# EXPOSED: Here Are The Tricks That Fox News Uses To Manipulate Statistics On Its Graphics

Jeff Leek at Simply Statistics has a great post that explains how Fox News presents data in a really tricky way.

A lot of the issue comes in the way the data is presented. While most of the time the data is grounded in fact, by skewing the axes, using the wrong kind of chart, or just changing where the points should be on the graph, Fox is able to change the way that the information is interpreted.

As one example, Leek points out this pie chart. When you add up the numbers, it exceeds 100 per cent, making a pie chart a poor choice.

[credit provider=”Simply Statsistics” url=”http://simplystatistics.org/2012/11/26/the-statisticians-at-fox-news-use-classic-and-novel-graphical-techniques-to-lead-with-data/”]

In this Fox News chart, the axis starts at 34%. When looked at it this way, it appears that taxes will be five times higher than they are now if the cuts expire. In reality, that isn’t the case:

[credit provider=”Simply Statistics” url=”http://simplystatistics.org/2012/11/26/the-statisticians-at-fox-news-use-classic-and-novel-graphical-techniques-to-lead-with-data/”]

Here’s one of the biggest instances of skewed results. Look at the values at each of the points:

[credit provider=”Simply Statistics” url=”http://simplystatistics.org/2012/11/26/the-statisticians-at-fox-news-use-classic-and-novel-graphical-techniques-to-lead-with-data/”]

Now, look at it like this:

[credit provider=”Simply Statistics” url=”http://simplystatistics.org/2012/11/26/the-statisticians-at-fox-news-use-classic-and-novel-graphical-techniques-to-lead-with-data/”]

By expanding the scope of the Y-axis and strangely changing the placement of a number of points, Fox News presented the unemployment rate as stagnant. Leeks points out that the BLS data contradicts that conclusion:

[credit provider=”Simply Statistics” url=”http://simplystatistics.org/2012/11/26/the-statisticians-at-fox-news-use-classic-and-novel-graphical-techniques-to-lead-with-data/”]

Here’s one that makes it appear that welfare recipients are dramatically rising. In reality, the axis starts at 94 million, so the changes are much more subtle:

[credit provider=”Simply Statistics” url=”http://simplystatistics.org/2012/11/26/the-statisticians-at-fox-news-use-classic-and-novel-graphical-techniques-to-lead-with-data/”]

Not only is this graph somewhat skewed, the title isn’t even accurate. Moreover, there’s no Y-axis to show the difference:

[credit provider=”Simply Statistics” url=”http://simplystatistics.org/2012/11/26/the-statisticians-at-fox-news-use-classic-and-novel-graphical-techniques-to-lead-with-data/”]

Here’s a chart provided by Leeks that shows the differences:

[credit provider=”Simply Statistics” url=”http://simplystatistics.org/2012/11/26/the-statisticians-at-fox-news-use-classic-and-novel-graphical-techniques-to-lead-with-data/”]

Add up the percentages:

[credit provider=”simply ststistics” url=”http://simplystatistics.org/2012/11/26/the-statisticians-at-fox-news-use-classic-and-novel-graphical-techniques-to-lead-with-data/”]

You can see all of the charts and analysis at Simply Statistics >

There Is A Brutal Civil War In The GOP, And It Looks Like Karl Rove Will Be The First Casualty

The Spat Between Fox News And The Reporter Who criticised Them Is Getting Nasty