Last week, I predicted that the recent Harvard study on life expectancy would produce all manner of disingenuous stories in the establishment media and the blogosphere. While this prediction didn’t exactly require the prescience of Nostradamus, it is nonetheless gratifying to be proven right.
The award for the dumbest response goes to AmericaBlog, where Bush is blamed for isolated declines that occurred before he became President, and the award for the most tendentious response goes to the NYT. Bryan Caplan captures its essence at EconLog:
I while back I argued that it’s easy to detect media bias from headlines alone. A recent NYT piece on life expectancy makes my point for me better than I ever could. The facts: U.S. life expectancy for all income levels rose. The headline: “Gap in Life Expectancy Widens for the Nation.”
Russell Roberts, over at Cafe Hayek, also comments on the essential lameness of the NYT piece:
Evidently, smoking, obesity and diabetes are bad for your health. So is sickness. Death is bad for your life expectancy. So discovers the New York Times.
It is just this kind of journalism, as practiced at the NYT and many other “news” organizations, that is causing thinking readers to relegate the bird cage liners to the dust bin of history.