Television

Respectful Insolence

Category archives for Television

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…

Penn Jillette on Andrew Wakefield

Coming soon: Penn & Teller take on the anti-vaccine movement on an upcoming episode of Penn & Teller: Bullshit! No doubt it will resemble this little preview that Penn himself has taped: Note: Lots of NSFW language. It is, after all, Penn. I will mention one thing. Penn’s wrong when he says that Wakefield is…

The pause that refreshes these Doctors

I’ve written about the credulous mass of misinformation that is TV’s The Doctors before. As you might imagine, I’m not impressed with the quality of the medical information that is dispensed on this show. It’s everything I hate about glitzed up medicine as TV entertainment, particularly the vacuously beautiful hosts. I thought Dr. Stork and…

Sometimes, when it comes to the anti-vaccine movement, I feel as though I’m bipolar. There are times when I’m incredibly depressed that pseudoscience and fear mongering are winning out, leaving our children vulnerable to infectious diseases not seen in decades and believing that it’s only a matter of time before we start seeing really major…

Yesterday, I expressed concern about a FRONTLINE episode that was scheduled to air tonight entitled The Vaccine War (which, by the time you read this, should be available for online viewing in case you missed it). My concern was that there was going to be a heapin’ helpin’ of false balance, based on the promotional…

What cigarette do you smoke, doctor?

I’ve pivoted immediately from attending NECSS and participating in a panel on the infiltration of quackery into academia to heading down to Washington, DC for the AACR meeting. Then, after a packed day of meetings yesterday followed by spending yesterday evening with a friend whom I haven’t seen for a long time, there’s–gasp!–no new material…

Believe it or not, there was once a time when Dr. Mehmet Oz didn’t bother me that much. At least, for all his flirting with woo, I never quite thought that he had completely gone over to the Dark Side. Although I probably knew deep down that I was fooling myself. Maybe it was because…

Generation Rescue in transition?

Six days ago, celebrity spokescouple for the anti-vaccine movement, Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey, announced their breakup over Twitter. Some of us who have been following the antics of “Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey’s Autism Organization – Generation Rescue” have wondered what this would mean for the pro-disease movement pushing the idea that vaccines cause…

Today, April 10, is the first day of World Homeopathy Awareness Week (WHAW), or, as I like to call it, World Sympathetic Magic Awareness Week. Now, given my dim view of homeopathy, in which I view it as nothing more than, well, sympathetic magic, you’d think I wouldn’t want people to pay attention to WHAW.…

I’m conflicted over this news

Since a whole bunch of you have been sending me this and posting it in my comments, I don’t see how I can avoid mentioning it. Apparently it’s being reported on The Superficial, Celebitchy, and People.com that Jim Carrey and Jenny McCarthy have broken up. I must admit that it’s hard not to feel a…

Perhaps you’ve seen them. (Actually, how could you avoid them?) I’m talking about those annoying Omnaris commercials with the crappy computer animation in which a bunch of military-looking men in helmets ram an Omnaris sprayer into the woman’s nose to fix her nasal allergies: Something’s always bugged me about that commercial, more than the amateurish…

Has Dr. Oz finally crossed the Woobicon?

I’ve had it with Dr. Oz. Although I haven’t seen his show today (for one thing, I work for a living; for another thing, even if I had today off I wouldn’t waste it watching Dr. Oz’s show), readers have informed me that yesterday, on March 1, 2010, Dr. Oz threw away whatever shred of…

I realize that Chris Mooney is a polarizing figure here on the ol’ ScienceBlogs, but I have to give him props for doing a damned fine job handling questions about vaccines, autism, and Andrew Wakefield’s utterly discredited 1998 Lancet study, which was retracted by the Lancet‘s editors last week: Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world…

Blocked by Fire Marshal Bill!

I feel really, really good today. The reason? Simple Orac has annoyed Jim Carrey enough to ban him on Twitter. The exchange went something like this. For the first time in a while, I was perusing Twitter (I have a really hard time keeping my Insolence to 140 characters; so I only check my Twitter…

I realize I complain periodically about when I get into what seems to me to be a rut in which I’m writing pretty much only about anti-vaccine lunacy. This is just such a week, when the news on the vaccine front has been coming fast and furious, first with Andrew Wakefield’s being found to have…