January 2, 2018

When is a claim not a claim?

I'm reading "Trump’s claim that he prevented air-traffic deaths is his most questionable yet" by Philip Bump at the Washington Post (and similar attacks on Trump elsewhere).

But what Trump tweeted was:
Since taking office I have been very strict on Commercial Aviation. Good news - it was just reported that there were Zero deaths in 2017, the best and safest year on record!
Those are 2 separate sentences. They do create the impression that they have something to do with each other, but he's only claiming that he's been "very strict on Commercial Aviation." (Don't get me started on the capitalization.) He never says because of my strictness there have been zero deaths. If you see a claim, you made an inference.

Yeah, he made you do that, but you are so tiresome, looking for ways to get excited about Trump. Well, you did help him make an otherwise boring set of facts viral. Now, we're all seeing that he's "very strict" and there are "zero deaths." That's something to feel good about... unless you just really need to feel bad about something.

Look at that headline again: Trump claimed that he prevented air-traffic deaths. No, he did not make that claim! If you want to trash him for getting anything wrong, don't get things wrong!

There is a problematic claim in Trump's tweet, that 2017 is "the best and safest year on record." Assuming the Bump column is correctly stating this, no one has "died in the crash of an American commercial flight" since February 2009. And yet Trump didn't say 2017 had the lowest number of deaths from crashes of American commercial flights. He said it was "the best and safest year." "Safest" would encompass death where the plane did not crash and nonfatal injuries from crashes and other occurrences. And "best" might refer all sorts of things.

So there's some issue there, but the issue raised in the headline — that Trump claimed that he prevented air-traffic deaths —  is... "More fake news from the lamestream media." (I put that in quotes because it's actually the last sentence of Bump's column.)

But really, what's the point of dinging him for that first sentence when the news looks like this?

37 comments:

David said...

So there IS a safe space!

Big Mike said...

A lot of people died in the past so that today's skies are safer, starting with the mid-air collision of a United DC-7 with a TWA Constellation over the Grand Canyon in 1956 and including many crashes since. Being human beings, we learned.

Wince said...

"Trump’s claim that he prevented air-traffic deaths is his most questionable yet" by Philip Bump at the Washington Post (and similar attacks on Trump elsewhere).

"Fasten your seat belts, it's going to be a Bumpy seven more years ."

Bill Peschel said...

FactCheck.org rated this "needs context" and proceeds to add it:

What has Trump done to be “very strict” on commercial aviation? In a statement, the White House pointed to two measures: “Last year, the President announced his initiative to modernize Air Traffic Control and under his leadership, the Department of Homeland Security released enhanced security measures to ensure safer commercial air travel,” said Raj Shah, principal deputy White House press secretary.

In June, Trump proposed privatizing the Federal Aviation Administration’s Air Traffic Control system, but Congress hasn’t held any votes on such legislation. From March until July, the Department of Homeland Security had banned laptops and other large portable electronic devices from carry-on luggage on flights entering the United States from 10 Muslim-majority countries. In late June, DHS announced enhanced security procedures for all commercial flights to the U.S., including enhanced screening of passengers and electronic devices.

Philip Bump didn't include any of this in his "analysis." He was too busy throwing his juicebox out of his crib.

Bay Area Guy said...

If air traffic collisions were high, the Left would blame Trump.

When they are low? Correlation is not causation!

With all the problems the US has, the one thing giving me hope is that the Left and their tactics are being exposed. It's almost as if Trump is performing an Exorcist on them, chasing out the demons.

Bill Peschel said...

Mind you, I can accept a reporter looking at the White House's statement and objecting to it. That's what an analysis can be effective in doing.

But that would require the effort of Googling for three minutes, and then maybe more research into reaching a conclusion. Then, you get to explain it to the public so they can reach their own conclusions.

Bump clearly couldn't be arsed to try.

Sal said...

If you want to trash him for getting anything wrong, don't get things wrong!

If Trump was really so bad, these journo-frauds wouldn't have to make up shit.

n.n said...

He's appropriated the JournoListic standard of forming "close association", which is a clear and progressive trigger for JournoLists.

Diogenes of Sinope said...

The main stream media hate Trump. They have no integrity. They know they're misrepresenting what he tweeted just the same as politicians do to their opponents. The MSM are full of shit.

JAORE said...

The comments in the WaPo, at least the first 30 or so are sufficient to illustrate the, "If Trump said it, it must be a lie" nonsense.

Analysis?

It is to laugh.

Chuck said...

Althouse doesn't seem to get it; when it is this hard to figure out what the President of the United States means in a public statement, it's a problem.

It's been a problem all along. From a ban on Muslims entering the United States "until our leaders figure out what the hell is going on," to Obama "tapping... wires" in Trump Tower, it is a problem when basic meaning is so unclear. Etc., etc., etc., etc.

And Althouse seems to get so jiggy whenever A Trump Tweet isn't a complete falsehood. That's a bit of a low bar. Whatever; it's funny to me.

Drago said...

I knew LLR Chuck would come to this lefty MSM-ers defense.

He can't help himself.

Larry J said...

Last year was the safest on record for commercial aviation worldwide. Trump had nothing to do with that.

Drago said...

Bill Peschel: "Philip Bump didn't include any of this in his "analysis." He was too busy throwing his juicebox out of his crib"

Egads!

How dare you criticize this magnificent, brilliant and wonderful "journalist" within earshot of our LLR Chuck?

Bill, Bill, Bill....now you're asking for it.

Michael K said...

Trump will privatize the FAA and that will be something that should have happened 30 years ago.

the mid-air collision of a United DC-7 with a TWA Constellation over the Grand Canyon in 1956

I was on the TWA flight the week before and yes we did circle the Grand Canyon,

The bodies, last I heard , are still on the table mountain where they came done.

