Professional statisticians/epidemiologists behind, and commenting
upon, the major WHO/IFHS study (referred to in the previous thread),
like many others, hold Iraq Body Count's work in high esteem.
So, I was reminded of a curious remark made by Medialens in one
of their nastier attacks on IBC (in a letter they sent to the
New Statesman, 16/10/06): "...to our knowledge, IBC has not
been able to demonstrate support for its methods from a single
It might throw some light on that remark if I add that:
...to my knowledge, not a single professional epidemiologist
denied that Medialens is lying over this issue.
Or, to make it even clearer:
...to my knowledge, Medialens has not been able to
demonstrate support from any legislator over the possibility
of compassionate wife-beating.
The point about Medialens's statement, and the ones following
it, is that while they are technically "true", they
are fundamentally dishonest attempts to disseminate untruths.
Similar "technically true" (but woefully misleading)
statements from Medialens caused some of their followers to spread
the falsehood that "IBC ignore non-western media" (I
had a very tough time convincing one reader of Medialens's misinformation
that this was completely false, despite demonstrating that IBC
monitor 72 non-western media sources daily, along with 120 western
...to our knowledge, Medialens has not been able to
demonstrate support for its misleading statements on this issue
from any refereed scientific journal.
If you want to conduct a smear campaign without taking responsibility
for the resulting smears - or if you simply want to stop being
gullible - you could do worse than studying these rhetorical devices.