Gary Null and his goon(s)

I’ve mentioned before that I think that PBS stations are making a deal with the devil when they feature Gary Null’s infomercials. This alternative medince guru is a classic crank—an HIV denialist, seller of phonie cures, and host to other cranks.

But at least he’s a nice guy, right?

Ask Lee Phillips, some guy who decided to call out his local public radio station. He wrote a very good letter to WPFW to complain about their hosting of an alleged snake-oil salesmean. In a rather creepy turn of events, the station, rather than pen a response, sent his letter on to Null’s representative(s), who basically threatened to sue him. Lee, being a diligent crank-buster, wrote back (and don’t forget to take Lee’s advice about googling the guy…it’s worth it).

Anyway, apparently Lee got a chance to debate Null on the air, and hopefully he’ll inculde a link to it in a comment.

This is priceless, really. But if cranks start actually suing people, things are going to get ugly. So much for “Dr.” Nice Guy.

Comments

  1. #1 Catman
    May 4, 2008

    A few years ago, I stopped contributing to my local PBS station as long as they continued to broadcast Null’s infomercials. His credentials are dubious at best. He is a stalwart of the “mercury mafia”, and his claims that persons with high blood pressure, diabetes, and other maladies can simply stop taking their medications and be cured by his vegan diets are dangerous if not deadly. Apparently, my PBS station did not forward my complaints to Null, and I’ve had no threats from his associates, so I guess I should be thankful. The station, sadly, continues to broadcast his garbage.

  2. #2 Denice Walter
    May 4, 2008

    Following the debate,Null frantically tells the radio audience about all of the charitable work he intends to do in Africa. Is that “nice” enough for you? It’s just like Angelina or Madonna! Wait a minute, they make their money as entertainers as call themselves that.

  3. #3 DaleP
    May 4, 2008

    WPFW FM, Washington DC is a non-commercial radio station, a part of Pacifica Radio. It is NOT a PBS station. It does generally have good programs, music and public affairs, but as noted, some clinkers as well. In your earlier post, you didn’t mention any PBS stations by name. Do you have any citations at hand?

  4. #4 PalMD
    May 4, 2008

    Well, aside from the fact that it is widely known, Null himself brags about it:

    http://www.garynull.com/gn_inthemedia.asp

    WTTW in Chicago was the one I found most annoying.

    I don’t particularly care about the technicality of Public Radio vs PBS, but I’ll correct it. It just means he’s penetrated further.

  5. #5 Lee Phillips
    May 5, 2008

    Thanks for writing about this and for your kind words. I did get invited on to the show, but Null refused to debate me. Instead, he responded to my brief opening remarks with a half-hour rant, and going immediately to another guest who complained about the oppression of homeopathy, etc. They gave me a total of three hours notice that I was scheduled to be on the show, so I had that time to arrange things so that I was at a quiet location with a landline on which they could call me for the broadcast. I have to give them credit for inviting me on the air and letting me speak, although it’s clear that when their attempts to keep me off balance failed and that I was prepared, relaxed, and ready, Null wanted no part of it.

    WPFW does not offer archives of their shows, and I don’t have a recording of the broadcast, which was on Apr. 29. If anyone has a recording or can point to a download, I would be interested.

    I plan to write up a fuller description of the broadcast and the events surrounding it when I get a chance, so anyone interested in following this should check my website or, better, go there to subscribe to my RSS feed.

  6. #6 Denice Walter
    May 5, 2008

    Lee,try “NPR Podcast Directory”, then WNYE,”Health and Science”.

  7. #7 DaleP
    May 5, 2008

    PalMD wrote:
    I don’t particularly care about the technicality of Public Radio vs PBS, but I’ll correct it. It just means he’s penetrated further.

    Hmm, I see I was confused by the reference to PBS (TV network) in the context of radio. By the way, WPFW and Pacifica Radio is not usually referred to as “Public Radio”. Pacifica Radio is a small chain of non-commercial radio stations, about 5. They are proudly not like National Public Radio, which they consider stodgy and out of touch.

    The presence of Gary Null on PBS television station WNYE is disturbing, as is WNYE putting his podcasts from his tv shows on the NPR website. But if that is the extent of it, he hasn’t penetrated much into radio.

  8. #8 Lee Phillips
    May 5, 2008

    Denice Walter: I looked but did not find. Do you have an actual url to download the 4/29 show?

