Sunday, 2 August 2009

Papa Bear on life expectancy

In this clip Bill O'Reilly claims that the reason life expectancy is higher in Canada is because the US has 10 times as many people resulting in ten times as many deaths and crimes, etc. I try to be charitable, I've misspoken lots of time, momentarily misunderstood a metric or a stat when presented with it in the heat of discussion, and as such, probably made a stupid remark or asked a dumb question. But this is uttered by a "talking head", a man whose job it is to analyze, discuss and elaborate on the issues of the day. He's ostensibly doing an analysis of health care systems and it's a prepared bit, not an off the cuff reaction to someone calling in. Life expectancy, for better or worse, is a very simple metric frequently used in comparing health systems. There cannot be any excuse for coming on the air and pretending to speak intelligently on an issue while failing to grasp such a simple idea. Try as one might to be charitable, it's hard to conclude anything other than the man is a complete moron, a blowhard who cares nothing for truth, only winning arguments. Yet tens of millions of people listen to him and form opinion based on what he's saying, a man so fucking stupid and/or pig-headed that he doesn't even understand, or bother to try to understand how to interpret life expectancy metrics. This is the man playing a key role in helping Americans form opinions in the health care debate. Sometimes I think my head will explode.

No comments: