Friday, July 25, 2008

More Pro-Godfrey Spin from the Standard-Examiner

The stats say crime is going up; the headline says just the opposite

By Curmudgeon

The Standard Examiner this morning has a front page story discussing crime rates in Ogden in 2007. It reports that aggravated assaults and robberies were up 19%, burglaries up 10% and auto thefts up 7%. An included graph shows that homicides, larceny and arson are also up (Click to enlarge image):

And how does the Standard-Examiner headline the story? This is how:

"Ogden Mayor: Fight Against Crime Going Better in '08"

Here is what Hizzonah has to say in the story. [Note: he has his verbal fog machine on overdrive]:
City officials anticipated a rise in 2007 crime statistics and reacted last summer, said Mayor Matthew Godfrey.... "With the Crime Reduction Squad and the focus we were putting on (central Ogden), crime stats are going to shoot up."
Let me see now: the Mayor put special emphasis on controlling crime and so, he says, naturally, crime rates were going to increase? [Up is down, In is Out, War is Peace in the happy world of Matthew Godfrey.] While arrest stats might increase as a result of a Crime Suppression drive by the Mayor and City police, crime rates should not. But they did.

But wait. Hizzonah is not finished yet. He then told reporter Sam Cooper this: "But what we've seen is crime is already starting to go down. In the last six months we've seen a dramatic reduction of crime."

Did the Mayor offer any statistics to back up that claim? If he did, the Std-Ex isn't telling. Did Mr. Cooper press him for some corroboration of his claim? If he did, the story doesn't say.

So, a long story reporting rising crime rates in very nearly all categories in Ogden in 2007, and what does the headline point to? The Mayor's one sentence uncorroborated claim based on numbers we're apparently not permitted to examine, that things are getting better.

A sad performance by the Std-Ex this morning. And a very inaccurate headline that counters very nearly the entire import of the article beneath it and that highlights instead the Mayor's uncorroborated and unsupported [and apparently by Mr. Cooper unexamined] claim that things are getting much much better now.


slim said...

Very inaccurate and misleading indeed. This (crime and public safety) is one area that should not be glossed over! The mayor and newspaper have both done that over the recent past. I wish I could say that I felt safer and more comfortable in my neighborhood, but the opposite is true (and I'm sure a lot of other Ogdenites would agree).

lemmee see now said...

Here's what Godfrey's telling us in the summer of 2008:

"City officials anticipated a rise in 2007 crime statistics and reacted last summer, said Mayor Matthew Godfrey."

And here's what he was saying in the summer of 2007, prior to the last election:

"*Reduced overall crime by 23%
*Reduced violent crime by 43%

What we are going to do:

Reduce crime by another 10%

Poor little guy can't even keep track of his own lies.

Bill C. said...

I know Cooper was at the Gondola Examinar (?) during the election last year, not as a full time writer, but why didn't he inquire as to why the police force is still at least 30 cops below the number lying little matty said were on board? It seems to me if we are understaffed, it's impossible to get ahead of the curve. Understaffing is not a problem on the other side of the law, almost all of Ogden speeds on Harrison Blvd.
I need a high adventure urban camping break.

silly said...

Actually the headline is very accurate.

The ":" lets you know is a quote or statement regarding what someone said, not a statement of fact by the newspaper.

Now whether the info in the quote is accurate is a completely different matter.

Curmudgeon said...

Lemme see:

Nice catch! So, during the election Hizzonah was claiming his success in cutting crime in Ogden... while he now tells us that during the very same time, he knew crime rates were going up and was taking steps to deal with that. And the SE reports today that, indeed, crime rates in Ogden were indeed rising significantly at the very time Hizzonah was assuring the electorate [through the SE] that they were falling under his leadership.

The SE uncritically accepted the Mayor's claims back then, and uncritically reports today the mayor's statement which contradicts what the SE reported him saying then. [And without noting the contradiction, by the way.] And the SE's astonishing lack of curiosity and willingness to accept whatever elected officials say with requiring corroboration continues.

How can you be a reporter and be that un-curious about what you're reporting and that credulous in re: unsupported and self-serving claims of elected officials?

Curmudgeon said...


Sorry, but we disagree on this. The point of a headline is, surely [among other things] to accurately convey the main point of the story that follows it. Very nearly the entire story was about rising crime rates in N. Utah and in Ogden over the last year. One sentence... one single sentence, wholly unsupported in the story... by the mayor claimed things are now getting better. And that one sentence became the source for the headline.

It was accurate in reporting what the mayor said. It was not accurate in letting readers glancing at the page know what the story was about .


"Actually the headline is very accurate"

Nice try, "silly"

Gentle Curmudgen just ate your lunch.

Keisha said...

So Rudi, are you suggesting Godfrey is a pathological liar (heh-he)?

Difficult to imagine, right?


Pippy Longstocking said...

Godfrey is scum.

RudiZink said...

Nice handle you picked for yoursef, Silly.

"Dumbass" probably would have been more accurate... but what the hell... "silly" was definitely in the ballpark.

Curmudgeon said...

Aw, hell, Rudi. "Silly" just disagrees with us about the appropriateness of the headline, that's all. And she made her point civilly [and a lot more succinctly than, as a rule, I make mine]. Hardly a reason to haul out the sarcasm heavy artillery.

Actually, the case I thought she was going to make would have rested on other grounds: that putting "Godfrey" in a headline absolutely assures that lots of people will read the following story. As Justin Wilson would have said, "Ah gah-ron-tee!" And it worked. [grin]

danny said...

I used to listen to the great Phil Hendrie when he did his classic show on KFI in Los Angeles.

He was a genius, but he was very intolerant of his callers who were less talented and knowledgeable than he was, which was almost all of them. It was hard to listen to him be hard on his callers. He was right most of the time, but he was way too hard on them.

Sometimes the regulars here tend to be the same way to new posters. I feel bad about that. I always enjoy hearing from everyone, including ones who disagree with me or who may seem to be less thoughtful.

I think this is an eclectic place. The more the merrier.

Curmudgeon said...


You wrote: I think this is an eclectic place. The more the merrier.

Nicely put.

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