Jack Shafer pokes holes in a recent Washington Post piece about “‘scary drug’” PCP “mak[ing] a comeback,” concluding:

The press corps gives into their readers’ worst fears when reporting about drugs, embracing the most sensational or dramatic aspects of the story. And worst of all, the press routinely fails to cross-check information provided by law-enforcement sources. When reporting about PCP, Klansmen, child molesters, and terrorists, most reporters would just rather not challenge anybody’s preconceptions.

Shafer’s list of Topics About Which Reporters Prefer To Confirm Readers’ Worst Fears Rather Than Challenge Preconceptions seems a good start. What can we add?

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Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.