Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Bursting Bubbles and Silencing Quacks

As usual, I listened to BBC Radio 4 this morning. They got the balance all wrong. Because some things just don't.

First they reported on the credit crunch. And to unbalance the news from journalists who talk of more difficulty borrowing, potential house price falls, impending recessions, etc. what they had was an estate agent! Obviously he talked about the need to always keep talking up prices; to maintain confidence in the market, not for his own job of course. So let's ignore the evidence and the underlying economic factors, instead let's just keep talking up prices so then we can all have a pretty mansion with a big garden full of dutch tulips. Yes journalists can be too sensationalist, but it was just ridiculous to expect a sensible comment from an estate agent here.

Then, even worse, the programme reported on an independent study from the Cochrane Foundation that amalgamated the results of various antioxidant supplements and found that, unsurprisingly, they don't do much good compared to a normal balanced diet. But to unbalance these facts they also alllowed equal time to well-known quack Patrick Holford. Patrick Holford sells pills. Please BBC, the balance to objective research is better objective research, not the prejudiced rambling of a discredited supplement salesman.

Incidentally, a salesman I know left his job today.

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