Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Amy Winehouse: The gap between the headline and the quote

You'll see a lot of sites doing this right now, so I'm not singling out ABC News, but...

Is the headline right?

What does the story say?
The family revealed the results of a toxicology test in a statement released today.

"Toxicology results returned to the Winehouse family by authorities have confirmed that there were no illegal substances in Amy's system at the time of her death," the statement read. "Results indicate that alcohol was present but it cannot be determined as yet if it played a role in her death."
There's an important difference between "no illegal substances" and "no drugs". (It might not be a significant difference in terms of what happened to Amy Winehouse, but it's an important detail when referencing a carefully-worded public statement.)