One, Stephen Pritchard wrote yesterday, truculently,
that concern should have been in the article, but because it was absent doesn’t mean that the paper was promoting the treatment, as some have suggested (“pimping” it, as one science writer so crudely tweeted).
No, the fact that the concern was absent doesn’t mean that the paper was promoting the treatment, but all the same, the paper (via the article) was to some extent promoting the treatment. Bainbridge called it “a pioneering treatment” when it’s a trial rather than a treatment, and “pioneering” makes it sound new and potentially promising as opposed to more than 30 years old and so far not a success. Bainbridge made it sound more promising than it is. How is that not promoting the treatment?
And the paper (via the article) was soliciting donations. At the end of the article it says “HOW YOU CAN HELP,” and gives a url at which you can donate.
So it wasn’t just a human-interest story. It was also a how-you-can-help story that solicited funds, with no hint that the ultimate recipient of the funds might not be reliable – so it really was like a story about the royal family of Nigeria needing help with a transfer of funds.