Ashley Halsey III again exemplifies bad journalism

Back in 2009, Ashley Halsey III, a factually lazy reporter at the Washington Post, was completely taken by the drug czar’s report about the voluntarily testing of drivers and made statements in his article like “11 percent of motorists are high” when the study had specifically stated that it only tested for presence in the blood, not whether they were high. (see How the drug czar uses lazy reporters).

When I brought this undeniable fact to Halsey’s attention, complete with direct quotes from the NHTSA study, he responded to me with this simple nonsensical insult: “Your arrogance and ignorance are impressive.”

Well, he’s at it again.

Fewer people driving drunk,but drug use on the road is rising

There are fewer drunk drivers on the road, but their place has been taken by people high on marijuana and prescription drugs, according to two reports from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

No. Once again, the NHTSA tested for the “presence” of drugs and specifically noted that marijuana is a problem in this regard because it can stay in the blood for so long, and that it doesn’t indicate whether the driver is “high” or “impaired.”

NHTSA conducted a second study to determine whether smoking marijuana increased the risk of crashes. They found that it did but, adding a caveat, said that pot smoking is most common among a group already at high risk for crashes: young men.

No. The second study did not find that smoking marijuana increased the risk of crashes. They found that, when adjusted for other demographics, marijuana did not result in any statistically significant increase in crash risk.

Lazy and ignorant (willful or not) journalism.

Jacob Sullum also found this article to be an example of bad journalism.

Interestingly, elsewhere in this same paper, that second study is discussed in a way which really reveals how big a story it really is.

Stoned drivers are a lot safer than drunk ones, new federal data show


This is the key point. The demonstration that alcohol and driving mix in a way that is radically different than other drugs.

You shouldn’t drive impaired by anything. But as a society, we shouldn’t get distracted by scare stories about roads full of dangerously stoned drivers.

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31 Responses to Ashley Halsey III again exemplifies bad journalism

  1. claygooding says:

    There have been stoned and drunk drivers on every road ever built by man.

    The stoned drivers were the ones pulling the drunks out of the ditch and having a good time doing it.

  2. Frank W. says:

    I just watched my local Oregon news where ActionNewsTeam dutifully “reported” on Impaired Driving, using the same retarded prohibitionist stats.
    Voting buttons still disabled? SABET FOR PRESIDENT

  3. kaptinemo says:

    More ‘cut and paste’ journalism. Or perhaps the writer has taken DrugWarrior (meaning, our taxpayer’s) money to print trash like that in the past, and is obligated to do so forever more. As the old Scottish saying goes, “Once you touch the Devil, you can never let go.”

    In either event, it’s just more proof of the decline of journalism in this country, and why it’s imperative to find good sources; it’s pretty damn bad when the intended market for the media has to correct it on its factual errors.

    And as to sources:

    Al Giordano’s NarcoNews

    Greg Palast

    Just a few of the ones I use. The real deal, fresh and raw, not drained and processed into a pale, twisted, corp-rat-ly approved echo of what transpired. No blow-dried, vapidly smiling buffoons regurgitating corp-rat bilge on the Tube, just authentic journalism

  4. divadab says:

    Pete – voting buttons have disappeared completely……

    • Pete says:

      Yes, I have removed them because they aren’t working. They appear to be incompatible with the latest theme upgrade, and I haven’t been able to solve that. I’ll see if there’s another voting plug-in that I can get for the site.

      In the meantime, you’ll just have to say nice or mean things to people.

  5. darkcycle says:

    You’d think that reporter would stay away from topics when they get so badly beaten up by their readers. But here he is again, same topic, same bad information.
    But it will still get circulated. Seems you can point out a corrupt source to some people and there they are again, five minutes later, citing the same corrupt source. Facebook is a good one for that. Some people’s confirmation bias over whelms their stupidity sensors, it seems. No persons on the couch implicated in that sort of thing, thank goodness.

  6. Servetus says:

    Here is Ashley Halsey’s bio at the Washington Post. It’s unlike anything I’ve seen before, except maybe in Hunter S. Thompson’s Rum Diary. Is WaPo trying to get rid of this guy?

