This week, our local Pulitzer-prize winning, lesbian-edited, money-bleeding, grass-fed
thrice twice-weekly local paper managed to publish stories on their web site’s home page simultaneously claiming BOTH a crime rate increase AND a crime rate decrease for Moore County. There was no attempt to do a little research and help their readers figure out which claim was actually true.
One story — an interview with a local businessman seeking to challenge the county’s incumbent sheriff — claimed a 20 percent increase in crime. Another story, simultaneously published on the home page, documented a 22 percent DROP in crime for the county.
Puzzled by this discrepancy, I decided to refer to the state Attorney General’s annual crime report in order to referee this. The sheriff’s candidate was claiming a 20 percent increase in crime for Moore County over a decade. According to the state Justice Department’s online database, a total of 3556 crimes — including violent and property — were reported in Moore County in 2002. In 2012, a total of 2501 crimes — both violent and property — were reported. If my math is correct, that is about a 30 percent overall drop in reported crimes over the last decade.
So, our local paper tells us we have a crime rate increase AND a decrease. What’s next, telling us the local high school football team won AND lost the game Friday night? A weather report indicating it will be 90 degrees AND snowing?