The controversy about the New York Times's series on murders committed by veterans, [Across America, Deadly Echoes of Foreign Battles, January 13, 2008] has concentrated on the New York Times's hatred of American soldiers, and the fact that any group of a million young men will have a number murders committed in it. You could make the same attack on any, er, unpopular group.
So the Times has rightly been condemned for statistical illiteracy, and not for the first time, either. But there's a larger question, pointed up by the apparent killing by the Mexican-born Cpl. Cesar Laurean, USMC, a naturalized citizen, of an American-born woman, Lance Corporal Maria Lauterbach, and her unborn child.
You're allowed to say FBI's Hi-Tech Manhunt for Fugitive Marine or Marine may have used slain comrade's ATM card in a headline—you are not allowed to say Mexican may have used slain comrade's ATM card or FBI's Hi-Tech Manhunt for Fugitive Mexican in a headline—the public doesn't have the right to know