Last week a small group of scientists and journalists signed a secret pact to do a bad, bad, really bad thing to science, journalism, and everyone that depends on either of those things, which is to say everybody, including you. The authors of a small, weak study of genetically modified crops managed to warp media coverage of their small, weak study by letting journalists read versions of the study before publication (and a big press conference) only if the journalists agreed not to talk to any outside scientists before the embargo date.
As Carl Zimmer points out at The Loom:
the strategy was clear: prevent science writers from getting informed outside opinions, so that you can bask in the badly-reported media spotlight. Sure, the real story may emerge later, but if you get that first burst of attention, you can lock in people’s first impressions.… The French scientists got the attention of the French government, and thus reinforcing opposition to genetically modified foods, although the study itself fails to make that case. Mission accomplished.