the FBI. The most recent report came out in September.

Those statistics showed that the number of murders and non-negligent homicides rose nationally between 2014 and 2015 by 10.8 percent. When we checked the numbers, we confirmed that this increase does rank as the biggest year-to-year jump in murders since 1970-71, when the number rose by 11.1 percent. That was exactly 45 years ago.

The uptick was for the nation as a whole, not for cities, but PolitiFact let that slide.

But don't give Trump too much credit. Someone clearly worked with him to make sure he got that statistic more or less accurate for the debate. After that, he was on his own -- and he completely garbled it. On October 26, he said:

I don’t know if you know this because the press never talks about it, is the highest it’s been, think of this, in 45 years. Nobody knows that. The murder rate, highest it’s been in 45 years.


Two months ago, he said this:

"I'd say that in a speech and everybody was surprised because the press doesn't like to tell it like it is," Trump said during a meeting with US sheriffs at the White House. "It wasn't to their advantage to say that. The murder rate is the highest it's been in I guess 45-47 years."

Wrong again.


I think Trump literally doesn't know the difference between "biggest increase in 45 years" and "highest rate in 45 years." Nor do his fans. And Joe Simonson is helping to muddy the distinction. He and John Nolte are making their readers stupider. Which is really the point of the conservative media, right?

Crossposted at No More Mr. Nice Blog

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