Media Stupidity in Physics and Politics

ABC, NBC, and NPR all laughably noted that the world survived CERN’s turning on the Large Hadron Collider, disproving

ABC and NBC this evening, and NPR this morning, all reported that CERN’s Large Hadron Collider had been turned on and the world survived. This would be a cute story commenting on some Luddite fears of science, except for one fact — that while CERN has now sent beams around the LHC ring in both directions, it has not yet done so at the same time. No particle collisions, no possibility of the micro black holes that spawned the concern. The first high-energy collision isn’t planned until late October.

In politics, the nets all addressed the McCain campaign’s absolutely dishonest attack on Obama’s lipstick on a pig comment, but they (and Dan Balz on his Post Blog) did so in a way that managed to imply that the Obama campaign was at least partly to blame.