The 14th edition of the CQ Press’ national rankings of city crime data is out, and the usual suspects are caterwauling. For years, leaders of cities ranking poorly in the study — which is based on the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports — have complained about the damage it does to their reputations. Of course, it’s their high crime rates that truly damage their rep, not one publisher’s compilation of the data.
This year, some media organizations have been duped into reporting without context the protests of the American Society of Criminology, which is portrayed as simply an organization of experts. No. It’s an organization with a pronounced left-wing tilt, as can be recognized immediately by visiting its web sites. The CQ study doesn’t assign blame or attempt to probe the potential causes of crime. It simply reports the level of criminality. Detroit, St. Louis, and other high-crime cities may not like the moniker, but they should find other ways to react than vitriol and obfuscation.