I’ve been seeing a proliferation of stories recently about ordinary people coming up with all kinds of different ideas for how to cap BP’s oil gusher in the Gulf of Mexico.
These stories are really puzzling to me, because obviously news organizations are in no way qualified to judge the engineering and scientific merits of any one idea. And yet, they often report on various cute, serious, funny, ‘ingenious’ proposals without any scientific vetting. Often, there’s not even a scientist or engineer interviewed as to the merits of any one particular idea.
This seems irresponsible. Would we report on cancer treatment the same way, for example? I don’t think so. I certainly hope not.
For the people affected by this spill, it’s a very serious story – and should be treated with the utmost respect and airtight scrutiny. Cute stories such as this one on Fox News have no place in this context. They’re akin to giving cancer patients false hope by reporting on cancer treatment ‘breakthroughs.’ It’s irresponsible.