On Aug. 3, 2005, Newsweek enraged Jack Shafer with its scaremongering cover story about the "meth epidemic." "The leading indicator that a national trend has peaked and has begun its downward trajectory is often its appearance on the cover of one of the newsweeklies," he wrote. The very next day, he used Nexis to attempt to calculate where, precisely, the elusive "meth capital of the world" is located. In two columns published the next week, he debunked the myth of "meth mouth" and questioned why the reporting driving these drug-based moral panics is always awful. Less than two weeks later, he outlined what lessons the drug press corps should have taken away from the panic over crack, which peaked in the late '80s: "The parallels between the crack coverage—in which authorities described it as a 'plague' and an 'epidemic'—and reporting on methamphetamine are so striking you could swap the word 'meth' for 'crack' on scores of pages of this book and not skip a beat." After taking a three-month hiatus from the meth beat, he returned in November to further berate his colleagues for their unrelenting flow of stories peddling the myth of meth mouth. "Although no scientific study links any chemical found in street methamphetamine with tooth decay, dentists, dental technicians, editorialists, and well-meaning citizens continue to offer their awesome stupidity to the press, and the press publishes it as fact," he wrote. Ten days later, he tacked on further examples of this fear-mongering to the end of another column. In January 2006, he chided the National Association of Counties for its unscientific "survey" on meth-related emergency-room visits. Earlier, he accused the government and press of being addicted to drug propaganda. And recently he went off again about "meth mouth." Last month he wrote admiringly of a meth study by the Sentencing Project.