Health News Review
  • Nov 10 2013

    NBC races the clock in a race to the bottom with anchormen & prostate cancer screening promotion

    It was not the peacock’s finest hour. Or even their finest 34 seconds. Last week, NBC Today show anchors Matt Lauer and Al Roker had digital rectal exams (out of view, behind closed doors) on live TV.  Lauer and the network announced that “The live event is part of No-Shave November, TODAY’s initiative to raise [...]

  • May 14 2013

    When news like Angelina Jolie’s occurs, I learn from other breast cancer experts

    Women with breast cancer who are active on social media make a vital contribution to our public dialogue. So, when I read Angelina Jolie’s New York Times opinion piece, “My Medical Choice,” about her decision to have bilateral prophylactic mastectomy after breast cancer gene testing, I turned to some of the women I follow through [...]

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  • Apr 30 2013

    The allure of “Michelle Obama Arms” – Lifting the hype bar on upper arm lift surgery

    Fact:  the US spends a far greater percentage of the Gross Domestic Product on health care than any other country on earth. Suggestion:  trends like the following, and news stories about these trends, may be a big reason why. Caution: You need to sit through a 15-second commercial before seeing the news video, which, itself [...]

  • Dec 31 2012

    Troublesome ethical issues in TV news personality targeting high school sports for cancer fundraising

    The Star Tribune is going to take a lot of criticism for its story about a local TV news personality’s cancer foundation “targeting high school sporting events,” but I think this is important and legitimate cross-town journalism about journalism ethics. The story involves longtime Minneapolis TV personality Randy Shaver who has danced back and forth [...]

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  • Nov 19 2012

    Another CNN health news “exclusive” but why is Clinton an expert on this?

    Paul Raeburn on the Knight Science Journalism Tracker leads the charge this time in critiquing a CNN Sanjay Gupta special.  Excerpt: “Shucks, he’s gone and done it again. In a documentary entitled Deadly Dose that aired on CNN last night, Gupta breaks the news that Americans are overdosing on prescription drugs at an alarming rate, which [...]

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  • Nov 13 2012

    Move over Movember – problems with the global campaign

    Flip over the calender.  October to November.  Breast cancer awareness month morphs into Movember – the global publicity campaign subtitled “Changing the Face of Men’s Health.” The prominent publicity stunt is to have men grow facial hair to support – well, to support what exactly? The Movember website points to these “partners and programs we [...]

  • Oct 25 2012

    ABC corrects earlier story about Bill Weir’s “lifesaving” CT scan

    Call it a retraction.  Call it a correction.  Call it important to correct the record. Back in January, I led the charge in criticizing ABC’s Bill Weir for his report on Dr. David Agus’ book, “The End of Illness,” and Weir’s claim that a CT scan Agus recommended may have saved Weir’s life.  You can [...]

  • Sep 27 2012

    Two different issues about celebrity health news this week

    The BMJ has a debate of sorts this week, “Does celebrity involvement in public health campaigns deliver long-term benefit?” Since you need a subscription to read the point/counterpoint, I refer you to news stories about it, such as the one in the Los Angeles Times. Or you can find other news coverage here, including an [...]

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