Monday, July 2, 2012

Celebrity invites skewed assumptions

You know how it is with celebrities, those overpaid, elitist scofflaws plaguing our society with their arrogance.  Take for example our American professional football players.  Violent men who can’t contain their violence and are a danger off the field.

Let’s see.  2% of the general population is arrested for DUI.  .7% of NFL players are.

Well, that is probably an aberration, right? Arrest rates as a whole for the general population is one person in 22.  For NFL players, it is one in 45.

Hmmm… have we built a myth based on over-exuberant coverage of this group when some individuals actually do have problems?  Maybe.  I’ve also read that priests have almost exactly the same rate of pedophilia as the general population.

On that last one, though, I’ve got to admit that I expect better.  But, I’m not really sure why I should.


  1. Not sure why you should??? Seriously? The catholic church has been an abject failure in this regard - they should be held to a higher standard. Their position of trust and authority dictates it be thus. Unfortunately that has not been the case. And then there are the cover ups. The catholic church has much to answer for. In this and many arenas.

    1. I was giving it a little sarcasm, shackman. Teachers who violate trust by abusing their students fall into the same category as the priests. The violation is magnified justifiably by their positions of trust and by their own claim of a higher standard.

  2. Statistics can give funny results. Traffic crashes by far. Most recent stats I could find showed about 29,500 total firearm deaths in the US (not just handguns, all firearms). Traffic crashes accounted for about 42,500 deaths.

    If you're talking about accidental deaths (that is, many of the 29,500 firearm deaths are intentional), traffic accidents are much, much more likely to cause a death than an accidental firearm death.

    Should we ban automobiles?

    1. These statistics and my use of them here don't fall into that category, though. I am comparing apples to apples. My point is that public perception of violation by people of celebrity is magnified beyond what the simple facts are.

      As I indicated to shackman, the magnification is justified with priests in my view, because the church and the priests themselves claim a higher moral standard. The athletes, on the other hand, are viewed with greater scrutiny and disdain because of the money that they make, not moral claims.


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