  9. #9 Denice Walter
    May 5, 2008

    Lee:try http://www.npr.org/rss/podcast/podcast_directory.php You’ll see WNYE, etc. BTW, we have to stop meeting like this!

  10. #10 mark
    May 9, 2008

    They just started up begging season on public tv around here. They seem to bring around lots of woo at this time–make-believe health care, makeup to look forever young, &c. Last time I was impressed by a special Bill Moyers presentation; on another occasion I wrote to complain that what used to be known as “educational tv” loses all claim to that nomenclature when they want my money.
    The stations that broadcast the “alternative” health care crap as part of their normal schedules are worse. The last time I wrote complaining about one, it was a station carrying an infomercial from Balco, purveyor of physical enhancement chemicals. Within a week Balco was in national news (just a coincidence).

  11. #11 pat brogan
    June 3, 2009

    Null has a very close gay friend who is well-placed in public television who acts as his advocate. He life is far more complicated that he wants the public to be aware of.

  12. #12 Maryann
    July 16, 2009

    There are two sides to every story and I think that one should be careful about getting their facts straight. If you listen to Gary’s show, you would know that he runs specials on his products to raise money – all profits go to supporting the PBS radio station. He has also appeared as an honored guest many times on the Atlanta Public Television Station to raise money for the station.

    Gary has stood the test of time for over thirty years. My health has improved thanks to his products, which he has spent a lifetime putting together. I sincerely hope that there is room for both natural and traditional medicine in the world, because both are needed. Gary fights for human rights – like having a choice. Most people know that the government and pharmaceutical companies are working together to control the competition from natural remedies. Natural remedies are preventative and cure, usually with no side effects. Prescriptions are used to react to a condition and many times are not curing the health issue, just requiring constant use to keep the issue at bay – with side effects that create even more problems. Has anyone seen some of these commercials??? Don’t be fooled, do some research on the pharmaceutical companies before you take your next pill.

    Gary, like so many other natural health care practitioners, has helped countless people using natural remedies. Of course, Gary has been the most outspoken when it comes to his beliefs, and will be subject to more ridicule than the others. I don’t see you attacking any of the others who have less of a voice. Or is that the real issue at hand??? Gary archives his shows on iTunes and you can hear him welcome – even beg, for debates from worthy opponents.

    Maryann

  13. #13 Wesley
    November 5, 2009

    So this quack is on WNYE now, here in New York. I wrote the station nice letter asking them to review their mission statement and take a look at whether or not selling questionable cures on the station didn’t conflict with that mission… Anyhow I am wondering if there isn’t a concerted effort to get quacks like this off the air? And Maryann I am sure that ‘natural remedies’ do have side effects, especially when it is an unregulated unstudied science. On the flipside, all the children who aren’t getting flu shots because of Gary’s conspiracy theories, can thank their brainwashed parents when they are near death this winter.

  14. #14 justin
    December 15, 2009

    I am very much on Maryanns side of this important issue. It became more important to me when my nephew had a neurological side effect to a flu vaccine from walgreens in september (and is still not the same), He is 7. I dont watch PBS but am aware of who Gary Null is. My mother gave me homeopathic cures and natural remedies when I was in her house in florida as a teenager, and they were truly effective. She had videos and books from Gary Null and still keeps up to date on his content.
    He has some very very credible vaccination information in articles, books and videos and is a big name in the fight against mandatory vaccinations for the health care industry. Which my wife is a registered nurse in Orlando. I could not help myself but to comment on some of these negative remarks
    Flu Vaccinations are dangerous, extremely more dangerous then getting the flu or H1N1. Natural remedies are truly effective and people if you can get by with not taking one pharma pill for the rest of your life you would be much better off. They are some things that Natural cures are not as effective. This is what I have learned. people take the Gary Null out and listen to the content and research it yourself. Try a cleanse, a natural immune booster, and you cant argue its effective.

  15. #15 Ralph
    April 5, 2012

    The article author makes a number of claims based on OPINION. I didn’t see ANY facts with references mentioned in his bid to bash Gary Null.

    I guess the 500,000+ studies from pier review journals showing the positive effects of diet, exercise, vitamins and supplements are bogus right? So, studies from JAMA, the Lancet, etc. etc. are all worthless because they don’t support your myopic views?

    Now if there is a crime, it’s the author’s narrow mindedness! ! !

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