Going to the Huffington Post for medical information is perhaps comparable to going to Vito Corleone for advice on income tax compliance. Another prominent blogger refers to is as “that hive of scum and quackery,” a lovely and accurate epithet for a media outlet which provides refuge and cover for anti-vaccationists, homeopaths and practictioners of reiki and other such pseudoscientific twaddle. I avoid the HuffPo like the plague. But, like a moth to the flame, sometimes I can’t help myself, and when a facebook friend (and former blogger) pointed to this contrarian article, my interest was piqued and I had to check it out.
Is High Blood Pressure Overtreated? Dr. Dennis Gottfried, Associate professor, University of Connecticut Medical School
First of all, I don’t know Dr Gottfried, and I don’t want to cast aspersions on him professionally. He might be a faith healer and snake-handler, or he might be a prominent researcher and expert in the field. I have no idea, and other than his questionable judgement in being affiliated with the HuffPo, I don’t want to make any judgement on him as a physician or a scientist. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Movin' Meat*
Today I refer you to an excellent post by Peter A. Lipson, M.D., at the blog Science Based Medicine entitled “HuffPo blogger claims skin cancer is conspiracy.”
The post focuses on an article by someone who contends that the link between sunlight and skin cancer is a conspiracy by dermatologists and the cosmetic dermatology industry. Dr. Lipson’s highly insightful analysis about the “interview” process and how doctors must act these days on behalf of their patients concludes:
This article shows a misunderstanding of journalistic ethics, medical ethics, and medical science. It’s a disaster. And it’s no surprise that it’s in the Huffington Post.
While this is a medicine story, my question relates to why an organization with a lot of great front-page news so frequently posts medical articles that are wrong and, sometimes, downright dangerous.
Read the article first, then read Dr. Lipson’s analysis.
Disclosure: I am an occasional contributor to Science Based Medicine but, like all contributors there, receive no compensation.
*This blog post was originally published at Terra Sigillata*
The Huffington Post is one of the most prominent, and fastest growing, news sites, and as pediatrician Rahul Parikh puts it, “one of the most valuable pieces of real estate on the Internet these days.”
They have a prominent health and wellness section, but as you can read from Dr. Parikh’s piece, The Huffington Post is crazy about your health, readers be warned.
As with their approach to other topics, The Huffington Post accepts submissions from a wide variety of bloggers, some of whom, “mirror [founder Arianna Huffington's] own advocacy of alternative medicine.”
With such influence, that can be problematic. Well documented are numerous pieces advocating against childhood vaccines, and perpetuating its mythical link with autism. And by accepting factually suspect pieces on the subject by celebrities, such as actor Jim Carrey for instance, it’s a powerfully dangerous platform for misinformation.
What Dr. Parikh simply asks for is fairness and accuracy from such an influential site, but in his words, they “take a back seat to sensationalism and self-promotion on the Huffington Post.”
*This blog post was originally published at KevinMD.com*