THE Star screams that crosses have been banned from graves at Weston-super-Mare. Only, they haven’t. Only crosses over 2ft tall are not wanted. The Star calls this the works of – get this – “killjoys”.
The Mail shouts:
A council is under fire for banning crosses from one of its cemeteries – over health and safety fears.
The Sun says a cross erected by one Liz Maggs was removed because it was “too ugly“.
The Mail says it was banned because it was made of wood.
The Sun says:
A North Somerset Council spokesman said: “There are regulations we ask people to follow. It is a lawn cemetery and, as such, is not allowed to have anything over 6in raised above ground level.
“DROUGHT SOON AS BRITAIN DRIES UP”
A forecaster warns of “less than average rainfall”. There might be a “hosepipe ban”! We are all as good as dead.
But then we noticed that Express has spent the week as a harbinger of doom:
Monday: “CANCER LINK TO ‘WONDER’ DRUG” – People taking ARBs for blood pressure issues might increase their chance of getting cancer.
Tuesday: “NEW MOBILE PHONES HEALTH THREAT”
And not only new mobile phones but old ones too. Phones might give you cancer if used for 30 minutes a day.
Here’s to the Daily Express and its motto: “IT’S GETTING WORSE!”
As the BBC screams, windscreen water…
“…may be the cause of 20% of cases of Legionnaires’ Disease in England and Wales, the Health Protection Agency says.”
It’s a fact because:
The finding came after researchers spotted that professional drivers are five times more likely to be infected.
“Football fever is sweeping the nation and medics are preparing for a rise in over excited football fans suffering heart attacks, strokes and other injuries.”
Aren’t media football lovers, too? (Cue Express report on all medics being immigrants.)
MEOW meow, aka mephadrone, is banned. The Sun is to think to banning the “killer party drug”, which has been linked to deaths in the media and frontline politics, but not proven to have caused any.
Now the Sun says the drugs market has been “flooded with potentially lethal replacements – all of them LEGAL”. First up: naphyrone.
Thanks to the Sun, eh, readers?
A WHO report is spotted by the press. The sub-editors get to work:
Guardian - Mobile phone study finds no solid link to brain tumours.
BBC - No proof of mobile cancer risk, major study concludes.
Independent - Mobile phones do not raise risk of brain tumours, say scientists.
Daily Mirror – ‘No proof’ of mobile phone cancer link.
SCARE Story of The Day comes via the Indy wherein we learn that “Fyodor Dostoevsky images on metro ‘could cause suicides’”. News is that bigwigs of the Moscow metro has delayed the opening a metro station named after Dostoevsky over “fears that illustrations from his works that decorate it could turn the station into a ‘mecca for suicides’”.
On one wall, Rodion Raskolnikov from Crime and Punishment brandishes an axe over the elderly pawnbroker Alyona Ivanovna and her sister, his murder victims in the novel. Near by, a character from Demons holds a pistol to his temple.
COUGARS – older women with younger men (aka dirty old women) – are dying for their pleasures. Says the New York Daily News:
Cougars may want to reconsider tying the knot with a much younger man. Women who marry a partner seven to nine years younger increase their risk of dying by 20 percent, according to a study published in the journal Demography.
Can you change your risk of dying?
SCARE Story of the day features the German researchers who have discovered that robots in the home might attack humans. Yep, stick with the Filipino maid. Sure, she’s stealing your underwear and using your Touch Eclat, but has she stabbed you yet? And can a robot flirt with your husband like the Swiss au pair?
The boffins equipped robot arms with blades, such as a steak knife, kitchen knife, scissors and screwdriver. They then invited the robot arm to hit a substance interned to mirror soft human tissue – a lump of pig, a mound of silicon and a, er, man’s arm. And -whaddayaknow? – the robots managed to inflict potentially “lethal” wounds on the stuff.
The news is chilling:
Simply turning on a light at night for a few seconds to go to the toilet can cause changes that might lead to cancer…
Says Professor Kyriacou:
‘The ‘switching on of lights causes cancer when you go to the bathroom at night’ is an eye-catching fabrication of the press.’
Or is it?
If you’re 8 years old and looking at one or more bars a day, your most likely suicidal. If you’re fat and in need of chocolate the government advice is to “go for it”.
But keep it clean. Don’t jump off a bridge, especially not onto a road. Best that you smoke and drink yourself to death and help pay of the national debt.
Says the BBC:
Chocolate lovers ‘are more depressive’, say experts
“If aliens visit us, the outcome would be much as when Columbus landed in America, which didn’t turn out well for the Native Americans.”
Free gambling and all the hooch you can drink? They never had it so good. Looks like aliens are already upon us Britons. Tony Blair, aka Spuddoook 139, introduced 24 hour drinking and tax-free betting.
