Monday, December 10, 2007

Six Degrees of Bad Reporting

The Macaca Post has a bizarre article on the dealings of Rudy Giuliani's consulting firm, including this most quotable paragraph:
But many of the firm's clients have never been listed on its Web site or identified publicly by associates, and two of the most controversial arrangements among them surfaced only in recent weeks. One involved a 2005 agreement to provide security advice to the government of Qatar. The second stemmed from a deal to assist a partnership proposing a Southeast Asian gambling venture. Among the partners were relatives of a Hong Kong billionaire who has ties to the government of North Korea's Kim Jong Il and has been linked to international organized crime, according to a Chicago Tribune report.
The first one... well, we've seen that before. The second needs a bit of restatement:
Giuliani (has interest in) Firm (does business with) Partnership (which includes) Relatives (of) Billionaire (has ties to) DPRK (controlled by) Kim Jong Il.
Noting that the "has ties to" link could represent another series of connections as well, anybody can probably have closer "links" by eating lunch at the Panda Express.

Six degrees of separation may be a fuzzy concept, but it is certainly a good starting point.

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