Tuesday, June 26, 2007

A disappointing aspect of my local paper

My local paper is a good one, when it comes to local issues. When it comes to the rest of the nation and the world, they simply paste in AP wire stuff such as this story. This tends to draw one of two reactions from me - eye rolling disregard or sore awful furious angriness. The above did the later.

When I read the AP piece, and check the data, more data and even more data - I start to get the kind of feeling that the unnamed AP writer is expressing an oinion more than reporting facts. Mix anecdote in with lots of assumptions, a few jumbled quotes (never mind the contradictory reasoning either - the war is unpopular so blacks aren't joining! Wait, no, it's the economy offering more choices - uh, er, it's a time of war and the casual recruit is now missing from recent numbers). A sloppy attempt to browse amongst a bunch of talking points and tropes and then mix them all up in a hash of an article.

The "dramatic" drop in recruiting of blacks has them plummeting to....the actual percentages representated in the population as a whole. Hispanic recruiting is up, as that demographic group is rising in numbers. Overall, the DoD is making its numbers and retaining its people at a better than anyone expected rate.

I simply have to learn to turn the flippin' page of the paper when I see "Associated Press" as a byline of a "news" article.

Bah.

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