It's been said that truth is the first casualty in war. It could also be said that truth is the first casualty in a decadent and declining society ... and journalists are leading the way.
The online news arm of this journal s a solid source of information. However, it reprinted an article from E&E News that stated green energy is the way to go and the environment is full of scary chemicals. Associating itself with this outlet was a dubious decision, and one that may prove damaging to its reputation.
It was discovered that Ali Watkins, the newspaper's national security reporter, slept with a source who was an aide to the Senate Intelligence Committee. That source has now been arrested as part of an investigation into leaks of classified information. A breakdown in journalistic ethics, to say the least.
Race, age and other demographic factors are commonly controlled in epidemiology studies. It makes no sense to compare one group to another group if researchers do not bother to control for confounders – that is, factors like race or age that can cause researchers to draw the wrong conclusion.
A few weeks ago, a paper claimed that an extra glass of wine will shorten your life. The story circled the globe in minutes. A new paper, with better methodology, concluded what we all knew: Moderate alcohol consumption can be integrated into a healthy lifestyle. It, however, won't receive nearly as much attention as the sensationalist report. Such is the power of the academic PR hype machine combined with a gullible, sensationalist press.
Carey Gillam is a well-known anti-GMO activist who rejects the scientific consensus, regularly reports easily provable lies, and works for an organization that gets most of its money from 9/11 truthers.
A study published in The Lancet concludes that one additional drink per day increases a person's risk of stroke, coronary disease, heart failure, fatal hypertensive disease, and fatal aortic aneurysm. Alcohol may not be to blame, but we can't determine this because the authors didn't even bother to collect data on it.
The authors had a clear strategy in mind: (1) Do a study on a common household object; (2) Produce boring data that doesn't surprise any microbiologist; (3) Write a provocative, fear-mongering headline; (4) Market it to a gullible, clickbait-hungry press, exhibiting no critical thinking; and (5) Watch the grant dollars roll in.
A complete hoax was circulated among Russian state-controlled media as legitimate news, and then the Western media fell for it. Sure, some of them provided "caveats." But the point is that Russian propaganda has so infiltrated the public discourse that it appears regularly in mainstream Western media outlets. And that's shocking.
Veteran New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof fancies himself an expert in chemistry and toxicology. Chemists and toxicologists disagree.
Like a series of bad sequels, the media is back with yet another terribly botched story. This time, the claim is that using household cleaning sprays is like smoking 20 cigarettes per day. Wrong again.