Let's take the BBC's coverage of the minimum pricing legislation debate. The headline went something like this:
"Doctors [respected] have welcomed the governments proposal to introduce minimum pricing, but industry bodies [Boo! Profiteers] have reacted angrily [ie not rationally] to the proposals saying they will hit ordinary drinkers."No one has seriously questioned the Sheffield university "report" which is basically assumptions, untested against evidence in a spreadsheet, reported with grotesque overconfidence and represents nothing more than policy-based evidence-making.
Anyone claiming to be a scientist, presenting this "data" on lives which will be saved by the policy, without pointing out the heroic assumptions (for example that heavy, problem alcoholics are MORE price sensitive, not less than the general population, something which flies in the face of evidence from other addictive drugs), is basically lying to you.
No-one questions the self-appointed experts who are basically a temperance movement dressed up in academic drag, on their evidence, which is taken at face value. The poor sap hauled up on the today program faced scrutiny of his opinions which was sorely lacking for the temperance witch on the other side of the desk. Once again, the BBC has come down in favour of MORE regulation by the state, more intrusion into the lives of ordinary people, not less. Once more supposedly skeptical journalists have have failed to question experts' assumptions with any rigour.
What are they for again?