Accuracy in Media

Some on the left are so determined to advance the Obama administration narrative on the immigration crisis that they are prepared to completely distort the reality of the situation. On the July 10th edition of “Morning Joe” on MSNBC, former Obama administration “Car Czar” and “Morning Joe Economic Analyst” Steve Rattner was making the case for why America should be more open to the “refugees” leaving Central America to come to the U.S.

Joe Scarborough asked Rattner “What is going on [there] that’s driving this? [starting at 4:00]

Rattner replied that the statistics on the murder rate are quite remarkable. Honduras has gone from approximately 3,000 murders per 100,000 people, per year, going back to 2000, to about 7,000 in 2012. They put a chart up on the screen that was titled, “Violence is the Primary Driver.” Rattner said, “Let me put this in perspective for you.” He said that in Honduras, you had a one in 14 chance of being murdered during a single calendar year, and said that by comparison, in New York City your chances were one in 25,000. The chart showed that there were 7,172 murders per every 100,000 people there in 2012. With a population of about 8.5 million, that would mean that there were more than 600,000 murders there that year.

My radar immediately went on full tilt. Scarborough said, “That’s remarkable,” and Rattner reiterated his point—that it is a refugee crisis.

The source cited on the chart was UNDOC. I went on the site, and this is the chart I found:

Murder rates in northern Central America 200-2011

It shows that in fact the number in 2010 was 82 murders per 100,000, or, approximately 7,000. And that is the mistake. The 7,172 figure on Rattner’s chart was actually the total number of murders in Honduras in 2012, not the murder rate per 100,000—which was 90—as reflected in this chart from the same website.

Honduras murder rate 2

Somehow Rattner discovered the error, and tweeted out a mea culpa:

Rattner mea culpa tweet

Rattner says, “Basic point remains.” However, it does no such thing. His actual basic point was that the reason the number of children coming into the U.S. was increasing so dramatically was that the murder rate was increasing dramatically. There was no increase in the number of kids fleeing the country for most of the years that the murder rate was climbing. The dramatic increase occurred after President Obama instituted DACA, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, in 2012. It was a memorandum written by the Obama administration suggesting greater prosecutorial discretion in deporting young people who had come into this country illegally, and granting those eligible a two-year reprieve on being deported. Obama did this after failure to get his so-called “Dream Act” through Congress, which would have granted residency to young adult illegal aliens who had attended college or been in the military. But it’s real world effect was to post a welcome sign to people in Central America, saying, in effect, if you can get here, now is the time, and we won’t be deporting you.

So the dishonesty by Rattner, and others making the same argument, is in attempting to tie the surge of illegal aliens crossing the border to increased violence, especially murder, in their home countries, when in fact it was the welcome sign put up by the Obama administration.

Rattner’s tweet to his 14,000 followers, was seen by far fewer than the number who saw it presented on MSNBC. Well, maybe not far fewer.

The inaccuracy of Rattner’s graph and commentary was so egregious that MSNBC, or Morning Joe himself, should issue a retraction and apology, as some of Rattner’s twitter followers demanded. It wasn’t just the sloppy research that was wrong, but once Rattner realized the embarrassing mistake he made on national TV, he acted like that didn’t change the validity of his point.

I addressed some of these issues that same day as a guest on “Cavuto” on the Fox Business Network, which you can see here:

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  • pekin

    Such CRAP and notice, now, the illegal’s are being called refugee’s….I am so sick of the statist taking over OUR Country!

  • Why AIM is tops in investigating phony news,great work !!

  • Realist

    Aw, come on! He is a libcultist and his lies and distortions will be carried “forward” by his cadre of fellow-traveler libcultists who also inhabit the media and they will repeat the lie ad nauseum until it is the “accepted” truth, even if those disseminating it know it is a fabricated lie.

    Hey, they’re libcult. Its what they do.

  • Jack Deth


    I was assigned to Tegucilgalpa, Honduras for a three month TDY two years ago. And all the teenage kids and adults were armed. Mostly Com Blok AK 47s and 74s. With a smattering of H&K G-3s.The concierge and staff at the International hotel preferred stainless steel .357 Rugers and Remington shotguns.

    I really don’t think the evil cartels have over run the city to the point where “Goose City” resembles smoldering Croatia in the 1990s.

  • RightVote

    Steve RATtner an Obama Supporter………
    Steve RATtner / Czar turned Pundit ………
    Steve RATtner …..Another Liar from the Administration he Supports.
    Steve RATtner is a RAT – – -!
    No matter how WRONG Steve RATtner was — he keeps his ‘job’ at

  • Kathy

    Their government needs to be held accountable, not the taxpayers of the U.S.!! They are not our problem!! We cannot even do the right things for our own citizens!!

  • physicsnut

    They are pulling out all the stops in order to change the electorate.

    the 2008 legislation becomes IRRELEVANT when you consider that Mexico is deliberately and consciously putting these clowns on trains – and there are agreements with honduras and el salvador to facilitate it – so the whole thing is planned, and has nothing whatever to do with victim protection, and there is no reason for the USA to sort them out – the train should be stopped before it even gets here. The democraps are just using this as a Distraction. The Left wants to blame the USA for creating a mess in central america – and somehow they think it follows that we should therefore be invaded. We all know what they want – to change the electorate, and cancel out your vote, and then they win – permanently.

    it is all the rage !
    I heard some idiot calling into Thom Hartmann’s show saying that the constitution guarantees separation of church and state – pardon me Thom, that is in the SOVIET constitution and is NOT in the U.S. Constitution. But Thom thinks it is. So does some jerk on PBS – some athiest who thinks a school prayer is unconstitutional for the same stupid reason Thom does. As if we have a soviet version.
    And then they lie about this invasion of illegals, aided by the Mexican govt, and similarly lie about the laws.

  • terryk

    So how many innocent people need to die in Central America before the people fleeing it are considered refugees? I didn’t realize such a threshold existed.

  • Mitch A

    This is the way our entire overnment is being run. Lies, distortions, half truths, whatever will get ya there. To these people the truth means nothing and the ends justify the means. Cretins one and all.