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The headline-grabbing claim that shisha pipes are 'worse' than cigarettes is based on unpublished research carried out by an unnamed University at the behest of the Tobacco Control Collaborating Centre (TCCC) and released exclusively to the BBC's Asian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