Yesterday's New York Times featured a piece entitled "Experts Revive Debate over Cellphones and Cancer" which illustrates that all it takes to overturn inscrutable science conducted over hundreds of entirely conclusive studies is a Larry King appearance by three surgeons with PR agents.
The article clearly states the unwavering conclusion of the science community: "Cellphones emit non-ionizing radiation, waves of energy that are too weak to break chemical bonds or to set off the DNA damage known to cause cancer. There is no known biological mechanism to explain how non-ionizing radiation might lead to cancer."
Should be end of story. However, the theater of modern sensationalist journalism demands that baseless superstition be granted airtime sufficient to provoke fear and needless confusion.
The story continues, "But researchers who have raised concerns say that just because science can’t explain the mechanism doesn’t mean one doesn’t exist."
Try swapping out "the mechanism" and replacing it with "Santa Claus" to see the wondrous immaturity of this logic. I feel like I am on an elementary school bus.
In An Inconvenient Truth, Gore pointed out this ceaseless and deceiving proclivity of newspapers to cover thoroughly debunked myth in the pandering charade of balance and fairness. He cited researchers who randomly sampled 928 peer-reviewed articles dealing with climate change and found that exactly zero percent were in doubt as to the causes of global warming. Yet, reviewing a random sample of 636 climate articles appearing in the popular press during essentially the same time period, the study found a staggering 53% expressed concrete doubt as to the cause of global warming.
This continuing practice is reprehensible and its ubiquity among otherwise revered media outlets is disheartening. The NYT unceremoniously flushes countless public and private studies that have invariably demonstrated the lack of causal linkage between phones and cancer all because some junior producer at Larry King decides to prey upon America's obsessive morbidity and technological paranoia by clumsily stuffing wireless fear-mongering queries into a "Tell us in eight commercial breaks worth of insensitive and exploitative detail how Ted Kennedy is dying" segment.
Big thanks to the NYT for perpetuating our national epidemic of stupidity, apprehensive delusion, and steadfast denial of the scientific method.
As if I needed one more reason to only read blogs.