Terrific journalism on a troubling topic

Charles Piller writes in Science, “Blots On a Field? A neuroscience image sleuth finds signs of fabrication in scores of Alzheimer’s articles, threatening a reigning theory of the disease.” It is a terrific piece of journalism that raises questions about a long unproven theory about Alzheimer’s disease.  The new questions are fueled by allegations of fraud […]


Cholesterol gene hype: “cure…stopping the biggest killer on earth”

Step outside pandemic news coverage for a moment and get re-introduced to incredible hype of non-pandemic news. MIT Technology Review posted this headline: In the article, the CEO of the biotech company doing the study was quoted saying: “If this works and is safe, this is the answer to heart attack—this is the cure,” Those […]


Coffee, death, and the New York Times Well blog

A New York Times newsletter headline writer tried to be cute:   No, it’s not so simple. And, no, the study did not find that those who drank moderate amounts of coffee have a lower mortality risk than non-coffee drinkers. That is a cause-and-effect statement, and this observational study didn’t find that, didn’t prove that, […]


NYT proclaims “Breaking News”!

Breaking News! What does that mean?  Besides sinking to the level of the old TV news style of “If it bleeds, it leads” newscasts. But the New York Times trotted out that tired old trope by tweeting, ‘Breaking News: A brain implant allowed a fully paralyzed man to communicate using his thoughts, a newly published […]


2021 ends with COVID craziness in sports and politics

The Star Tribune newspaper reports: Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins is on the COVID-19 reserve list after testing positive for COVID-19 and will miss Sunday night’s game against the Packers. …   Cousins, who is unvaccinated, was placed on the COVID-19 reserve list as a close contact early in training camp after (one backup quarterback) tested […]


Top 5 blog posts of 2021

My productivity dropped off for a number of reasons in 2021, but here are my five best blog posts from a smaller than usual total overall. Top spot Cure for Type 1 diabetes? We’ve been down this road before with NY Times.  Key excerpt: “It is the framing and the emphasis of the journalism by […]


Cure for Type 1 diabetes? We’ve been down this road before with NY Times

“A Cure for Type 1 Diabetes? For One Man, It Seems to Have Worked,” blared the November 27, 2021 New York Times headline. It may have reminded old-timers of another story by the same reporter, Gina Kolata, on the front page of the Times 23 years ago, on May 3, 1998, which included unchallenged projections […]


“Blood test finds 50 types of cancer” – we’ve been down this path before

Shoddy, incomplete, fawning news coverage of screening tests is one of the most clearly established problems in health news coverage – something HealthNewsReview.org has revealed countless times over the past 15 years. A public relations news release 22 days ago – from “a healthcare company whose mission is to detect cancer early” – touted study […]


Two different assessments of COVID-19 pandemic news coverage

Two new journalistic analyses of 2020-2021 pandemic news coverage were released this week.  I was interviewed in each of them. Science journalist Faye Flam produced a new episode for her “Follow the Science” podcast, with funding from the Society for Professional Journalists. She interviewed me, David Leonhardt of the New York Times and David Wallace-Wells of […]


Zombie health care news

Although I am advancing rapidly into almost complete retirement, there are some days/weeks when I can’t refrain from pointing out some of the troubling health care news I see.  This is one such week. First, the COVID zombie news My local Star Tribune newspaper delivered this front page news: University of Minnesota, Mayo report COVID-fighting success […]


Tips & Resources for Analyzing Health Care Claims

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