When news, advertising and new media clash

At StreetAnatomy.com, see what happens when “smart systems” search for relevant terms in news stories so that related ads can be placed on that web page. It’s not always a good idea.


NBC still hyping restless leg syndrome

NBC apparently doesn’t understand the concept of disease-mongering. Or else they don’t care. Because they keep practicing the same flawed reporting on restless leg syndrome. See my entry on The World Health Care Blog. And for anyone with legitimate restless leg syndrome, please read the entire column before writing to me. I’m not questioning your […]


Michael Moore blitzes Wolf on CNN

Michael Moore came out swinging in “The Situation Roomâ€? with Wolf Blitzer on CNN last evening. First, CNN replayed a several-days old report by Sanjay Gupta that concluded that Moore “fudged the factsâ€? in his “Sickoâ€? documentary on the U.S. health care system. Then Blitzer led off with an insipid, insulting introduction of Moore: “Give […]

2 6/18/2007

No cure for Reader's Digest hype

The cover of the July Reader’s Digest refers to back pain “cures”? The inside headline refers to seven “breakthroughs”? C’mon Reader’s Digest: stop the hype. Here are the seven: 1. A neurostimulator for which RD provides not one shred of evidence – only anecdote. 2. An infrared belt which the inventor “is trying to get […]


Mirror Award goes to HealthNewsReview.org

Just back from New York, where one of the inaugural Mirror Awards honoring excellence in media industry reporting was given to HealthNewsReview.org. The other awards went to: Clive Thompson, New York Magazine Philip Weiss, New York Magazine David Carr, The New York Times Andreas Kluth, The Economist American Journalism Review Dean Miller, Nieman Reports Lifetime […]


HealthNewsReview.org honored again

One of my day jobs – as publisher of HealthNewsReview.org – has been rewarding and the work has also been awarded – again. The site has been named a finalist in the first-ever Mirror Awards honoring excellence in media industry reporting. There are 22 other finalists, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, National […]


No surprise: Americans confused about cancer

A study in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention reports widespread confusion in America about cancer and cancer prevention. Nearly half of respondents (47.1%) agreed that “It seems like almost everything causes cancer,” 27.0% agreed that “There’s not much people can do to lower their chances of getting cancer,” and 71.5% agreed that “There […]


Unhealthy advocacy: journalists and screening tests

The Poynter Institute website has published my overview of some journalists’ apparent pro-screening bias in coverage of some screening tests. The incidents I’ve tracked involve screening for cancer (prostate, breast, lung, colon) but also for cardiovascular disease and diabetes. The piece documents more than a dozen incidents of pro-screening stories and gets perspectives from some […]


Michael Moore's "SICKO" has 'em on the edge of their seats already

Documentary producer Michael Moore’s new film, “Sicko,” will be in theaters this summer, he promises. But it’s already getting lots of publicity, some of which he’s drumming up around a Treasury Department investigation of Moore. It involves Moore’s team taking some sick Sept. 11 rescue workers to Cuba for one segment in the film. Moore’s […]


The true harms of a false positive test

The London Daily Mail reports on a man diagnosed with cancer who was told he had less than a year to live. “The 62-year-old council worker quit his job, sold his car, stopped paying his mortgage and dug into his life savings so he could treat himself and relatives to expensive restaurant meals. He even […]


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