Mothballs: Not just for eating anymore

Give certain people a substance — any substance — and they’ll try to use it to get intoxicated. And when someone gets high — anyone — some people will try to make a mountain out of a mothball, er, mole hill. So it comes no surprise to read Jack Shafer’s piece in “Slate” in which he rips yet another media hysteria that comes from virtually nothing.

Shafer, in his ‘Stupid story of the week,’ writes about media overkill derived from stories about two teens huffing mothballs. Yes, two, as in one-two, dos, II. This journalistic hand-wringing stems from a medical study which indicated only three previous cases of mothball intoxication have ever been reported. Call out the DEA!

The media can indeed have some stupid stories at times. Of course, I would bet a huge majority of those stories comes from a desperate and somewhat dim-witted editor somewhere who is desperate for something to feed the beast. Remember this from editor school 101: Never let reality and good sense damper a sensational story.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *