Television

Respectful Insolence

Category archives for Television

Thanks to the partying and backslapping going on in the antivaccine movement over the reversal of the decision of the British General Medical Council to strike Professor John Walker-Smith off of the medical record, after a brief absence vaccines are back on the agenda of this blog. Antivaccine cranks view the decision as a vindication…

Say it ain’t so, Amy Farrah Fowler!

Like many geeks, I enjoy The Big Bang Theory. I know, I know, you’re shocked to hear that, but it’s true. I’ve seen nearly every episode since the first season. Over the last couple of seasons, the male-centric show has been considerably improved by its move towards more of an ensemble cast that includes two…

Here we go again. In fact, I think I’m starting to see a pattern here among antivaccine organizations. You might remember that in November 2010, the antivaccine group SafeMinds bought ad space in AMC Theaters over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, one of the heaviest moviegoing time periods of the year. This use of pre-movie time…

Unfortunately, I don’t get to see very many movies these days. My wife and I both lead very busy lives, and with periodic spasms of grant writing, plus several new administrative responsibilities, it’s just hard. Last weekend, however, a movie that I’d rather like to see came out. Unfortunately, I haven’t seen it yet; so…

Epic rap battles: ZDoggMD versus Dr. Oz

It had to be done. With all the quackery and pseudoscience promoted by TV doctors like Dr. Oz, Dr. Phil, and “The Doctors,” sooner or later someone had to choose a manner other than blogging to call them out. ZDoggMD has done just that, particularly dissing Dr. Oz. Why? Why not. Because: Why dis Dr.…

NOTE: Dr. Novella has written up a detailed description of his experiences on The Dr. Oz Show. Please read it. Also note that the online video for Dr. Novella’s appearance is now available: Controversial Medicine: Alternative Health, Part 1 Controversial Medicine: Alternative Health, Part 2 Controversial Medicine: Alternative Health, Part 3 When I first learned…

UPDATE 4/27/2011: Dr. Novella has written up a detailed description of his experiences on The Dr. Oz Show. Please read it. Also note that the online video for Dr. Novella’s appearance is now available: Controversial Medicine: Alternative Health, Part 1 Controversial Medicine: Alternative Health, Part 2 Controversial Medicine: Alternative Health, Part 3 I can’t believe…

Goodbye, Sarah Jane Smith…

I just learned something that will sadden the heart of any Doctor Who fan. Elizabeth Sladen, who played longtime companion of the Doctor Sarah Jane Smith, has died of cancer: Doctor Who star Elisabeth Sladen, who was also in spin-off series The Sarah Jane Adventures, has died aged 63. Sladen appeared as Doctor Who assistant…

An emergency room in 2030

I’ve frequently lamented what might happen if the current trend towards quackademic medicine continues unabated, and quackery is fully “integrated” with science-based medicine. First, there was homeopathic e.r. Then, Mitchell and Webb brought us the British version, namely Homeopathic A&E. What I didn’t realize is that predating both of these was…Holistic E.R. (Embedding disabled, unfortunately.)…

Excellent! It’s about time the bigger guns started getting involved. Remember the anti-vaccine ads being run on the big CBS JumboTron in Times Square? Well, the American Academy of Pediatrics has finally weighted in to complaint. Here’s the letter: April 13, 2011 Mr. Wally Kelly Chairman and CEO CBS Outdoor 405 Lexington Ave., 14th floor…

I tell ya. I take a weekend off from this blog, and what do I find on Sunday night when I sit back down to take a look and see if there’s anything I want to blog about? Damn if those anti-vaccine loons aren’t pulling a fast one while I’m not looking. It turns out…

I’m not infrequently asked why the myth that vaccines cause autism and other anti-vaccine myths are so stubbornly resistant to the science that time and time again fails to support them. Certainly useful celebrity idiots like Jenny McCarthy are one reason. So, too, are anti-vaccine propaganda websites and blogs such as Age of Autism and…

There are times when I’m wrong again and again. No, I’m certainly not referring to my writings about vaccines which, as much as anti-vaccine loons like to claim they’re wrong, are not. Nor am I referring to my writings about “complementary and alternative medicine” (CAM) or “integrative medicine” (IM). While it’s possible that I’ve made…

Dr. Paul Offit on The Colbert Report

Paul Offit on the anti-vaccine movement: The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c Paul Offit www.colbertnation.com Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog Video Archive Looks like a win to me. Colbert appears to get it. I like how he doesn’t mention Andrew Wakefield’s name and he asks Dr. Offit a…

Of the two, The Daily Show or The Colbert Report, I tend to favor The Daily Show because there are times when I find Stephen Colbert’s schtick tiresome. True, Colbert can at times rise to the level of being brilliant, but there are other times when he gets on my nerves. In contrast, Jon Stewart…

Dr. Oz: Looking for parents afraid of autism?

If there’s a single TV show out there that has the widest reach when it abuses science-based medicine, there is no doubt that it’s Oprah Winfrey’s show. If there’s a show that has the second-widest reach when it abuses science-based medicine, arguably it’s Dr. Mehmet Oz’s show. Whether it be his recent show featuring quackmaster…

Dr. Oz defiantly embraces The Dark Side

Stick a fork in Dr. Oz. He’s done. I know I’ve been highly critical of Dr. Mehmet Oz, Vice Chair of the Department of Surgery at Columbia University and medical director of the Integrative Medicine Program (i.e., Columbia’s quackademic medicine) program at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. Those are his academic titles. More important, in terms of…

Dr. Oz crosses the Woo-bicon yet again

I take back all those nice things I said about Dr. Oz. Well, I never actually said that much nice about Dr. Oz, but I usually gave him at least a little bit of the benefit of the doubt, other than for his love or reiki. Then Dr. Oz had über quack Dr. Joe Mercola…

Oh, geez. Will the media never learn? Yep, it looks as though Andrew Wakefield will be on Good Morning America tomorrow. True, it is a holiday in the U.S., but that just might mean that viewership will be higher because more people will be at home. I, of course, will be at work; so I…

File this under another “better late (as in after Christmas) than never.” Remember Elyse Anders? Remember how she successfully rallied skeptical activists to try to put the kibosh on an effort by the anti-vaccine group SafeMinds to infiltrate theaters with their commercials desguised as public service announcements over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend? Remember how she…

I’m still perturbed about yesterday. I’m still perturbed that a cancer quack was able to convince a woman who had everything to live for that he could cure her of her breast cancer without surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation. I’m still perturbed at this particular cancer quack’s attitude, where he tried to claim that he didn’t…

The real reason not to get acupuncture

This guy would appear to be screwed: The rat running by the acupuncturist’s door is a nice touch, too. And so appropriate.

A friend of mine sent me a link to one of my hometown news stations because he saw something that irritated him. On the front page, there is a poll of such epic burning stupid that it requires an immediate crash. I may not be P.Z., but I have in some instances overcome my previous…

Here we go again. Apparently, trying to bounce back from the humiliation of having had its plan to do a music and comedy fundraiser with Jill Sobule as one of the headliners shot down when Sobule found out that Generation Rescue is an “autism organization” that supports anti-vaccine pseudoscience like that of Andrew Wakefield and…

Thanks to Autism News Beat, I’ve found the Penn & Teller: Bullshit! episode Vaccination in a streaming form. I have two warnings. First, if you’re not familiar with Penn & Teller, you should be prepared for lots of profanity, including liberal use of the F-word. There is also one scene with a topless woman near…