And as far as I know, no other news outlet in the world got this point wrong except the BBC — not even the tabloids.
People often accuse the BBC of agenda-driven falsification of stories. Perhaps that’s sometimes true, I don’t know. But in the cases of science mis-reporting that I’m familiar with — and there are many of them — the problem seems to be that the reporters and editors concerned are arrogant, lazy, and not very smart.
Perhaps the BBC News stories in question are turned out by low-level employees who are given only a few minutes to re-write each press release, and are strictly prohibited from doing any independent research, even as much as might be accomplished in a half an hour of web research, or a brief interview with an expert. If so, then all the blame belongs to the managers who have thus condemned their writers to produce drivel. —Mark Liberman —They Just Don’t Care (Language Log)