The closer we got to the midterm elections, the more desperate Democrats have been to either downplay the crime wave or blame it all on Republicans. But it turns out that the FBI has been making it more difficult to get accurate crime data as well.
For months, Democrats and the press have argued that crime isn’t as bad as it’s being made to seem and that Republicans are sensationalizing it to scare voters.
“If it’s the fall of a year ending in an even number, you can be pretty sure Republicans will try to scare you with paranoia about crime — specifically, violent crime committed by dark-skinned people,” says Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank.
The press also jumped all over a study suggesting that murder rates are higher in Republican-controlled states than those run by Democrats.
“Republican politicians routinely claim that cities run by Democrats have been experiencing crime waves caused by failed governance, but a new study shows murder rates are actually higher in states and cities controlled by Republicans,” one outlet put it.
The media pointed to a report called “The Red State Murder Problem,” which claims that “8 of the 10 states with the highest murder rates in 2020 voted for the Republican presidential nominee in every election this century.”
The press described the organization behind the report — The Third Way — as a “center-left think tank,” so, you know, it has to be true. (Never mind that the authors have both been operatives of leftist Democrats.)
Their research amounts to nothing more than lying with statistics.
“The study’s authors and those reporting its results took advantage of the fact that the average reader does not know much about crime trends, how crime rates are calculated, and at what level (city/county/state, etc.) these statistics should be reviewed,” the Heritage Foundation explains in a report — titled “The Blue City Murder Problem” — released Friday.
Heritage found that it was liberal cities and counties within those red states that accounted for the bulk of those states’ murders.
In the city of St. Louis, for example, all the elected officials are Democrats, and St. Louis County is also run by Democrats. They both have extremely high murder rates. In fact, if you take those two locations out of the state’s murder equation, Missouri’s rate drops from 9.36 (per 100,000) down to six, taking the state’s homicide ranking from fifth highest in the nation down to 20th.
Of the 30 cities with the highest murder rates in the first half of this year, 27 are run by Democrats. And 13 of those are in red states, the Heritage report shows.
The reason for the smoke and mirrors from the left about crime is obvious. It is precisely their policies that have led to the resurgence of violent crimes, including homicides. The left’s “defund the police” rhetoric demoralized law enforcement in liberal enclaves. Budget cutbacks hurt their ability to patrol streets.
Worst of all, as we wrote in these pages in June 2020, cities were suffering the bitter fruit of leftist billionaire George Soros’ campaign to get hard-left prosecutors who keep refusing to prosecute crimes elected across the country. As Heritage points out, most of the areas with the worst crime rates have been infected by Soros’ minions.
For Democrats and the press to have the gall to blame Republicans for the resulting crime spree is stunning, but not surprising.
Meanwhile, as Democrats and the media are busy lying about the scale and causes of the crime wave, the hopelessly politicized FBI is making it harder and harder to get accurate data.
“In 2021, the year Joe Biden became president, the FBI began making it far more difficult to access national estimates of murders and other crimes,” explains James D. Agresti, president of Just Facts, in a fact check that you can find here. “The agency did this by dramatically changing the manner in which it reports such data.”
The FBI’s website is so confusing that one news outlet reported that murder rates fell sharply in 2021, pointing to a prominent chart on the site showing this.
Even now, the FBI claims not to know exactly how many murders occurred in 2021 — offering only a range of from 21,300 to 24,600. In its Oct. 19 press release, the FBI simply stated that “the estimated number of murders increased from 22,000 in 2020 to 22,900 in 2021.”
News outlets jumped on this to say the murder rate was little changed in 2021.
But using death certificate data, Agresti found that the actual murder rate in 2021 was at the high end of the FBI’s range, or 24,493 — nearly 1,600 more than the FBI claimed.
“As murders have skyrocketed, the FBI has made it far more difficult to access its national estimates of murders and other crimes. The FBI has also switched to a new crime measurement system which currently has a large degree of uncertainty,” Agresti notes.
Only in government would an “upgrade” to a reporting system make it less reliable as a source of data.
There’s no doubt the press is trying to confuse the public about the scale of the crime wave and the reasons behind it.
But is the FBI also intentionally misleading the public about murders to protect Democrats? Given its recent track record, why would anyone give the FBI the benefit of the doubt?
— Written by the I&I Editorial Board