April 18, 2006

Miraculously, not all of MSM is snowed by bogus kiddie porn figures

Recently, I documented my futile quest to track down the origin and veracity of a widespread claim that child pornography is a $20 billion a year business.

Today, The Wall Street Journal's Numbers Guy joins the hunt. "It turns out it can be easier to enter a big number into the Congressional record, and national press coverage, than to locate its origin," writes Carl Bialik. Like me, Bialik hits a dead-end, but he does get a promise out of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children: "If it is determined that this ends up not being a reliable statistic, NCMEC will...stop citing a specific number."

Even if there is a correction, of course, don't expect it to be picked up as widely as the original false claim. Still, score one for accuracy in journalism today.

Posted by Daniel Radosh


If we were to use the scale of order of magnitude of error from one of their previous scams...

In order to get their hysterical laws passed, those people were claiming night and day that 700,000 kids disappear in America each year. Of those 700,000, some 3/4 were said to be killed within the first 3 hours.

When confronted with that exaggeration, the DoJ finally admitted the number was closer to 100.

So 700,000 divided by 100 is 7,000.

If we use the scale of order of magnitude of error of 7,000, by dividing $20,000,000 by 7,000, we get a figure of less than $3 million dollars.

That figure is probably much closer to reality.

That should read $20,000,000,000 divided by 7,000 is less than $3 million dollars.

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