Michael K said...

Down.

gadfly said...

Somehow, it is unimportant that Trump's poor communication skills and his over-inflated ego constantly combine to bring sanity into the discussion. If our "really smart" president knows so much about Commercial Aviation (sic), he would already know that there has not been a single fatality on American-owned airlines for the past 8 years. That fact alone gives Obama all of the credit, especially since current FAA Administrator Michael Huerta was an Obama regime holdover.

Except for a speech before Boeing workers in South Carolina and the Trumpster's opinion of Delta's mistreatment of booked and seated passengers and his intent to privatize Air Traffic Control ... the airlines have not crossed his wavering consciousness. But he says he has been deliberately "strict" on the airlines but when or how that happened nobody knows for sure.

Drago said...

Nice to see the Poor Man's LLR Chuck on board for the discussion.

Welcome gadfly!

rehajm said...

when it is this hard to figure out what the President of the United States means in a public statement, it's a problem
Another bullet dodged by not Electing Hillary. Parsing words like is, the, and, or, yes and no gets tiring.

pacwest said...

"when it is this hard to figure out what the President of the United States means in a public statement, it's a problem"


Sometimes. God love him and his good intentions, but he does step on his tongue a little too often for my tastes. It seems to happen when is doing the personal instead of the political.

William said...

The airline food hasn't gotten better over the years. The seats get narrower and we get fatter, and that includes the flight attendants. Not everything deserves a smile emoji. I blame most of this on Obama, but Trump is complicit.

wwww said...
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D 2 said...

Stricter on Avaition safety?!? Please. That sounds like JV stuff.

Super Presidents talk about slowing the rise of the sea. No media critique or word smithing ever goes on with that.

Michael K said...

the airlines have not crossed his wavering consciousness. But he says he has been deliberately "strict" on the airlines but when or how that happened nobody knows for sure.

Certainly not you. The man has owned his own airplanes, that is plural, for decades and you think he knowns nothing.

Of course, you do have that billion dollars you've earned so there is that,

narciso said...

Yes the left uses monetary instances of extreme weather twitch their agw millstone against industrial society. The Jerusalem decision was weeks ago. How could she nit know

Chuck said...

Althouse didn't even acknowledge that Phillip Bump's column anticipated her blog post;

"That Trump’s claim on air-travel safety is so ludicrous — which it is — will not dissuade many of his supporters from assigning him credit for the shift. Sure, there was no actual change in the U.S. and sure Trump didn’t actually do anything publicly to push for changes to a tough-to-change system, but a rationale will be developed to defend his claim. Some may seize on the ambiguity in the tweet, a patented Trump move to tell his base what it wants to hear but to give him breathing space from critics: “He didn’t say explicitly that it was because of him!” Others, though, will simply accept the claim as intended.

"The real problem with the boy who cried wolf was not that he kept crying wolf and eventually put his village in danger after his warnings lost their effectiveness. The problem was that he didn’t spend months building a loyal following of supporters who would always accept his wolf-crying as accurate, and who would defend his actions no matter what."

wwww said...
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Drago said...

A brand new outragey-outrage for the lefties and their LLR allies to sink their teeth into!

Thanks Trump!

Hey, if you like your current aviation mishap rate you can keep you current aviation mishap rate.

No one will take it away from you!

Mr. Majestyk said...

It is hilarious how some people get their panties all twisted around their private parts by something as innocuous as this aviation tweet.

Michael Fitzgerald said...

Allahpundit takes the cheese. He obviously does not read Althouse blog.

https://hotair.com/archives/2018/01/02/trump-zero-commercial-passenger-jet-crash-deaths-last-year-youre-welcome-planet-earth/

FullMoon said...
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Drago said...

"Accidental Leftist" Chuck: "Althouse didn't even acknowledge that Phillip Bump's column anticipated her blog post"

OMG!!eleventy!1!!1!!

Perhaps a Timeout is in order for Althouse!

Meade, take that for action.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
stevew said...

Is there a rule that states usage of the word "best" must apply to a single item or event? Can there not be more than one best?

-sw

Leigh said...

It's a lot of fun watching the leftist media get outwitted, time and again, in their headline game against Trump. Scott Adams makes it even more interesting.

Trmp says something accurate, while subtly implying a different proposition -- an art unto itself -- and they fall for it every time. They are wildly out-matched as well as delusional, since they believe their readers are cheering them on. Every time the left go bonkers over some Trump "claim," the result is that people associate a positive outcome with Trump; whether there's a correlation is too secondary to enter into their consciousness. And every time media misquote him, they lose more and more credibility (e.g., "admitted sexual assaulter" or "pedophile supporter"). Journalists are failing miserably, even with their ever-narrowing limited set of readers, but inexplicably they can't seem to stop themselves. They've become a national joke.

Watch Morning Joe sometime, right after Trump has had a success. It's comical. After his tax plan passed, Horny Joe & Mika spent much of the segment chiding Trump for enjoying all the laudatory comments by fellow Republicans when he should have been mortified and embarrassed. Joe and Mika, and most of their guests, seem to be on some mushrooms. Too bad Mark Halperin had such a big button under his desk and got canned; as bad and biased as he was, at least he brought a smidgent of reality to the discussion when he appeared on the show.

Leigh said...

Smidgen

320Busdriver said...

This is exactly how my Trump hating pilot friends have responded on facebook. So much indignation on facebook, which I ignore. But they swallowed it, hook line and sinker. If I were a fisherman I'd want to know what model trolling motor Trump got for Christmas. It's gotta be Y U G E!!