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Submission + - Science Journalism Blows IT, Dolphin Rape Edition (

F69631 writes: The story about dolphin gang-rapes and bisexuality is spreading like wildfire in mainstream media. The actual story is explained by Steven Hamblin in Science Journalism Blows It, Dolphin Rape Edition and Rob Brooks in Dolphin Sexual Politics Get The Tabloid Treatment.

The articles themselves are weird mixes of sensationalist headline with a regurgitated paraphrasing of the much better Discovery News piece that they are treating as the primary source. Here’s the problem, though: it’s Discovery News that makes the original mistake about ‘bisexual philopatry’, interpreting it as bisexual behaviour (hot male dolphin-on-dolphin action, as it were). A reporter who had read the original source could have corrected that mistake fairly easily, or could even have been driven to ask further questions. Without that, however, the press cycle grinds mercilessly forward to Flipper the bisexual rapist.

"I've seen the forgeries I've sent out." -- John F. Haugh II (jfh@rpp386.Dallas.TX.US), about forging net news articles