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Tuesday, February 19, 2008 

Scum-watch: Any evidence will do.

One of the rules of production Nick Davies outlines in Flat Earth News is to go with the moral panic. The Sun isn't just going with the moral panic with teenage binge drinking, it's determined to lead it. Here's today's leader on the subject:

BRITAIN is in the grip of an underage booze culture.

Teenagers have cash to spend like never before.

And they’re blowing it on frightening quantities of alcohol — against the law.

The Sun’s expose of a typical night out in two major cities is a disturbing read.

Let's take a look at the Scum's "disturbing read" then. In Leeds the first call-out is to a 40-year-old woman suffering a fit after drinking; the second is to a 19-year-old where her friends fear her drink has been spiked; the third is to a 16-year-old having a fit after drinking, but the call is cancelled before they get there; the fourth is to a 17-year-old, who's been drinking, but has got into difficulties because of the differences of temperature in the club he was in and then the cold after he left; and the last is to a pregnant 22-year-old, who promptly vomits in the back of the ambulance.

In London, they only make one call, and that's to a man in his 30s who's tripped and hurt himself after drinking 5 pints.

As I'm sure you'll agree, the evidence that teenage binge drinking is out of control is truly overwhelming.

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1 ambulance crew gets called out once an hour in a city the size of leeds. And only 2 of those were underage.

Yes, the scale of the problem is truly mind blowing.

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