SCARE Story of The Week was the Star’s tale of how ash had almost brought down a 747. The story turned out to be old and the picture of the stricken jet just a computer mock up. Still, it did the job and scared the shit out of lost of people – although not those at Gatwick and Manchester airports which stopped selling the paper.
Gatwick airport’s director of communications, Andrew McCallum, tells us:
“We thought it was inappropriate at this point in time after six days of disruption and as people were anxious to get to their holiday destination or to return home to have these sort of computer-generated images on the front page.
“We had a discussion with other airports having seen the Daily Star’s front page today and decided to remove it. It was in our view not appropriate.”
MEOW Meow is banned. Mephedrone is too pricy and risky now that it’s illegal. If you’re gonna takes risk you might as well buy some cocaine. So. Got any Sparkle? You know, MDAI. Got any? The Star says “experts say it could be lethal”.
The Mirror says Sparkle is the new big thing:
Danger drug meow meow’s successor MDAI could flood Britain
To help you to identify it, the Mirror produces a picture of a small bag containing a smattering of white powders.
“VOLCANO DUST IS DEADLY,” says the Daily Express. And it is deadly – so long as you are closer to Iceland’s Eyjafjallajokull volcano than Great Britain is. And get load of how close Susan Boyle is to the headline of terror.
Still, the ash is deadly. You are going to die if you breathe it in. And because everyone will be breathing the deadly dust the length and breadth of the UK, you will all die. So, this is goodbye. I’d like to thank Bob Monkhouse, Anthea Turner… But what’s this? Wait a moment!
Christy Feig, a spokesman at panic merchants WHO, says:
“We’ll be recommending people with breathing difficulties stay inside if there is ash settling in their area. It’s people with respiratory problems that will be most affected. But if you haven’t got a history of respiratory difficulties and you are having problems then it’s obviously best to stay inside.”
SCARE story of the day is that parents will out outlive their fat children. The Sun says “thousands” of fat children “could die before their parents”. A doctor called Dr Steve Ryan, who works at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, tells BBC telly:
“People were starting to say maybe this is the generation where children will be dying before their parents.”
SCARE Story of the day comes in the Mail, where readers are warned that night-time visits to the toilet can cause cancer.
The news is chilling:
Simply turning on a light at night for a few seconds to go to the toilet can cause changes that might lead to cancer…
ON 10 March, the Express ran the headline ‘Death by fry-up’ on its front page, claiming the full English breakfast was ‘lethal’, writes MacGuffin of Tabloid Watch:
It was a lazy bit of churnalism designed to flog a ‘weight management product’.
But on 1 April, the Express changed its mind about the humble fry-up:
A bacon fry-up at breakfast could be the healthiest start to the day
No, it wasn’t an April Fool’s joke – the Express’ health reporting is this ridiculous every day. And like the ‘fry-up is lethal’ one, this ‘fry-up is healthy’ article was written by Jo Willey.
Isn’t consistency a wonderful thing?
So. It’s a race against time. Maybe the election should be delayed?
The paper says the drug must be banned “after 26 deaths”. We hear of a girl of 14 “lucky to be alive”. She took meow and collapsed. We’re not told if the girl had any pre-existing medical conditions, had been drinking or taking other drugs, only that she collapsed in a Tesco car park. And the police say she is “lucky to be alive”. Although, she made a full recovery.
It is left to the Swindon Advertiser to complete the picture:
She had taken a cocktail of alcohol and the drug.
No proof yet exists that toxic meow meow specifically resulted in death. In place of facts we do hear from bereft parents who have lost their children. They, understandably, want the drug banned. They want their child’s death to count for something. It’s emotive stuff.
SWINE Flu update: How ironic it is that The Guardian, of all newspapers, should be picking up on the “flu pandemic” scare which afflicted the nation last year.
We touched on this in late January but now this newspaper is reporting the findings of a draft report to the Council of Europe. It asserts that the World Health Organisation and other public health bodies have “gambled away” public confidence by overstating the dangers.
Says Labour MP Paul Flynn, vice chair of the council’s health committee, the loss of credibility could endanger lives. Read the rest of this entry »
Read the rest of this entry »
THE terrorists are making exploding breasts to kill us all. Do not hug a burka. Richard Bartholomew investigates a tabloid scare story:
FEMALE suicide bombers are being fitted with exploding breast implants which are almost impossible to detect, British spies have reportedly discovered.
…Terrorist expert Joseph Farah claims: “Women suicide bombers recruited by al-Qaeda are known to have had the explosives inserted in their breasts under techniques similar to breast enhancing surgery.”
…Hours after [the underpants bomber] had failed, Britain’s intelligence services began to pick up “chatter” emanating from Pakistan and Yemen that alerted MI5 to the creation of the lethal implants.
