Another Headline Fail

March 19, 2009 at 9:41 pm (Media) (, , , , , )

Too much red meat could leave you blind, scientists warn. Er, no. No they don’t, actually:

The researchers said: ‘A high level of red meat consumption may be a risk factor for early AMD, or act as a marker for a group of people with an increased risk from other lifestyle factors.’

…a spokesman from the Royal College of Ophthalmology, said: ‘The evidence is still not strong enough to merit any advice to the public.’ [My italics.]

Despite the fact that the scientists in question stated that red meat could be a risk factor or merely a marker (for a start, people who eat lots of red meat may not eat as much of something that protects against AMD – I’m thinking fruit and veg might be a contender here), and a handy spokesman from the RCO has pointed out that the evidence isn’t strong enough to warrant advice to the public, the People’s Medical Journal has still seen fit to claim that red meat could make you go blind. The Daily Fail’s headline goes way beyond what the researchers have said and, as a consequence, their readers seem to believe that scientists have decided that red meat makes you go blind:

More rubbish from ‘expert’ ‘scientists’

Yeah Yeah.

And what have the scientists been eating to come up with this load of tripe?

what a lot of old cobblers! Now pass me another steak.

These four comments were all recommended by other Mail readers, so it seems that they aren’t alone in their belief that the scientists really have said what the Fail’s headline said they had said.

The headline is misleading. This happens so often that it almost seems as if the Fail are campaigning for science to be made irrelevant. And it looks like some of their readers would not be unhappy to see this happen. The comments I quote above are dismissive and rude, contemptuous even. I think that’s how scientists are seen by the Fail and its readers – as being beneath contempt.

Not that the Telegraph are much better…

[BPSBD].

10 Comments

  1. Dr*T said,

    Grrrr……

    The Fail really is the worst of journalism.

  2. Neuroskeptic said,

    As a vegetarian I’m secretly a little pleased at this… but yeah, it’s rubbish.

  3. Teek said,

    @ Neuroskeptic – seconded!

    As someone whose lab works on AMD, I have to say that this is amongst the worst examples of a sub-editor taking a decent scientific study and twisting it round to suit the publication’s agenda. unhelpful and pretty low I’d say.

    A letter to the Editors of the Fail and the Torygrapgh are in order – jdc325, I’m looking at you here…!!

  4. jdc325 said,

    “A letter to the Editors of the Fail and the Torygrapgh are in order – jdc325, I’m looking at you here…!!”
    My arm is pretty easily twisted. I may contact the Fail & Torygraph this evening.

    Thanks for the comments all.

  5. Nash said,

    Daily Fail journos are real men who eat nothing else but red meat with their pint. 144oz rump steaks, club canadian burgers all washed down with 4 pints of heavy. The likes of us just wouldn’t be able to keep up them.
    The Fail still runs shock exposes on how much internet porn there is. Or in other words, yet another hack has been caught downloading XXX vids and pictures again and justifies it as research. Although they are shocked and outraged at the material, they were only saving the files to show to collegues who they know will be equally shocked and outraged.
    So, maybe with all the Canadian Steak sandwichs and wanking that Fail journalists indulge in, the poor souls eyesight must be failing and they can’t read things properly.

  6. Nash said,

    The first para should read “Daily Fail journos are real men who eat nothing else but red meat with their pint. Lunch is 144oz rump steaks, club canadian burgers all washed down with 4 pints of heavy. The likes of us just wouldn’t be able to keep up with them.”

  7. jdc325 said,

    “Although they are shocked and outraged at the material, they were only saving the files to show to collegues who they know will be equally shocked and outraged.”
    Like those up-skirt celeb photos they take for the front page.

  8. The Promotion of Counterknowledge « jdc325’s Weblog said,

    […] Daily Mail are a disgrace. You can read recent Daily Fail posts on this blog here, here, here and here. Not that I’m in any way […]

  9. 3-in-1 PCC Complaint « jdc325’s Weblog said,

    […] to the editors of the Mail and Telegraph are here. My post about the red meat/blindness story is here and my post on the God spot story is here. JQH recently wrote to the Daily Mail and the PCC […]

  10. Man Bites Dog! Or: Daily Mail Manage Fairly Accurate Headline. Eventually. « jdc325's Weblog said,

    […] can make a difference. Sometimes. I’m still arguing the toss over my complaint regarding the articles in the Mail and the Telegraph on red meat raising the risk of blindness by […]

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