Introduction : making news and making sense : the news that's "fit to print" -- pt. I. The ambiguity of news. The news that isn't there : stories that are, and aren't, covered -- Much ado about little : making news mountains out of research molehills -- pt. II. The ambiguity of measurement. Bait and switch : understanding "tomato" statistics -- The perils of proxies : is there a there there? -- Is the glass half empty or half full? : a look at statistics from both sides now -- Polls apart : the Gertrude Stein approach to making sense of contradictory surveys -- The reality and rhetoric of risk : telling it like it is, and isn't -- Distinguishing "reports" from reality : confusing the map with the territory -- pt. III. The ambiguity of explanation. Blaming the messenger, ignoring the message : do motives matter? -- Tunnel vision and blind spots : the danger of hedgehog interpretations -- Hard to tell : journalism, science, and public policy : an inherent conflict? Uses hard data and science to debunk a number of common misconceptions surrounding topics including missing children, cell phones, breast implants, AIDS, cancer, radiation, vitamins, and violent crime rates.