I dealt with this back at the start of February. In early January, a Forbes columnist speculated on the possibility of bomb breast implants, noting that Ayman al-Zawahiri “was a prominent gynecologist before dedicating his life to death and destruction”.
A reader’s letter to the Ottumwa Courier made the same suggestion the next day. A few weeks later, the idea was picked up by the Daily Mail, which added the detail about the “chatter” and that “male bombers would have the explosive secreted near their appendix or in their buttocks” (The hapless Patrick Mercer also provided an obligatory quote).
He’s a drugs baron in much the same way that the Government which rakes in a fortune from alcohol taxes is a Booze Baron, or a Tobacco Baron or a Diazepam Baron.
Like those other legal highs and lows, Meow Meow is legal. The drug is also known as 4MMC, M-CAT, meow, miaow, meoowwwwww or drone. Meow Meow is made from plant food mephedrone.
The NHS describes Meow Meow as:
Meow meow is a common name for 4‐Methylmethcathinone, a synthetic substance based on the cathinone compounds found in the khat plant of eastern Africa, which locals chew for an amphetamine-like high.
The Sun was offered meow meow within minutes of entering Ellman’s Dr Hermans Salsa shop in Warrington, Cheshire. See, kids, that’s where you get it from. It’s not an acrticle it’s a shopping guide.
Our investigator simply asked a female assistant: “Do you have any MCAT?” – its club name. She replied: “Oh yes, there in the glass cabinet.”
The legal drug is being kept behind a glass cabinet in a “drugs accessory shops”. The purpose of the Sun’s scoop seems unclear. Is Meao Meow so very dangerous that we need to be hysterical about it, ban it and make it so that the kids can only buy the toxic mush in the street, where it will be spliced with Vim and cost more? Of course, Louise Ellman is “Labour Louise”, so you can make something of that.
The facts seem very hard to come by, not least of all for the Sun which in place of scientific data uses the mum of 18-year-old called Joslyne Cockburn who died after a high out. Josylne had taken meow moew and her grieving mum is “convinced” the drugs killed her daughter.
She says “it needs to be banned”.
Perhaps it should be. And then the kids not old enough or rich enough to buy booze and fag can buy a new legal drug. Or else they can be weaned off meaow meow in mum and dad’s drinks cabinet…
Cases of syphilis are on the up -
Between 2000 and 2007, diagnoses of infectious syphilis in women rose by 474%
(from 78 to 448).
But how much of that is due to better reporting and Facebook?
The Sun has news – front-page news:
CASES of syphilis have increased four-fold in Britain’s Facebook capital as users meet up for unprotected sex, it was revealed yesterday.
Britain’s Facebook capital is Teeside – less a capital than a zone.
Professor Peter Kelly, director of Public Health for NHS Tees, said: “There has been a four-fold increase in the number of syphilis cases detected, with more young women being affected.”
SCARE story of the Day: Bubonic Plague returns to Britain. Yep, the Black Death is back. The Mail is back to one of its favourite topics again – wheelie bins and fortnightly rubbish collections, writes Tabloid Watch’s MacGuffin.
Why? Because they might expose ‘families’ to the plague. Sorry, in caps:
They did much the same story in May 2007, but this research is new.
So the Daily Mail Reporter dutifully goes through all the scary statistics and adds a quote from the microbiologist who did the research:
Dr Joseph Levin, microbiologist from the University of Tel Aviv, said: ‘The levels of disease-causing bacteria found in the bins are at a level that I would consider to be dangerous, especially to those with a weakened immune system, such as the elderly or young babies’.
…life easier for journalists by quickly and efficiently putting you in touch with public relations (PR) people.
Surely he wasn’t (gasp) mistaken?
It gets worse.
At the end of the Mail article it says:
The study was carried out by University of Tel Aviv scientists using UK bin swabs on behalf of hygiene company Binifresh.
‘Hygiene company Binifresh’? Oh yes:
Binifresh is the leader in automatic hygiene for wheelie bins. After 3 years of research and development Binifresh has released its first product, an automatic hygiene and odor control device that fits easily and securely to your wheelie bin, altogether creating a cleaner, healthier more comfortable environment for all.
So a company that sells a product (£14.98 plus £2.98 for refills) that claims to make bins cleaner and healthier produces research saying bins aren’t clean and healthy.
And the Mail, with their weird bin obsession, are only too happy to give them a free advert.
YOUR fried breakfast is killing you. The Daily Express leads with “DEATH BY FRY UP!” but can it be true? MacGuffin of the Tabloid Watch blog looks at the media scare story:
‘Death by fry-up’?
The full English breakfast is ‘lethal‘, is it?
Really? Because that sounds a little bit like hyperbole.
Especially as the Express has, in the past, called a full English breakfast ‘treat of the week’ and, as recently as January, essential food for mothers-to-be who want to have ‘brighter’ children. Ahem.