Mephedrone panic: a perfect example of media hype and manipulation

I've just spotted this rather fine example of how the "MSM", in this case the Daily Telegraph, make fast and loose with the facts to get a good headline with which to stoke the prohibitionist panic:

Law student who worked as an escort girl found dead after taking miaow-miaow

A law student who led a double life as an escort was found dead in her flat – after taking a cocktail of drugs including miaow-miaow, an inquest heard.

By Laura RobertsPublished: 5:02PM BST 15 Apr 2010

Laura Main, 28, had taken the drug, which has been banned from today (Friday), following a Christmas party thrown by her escort agency in December last year.Miss Main, who was training to be a solicitor, also worked at Bunnies of London under the name of Eve and as a DJ known as Lady Asbo, Westminster Coroner's Court was told.

Now, see what they've done here – they've made great play of the fact that the poor tragic girl took Mephedrone, and so it is obviously A Good Thing that it is about to become illegal.  They do shortly after list what she had taken, but still no sign of the twist in the tale: we are still being led to believe that Mephedrone had some causal relationship to her dying:


The student, who is from Lossiemouth in Scotland, was found dead in her flat in Kensington on December 14 by a Foxton's estate agent showing a client around the property.

A post mortem found she was two and a half times over the drink driving limit and had taken meow meow as well as GHB and Valium.Coroner Paul Knapman said Miss Main had a history of depression and suicide attempts but had seemed to be improving before her death.

And then in the penultimate paragraph only – by which I suspect they hope everyone will have switched off an congratulated themselves for being so righteous in the moral panic over Mephedrone, we get the slightly inconvenient fact that the boffins say it wasn't, in fact, anything to do with the Mephedrone:

The inquest heard that although meow meow and Valium were found in her blood it was a combination of alcohol and GHB which killed Miss Main.

Ah yes, nowt to do with Mephedrone you see.  I am somewhat surprised that they didn't say the Valium must have contributed, for out of the four the Mephedrone is the only one that I suspect was not causal.  I suppose you wouldn't want to say that a much used medical pharmaceutical fell into the same guilty category as an illicit substance like GHB, but in fact since alcohol, GHB, and diazepam (Valium) are sedatives/depressants all three would compound the effects of each other to fatally compromise her heart function and kill her.  The Mephedrone, by contrast, is a Central Nervous System stimulant.

Still – at least they did mention it at last.  I hope they will do the same for all the other twenty or so people in whose deaths Mephedrone has been implicated.  I doubt it.

Media wankers.

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