Commentary

Boston Globe Flubs Math on Elizabeth Warren Story Not Once but Twice

In a glaring type of error that all but supports President Donald Trump’s accusations of “fake news” against the mainstream media, the Boston Globe had to issue not one, but two embarrassing corrections over high school-level math.

As I’m sure you’ve undoubtedly heard, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren celebrated a recent DNA test “proving” her to be of Native American descent.

The left-leaning Boston Globe breathlessly touted this newfound discovery and essentially joined Warren in her victory lap.

The DNA test in question claims that Warren has “strong evidence” of Native American descent dating back six to 10 generations ago. DNA tests are notoriously flimsy, especially when going back that far, but that didn’t stop the Boston Globe from gleefully trying to throw Warren’s authenticity in Trump’s face.

“Undergoing the test and releasing the results reveal how seriously Warren is taking the attacks from Trump, who has been able to effectively caricature and diminish his national foes via nicknames and conspiracy theories,” the Boston Globe’s Annie Linskey wrote.

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Linskey then proceeded to follow up with a bizarre comparison between Warren’s claims and Trump’s inquiry into former President Barack Obama’s authentic birth certificate.

“Trump pushed then-President Barack Obama into releasing the long form of his birth certificate to prove what most knew was already true: He was born in America,” Linskey added.

Instead of finding ways to denigrate Trump, Linskey may have been better served to brush up on how fractions and exponents work.

The Boston Globe originally gave Warren’s Native American percentage between 1/32 and 1/512, based on the six to 10 generation figure given by the test. Those numbers were picked up by other news outlets.

Had those figures been accurate, it would’ve meant that Warren was between 3.1 percent and .19 percent Native American.

However, those figures were wrong. The real figures, based on how math works, should’ve yielded a 1/64 to 1/1024 range. When dealing with fractions and exponents, that’s a massive gaffe for the Boston Globe to make.

The real percentages for Warren should have been 1.5 percent to .097 percent.

Perhaps the most embarrassing thing for the Globe is that it took them two tries to fix their mathematical errors.

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First, the newspaper fixed the 1/512 number by issuing a correction that the number should be 1/1024. The new number was picked up by other news outlets.

The 1/32 to 1/64 correction came later.

There’s a part of me that realizes we’re quibbling over literal fractions, but when it comes to matters of the truth, every last decimal point counts.

Do you think this will change Warren's story about being of Native American descent?

After all, the The New York Times reported that “researchers found that European-Americans had genomes that were on average 98.6 percent European, .19 percent African, and .18 Native American.”

Had the Globe’s original numbers been correct, Warren would’ve had a legitimate claim to being more Native American than the average European-American. Instead, the Globe’s numbers were grossly over-exaggerated as Warren is likely no more Native American than the average Joe.

As someone who had to repeat college algebra, I understand math is hard. But when you’re apparently trying to take some sort of victory lap around the Trump administration, you’d best double-check your facts.

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Bryan Chai has written news and sports for The Western Journal for more than two years and has produced more than 1,300 stories. He specializes in the NBA and NFL as well as politics.
Bryan Chai has written news and sports for The Western Journal for more than two years and has produced more than 1,300 stories. He specializes in the NBA and NFL as well as politics. He graduated with a BA in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona. He is an avid fan of sports, video games, politics and debate.
Birthplace
Hawaii
Education
Class of 2010 University of Arizona. BEAR DOWN.
Location
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, Korean
Topics of Expertise
Sports, Entertainment, Science/Tech




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