Tag Archives: Daily Mail

Drink Sensibly, Especially If You Are Young And Female

From The Daily Mail

Drinking may be to blame for one in four cases of dementia, doctors have warned.

And women are particularly at risk because they are more susceptible to alcohol’s brainwasting effects, a study found.

The devastating effects of heavy drinking on the brain are too often overlooked but should be given the same priority as lifethreatening liver disease, the researchers said.

Polar Bears and Journalistic Fantasies

Has the London-based Daily Mail just pulled a deceiving article?

Click here for more details of how the chance spotting of 9 swimming polar bears two weeks ago has been used to inspire a pretty-much baseless news story of drowning bears last Saturday. And how that article, after worrying lots of people in many countries, cannot be found any longer on the original newspaper’s website…

Polar Bears: Has the Daily Mail Just Pulled a Deceiving Article?

In my “Maurizio Morabito” blog in Italian, I have been following for the last few days the developing story of drowning polar bears, lost at sea after “the ice float they lived on melted”.

The story (“The heartbreaking picture of the polar bears with 400 miles to swim to the nearest ice “) (UPDATED LINK) originated in the pages of the Daily Mail, likely on Saturday Aug 30, and was immediately distributed in Italy by daily La Repubblica.

Trouble is, that story is, shall I dare say this, “not true”. And tonight, it looks like it has been pulled off the Daily Mail website altogether. (UPDATE: it survives of course in hundreds more)

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Actually, the story is based on something that has happened, and was reported by the WWF on Aug 22: nine polar bears have been spotted (by chance) swimming near Alaska. One of them was at least 60 miles from land.

But the Daily Mail article, by a Barry Wigmore, “embellished” the original story with so many incorrect details, the end result was abysmally not-true and deceiving.

A couple of days ago the WWF published some clarifying statements. From those it would be easy to spot where Wigmore’s article basically made things up. But as I said, the Daily Mail website has “lost” the page.

Here it is, saved from another website:

So which bits were patently baseless?

  1. 400 miles to swim to the nearest ice” (wrong: the WWF confirms nobody knows where the bears are, and when spotted, none of them was more than 60 miles away from the nearest land or ice)
  2. Struggling against the waves” (wrong: the bear in the picture is simply looking back to the helicopter where the pictures are being taken from, and whose rotors are causing the waves)
  3. polar bear faces almost certain death” (wrong: the WWF makes the point that polar bears are strong animals, and “a polar bear in the water, even one far from land or ice, is not always a polar bear that needs saving”
  4. becoming lost at sea” (made-up: there is no way to know if the bears were or were not just doing what polar bears have done innumerable times in the past)
  5. the creatures’ homing instinct has sent them north” (made-up: the WWF reports nothing on the direction the bears have been heading. Actually, there is no practical way to find any of them)
  6. the World Wide Fund for Nature, said it was considering asking the U.S. government to send a ship” (made-up: the WWF press releases say nothing of the sort)

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Last night I did send a comment to the Daily Mail urging the article’s author to check his facts.

Anyway: now that the story is not there any longer, conscious that it will linger on for years on many websites, thinking about how many people are needlessly worried by this story sexied-up to the point of not being true any longer, one can only reflect sadly at the sorry status of English and Italian journalism, trying to pass a fiction piece as a real story and/or gobbling it up without bothering to check the original sources.

Finally, since I criticized them in the past, I want to add that I appreciate the fact that the BBC News web site has not fallen for Wigmore’s drowning polar bear fantasy.

Orsi Polari Alla Deriva, Prossimi All’Affogamento?

Orsi polari alla deriva, prossimi all’affogamento, dopo che l’iceberg su cui vivevano si e’ sciolto? Il WWF e la guardia costiera USA all’inseguimento dei plantigradi, prima che scompaiano fra i flutti?

Ma neanche per sogno!

Direi che con oggi possiamo affermare con certezza che quella del Daily Mail di sabato, ripresa da Repubblica, era una notizia si’, ma di fantascienza.

Il WWF, che dovrebbe essere impegnato a seguire questi poveri orsi alla deriva prossimi all’affogamento, non dice una parola dal 21 agosto, se non vado errato. 

Gli orsi a nuoto quindi ci sono, ma della loro sorte non e’ dato sapere. Immagino infatti che se qualcuno sapesse dove sono e cosa fanno, quegli orsi, e se davvero stessero annaspando prossimi alla morte, saremmo tempestati ormai di foto e video di ogni tipo.

Chissa’ se e’ troppo chiedere una rettifica, per tutti i lettori genuinamente dispiaciuti e preoccupati?

There Is More Than One Pope

Listening to the Pope has become like looking at a piece of art. Everybody stares at the same thing, but few will agree on what they are actually seeing…

Who will ever believe that the news articles reported below are meant to be about the same person giving the same speech? 

(1) From Italian newspaper “La Repubblica”
The Pope on the environment, nuclear bombs and the Family in defence of peace and the poorest Countries” (Dec 11)

The Pope asks the international community to assume its responsibilities and to not postpone its decisions in matter of environmental protection of the atmosphere. That must be done, he reminds, “with precaution”, a collective engagement and “without ideological accelerations towards hastened conclusions”. It must be done – he adds – within a “dialogue” and not with “unilateral decisions”.

(2) From UK newspaper “Daily Mail”
The Pope condemns the climate change prophets” (Dec 11)

[The Pope said] “it is important for assessments in this regard to be carried out prudently, in dialogue with experts and people of wisdom, uninhibited by ideological pressure to draw hasty conclusions, and above all with the aim of reaching agreement on a model of sustainable development capable of ensuring the well-being of all while respecting environmental balances. […]
“Prudence does not mean failing to accept responsibilities and postponing decisions; it means being committed to making joint decisions after pondering responsibly the road to be taken.”

(3) From Reuters South Africa
Pope urges prudence in environmental decisions” (Dec 11)

(4) From AFP
Environmental policies must respect needs of the poor: pope” (Dec 12)

(5) From UK newspaper “The Guardian
(nothing at all. Must be busy trying to figure out their own spin)

(6) From UK newspaper “The Independent
(nothing at all. Must be busy trying to figure out their own spin) 

(7) From “Pink News” (yes you guessed it…)
Pope’s message – gay weddings threaten peace” (Dec 11)