Television

Respectful Insolence

Category archives for Television

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…

Last night was grant crunch time to get a truly serviceable draft to my collaborators today as promised, leaving enough time to revise it by the February 5 deadline. That means the blog has to take a hit today, which is a shame, because Joe Mercola and Age of Autism have laid down some idiocy…

The scale of it all

If you ever want to get a sense of the scale of the universe and how insignificant our little planet is compared to the scope of it all, here’s something really cool to put things in perspective, courtesy of the American Museum of Natural History’s Astronomy Picture of the Day: It’d be really cool if…

For some reason, I’ve tended to give Dr. Mehmet Oz a bit of a free pass when it comes to promoting woo. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because I just haven’t paid that much attention to him. Perhaps it’s because, even when he was on Oprah’s show, he didn’t delve as deeply into the…

When Santa met Jack Bauer

It’s Christmas, and I hope that those of you who celebrate the day are having a merry one. Personally, I’m taking the day off from any substantive blogging, instead electing to post quickie holiday-themed stuff that amuses me. Still, it might not be so merry if everyone’s favorite elf happened to have met the wrong…

If there’s one thing that’s irritated the crap out of me ever since I entered the medical field, it’s celebrities with more fame than brains or sense touting various health remedies. Of late, three such celebrities have spread more misinformation and quackery than the rest of the second tier combined. Truly, together, they are the…

Just can’t wait for “The End of Time”

Regular readers here know that I’m a long time Doctor Who fan. That’s why it’s with some sadness that I await the approach of the two-episode finale for David Tennant’s tenure as the Tenth Doctor. Over his three full seasons and multiple specials in 2009, Tennant redefined the role and even began to rival Tom…

Remember how I nominated a truly execrable local news report about Desiree Jennings as a serious contender for the worst reporting of the year, perhaps even of the decade? It had everything, and I seriously doubted that anything would challenge it for credulous supremacy any time soon. How wrong I was. Check out this video:…

Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in again. Yes, I know I’ve used this clip before at least twice and the line in it several more times over the last couple of years. However, sometimes it’s just so completely appropriate to how I’m feeling about a topic I’m about to…