Prime Number

Friday, May 26, 2006


Numbers justify fear. 50,000 abducted children, for example, or 50,000 predators prowling for children online. That last figure appeared in a recent introduction for NBC’s “Dateline.” And last week, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales cited Dateline’s number. But where did it come from? So far as statistics go, it turns out that 50,000 is something of a Goldilocks number in the media – not too big and not too small, but for scaring the public - just right.

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