You think trend pieces in American newspapers are shabby? Try Britain's The Daily Mail — they specialize in scaring gullible suburban parents with stories like today's ridiculous and disingenuous 'expose' on drinking vodka through your eyes.
What the Mail have done is find one woman who damaged her eye while pouring vodka in it as a student stunt and convinced their readers that this is a sweeping trend and that Something Must Be Done To Stop These Kids and Their Wild Vodka Ways. They then get a lot of experts to opine on what a bad idea vodka eyeballing is, to fill out the story. And those experts are doubtless right that it is dumb as all hell to pour vodka into your open eye.
But the only evidence they have that actual people are doing this in significant numbers — and that this is actually a story — is 800 YouTube clips that come up if you search for it, and a few pop culture references. We conducted an equally rigorous journalistic examination of YouTube and found 722 clips on the topic 'punching yourself in the face'. Expect our trend piece on the latest trend sweeping Britain and America soon. It will be headlined: 'Young People Punching Themselves in the Face for Cheap Thrills'. No, in fact: 'Your Kids Are Punching Themselves in the Face RIGHT NOW'.
It's precisely the scare idiocy that was satirized by Chris Morris here. It is sad that actual politicians running an actual country (Britain) will probably get actual calls from actual concerned constituents tomorrow on this stupid non-topic that some Daily Mail editor thought would make a nice, scary story for the dull parents of Stevenage or Bracknell (suburban English towns, FYI) to cluck over. (Just wait till they hear about butt chugging.)
And before American readers get comfortable — as soon as it's been raised by a Member of Parliament in London, it gets the seal of authenticity. So the topic can easily travel over here, with its origins in the mind of a bored journalist in England forgotten. And thus a scare is born.