Note to our followers: Our nearly 13-year run of daily publication of new content on came to a close at the end of 2018. Publisher Gary Schwitzer and other contributors may post new articles periodically. But all of the 6,000+ articles we have published contain lessons to help you improve your critical thinking about health care interventions. And those will be still be alive on the site for a couple of years.
4 7/25/2007

Paid-for TV health "news"

I always talk a great deal with my students about the blurred line between news and advertising in many settings these days. Now some of my past students are seeing it for themselves. For whatever reason, a disproportionate share of one year’s graduating class is working in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where today the Argus […]


When news, advertising and new media clash

At, 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

Just back from New York, where one of the inaugural Mirror Awards honoring excellence in media industry reporting was given to 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 […]

5/23/2007 honored again

One of my day jobs – as publisher of – 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 […]


Tips & Resources for Analyzing Health Care Claims

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