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Tuesday 23 August 2011

Jumping To The Wrong Conclusion

Sometimes the press is so wound up in its desire to characterise those it writes about that the headline gets written beforehand. It happened in the case of the sad recent death of singer Amy Winehouse.

For the Daily Mail, the agenda of the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre dictated that illegal drugs had to be the cause, so the headline was written – “Amy Winehouse, 27, found dead at her London flat after suspected ‘drug overdose’” – and all those who take their cue from the Mail duly followed.

But note that ‘drug overdose’ was put in quotes, just in case, with this being attributed to “sources”. Only much further down the piece do we get a Met Police spokesman warning “it would be inappropriate to speculate on the cause of death”, which was exactly what the Mail was doing.

Now, Winehouse’s family have let it be known that there were no illegal substances present in her body at the time of her death. The Daily Mail has not thus far issued any kind of mea culpa.

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