Whenever something plays into your narrative perfectly, it’s always best to be skeptical. CNN has never learned that lesson and it has led to dozens of published stories over the years on Donald Trump that turned out to be wrong or misleading.
Enter a study released by the Anti-Defamation League and relentlessly pushed by the media. CNN recently re-upped the claim in an on air segment claiming that Trump’s rhetoric “resonates” with white supremacists while citing the aforementioned study.
Well, now that same study has been debunked, and keep reading because it gets even better than that.
NEW: Study touted by CNN that claimed hate crimes surged 226% in areas that hosted Trump rallies in 2016 has been debunked
Two Harvard PhD students also found that “Clinton rallies contributed to an even greater increase in hate crimes” than Trump rallies https://t.co/9NieGqdUPb
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) September 8, 2019
A study purporting to show that hate crimes increased 226% in counties that hosted rallies for then-candidate Donald Trump in 2016 has been officially debunked. Not only did the study’s authors fail to account for the fact that political campaigns prefer to host rallies in populous areas, which already experience more hate crimes, but the authors didn’t check to see if the same increase could be applied to Hillary Clinton’s rallies.
The study’s authors purposely left out major context, seemingly not even applying a control, while coming to the conclusion that there was a major spike in hate crimes caused by Trump’s rallies being present in cities. Other problems include them not even adjusting for population. In other words, they simply took totalities of reported hate crimes (many of which weren’t even hate crimes) in major populous areas and compared them to counties with only a fraction of the people, thereby manufacturing an increase.
Then things got really awkward. The original study’s methodology was applied to Hillary Clinton rallies and the results are hilarious.
Simply applying the same formula as the original academics, two Ph.D. students from Harvard University found that “Clinton rallies contribute to an even greater increase in hate crimes incidents than Trump rallies.”
Yes, when using the flawed methods of the much ballyhooed study, Clinton rallies actually showed a greater increase in hate crimes. Now, does this mean that Clinton’s rallies were the cause of such an increase? No, because the increase isn’t even real. This is from the Harvard team that debunked all this.
Both of these results rely on comparing counties with rallies to other counties without them. This produces a glaring problem. Politicians tend to hold political rallies near where large numbers of people live. And in places with more people, the raw number of crimes is generally mechanically higher. Simply put, no one should be surprised that Orange County, California (population 3.19 million) was home to both more reported hate incidents (5) and Trump rallies (2) than Orange County, Indiana (population 19,840, which had zero of each).
They would go on to mince no words about the original study’s veracity, saying this in conclusion.
The Harvard students went a step further. Unlike the original study, they added “a simple statistical control for county population to the original analysis causes the estimated effect of Trump rallies on reported hate incidents to become statistically indistinguishable from zero.”
Once again CNN and the mainstream media at large have been caught with their pants down. Will we get an on air correction? Nah, of course not. They’ll just move on to the next faux outrage and the cycle will repeat as it always does. It’s all partisan and it’s all about the narrative.
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