Google News the other day linked to this Newsweek article:
The Scariest Earthquake Is Yet to Come - Newsweek
which from the headline already seemed alarmist. I got more and more incensed as each new paragraph mixed unfounded conjectures (sometimes flat-out wrong ones) with emotionally charged language, seemingly aimed at inciting panic in the reader. For instance in the second paragraph: "all geological events are sudden, and all are unexpected if not necessarily entirely unanticipated."
His conclusion: because "there is little doubt" that quakes tend to occur in clusters, the US west coast should be very nervous due to the recent quakes around the Pacific rim. No references are cited for any of his assertions.
I ranted about the article to some friends and then calmed down. Until today, when another alarmist headline on google caught my eye:
Japan's quake: Why California is next - The Week
It's just a summary of the Newsweek article! What a great example of how bad journalism begets more bad journalism.
It's not clear to me whether the original article was meant to be an opinion piece, but that hardly clears the author from spouting unsupported conjectures on topics aimed to panic people. I'm so annoyed at how common this has become.
Ok, rant over.