In the meantime, someone else has done the job for me: only he shows it was the entire British media that got their story line all wrong, and he says this actually isn't very amusing.
So newspapers ignore one half of the evidence and fail to explain the other half properly. In the past, nobody could catch them, and nobody could compete with them. That has now changed. Anyone can write, and publish online, and appear in Google news alerts: the NHS, medical research charities, individual academics, journals' press offices.
These people are intelligent, informed, and they can explain things clearly, without worrying about eyecatching hysteria, or space, or hyperbole. Some will be silly, some won't be. If they ignore half the evidence, they will be busted in the comments, mocked, and sensible visitors will never come back. They can also link directly and transparently to scientific papers, which mainstream media still refuse to do.
Journalists insist that we need professionals to mediate and explain science. From today's story, their self-belief seems truly laughable.
In other words, they're a bunch of incompetents, at best, those British journalists. This brought forth the obvious question:
Here`s a serious thought - is poor science reporting just part of a wider malaise? Why expect science to be an exception if the quality of the UK press in general has plummeted? I think this may well be so.
For example, the tone of say, the Guardian`s (or Telegraph`s) main political and social comment also displays the same air of over-excitement, high emotional levels (sometimes feigned, of course), lack of logic, inability to handle numerical data, etc. There is a clear desire to stimulate the reader in a swift way - perhaps the papers think that they are competing, not with, say the works of Proust, but with video games, porn, TV, drugs and alcohol for the reader`s attention. Hence the combination of celebrity/football/TV coverage and a coverage of `serious` matters too that is similar in style to the `lighter` stuff. I.e. it is ALL lightweight.
Frankly, can you really have confidence in the UK newspapers` coverage of genuinely complex issues like Gaza or Iraq?
A truly startling thought, isn't it?