scale employed in statistics, news at 11

Via Say Uncle, I came across a post at feces flinging monkey regarding this graph published by the Bureau of Justice Statistics:

It’s deceptive, according to him/her, because the numbers of the vertical axis “don’t line up”. Yes, it’s called “scale”, and without it, the point of the data presented would be lost. The point, in case you missed it, as feces flinging monkey obviously did, is clearly stated in the title, “Dramatic increases in both homicide victimization and offending rates were experienced by young males, particularly young black males, in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s”

He follows up with:

This is a big part of the story. Let’s all just cut the crap and be honest about what we are dealing with here.

Okay. Cut what crap? Where’s the dishonesty? What are we dealing with?