Scapegoating Anti-Vaxxers for the Mumps Outbreaks: How Predictable

Scapegoating Anti-Vaxxers for the Mumps Outbreaks: How Predictable

Wanna see an example of superbly unscientific, unreferenced, and ridiculously biased opinion writing? Take a look at Steven Salzburg’s piece in Forbes magazine titled “Anti-Vax Movement To Blame For Quadrupling Of Mumps Cases This Year”. It’s a doozy, particularly given that Salzburg himself (in the comment section)…

Piper Lowery Died From the Flu?

Piper Lowery Died From the Flu?

Tragically, sixth grader Piper Lowery from Port Orchard, Washington died on Sat. Jan. 1, 2016 after a week of illness. Reportedly, she died from H1N1 influenza. She had not gotten a seasonal flu shot. A week earlier, Piper began feeling sick with a high fever and a sore throat. Her mother, Peggy Lowery, also had symptoms of influenza during that time. It was not reported whether Mrs. Lowery had…

How the FDA Controls the Media

How the FDA Controls the Media

Embargoes have been used in journalism since the 1920s. It’s a deal between journalists and their sources, which gives the journalist access to a story on the condition that it’s not published before a certain date and time. Some institutions, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), further control media coverage by offering briefings to…

Brazil Study Raises Major Doubts About Zika-Microcephaly Link

Brazil Study Raises Major Doubts About Zika-Microcephaly Link

On Sept. 16, 2016, NBC News published an article by Maggie Fox titled “This Study Removes Any Doubt Zika Virus Causes Birth Defect”. The words “removes any doubt” are so strong, so conclusive sounding that one cannot help but be drawn to the article and the study on which it is based. During the past nine months, however, I have written so much…

Native Advertising for Vaccines in The Washington Post?

Native Advertising for Vaccines in The Washington Post?

On March 5, 2013, The Washington Post entered the native advertising business by launching an initiative called “BrandConnect.” According to the Post, “The new native advertising feature invites organizations to publish commentary and opinion pieces that are featured in The Post’s Opinions online section.” I’ve previously written about the concept of native advertising, and I cited…

Microcephaly Cases in Brazil Vastly Overestimated

Microcephaly Cases in Brazil Vastly Overestimated

A study published in the The Lancet on Feb. 6, 2016, reported that, prior to 2015, the number of reported suspected cases of microcephaly in infants born in Brazil had remained “consistently below 200” each year. Between mid-2015 and Jan. 30, 2016, the number of suspected cases of microcephaly reported totaled 4,783. Thus, in just half a year, the total number of suspected…

WHO Wants to Market Vaccines Like Burgers and Soda

WHO Wants to Market Vaccines Like Burgers and Soda

On August 18, 2015, the World Health Organization (WHO) issued a press release from Geneva, Switzerland titled “Vaccine hesitancy: A growing challenge for immunization programmes.” The focus of the release was to highlight views expressed by public health officials in special edition of the journal Vaccine, which was “guest-edited” and published by the WHO.

Media Struggles to Pin Stupid Label on Well-Educated Vaccine Dissenters

There have been numerous articles in mainstream newspapers and magazines with titles that disparage anyone who questions the safety and effectiveness of vaccines, disagrees (in part or in total) with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recommended schedule of vaccines, or opposes the idea of forcing people to get vaccinated against their will.

Jumping the Gun on the Zika-Microcephaly Connection

On January 21, 2016, TIME magazine published an article titled “The Brazilian Birth-Defect Rate Is Soaring Dramatically, Possibly Due to the Zika Virus. The article, written by Nash Jenkins, opens with the following paragraph: “Brazilian authorities have reported a huge increase in the number of babies born in the country with uncommonly small heads, and suspect…

The Zuckerberg Photo

When your net worth is estimated at $42.6 billion and you are the co-founder of an online social network used daily by more than 1 billion of the world’s 7.4 billion people, anything you say or do, no matter how mundane, has the potential to become instant, bigtime news that just about everybody is commenting on. It even has the potential to stir up controversy…