People can live 1,000 years…and other sensational science news on NBC, MSNBC

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“Scientists say they’re close to unlocking the secrets of immortality,” blares the NBC online headline.  “There’s nothing that would stop people from living thousands of years,” is the subhead.

The Today Show piece, upon which the web story is based, spins a fascinating, futuristic, but not evidence-based yarn. Sprinkled in with legitimate research news about telomeres were graphics reading “Fountain of Youth.”

But at the end, back in the studio, even anchor Matt Lauer asked the reporter, “What’s your definition of soon?  Is this going to help me?”

The reporter responded:  “20 years?  10 years?”

Wow.  Morning show science news at its best.

Meantime, also on the NBC or MSNBC website is a story, “Get your shot! Swine flu may cause baldness.”  It begins:

“Here’s a reason to get your flu shot that you probably haven’t considered: infection with swine flu may trigger baldness.

A new report from Japan suggests a link between alopecia areata,  a condition in which patches of hairfall out, and swine flu. The researchers report that seven patients experienced hair loss one to four months after developing the illness.”

So that kind of headline is prompted by a case series of 7 people?

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Nancy's Point

December 14, 2011 at 2:12 pm

Ridiculous isn’t it? This is precisely why I stopped watching the morning news shows. Too often they seem more interested in ratings and entertaining than in delivering fact-based news stories. Give me reality any day and I don’t mean “reality” TV shows!