The Misleading Media — Deceiving the public on BAME COVID-19 fine data

My view on Sky News' reporting of BAME COVID-19 fine figures

Race disparity figures – often the most misleading things since the offcuts of ugly and deformed normal-sized carrots started being sold as ‘baby carrots’. I always thought those little things hatched from golden balls laid by Jasper Carrot.

Anyway – the 27th of July, The National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) published figures on COVID fining figures. And surprise, sur-flipping-prise, the vultures in (the) Sky swiftly spotted this and swooped into action. Run as a top story, they decided drum out a headline of “BAME groups disproportionately fined for COVID-19 breaches”.

The first two sentences on their website article read “Police have disproportionately fined BAME people for breaches of coronavirus rules, new figures show. The statistics for BAME men show they were nearly four times more likely to be fined than young white males – 57% of fines for a group that represents 14% of the population”.

There’s nothing inaccurate about what’s stated in those two sentences. So what in the world is the issue? Put the kettle on and I’ll tell you what’s the issue. Things like these need context. With this article, Sky go on to provide us with a semi-skimmed version of that context. But it’s a context which leaves you puzzled to why they even bothered reporting such figures at all. You’re smart – so let me share that context and you can make your own mind up about this.

Even though the NPCC figures do indeed show a mathematical racial disparity in COVID fines, Sky are forced to slip in a disclaimer. They highlight that the data in fact shows that rates were higher in areas that “typically have relatively small BAME populations”. This “with a small number of fines issued to BAME people”. They state this as the cause “leading to high disparity rates”.

You still might not see the problem with Sky reporting this. Fair diddly do’s if that’s the case, as so far it’s accurate and doesn’t seem like reporting of a set of dodgy data. But wait – I’m going to put a stop to this un-dodgy data party of ours before it even begins.

I mean, just look at the apparent “disproportion” on fines dished out by Cumbria Police. It’s based on three fines being issued to black people. THREE! Just three! You can’t barely even play a respectable game of charades with three people (everyone knows a respectable game needs four).

These three people (who could have all been together when they got fined by the way) means the rate equates to 30 fines per 10,000 black people. This compared to a much lesser 8 fines per 10,000 white people. But that illustrates how insipid giving light to these figures are. Even if just one fine was issued to a black person, the rate would still equate to 10 fines per 10,000 black people.

The fact that just one, lone black individual being fined would still result in a racial disparity rate shows just how disjointed and deranged you must be to plonk them as a top story on the news. I think Sky would retain more credibility if they instead decided to report a story headlined ‘Man Removes Gherkin From Big Mac’.

So why on Earth would Sky even bother reporting such rubbish? I think you already know the answer, my friend, but I’ll pretend that you don’t so that I can round off my rant in radiant fashion.

Sky, along with the rest of the scheming mainstream media, don’t give a Hoover Dam about reporting for the public interest. Rather, they report for self-interest. To control the narrative. They will jump at every chance to fabricate and manufacture a false sense of intense chaos and division. All artificial. This to achieve their aim – their sole aim – of raking in the ratings. And if that means skewing reality, there’s not a cat’s chance in hell that they’ll halt or hesitate.

These NPCC figures reported by Sly News are so flimsy and frail that they could never be used as anything close to credible evidence when trying to reveal the true extent of racial divides in UK society. You don’t have to be some data scientist to realise that this data tells us diddly-squat.

But Sky don’t care. All they need is the headline. (Proper) studies show 60% of people don’t read further than the headline. And even if they do, other studies show that, on average, we only tend to read the first 20% of an online news article.

So when Sky parade about “BAME GROUPS DISPROPORTIONALLY FINED”, most of us take it at face value. Little do we realise that the data of which this headline is based on is as weak as a kitten with an inadequate milk intake.

For sure, there could be a racism problem in the likes of Cumbria Police (although I doubt that very much). Also, I am not against collecting data on these things. The pivotal problem is that these schemingly reported figures ferociously fail to paint any true picture about the reality of racial views in the constabulary.

But again, Sky don’t care. They’ve gotten the headline that fuels a narrative of racial division despite this being based on empty data. And the most Brad Pitthousery aspect of this is that Sky can claim total innocence. If any criticism is flung their way, they’d put on their puppy dog eyes and blubber on about how all they’ve done is put a report what the NPCC. But don’t be fooled! Their self-interested motives are a heck of a lot more sinister.

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