Health News Review
  • Sep 10 2013

    This is nuts: news coverage stating that great Dads have smaller testicles

    This is the kind of news coverage about a study that results in science and journalism about science losing credibility.  To get warmed up, check some of the headlines: Great dads have smaller testicles, study suggests – CBC Study: Choose Dads With Smaller ‘Nads – TIME Study:  You may be a terrible dad because you [...]

  • Aug 22 2013

    Selling the Cyberknife on WCCO’s CBS HealthWatch

    I’m watching local news on my local CBS affiliate, WCCO, the other night. And I wake up from the daze of crime and creampuff stories to see that there’s a story about the Cyberknife “radiosurgery” system at a local health care provider, HealthEast. I see brief clips with two satisfied patients, an interview with a [...]

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  • Aug 2 2013

    Back to school anti-vaccination woo

    We’re already seeing back-to-school shopping specials – even though it’s just the second day of August. And we’re already seeing some anti-vaccination campaigns getting in full gear as well, reflecting on regulations requiring parents to have kids’ vaccinations up to date prior to the start of school. In a piece labeled, “Doctors Debate Need for [...]

  • Jul 18 2013

    Enjoying some coffee enema hype with your morning Chicago Tribune website visit

    Normally, I wouldn’t consider as “news” something that is clearly a “Dear Pharmacist” column.  However, the Chicago Tribune website labels this as one of its “Top Stories” so if they want to call it news, we’re going to fire away, ridiculous as that labeling may be. The screenshot below shows how the story appears on [...]

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  • Jul 16 2013

    Breaking News hype: one local TV station vows not to use the term – offers 10-point contract with viewers

    I didn’t know anything about WDRB-TV in Louisville until I heard about a promo they began airing last month. An Associated Press story explains:  “(WDRB) recently began running an advertisement telling viewers that stations constantly touting “breaking news” reports are deceiving viewers with a marketing ploy. “Breaking news is seldom actually breaking,” the ad said, [...]

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  • May 16 2013

    Cloning human embryonic stem cells: “Major Medical Breakthrough”? Or “Generating Little Excitement”?

    For at least the second time in a week, we have seen polar opposite news coverage on a medical science story. Fox News reported on a paper in the journal Cell: “In a major medical breakthrough, researchers at the Oregon National Primate Research Center (ONPRC) have for the first time ever successfully converted human skin [...]

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  • May 2 2013

    Hooters, Surgery Tweeters, Media Manipulators – a marketing roundup

    Novartis and Hooters Is it a kickback to get doctors to prescribe certain drugs? Or is it truly an educational meeting for doctors – that happens to be held at places like Hooters across the country? Read the Wall Street Journal’s story from last week, “U.S. Accuses Novartis of Kickbacks.” It’s about a civil fraud [...]

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  • Apr 18 2013

    British newspaper The Independent must have confused the hell out of its readers

    I’m late on this because I was traveling when the latest events in question occurred, but Paul Raeburn on the Knight Science Journalism Tracker has a nice wrapup – “British newspaper gives disgraced vaccine critic forum to attack government for measles epidemic” – with background and links. The British paper, The Independent, published a statement [...]

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  • Mar 27 2013

    CNN calls camel milk a “cure…world’s next superfood”

    CNN took advantage of President Obama being in Jordan last week to milk a story about the wonders of camel milk for all they could get out of it.   The CNN reporter said: “It’s something we’ve been passionate about on this program for a long, long time. … Some people say camel’s milk is [...]

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  • Jan 9 2013

    Journalists reporting on themselves in health care stories: is this narcissism?

    A piece on, “Journalism Is Not Narcissism,“ should be required reading in journalism schools. Excerpts: Every year, thousands of fresh-faced young aspiring journalists flood our nation’s college classrooms, in order to learn how to practice their craft. What should we tell them? This, first: journalism is not about you. Susan Shapiro, an author and [...]