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Glenn Rice

Regarding your PS: I'm almost certain the time axis was distorted deliberately to omit years where there was a decrease in cash. If you plot out all the annual values, listed at the bottom of the article, it's clear that this chart only shows the local maxima, and only those that form a steadily rising line.

The author of this article (and publisher of the Heartbeat website) is a "citizen journalist" who frequently uses hyperbole and cherry-picked data to grind his axes. This is just one egregious example.

Keep up the good work!

Ken

Al;so the choice of starting in 2001 may be because these are low years rather than data availability. The cash holdings seem to reduce during periods of low economic activity, so were probably higher in the late nineties before the dot com crash.

Gareth

Sorry I don't understand what you mean by "the unnecessary invocation of start-at-zero"

I thought it was good that it started at 0, because then you easily see if a change in £ is a big change in %.

Amy S.

I read this publication and have a measure of context that is lacking here. Some of these critiques, too, don't make much sense.

While there is a well-supported -- and reported -- claim in the story that school district taxes have increased every year, there is NO "claim that the additional revenue ended up sitting in banks as cash."

Additional revenue from tax increases ends up in all kinds of places, not just on deposit. What the story seems to question, rather, is the need for another tax increase, given such a large (and rising over the years) amount of cash on deposit.

It's a question any voter would ask. I'm asking it. The Heart Beat has reported on this issue many times before.

Back to context. "What were the changes in expenditure on schools, public works, etc.?" In Columbia, the city handles public works, not the school district!

Finally, this exchange on the Heart Beat's Facebook page with "Glenn Rice" suggests personal animus may be partly motivating his grievance here. Man seems a bit obsessed.

https://www.facebook.com/columbiaheartbeat/posts/1704033233171400

Glenn Rice

Amy S.: My "personal animus" extends only to Mr. Martin's shoddy reporting and (in this case) deliberately misleading his readers with a poorly constructed chart, which leaves out data that doesn't support his argument.

Martin claims to be a journalist. If he really is, doesn't he owe his readers some semblance of the truth? Otherwise, this is really just an opinion piece, and no better than the egregious examples of chart manipulation found on (say) Fox News. It would have been no more difficult for Martin to create an accurate chart. He chose not to.

It's interesting that you consider me "obsessed" because I pointed out Martin's lie. So, you're fine with unethical journalism, but people who say "hey, wait a minute!" are obsessed? Uh, ok....

Amy S.

I'm sorry, but it's hard to take seriously someone who introduces himself on one of the most widely-used social media platforms this way:

"I never fucked Sarah Palin. She did not haul my ass down in 1987 or any other year."

https://twitter.com/glennrice

Especially when that person is criticizing someone else for "shoddiness."

Kaiser

Amy S.: This is a blog about data visualization. Please stay on topic. I will moderate any further comments that include personal attacks.

Amy S.

With all due respect, this thread appears to be little more than a personal attack. Threatening me with censorship for attempting to call out this fact seems antithetical to this site's supposed "critical" intent.

What do these comments from "Glenn Rice" have to do with "data visualization"?

"The author of this article (and publisher of the Heartbeat website) is a 'citizen journalist' who FREQUENTLY USES HYPERBOLE and CHERRY-PICKED DATA to GRIND HIS AXES. This is just one EGREGIOUS example."

What do snarky references to past works that aren't even cited have to do with this graph?

And why all snarky references to "Mr. Martin"? That he's being "shoddy" and "deliberately misleading"?

That isn't personal?

If this forum is intended as some sort of journalistic critique of other journalism, did anyone here invite anyone at the "Columbia Heart Beat" to explain what they were doing?

It looks like they tried to explain to "Glenn Rice" on Facebook, but he got snarky with them and called the guy a liar!

Finally, take it from a math major -- you can criticize statistics and graphs for just about any reason (the expression "Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics" has its basis in this idea).

The credibility of anyone complaining about a statistic is therefore always at issue. It's happening right now, with various Presidential candidates complaining about polling data.

Glenn Rice

Step off, Amy S. I criticized Martin's misleading graph, not his character.

You seem to be the one getting personal here.

Glenn Rice

"did anyone here invite anyone at the "Columbia Heart Beat" to explain what they were doing?"

Good idea! Why don't you ask Mr. Martin to comment here?

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