This Boston Globe Op Ed column claimed that citizens of Gaza consume over 900 lbs of flour per day per person. No kidding. Blogger Martin Kramer noted this Globe editorial blunder.
Although Gaza daily requires 680,000 tons of flour to feed its population, Israel had cut this to 90 tons per day by November 2007, a reduction of 99 percent.
Gaza has a population of only 1.5 million people. Kramer then traces the origin of the error.
Note how an absurd and impossible "statistic" has made its way up the media feeding chain. It begins in an Egyptian newspaper, is cycled through a Palestinian activist, is submitted under the shared byline of a Harvard "research scholar," and finally appears in the Boston Globe, whose editors apparently can't do basic math. Now, in a viral contagion, this spreads across the Internet, where that "reduction of 99 percent" becomes a well-attested fact.
For a good time, read Kramer’s whole post, “Gaza buried in flour” where he traces the origin of this typically slanted Globe Op Ed piece.
Regarding creeping respectability of Gazan-originated Globe Op Ed columns, in 2006 this blog noted a Gazan Globe columnist whose work made a similar pilgrimage to the supposed respectability of the Globe Op Ed page. As for innumeracy of Globe editors, the above error takes the cake (intended). It even surpasses the old record, an obvious 1000X error of Globe columnist Derrick Jackson that also sailed right past his equally innumerate editors.