Prognosis Negative

Friday, November 13, 2009


Blue M&M's may cure paralysis! That’s just one claim made recently in a health segment on network TV. For more than three years, editor Gary Schwitzer has been methodically reviewing TV health news claims for accuracy and responsibility. But no more; he’s found the vast majority of TV consumer health reports sickening.

Comments [9]

Angelina Arriaga-Lucero

I agree with Mr. Schwitzer, who is the editor for It is not right for shows, such as Good Morning America and other news shows to promote cures or health aids which are not even professionally approved. The segments I heard did not mention anything about the treatments or health aids being approved by the FDA or any professional health organizations. Those news shows have a major influence on the viewers, and for them to promote uncertified treatments is wrong. They could put some of their viewers at great risks because the viewers trust what those hosts say. They should fine those news companies every time they speak of any health aids as an approved fact when it is not. I guess it is up to the viewers and public to perform their own research since it’s difficult to trust what people in the news business have to say.

Apr. 21 2010 07:48 PM
Ken Leebow from Atlanta


Nov. 24 2009 06:44 AM
Dave Parks from Birmingham, Alabama

Wide-eyed reporting about miracle cures not only twists public perception about medicine, it also boomerangs on doctors. It gives people unrealistic expectations about modern medicine. Then, when doctors are unable to meet those expectations, patients and families are often angry, disappointed and feeling they got substandard care. The next step is into the office of a medical malpractice attorney. Doctors themselves ought to be wary about constantly playing the hope card for patients, who in the end all have a 100 percent mortality rate.

Nov. 17 2009 08:04 AM
Bob C from Milford

Why isn't Congress investigating this? Rather than wasting time looking into a few injuries in the NFL.

Nov. 16 2009 12:51 AM
R. Nicewander from Rockford, IL

How disappointing. As a person who suffers from nail fungus I was taken in by your advertising for this segment, hoping that there was possibly some cure for this affliction.

Instead what I found was that the program did what it accused other programs of doing, using a misleading "hook". Nail fungus wasn't even mentioned during the program. I personally find this to be unprofessional and unethical . From now on I will listen to NPR with the same reservations I have for main stream media.

R. Nicewander

Nov. 15 2009 05:22 PM

The segment touches on healthcare reform, and in that light, it's a shame that OTM didn't cover all of the misleading advocacy reporting (including NPR) on the Stupak Amendment.

All week long we heard either bogus or suspicious claims made by feminists and advocated in the reporting of NPR of what Stupak would lead to including suspicious claims that:

1) Women are smart enough to buy apt/home/car insurance but would be too dumb to plan for unintended pregnancy by purchasing a low cost abortion supplemental

2) A national market of women would need abortion supplemental insurance but no insurance company in "our free market" would create or sell such insurance.

3) Stupak would return us to the days of coathangars, even though 1973 did not have emergency birthcontrol, or RU-486, or even the Internet and the relative easy modern transportation system, much less the many organizations all devoted to women's reproductive health issues

4) Stupak would return us to thousands of women dying each year from coathangar abortions, even as Harvard Studies claim that lack of health insurance kills up 45,000 people a year.

All of these claims have been feminist / pro-choice talking points that were advocated without question in NPR reporting.

Instead we got On the Media on Morning Show Science.

Nov. 15 2009 03:21 PM
Kenan Hébert

The extrapolation from misinformation on morning news shows to opposition of health care reform feels like a stretch, if not an unfair pigeonholing of the audience for those shows. I doubt there's any provable causation there. That's not to say that I would characterize mass-marketing of misleading information as anything other than a disgrace.

Nov. 15 2009 12:21 PM
Teri from Tennessee

EXCELLENT!!!! BRAVO!!!! Finally someone talking the truth about corporate controlled media. How can you trust a news organization that takes money from Big Pharma's and Monsanto?

Please review the book "Into the Buzzsaw" and "Project Censored" Please!!! Let the public know about these two important books.

Nov. 15 2009 10:18 AM
Cat Buxton from Michigan

Thank you ON THE MEDIA and Prof. Schwitzer for this critical review. A real public service for putting this constant health misinformation in its proper place. I'm forwarding this segment to all my friends who do no like the "feeding the worry well" past time and character in our public discourse.

Nov. 14 2009 07:17 AM

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