Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Drugs: This Is Your Brain On Pink Media

Who was it who said; "You don't need to bribe journalists, most of them will do it for free"?
I'm not sure actually.
I've just Googled it and nothing came up, so I'll happily take credit for the time being.
Anyway, similarly there was no need for the UK Drug Policy Commission to make The Pink Paper media partners of their quite useless but very costly new "report", The Impact of Drugs on Different Minority Groups: A Review of the UK Literature.
If they wanted uncritical coverage and a reprinting of whatever press releases they send them, I'm sure The Pink Paper would have been happy to oblige.
Pink News did - and they're not "media partners".
Luckily some of their readers aren't so happy to be duped - I've reprinted some of their comments below this, they can be read in full here.
Blondie commented; "It seems that everyone here realised how redundant this study is which just leaves me laughing at the irony that the study was also "extremely limited and often of poor quality" [a quote from the UKDMC], not only was it useless but it is so poor its statistics are pretty much worthless, not that I can think of any use for the statistics but it would be the only reason I can think of for doing this study."
Simon asked simply; "Can someone please tell me where bears go to the toilet?"
I'd love to Simon, but I'll need a £34,000 grant from the Home Office first.


  1. Selected Pink News comments...

    "Oh come one. tell us something we don't know.
    Gays smoke more. Gays go out more. Gays are more promiscuous. Gays have a higher disposable income. Gays often have better jobs.
    None of this is new." Spanner

    "So let me get this right!
    They are basically saying that gay men are more likely to take poppers.
    'The study authors warned that much of the evidence was "extremely limited and often of poor quality" and although the most comprehensive available, "should be interpreted with caution".
    Then why the hell publish it then for christs sake.
    If the sensationalist headline form Pink News is
    'Gay men and lesbians more likely to use drugs than heterosexuals'
    imagine what the red tops headline will be based on this non survey /report. How much money was wasted on this tripe!
    Yes there are problems and they have top be addressed but on a much more serious level.
    This article quotes a statistic from 10 years ago!!
    'a 2000 study of gay men in London gyms found one in seven had used steroids in the last 12 months'.
    Get it together PINK NEWS, a total non story and you should have known better, please dont patrinise us!
    Ruth Hunt, Stonewall's head of policy should not have paid lip service to this never mind thanking the Home Office
    BLAH BLAH BLAH! WTF!" Paul Savage

    "Can someone please tell me where bears go to the toilet?" Simon

    "Other drugs commonly taken were cocaine, ecstasy, ketamine, amphetamine and methamphetamine (crystal meth)."
    Alcohol? Tobacco?
    I agree with Ian Bower, drugs are very politicised and they're illegality really doesn't take into account the risks involved. Especially given that cannabis, LSD and ecstasy among other things are less physically harmful and less addictive than both alcohol and tobacco. They should all be legalised, regulated and taxed.
    This study is a complete waste of money. Firstly poppers aren't illegal (the gay club i go to must regularly sell them) so they have no relevance to the first sentence of this article "Gay men and lesbians are markedly more likely to use illegal drugs than straight people…".
    I think most people are very well aware of the findings of this study anyway." Stuart Neyton

    "So,this 'study' reports something most of us already knew/suspected! Big whoopee-do!But,did it also report WHY we take more drugs than our hetty counterparts?!Where will this report take us?Will be targeted by the drug tsar,will we be made to wear signs round our necks identifying us further as undesirable elements in society?Will Jason in Corrie be outed as a horse-hung homo'?Cripes,tune in next week for more asinine drivel,lol!" Paul

    "there is far more recent higher quality research available (a large review paper was released in 2008) that shows that substance misuse is more prevalent (among other findings) and positions this finding within a clear directive for support for LGBT people within the social isolation/family rejection cycle… this paper seems to say nothing new that hasnt already been said better and clearer. so one does wonder the purpose?" jo

    "This story proves that the media are their own worst enemy. They will report anything to try and be controversial.
    If the news items has to include:-
    "the study authors warned that much of the evidence was "extremely limited and often of poor quality" and although the most comprehensive available, "should be interpreted with caution".
    I have to ask if it is the public interest to publish such news which is clearly considered inaccurate, report the News as fact PinkNews.co.uk, not mere hearsay. You are better than this!" Squidgy

    "This site is run by self loathing tory homophobes god knows how they got away with it for so long." dean


  2. Selected Pink News Comments continued...

    "It's not 100% clear whether the Pinknews article was simply a 'lift' from a press release they were supplied with or a badly written article. There are a few things to note. Firstly, the articles title relates to drug use and later in the article it refers to drug abuse. These are two entirely different things. People can be recreational users of some illegal drugs without it ruining their lives (apart from breaking the law) just the same as people can be recreational drinkers. Some people unfortunately abuse drugs and it wrecks their lives. Far more people have their lives wrecked by alcohol and tobacco each year than 'recreational' drugs.
    The real issue though as I see it is not a about recreational drugs its about criminalising the people who use them. If LGBT people are more likely to use recreational drugs than straights then LGBT people are more likely to be breaking the law in relation to this and thus face prosecution.
    The other badly worded element is around 'use' and 'abuse' and 'legal' and 'illegal'. While the use of anabolic steroids has it's dangers the article again makes the mistake of confusing 'use' with 'abuse'. Furthermore, possession of steroids isn't an offence as such it's the supply thats illegal. Also, the use of Viagra isn't illegal as such – supply without a prescription is an offence (like steroids).
    Ultimately, it's a badly prepared bit of research that's been badly reported. There are issues relating to drug abuse within the LGBT community – generally linked to issues of self-worth where people are intentionally placing themselves in harms-way but this is limited and should be seen for what it is and dealt with as such." owen

    Fagburn is banned from leaving comments on Pink News so left two as "Dave Reading".

    "It is a total non-story. Are Pink News capable of questioning any press release they are sent? How much did this "report" cost?"

    "This pathetic "study" cost £34,000!!!
    Is Pink News incapable of asking where the money went, or what, if any, use the study is?"