Al Franken, math teacher

Senator Al Franken (D-Minnesota), addressing a room full of college students, responds to a clip of Fox News’s Brit Hume claiming that “… statically speaking, U.S. soldiers have less of a chance of dying of all causes in Iraq than citizens have of being murdered in California …”:

Hume argues that on the average day, there are fewer deaths of U.S. military personnel in Iraq than there are murders in California. Of course, are some 32 million people in California versus just 140,000 U.S. troops in Iraq. (Hume tries to justify his comparison by pointing out that Iraq and California have similar land areas.)

Granted, errors of logic and math aren’t unusual in journalism. But it’s hard to forgive this as just a stupid mistake on Hume’s part. At best he displays a sloppy disregard for facts in favor of his ideological message. As Franken acknowledges, such fact-twisting takes place on the left as well, but considerably less prominently.

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