Bad Astronomy on Bad Mars Reporting (Or Just Bad Mars Headlines)?

Over at Bad Astronomy, Phil Plait reveals some of the astonishingly bad coverage last week about methane on Mars, giving people the impression that we’ve got proof-positive of life on the Red Planet. But I think Carol Collins Petersen raises an important point: it’s the headlines that were truly noxious. If you stripped the headlines off of the articles Phil lambastes, they’d range from acceptable to mediocre. At least, that’s my non-scientific analysis. Unfortunately, headline writers are harder to track down than reporters (who don’t write headlines and rarely get to vet them).