Who needs facts when you can make them up? (Updated)

WNYT: Activists call attention to ‘drugged driving’

The exhibit details deadly accidents caused by drugged driving — responsible for about 100 deaths a day in this country, explained the dean of the college, Dr. James Gozzo.

100 drugged driving deaths a day. That’s a lot.

According to the NHTSA, in 2011 there were a total of 32,367 people killed in all traffic accidents, including drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and cyclists.

That comes to about 88 deaths a day.

Somehow the math doesn’t quite work.

I wrote to ask Dr. Gozzo about it, but got no reply.

And you certainly can’t expect WNYT to look up facts. Their job is to merely report what people tell them, not what’s true.

Update: I received the following response:


Hi. My name is Gil Chorbajian, and I am the Director of Communications at Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.

Dr. Gozzo forwarded me your note as I was the one who compiled the statistics for his remarks. The information he shared was that, according to the CDC, approximately 100 people die each day from a drug overdose.

This statistic was cited to shed light on the broader problem of drug abuse, but it appears to have been mistakenly attributed in this instance to drugged driving related deaths.

/ gil

Given some incoherence in the WNYT piece, I’m willing to believe this explanation, as it makes sense in context, and put the blame squarely on inexcusably shoddy reporting at WNYT.

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30 Responses to Who needs facts when you can make them up? (Updated)

  1. strayan says:

    Drugged driving is only different from drink driving if you pretend alcohol and caffeine aren’t drugs.

    Why are they making out like this is a different road safety problem?

  2. QuaxMercy says:

    Gimme dem ‘old-time’ propaganda stylings,
    in the tradition of Harry J. & His B.S.Slingers

    Has anyone named Dr. Gozzo
    actually stepped forward, yet?

    Cain’t wait for the update, Pete.

  3. allan says:

    come on Pete, they’re pharmacists, not mathematicians. Why would a pharmacist need to know how to count?

  4. Dano says:

    I’ve posted emails to WNYT and comment on the story. Hopefully they’ll rescind it at the very least.

  5. Thudfuck Worthington says:

    And this guy is a Dean of a college,,,,it must be Jeff Foxworthy’s alma mater,,where the biggest fraternity Shlitz4U thought any vehicle with Dodge on the front and Ram on the fenders was a “super collider” with a built in ice chest and a sliding camper window to fetch another beer through,,

    I was discussing marijuana as a gateway drug on National Geographics no less,,,the author apparently missed the last decade where they figured out cannabis is an exit drug,,not a gateway drug,,,that zombie just won’t die.

  6. Servetus says:

    Some statements are harder to disprove than others. How about this one: “about a hundred deaths a day occur in this country because Upstate New York sucks so bad.”

  7. strayan says:


    Kleiman is at it again:

    A far better alternative to forcing drug treatment on unwilling offenders is to enforce the rule against using heroin and other “hard” illegal drugs with frequent drug testing and the promise of a short jail stay after every missed or positive drug test.


    • Sounds just like DuPont – http://tinyurl.com/p7q9mx3
      and Kevin.

    • Drug & Alcohol Testing Industry Association (DATIA) conference, held in 2012 in San Antonio, Texas

      “If they test positive,” he says, his voice slowly rising into a high-pitched yell, “they go to jail that day! No discussion!… No discretion! To jail that day!”

    • darkcycle says:

      Now we have the last bit of evidence we need. He’s a “Sammite” and a second trencher. MUST. FEED. THE. PRISONS.
      Of course he is FULLY aware this statement is full ‘o crap: “For those who fund their drug habits with criminal activity, and who get caught, the criminal-justice system offers both mandates and incentives to enter treatment: as a condition of probation…” And that the vast majority of criminal cases involve simple possession and sales. But, hey, it’s fun with words, and in wonderland, they mean exactly what he wants them to. That fat bastard has lost any sense of shame.

      • Duncan20903 says:


        Let’s remember to keep our eyes on the prize. While Humpty Dumpty’s pathological redefinition of words was despicable, it wasn’t the end of the story. People often ask me, “if you needed surgery would you want the surgical team passing a joint?” I still haven’t figured out how to tell them that I don’t like smoke and that despite the utter irony I also resent people who don’t share. Still, I can say with certainty that if I was laying on the ground in a broken heap with my vital fluids draining into the dirt that I’d rather have a couple of very stoned EMTs working to save my life that a team of goddamn horses, even if those are royal equines. How the heck can a creature with nothing but unguligrade toes effectively administer first aid? ‘Splain that one to me Wilbur.

    • Servetus says:

      Where Professor Kleiman is concerned, it’s either an anti-drug career, or a dungeon in his basement. When the drug battles cease, he may require banishment to an island.

