This is a made-up story of course. I was using it as a metaphor for how ridiculous I think some news reports are. A great example of this fear reporting... 3 drinks daily increase risk for breast cancer . I recently saw this report on the news and then looked it up of the Internet. Now, the report says that if a woman is to drink 3 alcohol drinks daily, she increases her risk of breast cancer by 30% or as much as smoking a pack of cigarettes a day. First of all, I don't know any women who drink 3 alcohol drinks a day. If they do drink three drinks a day, they probably already smoke a pack of cigarettes.
This is not the point though. The report did its job. Now everyone equates drinking 3 drinks daily with smoking a pack of cigarettes a day. People go to work the next day like they are intelligent and start barking statistics out that they heard on the news. Now everyone thinks that drinking a few drinks every day is as harmful as smoking a pack of cigarettes a day. The report told you what they wanted to tell you and didn't mention all of the other harmful effects of smoking. The news focuses on the shock value of the report and wants you to watch their station.
This is where editing needs to come into play. As a society, we need to listen, learn, and then decide what is a true and valid study. These statistics may be true, but we as a society need to learn how to question a study and not give so much credit to the reports.