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Jaw-dropping behaviour from The Daily Mail

April 14, 2009

irish

This is incredible. While we await the response of the PCC to our petition protesting the Express/Dunblane scandal that the press won’t cover (STILL not as important to the broadsheets as Sachsgate, apparently), here’s a piece of mindblowing cynicism from the Daily Mail to take up the slack.

Apparently, the Daily Mail in Ireland and the Daily Mail in the UK are currently running seperate campaigns about the HPV Vaccine. Nothing unusual about that, you might think. It’s an important subject and the Daily Mail has a duty to be concerned.   But, y’see, ha, ha, here’s the thing.

The two editions of the paper are running campaigns both for and against the vaccine. That’s right, in Ireland, the newspaper is very firmly for it, but in the UK, on the other hand…. you get stories such as this.

Over to Martin Robbins…

“Are they insane?! They’re printing scare stores about the dangers of the HPV vaccine in one country, while simultaneously campaigning for its introduction in another. It’s so absurdly cynical that I can’t quite form the words to convey just how shocked I am by this. Even by the piss-poor journalistic standards of the Daily Mail, this takes quite some beating.

What this means is that those of us who believed that the Daily Mail had some editorial, ideological stance against certain vaccines (such as MMR) were in fact wrong. The Daily Mail position on vaccines is whatever sells newspapers – and if those positions are completely self-contradictory, or might cause a bit more cancer in the readership, then who cares, as long as the advertisers are happy?

In many ways, this is worse than being anti-vaccine. Anti-vaccinationists may be cranks, but at least they ultimately care about the people affected. The revelation that the Mail is pushing two contradictory positions on a major public health issue on either side of the Irish Sea, proves once and for all that they don’t give a crap about the impact such stories may have on their readers. It’s a whole new level of sick. It’s crossing the line where misguided becomes truly evil.”

As Ben Goldacre, author of ‘Bad Science’ put it, “looks like the reasoning is to attack any government healthcare decision by pretending it’s dangerous.”

Thanks again, unaccountable press!

(Props to all on Twitter who helped with this post.)

6 comments

  1. [...] to Graham. Share This [...]


  2. [...] The two editions of the paper are running campaigns both for and against the vaccine. That’s right, in Ireland, the newspaper is very firmly for it, but in the UK, on the other hand…. you get stories such as this. via whythatsdelightful.wordpress.com [...]


  3. [...] cynical actions.  As originally pointed out by the Lay Scientist blog, and subsequently discussed by Graham Linehan on his blog (where I first heard of it), and further highlighted by Ben Goldacre [...]


  4. [...] in-check, so far the papers haven’t shown much interest.  Even less when the finger is pointing at [...]


  5. [...] pattern of seriously flawed coverage. The Daily Mail’s treatment of the HPV vaccine is a particularly notorious example, best illustrated by a sample of stories I collected from their British edition back in [...]


  6. [...] on this issue. Ever-principled, the Mail got itself into a twist some years back by simultaneously campaigning both for and against the provision of HPV vaccination to young girls. [...]



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