Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Daily Mail

When it comes to reporting on health matters the Daily Mail, which I am not going to link to, really is one of the most reprehensible publications on the market. Not a day goes by without them waxing lyrical about the wonderful benefits of quackery, old and new, while their approach to mainstream medical practice is nothing short of outrageous opportunism. In the pursuit of a bit of sensationalism there are no depths of distortion, exaggeration, misrepresentation and plain mendacity to which they will not sink.

This article is a good illustration, in which the actual results of some research are distorted to suggest something entirely unsupportable. The research shows that there seems to be a small fall in motility of sperm in vitro when placed in proximity to a laptop, and that is where the researchers end. They make no further conclusion. The Mail however tries to give the impression that sitting for long periods of time with a laptop near your crutch is going to reduce your chance of fathering children.

It would be tempting to think that anyone who pays good money for this crap and chooses to read it must be verging on brain dead, but if you read the comments it is clear that some readers at least are fully aware of just how reliable as a source of health information the Mail actually is. One in particular makes the point that, far from laptops damaging sperm, it is usually the other way round.

1 comment:

  1. "...sitting for long periods of time with a laptop near your crutch..."

    For the longest moment I was wondering why having a bad leg and a laptop would reduce fertility...

    And ahh yes, I remember in the Hammersmith we all used to read the DM headlines as we walked into work and laugh about it later in theatre. At least it was good entertainment...