The headline (via MSNBC) is ominous: Racial gaps may exist in kidney cancer care -- 5-year survival rates have increased for whites, but not blacks, study finds. But beginning with the second paragraph, we're provided with a big "nevermind":
There are disparities in the treatment and outcome between older black and white patients who have renal cell cancer, with blacks having significantly lower survival rates, according to a new study.
However, the lower rates of nephrectomy (surgical removal of the kidney) and the higher rates of comorbid illnesses in black patients largely explain the survival difference, the study found.
In addition, the study authors discovered that blacks "were much more likely than whites to have other illnesses" in conjunction with kidney cancer. And, the authors concede, these additional illnesses -- when taken into account -- eliminated the post-treatment survival disparity between whites and blacks.
A few days ago I e-mailed the Wilmington (Delaware) News Journal -- a Gannett newspaper -- asking why this article failed to mentioned the race of the assailants who have been victimizing Hispanics recently. (The assailants are black). After all, police reports noted it, as well as local radio stations. The paper responded and included their editorial policy regarding such matters, apparently established by an assistant managing editor. The paper says it's "not about being politically correct;" you be the judge:
Our policy is not about being politically correct, it's about being accurate. Race is such an unreliable descriptor. What race is Halle Berry or Tiger Woods or Jennifer Lopez? They are extreme examples, but project them onto everyday people and you see the problem.
The San Francisco Chronicle joins the bandwagon of liberal newspapers that have addressed the "achievement gap" -- the difference between majority [white] student academic achievement and that of minority [black/Latino] pupils. Right from the headline of "Children of Color Being Left Behind," readers are clearly left with the impression that there has been some purposeful scheme to "shortchange" minority students.
The Associated Press (via America Online) highlights how U.S. Army suicides are the highest in a quarter century, but we have to wait until the fifth paragraph to read an interesting detail:
The 99 suicides included 28 soldiers deployed to the two wars and 71 who weren't. About twice as many women serving in Iraq and Afghanistan committed suicide as did women not sent to war, the report said.
Earlier, in the second paragraph, the report states that all 99 soldiers were on "active duty." Yet, 71 of these suicides were not deployed in either Afghanistan or Iraq? Perhaps the 71 had been deployed but were not at the time of their deaths, but this is something that the AP makes the reader conjecture on his own. One is left wondering why over 70% of the suicides took place among soldiers not serving where the actual fighting is taking place.