The Express today carries a feelgood story about how True DynaMIX are helping Bridgend cope with the aftermath of its teenage suicides by appearing on Channel Five's Don't Stop Believing. The nature of the plug for Channel Five, recently obtained by Express owner Richard Desmond, is rather more obvious in the dead-tree version, which has the subtle-as-a-brick headline: "Channel Five show lifts spirits of town hit by teen suicides".
Which is all fair enough. Except there's something nagging away at me. Which newspaper was it that came out with a load of wildly inaccurate speculation over the cause of the teenagers' deaths while the memory was still fresh in the minds of the parents?
Ah yes. As Ben Goldacre pointed out at the time, it was just the opinion of one person, and he didn't have the data available to prove his argument. Either the Express hadn't bothered to find out whether what he was saying was true or not, or they knew it wasn't something that could be stacked up, and went ahead with it anyway. It was a scaremongering article that did nothing to get to the bottom of the matter and may have caused a lot of distress for the relatives of those who had died.
Still, at least Richard Desmond's Channel Five is trying its best to make up for the pain that Richard Desmond's Sunday Express might have caused. I guess that's something.