    Ashley Halsey reports on national and local transportation. Although he has had a fairly extensive number of interesting experiences, collectively they’ve not transformed him into a particularly interesting person. He was, for instance, the first person to learn who the real “Sam” was for “Son of Sam” killer David Berkowitz. He once drank moonshine with Orville McCoy of the infamous Hatfields-and-McCoys deadly feud. He came with in a hair of death after being hit by a speeding Studebaker. He was on a biplane that crash landed on the runway at Reagan National Airport. He has met several presidents and not been able to offer any of them an original thought.

    I guess the crux of Ashley’s experiences is don’t smoke pot, drink, or text while you’re near a speeding Studebaker, or landing a biplane at Ronald Reagan National Airport.

  7. Pingback: NHTSA study: No evidence marijuana leads to higher crash risk - YaHooka Forums

  8. Brian Williams is currently in exile for problems that are laughable compared to the mis-reporting of this man, Ashley Halsey III. Lazy is too good a word for what he has done. He has damaged the truth and betrayed the public in a story that helps to continue a war without end. Sounds like just the man Russian Premier Vladimir Putin could use in his press core.

    • DdC says:

      It’s Not Just Brian Williams… Inside the Media’s Lies that Led to Iraq War
      As NBC suspends Brian Williams for six months for lying about being in a U.S. military helicopter coming under fire in Iraq in 2003, we look back at our coverage dissecting the media’s lies and distortions in the lead up to the U.S.-led Iraq invasion.

      • primus says:

        In the past, the MSM decried the interweb for inaccuracy. Has anyone heard any such gibberish lately? If anyone in the MSM is reading this blog, please note; This is why people are paying less attention to you now than before. You have lost credibility. Your lies and lack of integrity has been amply demonstrated. We don’t believe you any more.

        • kaptinemo says:

          “We don’t believe you any more.”

          And there it is, isn’t it? The crux of the matter. The weight of the lies is crushing to dust the credibility of those who told them. Particularly when it comes to drug prohibition. And the LameStream Media’s culpability in disseminating those lies uncritically has become ever clearer…to those who weren’t paying attention. We knew all along.

          So, both the media and the pols have a choice: They can fail the new electorate’s litmus test regarding honesty by continuing to repeat and host on their Websites false ONDCP and DEA supplied BS about drugs…or they can scrub those Websites of the intelligence-offending lies, and show that they have realized the error of their ways.

          Either way, they don’t have much time. Our patience with prohib antics is wearing thin. The pols are starting to realize this; hopefully, the media will be faster on the uptake.

  9. warren says:

    start testing for alcohol metabolites. They are present up to three days after consumption. This may shut the redneck juicers up.

  10. If marijuana makes no discernible difference in car crashes, why are the press and LEA’s advocating for marijana testing when such testing does not show what is being looked for, which is impairment? Wasted time and money. To what end – to prevent car crashes – come on now. We are chasing our own tails.

    The only value in testing for anything is to have proof that your cop’s perceptions of the drivers imparment are correct and that he is not making up the story about his perception of this drivers impaired ability that he has observed. Its not to look for trouble before it happens. This should not be a driving version of the “Minority Report”. Police should be able to observe the impairment, not look for it ahead of time in hopes of preventing future potential crime.

    My point of view is that drug testing is what you need to do when no one can trust either the observations of the police, or the trustworthiness of their reports. Drug testing should not be a weapon for use in obtaining traffic revenues.

  11. Crut says:

    Ted Nugent endorsing Medical Marijuana?

    What weird world did I wake up in today?

    • Tony Aroma says:

      It’s not THAT weird. Mr. Nugent says:

      “I would never support prohibiting a free man from using a natural plant to alleviate his or her pain and suffering.”

      Notice he didn’t stop after the word “plant”? He only supports “free men” using marijuana for one particular reason. He still believes those free men should be imprisoned for using it recreationally. Bottom line, The Nuge only supports freedom when people are free to do what he approves of. Otherwise, the government needs to squash said freedom.

      I wonder what Ted’s definition of a “free man” is.

