The History Carnival

The latest History Carnival has been posted at History:Other. Enjoy.


  1. #1 SkookumPlanet
    March 16, 2006

    I hope it’s OK to bring this to your attention in this manner.

    Because you’re a physician, and have interest in public communication, I thought this Seed story Local News Broadcasts Offer Inaccurate Health Stories might interest you. I’ve seen buckets of this stuff even here in San Francisco. But lemon juice replaces AIDs meds?

    This is mostly “rip and read” journalism, a phrase that refers to the old wire service printer output. For TV news it’s wire stories on a computer, and “video press releases” over satellite feeds, and maybe over-the-transom tapes/DVDs although even that seems dated these days.

    I wanted to point out, however, that researchers’ umbrella organizations’ PR flacks, unmentioned there, bear a lot of the blame, maybe most of it. They are the source of most of this crap and rarely do local stations identify the source of these stories. I can watch these video releases and explicate in real time the subconscious psychomarketing visual tricks that are being used to make it appear to be a reporter’s story. Usually this requires a fairly elaborate physical setup and some level of training for the scientist/physician to carry off. It’s another example of a type of psychomarketing I call process manipulation.

    I’d make the argument that such [presumed] acquiescence to this by researchers and health practitioners is doing far more than endangering people’s health. It’s a constant drip, drip, drip that confuses citizens and leads them into a false, subconsciously very negative, understanding of how science works.

    “Anti-science” forces couldn’t devise a more efficient covert system for undermining science — scientists, institutions, and the media all blithely proceeding down this road of their own, cooperative, volition.

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