Health News Review
  • Feb 20 2015

    NBC Nightly News: News program? Or “Doc In The Box” on-air advice segment?

    I was tempted to let this observation fly by unaddressed because I don’t want it to appear as if I’m picking on NBC and its new medical contributor, Dr. Natalie Azar. But there’s a pattern unraveling on the air that, in my opinion, must be addressed and changed. Last night, on the NBC Nightly News, [...]

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  • Feb 19 2015

    Dr. Manny, The Medicine Hunter, and a wild, psychoactive trip on network TV

    We could subtitle this:  Ayahuasca And The Anaconda. For about 8 minutes on Fox News the other day, Dr. Manny Alvarez, the network’s Senior Managing Editor for Health News, turned over the tube to Chris Kilham, the self-proclaimed Medicine Hunter, to promote his new book and to share 8 minutes of data-free psychedelic drug hype. If my [...]

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  • Feb 16 2015

    A new MD-journalist asks, “Is there a role for the physician-journalist?”

    Last week I wrote that NBC News medical contributor Dr. Natalie Azar was placed into a conflict of interest situation when asked to comment on the air about a story concerning Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (also called ME/CFS with a new proposal to call it Systemic Exertion Intolerance Disease). Dr. Azar delivered her comments after being [...]

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  • Feb 11 2015

    Brian Williams isn’t NBC’s only ethical problem; check medical news coverage issues

    So Brian Williams, it’s now reported, will be suspended without pay for 6 months by NBC News after his false claims about an experience during the Iraq war. A few months ago, NBC’s Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Nancy Snyderman was taken off the air after “a breach of her Ebola quarantine.”  Almost immediately, NBC brought [...]

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  • Jan 28 2015

    Pharma payments to network TV physician-journalists – Columbia Journalism Review

    I’m late on this, but it’s noteworthy.  Paul Thacker, journalist and former investigator for the US Senate Finance Committee investigating medical research conflicts of interest, published a new piece in the Columbia Journalism Review last week.  It’s entitled: “Database may uncover conflicts of interest for TV doctors – Free lunches, paid speaking gigs & free [...]

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  • Dec 22 2014

    Monday health news roundup: mostly gems, one dud

    I realize that I wrote about the following things on my Monday morning email digest, but if you don’t subscribe to that email, you didn’t see what we wrote.  (One solution:  sign up to subscribe to the emails.  It’s free.) Some things we saw that we really liked: Richard Smith’s feature in The BMJ,  “Are [...]

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  • Aug 4 2014

    Ebola news notes, including ethical questions for CNN

    Just a few observations about the journalism involved in the Ebola news coverage. Faye Flam on the Knight Science Journalism Tracker wrote, “Ebola outbreak reaction shows why science writers are necessary.” She points to Maryn McKenna’s Superbug blog, in which Maryn called the “Ebola media scrum…disgraceful.”  But she also posts a long list of articles [...]

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  • Jun 18 2014

    What stands out to me about the Oz Senate testimony

    There’s no need for me to go into the details of Dr. Mehmet Oz’s tough questioning by the The U.S Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation’s Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Insurance yesterday. It’s been widely covered. But of many troublesome things he said, one stands out to me:   “My job is [...]

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  • Dec 17 2013

    Orac on Oz: fear-mongering over cellphones, bras and cancer

    On Twitter, one journalist wrote: “Has Dr. Oz reached his reprehensible worst?” See Orac’s post on ScienceBlogs for the entire story – which begins: “These days, Dr. Oz seems to stand for everything I oppose in medicine: Fear mongering, quackery, making claims that he can’t back up with science, and, of course, filthy lucre.”   [...]

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