They distort. And they transcribe.

I’m not above gloating, but even I was surprised by how quickly I was validated with my prediction that the NYTimes front-pager on killer beef would be obscured by worse horror stories about vegetables. What was it, 48 hours before the Washington Post was trumpeting “Healthy Foods Carry Hidden Dangers”? And those include, of course, leafy greens, tomatoes, sprouts and berries. A smarter commentator than I noted that fresh oysters are actually a pretty minimal hazard for the average American, but why let reality get in the way of a good scare? The mission was accomplished: Dangle a new shiny object and watch the media grab it and amplify.