Wednesday, 26 August 2009

The BBC Have Given Up On Responsible Reporting


Many have spoken of the BBC's new role as merely a glove puppet for government and righteous interest groups, but if there is anyone who still doesn't understand the concept, try this.

Mark Wadsworth smelt a great big White City rat within a few seconds of perusing this pile of Comrade Beeb garbage.

People who smoke shisha, or herbal tobacco, can suffer from high carbon monoxide levels, [DoH and the Tobacco Control Collaborating Centre] research revealed.

And it's not hard to see the ludicrous nature of the claim considering Comrade Beeb kindly highlighted the innumerate bullshit in very visible boxes. Surely they were taking the piss?




Now, let's just get the calculator out. If a light smoker's level is 10 ppm, the lethal dose is 300 ppm, and bubble pipes are 400 times more dangerous ... how on earth have we not seen instant deaths in shisha bars the world over everytime a shisha pipe is smoked?

Forgive me for being a cynic, but perhaps it is down to the fact that this 'research' was publicised by a tobacco control organisation, backed by the Department of Health, whose spokesman (Paul Hooper) is a former employee of ASH, and it didn't even merit a cursory check by a supposedly world class purveyor of news.

It's not science, it is a press release eagerly gobbled up by the government's mouthpiece without question. Here are a few snippets from a thorough debunking by Chris Snowdon (see 'recommended reading' box to the left).

There was a time when scientific research was presented to reputable journals for peer-review and publication. In the field of tobacco research, however, there is a growing trend towards ... "science by press release,"

The headline-grabbing claim that shisha pipes are 'worse' than cigarettes is based on unpublished research carried out by an unnamed University at the behest of the Tobacco Control Collaborating Centre (TCCC) and released exclusively to the BBC's Asian Network.

As always with science by press release, we will have to wait to see how the research was conducted (if, indeed, it is ever published).

In short, it is fantasy.

Now, it's probably true that the BBC article was merely a puff piece for their own programming, but by not inviting someone to the debate with real knowledge of the science surrounding shisha smoking - who would have ripped the 'evidence' apart in seconds - the BBC are nothing more than propagandists who have no right to be regarded as anything more reliable a news source than the Sunday Sport.

We are compelled to cough up, at pain of fines and imprisonment, for an unbiased, accurate, diligent news service. However, what we get is lazy, dogmatic, cut-n-paste-mongers disseminating misinformation and - yes - lies.

Dr Kamal Chaouachi is a Paris-based tobacco researcher and arguably the world's leading expert on the science of hookah smoking. Dr Chaouachi has authored or co-authored two comprehensive transdisciplinary books and dozens of biomedical publications. He has already lodged a complaint with the BBC about the programme which he says was based on "misinterpretation" and "gross exaggeration".

Will Comrade Beeb publish a full and frank retraction of this steaming mountain of horse shit following the intervention of a world-renowned authority?

Will they fuck.




17 comments:

Ian B said...

Brilliant post as ever Dick.

How are we going to stop these bastards.

Dick Puddlecote said...

Ta, Ian. To quote Jimmy Rabbitte:

"I'm fucked if I know"

Mac the Knife said...

This is what's fucking up my health. My BP is probably about 409/260 after reading their cack.

Who can make them tell the truth?

Mark Wadsworth said...

Ta for link.

@ Ian B, I don't think we can. Anybody who can say with a straight face that something is 450 times as bad as smoking a cigarette* can say anything at all, and the sheeple will believe it.

* I accept that walking naked into a live nuclear reactor might be 450 times as bad, but you know what I mean.

Ian B said...

Well I have a plan. We just need to discredit them completely, cut off their funding, and chase them into the sea.

I don't know why the rest of you haven't thought of it. Obvious!

KMcC said...

solving the BBC: in the next Parliament, the govt should decriminalise unlicensed ownership of a TV, and say it's up to the BBC to decide how it funds itself.

Those that love it will be glad to pay for it; those that don't won't miss it and will be glad not to pay for it.

frosty said...

I believe our populas is now so significantly dumbed down that the Ministry of Truth can choose to report bullshit, falsehoods and stories to make Baron Munchausen blush i dont think they care about truth, honesty or getting facts straight anymore, its gone way beyond that.

Chris F J Cyrnik said...

