Yesterday we did a post on a breaking story about popcorn lung. It’s not just workers. Consumers are also at risk, although how much risk is hard to say. Casual consumption of microwave popcorn using the artificial butter flavoring diacetyl is probably not very risky, but day in and day out consumption may be. You can read about one such consumer in this story in the New York Times. What you won’t read about in the Times is that the story was broken by a blogger, our colleague Dr. David Michaels over at The Pump Handle. As a result of Michaels’ blog post the story was picked up by major media outlets, including the AP, which credited him as the source, as did the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. So what’s up with the Times?
As a blogger I was personally miffed that a fellow blogger (not to mention friend and colleague) didn’t get credit for it, especially as he has consistently highlighted the public health aspects of this problem and helped push it into its current visibility (in fact is responsible for the current story). He has been reporting on this since the outset. So I emailed him to find out why not. He told me the reporter used him as a source and mentioned him in the story but the mention of the blog and the blogger were cut out of the story by an editor at The Times.
So when the conventional print media complains that bloggers don’t do “real” reporting and parasitize off of “real” reporters, just remember how they make sure this is true. Bloggers, on the other hand, including this one, usually cite our sources and even link to them so you can check what we say isn’t out of context. Apparently that is just blogger ethics, though, not the ethics of “real” journalists like the editors at The New York Times.
You know which ones. The ones who helped bring us the War in Iraq.