Debunking the New York Times’ usual hit job on the military

On a regular basis, the New York Times launches an attack against the military.  Or more accurately, against the men and women (especially the men) who serve in the military.  We get stories about their high drug abuse rates, high crime rates, high insanity rates, and high suicide rates.  Usually, when you start digging, you discover that the rates are never comparable to a similarly situated civilian population:  i.e., one made up primarily of men between 18 and 35.  Because these “studies” and “stories” compare apples to oranges, they are lies, damn lies, and statistics.

The New York Times was at it again last week, with an editorial based upon some questionable statistics that purport to show that the military is the scourge of women because it has an unusually high number of sexual assaults.  I say questionable because, as with all the other “bad” military stories, we have apples and oranges comparisons between a general population composed of adults and children, male and female, old and young, and a specific population composed mostly of young males.  In addition, because many sexual assaults in both the military and the general population can be known only if the women report them, the fact that the military recently made it easier to report assaults (as the editorial acknowledges) may skew the statistics.  By being good, the military ends up looking bad.

The worst part of the New York Times editorial, though, isn’t the editorial at all — it’s the comments from readers.  America’s First Sergeant looks at some of those comments and reveals the fallacies and biases that underlie them.

In Marin, people boast about being New York Times readers.  In their minds, stating that they read the NYT is a short-hand way to say that they’re smart and informed.  I have to confess that, when I hear that they read the Times, “smart” and “informed” are not the first words that spring to my mind.  If you read Am’s 1st Sgt, you might get some idea of the adjectives my brain generates when I hear the “I read the NYT” boast.

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  • kali

    It would be interesting  to match any uptick in these stories with election years. This one to me sounds like another lob in the direction of “right-wingers hate women” narrative. If a Republican wins, the NYT is telling us, the rape squads will be coming for your daughters.

  • Ymarsakar

    Actually, from what I have heard, it is the Leftist political machinations concerning women that got them in trouble with the Navy/Army. The Army, at least, has weekly or monthly power slide presentations on rape avoidance. That’s it.

    And, guess what happens. They aren’t given or even told to get civilian self defense training. In fact, civilian self defense training on this matter is light years ahead of what the Army or Navy has.


  • Gringo

    At one blog  once read a Eurosneer’s comment about how Army recruits were from the dregs of society. It was very easy to find documentation to refute that.

  • Ymarsakar

    You know how in Judo they tell you not to use strength but to go with a force. Pull when they push, push when they pull?

    Well the next time a Leftist talks about the need for more taxes, just tell them the New York Times said that we should raise taxes on the 1% and that Hollywood movies should pay the US government 90% of the profits they make overseas.

    I guarantee you, that will hurt the Left a lot more than any conservative hollering about taxes or middle class incomes.  

  • gpc31