It started as the bizarro headline of the day, from The Daily Caller: “First Lady’s anti-obesity campaign could be causing more pedestrian deaths.”
But as we looked into it, the underlying story turned out to exceedingly weak, the main source says she was misquoted, and there’s no data to suggest that encouraging people to be more active puts them more at risk of being hit by cars.
What we’re left with may be another example of humans’ often irrational calculations of risk. It’s enough to make a statistician pull her hair out.
David Kurtz is Managing Editor and Washington Bureau Chief of Talking Points Memo where he oversees the news operations of TPM and its sister sites.