As we move into week three of the Sarah Palin era, it has become clear that one of the media's attacks on her has involved convincing the public that John McCain -- due to age and illness -- will likely die while in office thereby putting her in charge of the White House.
As such, her qualifications must be greater than those of the normal vice presidential candidate.
The Chicago Tribune nicely debunked this scare tactic Sunday by -- heaven forbid -- actually addressing the facts involved in age and mortality in the year 2008 (emphasis added):
John McCain is 72 years old, and the Social Security actuarial tables say a man his age has an average life expectancy of 12 years. The possibility that, if elected, she would become president any time soon has been exaggerated.
Yes, it has, as folks in the media are either ignorant of how mortality is calculated, or intentionally trying to scare the electorate.
After all, if you are a 72-year-old white male, and the life expectancy for this demographic is 75.7, that doesn't mean that you are expected to only live another 3.7 years. That's not the way the statistics work, for the longer you live, the longer you are expected to live.
As such, the Tribune is spot on, for according to the Social Security Administration, a man aged 72 is currently expected to live to 84.
Yet, in McCain's case, this could be understated, for white male life expectancy is about six years greater than for blacks.
Beyond this, SSA doesn't account for differing lifestyles, wealth, health care history, diet, exercise, etc. Instead, its life expectancy is a one size fits all for each gender.
With this in mind, the media scare tactic that Palin is likely to become president as a result of McCain's untimely death is even more factually inaccurate.
Of course, such things as facts have never been the concern of most press members if they get in the way of advancing an agenda.
Kudos to the Tribune for expressing some honesty in this regard.