Tag: the media

TV Doctors Give Unreliable Recommendations

It’s always preferable to have objective empirical evidence to inform an opinion, rather than just subjective impressions. Confirmation bias will make it seem as if the facts support your opinion, even when they don’t. Of course, when objective evidence (such as published studies) does seem to support your position, you still have to keep your critical shields up. Confirmation bias can still...

/ December 24, 2014

Write for Oprah? Wrong for Me

From January through June of 2010 I wrote a column entitled “The Health Inspector” in O, The Oprah Magazine. Now, apparently, I have been fired; although they have not had the common courtesy to tell me so. The whole thing has been a bizarre, frustrating experience.  It started last fall, when I got an e-mail from Tyler Graham. He introduced himself as...

/ September 7, 2010

Lithium for ALS – Angioplasty for MS

Peter Lipson reported Monday about new research suggesting that multiple sclerosis may be caused by venous blockage. He correctly characterized some of the hype surrounding this story as “irrational exuberance.” This is a phenomenon all too common in the media – taking the preliminary research of an individual or group (always presented as a maverick) and declaring it a “stunning breakthrough,” combined...

/ December 23, 2009

Does TV Cause Teen Pregnancy?

I’ll be the first to admit that the quality of TV programming, especially network programs, leaves much to be desired. Critics of television have blamed TV for everything from violence to obesity. Now studies have shown that teens who watch sexy programs are more likely to become sexually active and to get pregnant. I’m not so sure that these studies really show...

/ December 2, 2008