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‘Man Killed by Cannabis’ Story on DailyMail Website Wins Orwellian Prize

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The article in the DailyMail states that a man died after suffering heart problems as a result of a decade-long addiction to cannabis, an inquest heard.

“John O’Brien, 53, from Salford, began smoking cannabis to cope with life-changing brain injuries sustained in a car crash.

But over a ten-year period, the Class B drug took its toll on his body and caused his heart to stop working.

A coroner at Bolton Coroner’s Court ruled in December 2014 that Mr O’Brien died from cannabis cardiotoxicity, a little known condition in which smoking cannabis triggers heart problems.”

But here’s where the article goes awry on many points.

“…. he was trying to get off it and was on a cannabis substitute.” (he smoked for 10 years prior to using a ‘cannabis substitute”, whatever that was, which wasn’t reported by the coroner.)

“…. coroner ruled that Mr O’Brien died as a result of heart problems.” (see next quote)

“…. a massive drop in blood pressure that proved deadly.” (so he had heart problems that were apparently preexisting, but then the article states that it was a drop in blood pressure that proved deadly). Which is it? Seems the article’s author can’t make up his mind.

“…. it is thought the cannabis cardiotoxicity starved his brain of blood, leading to his death.” (it is thought? By whom? The article’s author, who is clearly bias in his ‘report’?

If you do a google search about “DailyMail cannabis marijuana biased”, the website that reported this, it comes back with a sleuth of critical articles on cannabis. http://bit.ly/1EJbsDW

Then to add a cherry on top of this already delightful nugget of journalistic quackery, reported by Newsmangled, “Daily Mail wins Orwellian Prize for Journalistic Misrepresentation for ‘cannabis’ story”, for yet another non-factual story they published online.

Of all the awards up for grabs, there’s one piece of hardware that no self-respecting journalist would covet. Established in 2010 by University of Oxford professor Dorothy Bishop, the Orwellian Prize is awarded to “an article in an English-language national newspaper that has the most inaccurate report of a piece of academic work.” Its full title is the Orwellian Prize for Journalistic Misrepresentation.

Hearty congratulations to British tabloid the Daily Mail. Its winning work completely ignored the actual findings of a research paper in order to concoct a false, sensationalized story about marijuana and schizophrenia.

For example, the story’s headline was, “Just ONE cannabis joint ‘can bring on schizophrenia’ as well as damaging memory.”

“Suffice it to say, the academic paper is not about cannabis, smoking or schizophrenia,”.

Along with the impressive point total that was the prize, Bishop said this year’s winner is especially deserving because “this is about using a scientific paper as a prop in the Daily Mail’s anti-cannabis campaign . . . When reporting research, no respect is given to the truth: scientists are simply used to bolster a preconceived opinion, and if they don’t do that, their findings are distorted.”

For an effort that went above and beyond the facts, the Orwellian Prize was given to Daily Mail editor-in-chief Paul Dacre. While no money is involved, Bishop created a mockup of a certificate as seen below.

Daily Mail editor-in-chief Paul Dacre

It’s always nice to put a face to journalism and who’s behind the scene weaving the web of lies and deceit, especially when they win such an award as the Orwellian Prize. Perhaps exposing these masters of propaganda will put their newspaper rightfully where they belong – in the trash can.

Leave us your thoughts in the comments below. We welcome your input!

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Steven Peters

Owner & Publisher at Natural Revolution
Steven Peters has been a health advocate for more than a decade and proponent for alternative healing by ‘Empowering Natural Living’ through homeopathic approaches. He is also an activist for social justice and environmental causes in the GMO Labeling and Non-GMO grassroots movements across the country, and a staunch advocate for cannabis education and reform.

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