My computer works again! I can send more bull-shit comments…isn’t that great?

“People who smoke shisha, or herbal tobacco, can suffer from high carbon monoxide levels”.

Now, correct if I’m wrong…but isn’t it possible to quickly and efficiently commit suicide by lying down at the back of a car, and inhaling carbon-monoxide fumes from the car exhaust pipe?

So, where are all the dead shisha smokers’, there must be millions of ‘em world wide, and they won’t be too difficult to find, naturally of course a simple autopsy would easily clarify the amount of carbon monoxide in the blood.

We know this is all bull-shit. Any shite can be easily spewed out without question because we don’t have a presence in the media, and therefore are unable to refute such crap in a meaningful way.

I will always believe that unless a major court case exposes these vermin for what they are…then we will always be in the position of pushing this stinking dung heap up hill!

It has always amazed me that tobacco companies with all their money and power, have never dragged the likes of ASH and others of their ilk to court, and made them show any evidence that they have for these outlandish claims.

Ian B said...

It has always amazed me that tobacco companies with all their money and power, have never dragged the likes of ASH and others of their ilk to court, and made them show any evidence that they have for these outlandish claims.

They have lots of money, but no power, which proves that money doesn't always equal power. Even if they won such a court case, they'd lose. ASH would be portrayed as poor noble campaigners victimised on "a legal technicality" while the tobacco companies would be Evil Corporate Giants.

It wouldn't matter what was revealed in court; what would matter would be how it was perceived in the wider world. Any lies revealed would be portrayed as trivial. The socialist/temperance movement would just deny the truth flat out, as they always do.

Anyway, the Temperants never do anything illegal. It's not illegal to produce a wrong scientific result, or for somebody else to report it. They'd have to make a libellous accusation against the tobacco companies, and that they never do.

Chris Snowdon said...

It's not illegal to produce a wrong scientific result, or for somebody else to report it.

IanB has got to the heart of it there. It is possible for false information to dictate policy by going from a small-time researcher to the most powerful politician because at every point in the chain each person has plausible deniability.

It is not illegal to come up with faulty or even corrupt research. It's a free country.

It is not illegal to create a "consensus" around that bad research. They're just taking their information from the researcher.

It is not illegal for politicians to create laws based on that "consensus". Politicians don't claim to be experts, they're just listening to the "experts".

Therefore, bad laws can be based on bad science without anybody being legally accountable. If push came to shove, everyone could point the finger at the person lower down the chain. Ultimately that would lead to the researcher (eg. Andrew Wakefield) but, as I said, it's not illegal to come up with faulty research.

It's an issue I addressed a while ago in The Untouchables.

BTS said...

So cigarettes can now be considered a diet version of smoking then?

I feel healthier already..

john miller said...

You can't imagine how pleased I was to read that smoking a cigarette is 450 times safer than other forms of smoking.

Chris F J Cyrnik said...

Dick,
This is from the ASH website.

"Smoker's breath can be harmful to health, especially to children, the elderly and those especially sensitive to many chemicals"


Why not have a competition to see who can come up with the most stupid claim which could be almost plausible?

Anonymous said...

I wonder if the breath of non-smokers whose teeth resemble a row of condemned properties which provide refuge for a multicultural society of bacteria is harmful?

Jay

Chris F J Cyrnik said...

Nice one Jay, how about this.

High Command officials from the planet Altira 5 in the third quadrant of our galaxy have told earthlings…that over 32 million of its inhabitants have died of ‘passive smoke’ emanating from Earth!

Contact was made through ASH.

timbone said...

When I saw this on the ASH USA website http://www.ash.org/4dangers I was speechless. FOUR NEW DANGERS TO NONSMOKERS they shouted with glee. Trouble is, they serve up shite, the likes of the BBC think it is a delicacy, and many of the public eat it up readily.

IanB - you said "It has always amazed me that tobacco companies with all their money and power, have never dragged the likes of ASH and others of their ilk to court, and made them show any evidence that they have for these outlandish claims."

I have read Chris Snowdon's "Velvet Glove Iron Fist" recently. The financial power and swaying of public and political thinking by the fanatics of the anti tobacco movememnts seem to have created a situation where the Tobacco Companies can only manage to survive by capitulation and default.

it teacher said...

Ahh - that famous quote - "there are lies, there are damn lies and there are statistics".