Respectful Insolence

Search Results for tsouderos

Here’s something for you all to check out. Trine Tsouderos, the journalist from The Chicago Tribune who’s distinguished herself as being one of the few reporters who “gets it” when it comes to quackery and the anti-vaccine movement (just put her name in the search box of this blog for some examples) will be hosting…

What’s the good of having a blog if you can’t pimp your own appearances and those of friends? In that spirit, let me just announce that Steve Novella will be featured as the guest on a live chat with Trine Tsouderos discussing alternative treatments for Alzheimer’s, ALS and other neurological conditions at noon CST. Be…

I wish it were otherwise, but not all that many reporters “get it” when it comes to science and quackery. Fortunately, Chicago Tribune reporter Trine Tsouderos does. She’s shown it multiple times over the last year with stories about the autism “biomed” movement and Boyd Haley’s trying to pass off an industrial chelator as a…

One week ago, The Chicago Tribune added yet another excellent addition to its recent series of articles exposing the dark underbelly of the anti-vaccine movement and, more importantly, the quackery that permeates the “autism biomedical” movement promoted by anti-vaccine groups such as Age of Autism. The first installment in the series, written by Tribune reporters…

More credulous reporting on placebo effects

Now that Trine Tsouderos no longer works for the Chicago Tribune, there aren’t that many reliable generalist medical/science reporters around any more. For example, here in the U.S. there’s Marilyn Marchionne at the AP, Gina Kolata of the New York Times, and then there’s Sharon Begley, who used to be at Newsweek but is now…

The “no debate” debate, briefly revisited

Just yesterday, I commented on a typical whine from the antivaccine crew at the crank blog Age of Autism in which Dan Olmsted became indignant over being reminded that science does not support his belief that vaccines cause autism, that they don’t work, and that they are dangerous. Olmsted, clueless as ever about science, viewed…

If there’s one thing I’ve been railing about for the last few years, it’s how scientific and medical studies are reported in the lay press. It seems that hardly a week passes without my having to apply a little Insolence, be it Respectful or not-so-Respectful, to some story or another, usually as a result of…

If there’s a law that I view as a horrible, horrible, law, it’s the Dietary Supplement Health Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA of 1994). It is a law that blog bud and former ScienceBlogs blogger Dr. Peter Lipson has rightly called a travesty of a mockery of a sham, and, quite frankly, I think he…

Whooping cough returns in Michigan

The other day, I noted a contrast between certain parts of the developed world (namely, Europe) where, thanks to fears of the MMR vaccine stoked by Andrew Wakefield and the credulous and sensationalistic British press, MMR uptake rates have fallen and, predictably, measles incidence has skyrocketed, and the rest of the world, where polio is…

NCCAM in the news: Why does it still exist?

I’ve made no secret of my admiration for Trine Tsouderos. Whether it be her investigations into the rank quackery of prominent members of the mercury militia wing of the anti-vaccine lunatic fringe, Mark and David Geier, who seem to think that chemical castration is a perfectly fine and dandy treatment for autism because testosterone binds…

While I’m having a bit of fun with the anti-vaccine crank blog Age of Autism, I notice that its Boy Wonder Jake Crosby, the one-trick pony whose trick is playing “six degrees of separation” in order to try to link anyone who supports the science of vaccines with big pharma, the CDC, the FDA, or…

Compare and contrast

I’ve spent nearly seven years and an enormous amount of verbiage writing about the difference between pseudoscience and science, between cranks and skeptics, between denialists and scientists. Along the way, I’ve identified a number of factors common to cranks and denialists. For example, two of the most prominent characteristics are a tendency to cherry pick…

A vaccination tool every parent could use

Regular readers know that I lived in Chicago for three years in the late 1990s. Indeed, Chicago is probably my favorite city in the world, and my years there count as three of the happiest years of my life. I lived in a cool neighborhood near DePaul in Lincoln Park; never again in my life…

It’s happened again. Remember how I’ve said time and time again that the anti-vaccine movement is very much like a religion, a cult even? One of the key attributes of religion is an intolerance for heretics, apostates, and unbelievers. The usual approach to unbelievers is either to try to convert them and then, failing that,…

It’s been a busy and rough week. The news on the vaccine front has been coming fast and furious, with the release of one bad study and another highly touted great white hope of a legal study. As much as I’m tired of blogging about vaccines this week, it’s still mandatory for me to note…

Several of you have been sending me this; so I would be remiss not to note that there is a rather lengthy profile of Generation Rescue’s favorite “martyred” anti-vaccine hero, disgraced and discredited British gastroenterologist Andrew Wakefield, in this weekend’s New York Times Magazine entitled The Crash and Burn of an Autism Guru. By and…

Here we go again. If there’s one thing about the anti-vaccine movement, it’s all about the ad hominem. Failing to win on science, clinical trials, epidemiology, and other objective evidence, inevitably anti-vaccine propagandists fall back on attacking the person instead of the evidence. For example, Paul Offit has been the subject of unrelenting attacks from…

Part 1 is here. Part 2 is here. Part 3 is here. I realize I say these things again and again and again, but they bear repeating because together they are a message that needs to be spread in as clear and unambiguous a form as possible. First, whenever you hear someone say, “I’m not…

During the six years of its existence, one frequent complaint I’ve had on this blog, it’s been about how the press covers various health issues. In particular, it’s depressing to see how often dubious and even outright false health claims, such as the claim that vaccines cause autism, that cell phones or powerlines cause cancer,…

I may have taken a break yesterday, but that doesn’t mean I’ve abandoned my mission to make this Vaccine Awareness Week (or, more properly, the Anti-vaccine Movement Awareness Week, dedicated to countering the lies of the anti-vaccine movement). Even though it was good to take a day off, the anti-vaccine movement rarely takes a day…

What does it mean to be “anti-vaccine”?

“Anti-vaccine.” I regularly throw that word around — and, most of the time, with good reason. Many skeptics and defenders of SBM also throw that word around, again with good reason most of the time. There really is a shocking amount of anti-vaccine sentiment out there. But what does “anti-vaccine” really mean? What is “anti-vaccine”?…

Over the weekend, I saw a rather fascinating post by Sullivan entitled A Sense of Civil Discourse. The reason I found it so fascinating is because what was quoted in it utterly destroyed my irony meter yet again, leaving it nothing but a molten, gooey mess still bubbling and hissing in my office. Apparently last…

Of all the bizarre forms of antivaccine autism quackery, one of the strangest has to be Mark and David Geier’s “Lupron protocol.” I’ve written about it many times, dating back to 2006 and, more recently, when the Chicago Tribune provided the first coverage I’m aware of of the Geiers’ quackery in a major newspaper, thanks…

On Friday, I noted an e-mail circulating around the Internet in which disgraced University of Kentucky chemist and card-carrying general in the mercury militia, Boyd Haley, announced that he was suspending sales of his industrial chelator turned “antioxidant dietary supplement” OSR#1. Now, true to form, Trine Tsouderos at the Chicago Tribune has noticed and published…

A first: A cease and desist Tweet

Remember Doctors Data? It’s the highly dubious medical laboratory that Trine Tsouderos exposed in her series on the quackery that is the “autism biomed” movement. A couple of weeks ago, Doctors Data also decided to launch what appears to be frivolous lawsuit against the creator and maintainer of the Quackwatch website, Steve Barrett; i.e. a…