  8. thelbert says:

    we need this lady or her equal for president:http://tinyurl.com/q8xlf7f

  9. Emo Solutions says:

    :open headers:
    “F#CK YOU, LIBERaaaaal!”
    :gunfire into air:
    :wolf howl:

  10. allan says:

    aye, watch yerselves driving thru Humboldt Co, NV…

    Nevada sheriff defends confiscating thousands of dollars from innocent drivers

  11. Emo Vicar says:

    I’ve seen sober drivers intentionally swerve at Raccoons, PROVING Sobriety is Dangerous. Seek Recreational Escape. RE is Good for Americans and Canadians and Raccoons. Always BKTR and pat them.
    :be kind to raccoons:
    One can not enter heaven without having had a Raccoon let you pat him.

  12. Emo Vicar says:

    OMG Bam-Bams Dad has Hung Himself. Saw it Coming. Nice guy, that Barney. Undercover Cop, eh? Not sure if Admissible to Heaven. We’ll see.

    • Two/Cents says:

      Please remove this guy; he’s even more annoying than DDC.

      • Emo Vicar says:

        Flatulent Mr. Intolerant Pennypinch. Cute Swastika Armband. Big bucks for this internet thingy.
        I’ll annoy your ilk any way I can. Crackpot Success Stories.

        • Two/Cents says:

          Thanks for the confirmation, Kev-kev!

        • War Vet says:

          Emmo Vicar is using poetry. Granted, some of his stuff makes a lot more sense than others . . . but he’s trying and some times one fails. I don’t understand the Trol or Kev-Kev diagnosis on him. But those of us who have poetry books on our floors (because an entire bedroom filled with books isn’t enough), understands Emo Vicor (not all the time though). I guess William S. Burroughs, Apollinaire, Baudelaire, Jim Morrison and Arthur would be prohibitionists. I cannot imagine a prohib being so deconstructionalist

      • Crut says:

        Incoherence is not a crime. Intolerance should be one.

        Edit: Oh hi Emo. I’m not sure if English is a primary language for you or not, but you are not making much sense. You might want to add some context to your comments or nobody will know what you are talking about…

        • Two/Cents says:

          Emo is most probably a paid ‘disruption troll’; the prohibitiches have tried everything else.

  13. B. Snow says:

    Oh, speaking of the “Making Shit Up”… Department:

    The DEA Isn’t Destroying As Much Weed As It Used To

    There are a couple “excuses” for this mentioned, one being:

    The private grows, DEA officials said, had made it more difficult for the agency to keep its numbers up. “[S]earch warrants are required to pursue investigations on private land,” they noted.

    And, Here (unless I’m horribly mistaken) comes the bullshit:

    Another factor in the lower totals for destroyed plants, the officials suggested, was “the introduction and cultivation of a new, more robust species of marijuana plant. It is called a ‘supersized’ marijuana plant and it can reach heights of five feet or more and produce up to several pounds of marijuana from a single stalk.”

    I know selective breeding has been successful for many folks and all that…
    BUT, methinks – in this instance someone is totally pulling this “fact” outta their ass – to blame their sagging statistics. Which is fine by me, although it reminds me of England and their totally made-up use of the term “Skunk” Marijuana. The term “skunk-weed” goes back at least 20 years, if not further… but if they want to artificially inflate their stats.

    This only becomes a problem – if they start trying to more harshly legislate “supersized-plants” – although it also reeks of desperate and silly. I think the folks Like Rep. Cohen would/will call “B.S.” on this – if it ever comes up – in any ‘official sense’.

    • Emo Vicar says:

      Funny that. The Mother of all Plants… lol
      Ten, Please.

    • Matthew Meyer says:

      Not that there’s a specific variety involved, but it’s certainly true that the focus on plant counts for legal purposes has inspired outdoor growers to grow very large plants. Some growers have achieved yields of 10+ pounds per plant, with many getting 4-5 lbs.

      Check out Jorge Cervantes’s video of Northern California outdoor gardens: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d7oibmvP-cw

    • Windy says:

      I remember people calling good Indica “skunk weed” back in the mid 70s, especially when it was growing, but even when it was dried and ready to smoke (no vapes back then) it still had a skunky smell and a great taste. I really miss that smell and taste in sticky green bud, seems they’ve bred almost all the smell out of it and a good part of the taste, too. Wrong way to go, breeders, bring it back, please.

    • Dano says:

      I’ve read reports from Humboldt Co California growers who only do outdoor sativa grows with plants that grow 10+ feet and do yield pounds of buds. They look like huge christmas trees! They also take a whole growing season for one crop cycle, so while one plant yields heavy it’s the only crop for the whole year. An indoor grower could probably yield more per square foot over a year of intensive gardening.

      • allan says:

        They also take a whole growing season for one crop cycle, so while one plant yields heavy it’s the only crop for the whole year. An indoor grower could probably yield more per square foot over a year of intensive gardening.

        I don’t know about that… (I mean literally, I don’t know) but I suspect if a comparison were done (and surely there are people who must know such things) the outdoor plant would yield more simply for the fact of its utilizing the vertical space as well as the horizontal. Personally, I’m an outdoor guy. That big (free!) grow light in the sky can’t be duplicated.

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