Tuesday, 9 November 2010

The Express and statins

Today's Express has yet another 'miracle cure' headline on its front page:

Statins have been around for years so it's not clear what is 'new' about them.

And to call them a 'wonder drug' may surprise Express readers who remember this front page from 21 May:

A wonder drug that can be a risk to health? Apparently so.

Indeed, the Express' coverage of statins has fluctuated between those two extremes for several years.

They're good:

Then, maybe, they're not:

A week later they're good again:

But still, maybe you should learn:

Just in case:

But the next day:

Which is good news, until:


And the 'agonising side-effects' mentioned here:

But soon after that, news that even healthy people may get prescribed statins:



They can cause 'cataracts, liver damage and kidney failure'?

But they're not that much of a 'health risk' because:

And then the reassuring news that:

Whoever said they did? They may also give:

And last month, the Express claimed, statins were partly responsible for:

It may seem all very confusing that one newspaper can go from 'health scares' to 'miracle cures' about the same drug so often (they also do it with aspirin).

Good job the Express has a handy guide:

Yes, it is 'impossible to know what to believe.'

Yes, conflicting advice can cause 'confusion' and 'make it difficult to judge what's safe and what isn't.'

The Express' coverage doesn't make it any easier.


  1. I'm amazed they went for Statins as the main headline over the "Gypsy benefit swindle" story.

  2. But you know why they do it - not enough hacks left after all the cuts to produce enough copy to fill even the Express.

    So the "Plan B" is to engage in what Private Eye would call Phil Space journalism. The only mystery is why anyone would pay money to read it.

  3. Have to agree with Simon J saw the Roma story last night and instantly thought that is the headline for the Express....but then I realised the Express isn't a NEWSpaper it just trots these stories out in any random order. Expect the "news" of Roma gangs swindling the "hard-workign British tax payer" tomorrow, the day after, next week etc.

  4. To Simon and Anonymous - The Express have put that case as the front page lead before (a few months ago).

  5. Wow, this is a great post! The amount of flip-flopping by the Express is almost unbelievable...

  6. No surprise on that MacGuffin. But will not be surprised to see it rehashed and reheated sometime soon. Fits the agenda perfectly ...too perfectly.

  7. I don't see why the simple fact that the same story's been on the front page before should stop them. God knows, they couldn't keep Maddy Mccan away.

  8. I'm rather upset by this set of events. Not knowing whether the Express approves or disapproves more of Statins would make it harder for me to do the opposite if faced with the choice...

  9. No suprises over the flip-flopping Express.

    Health isn't the only area either.

    Go to any book shop and pick up a copy of Richard Dawkins "God Delusion", turn it over and you'll see a quote from the Express saying it's a wonderful book, or words that strongly suggest the reviewer very much enjoyed it!*

    Yet hardly a day will go by where the Express isn't trying to promote Christianity, mock those who aren't religious or live a non-biblical lifestyle! The Pope's recent vist is clear evidence of that!

    *On a side note, while in said bookshop I was very tempted today to pick up a few Richard Littlejohn books and place them under Fiction. I also though about the history section filled with books about the 3rd Reich, he does hold more or less the same views! The staff looked too busy to notice a few books being relocated and I doubt the other customers would have complained! At least he wasn't in Comedy though, but tucked in a far corner of politics.

  10. Maybe its because I'm sleep deprived but I read that first headline as "STALIN IS NEW WONDER DRUG". which would be kind of an amazing about-turn for the Express. If I ever become rich I will go out of my way to be slandered by this paper so I can hire the world's greatest lawyers, sue them and refuse to settle for less than a million billion pounds and full ownership of all of Desmond's pornography channels unless they run a full week of headlines like that. Then a following week of headlines about why we don't have enough immigrants really.

  11. I'm increasingly convinced the Express have taken on the mantle of continuing the Ontological Oncology Project started by their rival, the Daily Mail. For those not aware of it, for a number of years the Mail appeared to have regular headlines attempting to classify almost every inanimate object as either causing cancer or curing it.


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