      • jean valjean says:

        Free man = “white” in ted’s paradise

      • B. Snow says:

        This is simple, he gets a shot at trying to moderate his past perceived militant anti-cannabis – “Cheech & Chong Ganja” stance…

        AND, he gets the chance to bash the FDA, the ACA, the president, recreational users, etc.
        “These are just a few of his favorite things… “

        Plus as I mention he’s distancing himself from his ‘historic’ and increasingly unpopular view/statements on the issue.

        For him it’s a win-win = He doesn’t want to be put in the corner with the bastards like Chris Christie…

        Who had to be publicly shamed on a national level to move an inch – on his well-publized Catholic (anti-hedonist), NJ tough guy prosecutor/former AG slanted rant = “there is no such thing as “medical marijuana”… “

        And even then he tried – (like many pseudo-puritans) to limit the sorts of marijuana available to whatever someone told him would piss-off the “stoners” of NJ, by denying them legal access to the *fun stuff* – so to speak.

        It’s the same thing they’re doing in some southern states = allowing CBD but not THC – So they can go full on *shocked* = ala:

        “Oh noes, not evil THC! We’re God-fearing people around here, idk about you… Dirty Liberals.”

        “Why Yes, of course the poor chitlins with seizures can have the won’t get you *high* oil/products… What kind of monster do you think I am?”

        “BTW – We’re gonna need proof of the seizures from two sources & written recommendations from their Doctor’s too.”

        You now, all those so-called “compassionate conservatives”, that always keep your children in mind when forming policy… = *sigh*

  12. The Driver Guy says:

    I have been stopped by a rolling social worker with a gun stoned out of my gourd and after a round of stupid human tricks he replies it is obvious that you are not on anything. LOL!
    P.S. I took some microdot LSD in the sixth grade before ever smoking cannabis is that a reverse gateway?
    The first LSD trip we all went to a go kart track and had the time of our lives.

  13. darkcycle says:

    Hey! Thumbs up button is back, and appears to work! That gets a thumbs up!

  14. CJ says:

    “your arrogance and ignorance are impressive.” the depth of Ashley Halsey the Thirds throat, which enables extra room for sucking (take that as you will), is very impressive. BTW no offense but isnt is kinda funny how this asswipe is professionally known as Ashley Halsey III? Is that not the very manifestation of an arrogant sounding name? THE THIRD OF THE ASHLEY HALSEYS. It’s actually incredible how ignorant and arrogant his existence, referring to himself that way, is. I mean, it just reeks of WASP BS. Hey who the hell was Ashley Halsey 2 and 1? What an arrogant thing to assume. It would have been safer to assume that the world doesnt know the first or the second, so to refer to yourself as the third one, well, it’s just an arrogant thing to do. We can all refer to ourselves however we’d like. obviously CJ is short for something. If I’d chose rather to refer to myself as CG II well, yes, heroin use can be extremely constipating, but im not that stuck up. what is hilarious is just the absurdity of the retort, “youre arrogance and ignorance is impressive.” you work for the Washington Post? my God man.

  15. CJ says:

    wait sorry Im not done yet. Im sorry, something just occurred to me that kind of bothered me. Again the quote is “your arrogance and ignorance are impressive.” OK so hold on a second. This “ignorance”, right? Is this ignorance he’s accusing Pete of, is it not so that he is actually the very epitome of ignorance because he wrote a factually incorrect article and when this was brought up to him, the error of his ways shown to him, he just… ignored it and became juvenile with insults (as I did and do, however, I dont work for the Washington Post, I work on the Lower East Side stealing and panhandling for a living so I am arrogantly assuming that I am entitled to behave like a brat, sorry, Master Halsey VIIIXIIIMMCMCM) thus being the embodiment of this claim of ignorance? Is it that simple of was he actually saying something else? Was he trying to say, “Listen, youre ignorant because, duh, of course it’s BS. But I am a drug prohibitionist, as is any decent human being in the world, and thus, for you to speak any truth of the matter, is being ignorant.” Is that what he meant? Or maybe he really just is that stupid.

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