What Data Can't We Trust On Our News Outlets?

What Data Can't We Trust On Our News Outlets?

Some pieces of information, especially graphically, can be warped to influence the minds of Americans.
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When you watch television, you might take your remote and scroll through the thousands of channels your cable company has subscribed to you and notice multiple different news outlets. Fox, CNN, ABC, or even your local news channel provides you with different coverage of events depending on the channel of your choosing.

CNN, for the most part, covers political affiliations, debates, and the presidency. Fox has multiple different branches across the country, covering sports, local news, and even the weather. Fox 5 News (WNYW), for example, covers the New York and New Jersey Area, while Fox 5 News (WTTW), covers the Washington DC area.

Many American citizens rely on these outlets for quick information and weather patterns to prepare for the day. However, some pieces of information, especially graphically, can be warped to influence the minds of Americans. Here are a couple of examples of incorrect graphical during two different presidencies, the Bush and Obama administrations.

1. Fox News, cost of gas (national average)

On February 20th, 2012, Fox News displayed a graph that used three random data points to show the national average cost of gasoline over a year: one point was the national average of the price of gas from the day the graph aired, while the other two were chosen from the previous week and the previous year.

The graphs state that over a period of one year (From February 2011 - February 2012), The national average of gas cost had a constant, linear increase from one year to the next. Now, here’s the big catch.

This is what the data calculated actually represents:

The plots in green show the national average cost of gas over a period of one year. Instead of showing a constant increase, the national cost of gas actually fluctuated several times, reaching a high of around $3.93/gallon before dropping to below $3.34/gallon. So although the overall increase of the national cost of gas was apparent, it was certainly not constant.

2. Fox News: tax cuts

Fox Business' Cavuto displayed a graphic showing what the wealthiest Americans in the top marginal income tax bracket would pay if the Bush tax cuts were allowed to expire. The chart exaggerated the increase, which would go from 35 percent, the current top rate, to 39.6 percent – less than 5 percentage points:

However, the y-axis seemed to be distorted, making such a small percentage change seem gargantuan.

Displaying the change in tax rates with the vertical axis starting at zero instead of 34, as the Fox Business chart did, shows that the proposed change in the tax rate for the wealthy is much less significant than Fox Business presented it:



Although these changes were slight, it is important to understand that the knowledge of the data you're given and how it's graphed does matter in the long run.

Cover Image Credit: Rawpixel

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9 Reasons Crocs Are The Only Shoes You Need

Crocs have holes so your swag can breathe.
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Do you have fond childhood objects that make you nostalgic just thinking about your favorite Barbie or sequenced purse? Well for me, its my navy Crocs. Those shoes put me through elementary school. I eventually wore them out so much that I had to say goodbye. I tried Airwalks and sandals, but nothing compared. Then on my senior trip in New York City, a four story Crocs store gleamed at me from across the street and I bought another pair of Navy Blue Crocs. The rest is history. I wear them every morning to the lake for practice and then throughout the day to help air out my soaking feet. I love my Crocs so much, that I was in shock when it became apparent to me that people don't feel the same. Here are nine reasons why you should just throw out all of your other shoes and settle on Crocs.

1. They are waterproof.

These bad boys can take on the wettest of water. Nobody is sure what they are made of, though. The debate is still out there on foam vs. rubber. You can wear these bad boys any place water may or may not be: to the lake for practice or to the club where all the thirsty boys are. But honestly who cares because they're buoyant and water proof. Raise the roof.


2. Your most reliable support system

There is a reason nurses and swimming instructors alike swear by Crocs. Comfort. Croc's clogs will make you feel like your are walking on a cloud of Laffy Taffy. They are wide enough that your toes are not squished, and the rubbery material forms perfectly around your foot. Added bonus: The holes let in a nice breeze while riding around on your Razor Scooter.

3. Insane durability

Have you ever been so angry you could throw a Croc 'cause same? Have you ever had a Croc bitten while wrestling a great white shark? Me too. Have you ever had your entire foot rolled like a fruit roll up but had your Crocs still intact? Also me. All I know is that Seal Team 6 may or may not have worn these shoes to find and kill Osama Bin Laden. Just sayin'.


4. Bling, bling, bling

Jibbitz, am I right?! These are basically they're own money in the industry of comfortable footwear. From Spongebob to Christmas to your favorite fossil, Jibbitz has it all. There's nothing more swag-tastic than pimped out crocs. Lady. Killer.

5. So many options

From the classic clog to fashionable sneakers, Crocs offer so many options that are just too good to pass up on. They have fur lined boots, wedges, sandals, loafers, Maryjane's, glow in the dark, Minion themed, and best of all, CAMO! Where did your feet go?!

6. Affordable

Crocs: $30

Feeling like a boss: Priceless

7. Two words: Adventure Straps

Because you know that when you move the strap from casual mode chillin' in the front to behind the heal, it's like using a shell on Mario Cart.

8. Crocs cares

Okay, but for real, Crocs is a great company because they have donated over 3 million pairs of crocs to people in need around the world. Move over Toms, the Croc is in the house.

9. Stylish AF

The boys will be coming for you like Steve Irwin.

Who cares what the haters say, right? Wear with pride, and go forth in style.

Cover Image Credit: Chicago Tribune

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