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Eye of the beholder

Quick pointer: Verities on the misuse of numbers. I’m not completely sure that, as Verities argues, the Heritage Foundation representative is lying outright. But the guy certainly isn’t thinking carefully about the data with which he’s working, and that sloppiness (be it intentional or the happy coincidence of agenda and ignorance) allows him to make his claim. Either way, Verities gets this one just right:

Basically, I think the NYT has been had. They deserved it, though: they relied on data from a conservative organization that generally opposes poverty programs. Did they think they’d get an impartial view of the state of poor American families from Heritage?

And when did the standard for saying a politician is stretching the truth become “a group that is ideologically opposed to him, using some fuzzy math, says he’s inaccurate”?