During the 2016 presidential election, then-candidate Donald Trump was portrayed by the media as a fountainhead of hate. They cited a spur of venomous activity in his wake. A study claimed that hate crimes rose 226% in the counties that hosted his rallies. It has now been officially debunked. The study failed to account for population size and comparison to Clinton rallies.
Two PhD students from Harvard University applied the same flawed methodology of the study to Clinton rallies and found that they “contribute an even greater increase in hate crime incidents than Trump rallies.”
The replication using Clinton data notwithstanding, the crux of the matter is that the methodology was flawed. Imagine if scientists wanted to find out the percentage of the US population living on farms, and they only included rural counties in their study. They would find a dramatic percentage increase in farmers. If they instead had chosen data only from cities, they would report a dramatic drop.
Both answers would be equally wrong and flawed. President Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton held their rallies in places with large populations, and therefore the study would have shown an increase in any parameter that was sensitive to population count. The researchers could have just as easily found that the number of car accidents or iPhone sales had skyrocketed wherever Trump or Clinton visited.
The science is embarrassingly bad. Furthermore, it turns out that the data that was used in the study did not come from official statistics, but from the Anti-Defamation League that mostly counted Anti-Semitic statements. For something to be classified as a hate crime, however, violence or physical aggression must be involved. Thus, using the ADL data greatly inflated the number of incidents compared to official statistics.
Activism versus Journalism
When the report showing a 226% increase in hate crime was initially released, it was widely circulated by the media, and the usual suspects, like Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), used it to paint the president as an instigator and his supporters as racist thugs.
However, once it became clear that the report was garbage, the mainstream media was nearly silent on the issue. It is a classic case of pushing a falsehood on the front page and the retraction on page 28. Most people will hear the lie, but not the correction.
While this is frustrating to those who are interested in the truth, it is also a sign of weakness on the part of the activist journalists. People who resort to lies and hoaxes indirectly admit that they don’t have any valid complaints.
It started with the Russia Collusion hoax, continued with the Fine People hoax, Kavanaugh hoaxes, and Covington Kids hoax. Fortunately, Americans are smart enough that they are starting to see the pattern. The mainstream media hoax machine is slowly running out of steam.