Friday, 16 October 2009

Because The Newspapers Are So Diligent, And Bloggers Aren't, Yeah?

Today, I was reminded of this recent quote from Mr E.

Whatever all those [national newspaper] correspondents do all day, it clearly doesn't involve basic factchecking.

For those who are unaware, the austere and diligent (pfft) British press tend to throw the odd tantrum against bloggers, usually levelling the accusation that we engage keyboard before tidying up niceties like ... err ... facts.

Conversely, the MSM are supposedly pristine in their adherence to publishing accuracy.

But then, when one reads quite astounding bollocks like this from the Daily Mail, such haughty posturing collapses like a weighty, inebriated tart in her new pair of six inch heels.

Bans on smoking in restaurants and bars reduces the risk of heart attacks among non smokers, according to hard hitting report. The research, by the U.S. Institute of Medicine reviewed 11 key studies of smoking bans in Scotland, Italy, the U.S and Canada.


So, considering that the largest study ever conducted worldwide on the matter, covering 217,023 heart attack admissions and 2 million heart attack deaths in 468 counties in all 50 states of the USA over an eight-year period (which the Mail notably failed to report back in April), concluded that there was no effect at all on heart attack submissions following smoking bans, I was mightily intrigued at such revelatory NEW research.

In Helena, Montana, for example, they recorded 16 per cent fewer heart attack hospitalisations in the six months after its ban went into effect. Nearby areas that had no smoking ban saw heart attacks rise over the same period.

Eh? Would this be the 'Helena Miracle' which has been hugely derided since it poked its laughable head out six long years ago? The study which is so readily ridiculed that even anti-smoking advocates are ashamed of it?

More dramatically, heart attack hospitalisations dropped 41 per cent in the three years after Pueblo, Colorado, banned workplace smoking.

Good grief. The Mail aren't reporting on a new study at all, merely a list of the most farcical nonsense ever foisted on the public by obsessive anti-tobacco zombies.

Pueblo is also a steaming pile of horse shit, is also years old, and is also now comprehensively considered as fantasy.

Hmmm. Just my opinion and all that, but I'd say someone at the Mail is being a rather lazy fucker if they can't work out that this 'new' research is egregious cherry-picked data from some of the worst 'science' ever conducted ... on anything.

But then, they have recent form.

Last month, some dozy Mail bint came out with this.

According to some experts, third-hand smoke, as it is known, is as dangerous to health as the fumes billowing directly from a pipe or cigarette, particularly for babies and children.

A recent report in America has warned that even if you don't smoke in front of your family, you might be putting them at risk of cancer or delaying the development of their brain, thanks to polluting their environment with a lingering chemical cloud.

Err .. did she say 'recent'? As in a four year old report which was relayed by other lazy journalists nine months previously? And did she say 'research'? As in telephone poll?

The research behind this story did not actually assess the dangers of “third-hand” smoke, but instead surveyed people’s beliefs about these dangers, and whether this was related to the likelihood of banning smoking in their own homes.

All one can accurately assess from these jaw-droppingly naïve articles is that the only prerequisites required to be a Daily Mail health reporter are the ability to point a finger at a keyboard, and the possession of an unenquiring mind.

Little wonder, then, that an entire film can be made about how very crap the newspapers are at reporting truthful news.

From 'flamey' Amy Winehouse to Russell Brand the banker, documentary team's fake celebrity stories fooled editors

In short, newspapers, and even the BBC, will fall for any old shit.

Yet it's only bloggers, apparently, who don't check their facts?

Get the fuck outta here.

UPDATE: Chris Snowdon weighs in with categorical proof that not only is today's Daily Mail article utter tosh, the conclusions of the new study they report are also physically and scientifically impossible.


Spartan said...

My sister is practice manager at 2 doctors surgeries. Recently the government wanted to implement Sat opening but said they'd listen to what the patients thought. So my sister had to send out 5,500 qustionaires. When replies were recieved virtually all of them said the were happy with the way things were and one ... yes just one ... said it'd be a good idea to open Sat.

Governments response? ... "5,500 were asked about Sat opening and it was stated that it would be a good idea" !!!! Which is a true statement ... one person did indeed say that!

So now the surgeries are open Sat with the NHS picking up the tab for all the extra costs incurred on opening Saturdays ... doctors and staff wages etc.

l'd say it was beyond belief but it isn't ... it's the norm from this totally corrupt government

Spartan said...

Forgot to add that this was implemented on everyone of the 60+ surgeries in the city. Can't even imagine what that's costing the NHS.

westcoast2 said...

Dr Michael Siegel also comments Institute of Medicine Report's Conclusions on Smoking Ban Effects are Defied By Its Own Assertions; Study Conclusions, Press Release Severely Biased

And follows its progress across at New York ABC News Story on Institute of Medicine Report and here New York Times Article About Institute of Medicine Report

Note what Dr Siegel says "the committee only reviewed studies which found evidence to support its conclusion" This from a group of 'experts'!

The Daily Mail should have checked this. Why didn't they?

If you complain the PCC will simply say they are just 'reporting' what has been said not that it has to be true (They said this about a complaint on the 'Scottish heart miracle'). What a cop out.

How can we be expected to make informed decisions if the press 'report' and the 'experts' cherry pick to support an agenda?

Bloggers need to do the work that should be done by reputable journalists. If they do not, who will?