Because the universe is beautiful enough without having to lie about it

Ben Goldacre on MMR

March 15th, 2009 Posted in Bad media, Health

More from Dr. Ben Goldacre, of Bad Science fame, about the MMR – Autism controversy.

Ben Goldacre on YouTube

The part of that particular video that slightly annoys me is the very end. After Ben has finished giving a short and, in my opinion, extremely mild and toned-down version of his overview of the MMR controversy, the presenter says: “I stress it was the personal view there of Dr Ben Goldacre, who has some pretty strong feelings about the media’s take on medical stories.”

Here’s what annoys me about that: Firstly, those views weren’t strong – not even close. Those of us who believe that we should lock up people like Jeni Barnett who use the power of the media to broadcast irresponsible and dangerous misinformation on medical issues, would certainly have a lot more to say, were we given the opportunity.

Secondly, what I found bizarre was that the presenter had to state that those were Dr Goldacre’s personal views and, presumably, by implication, not those of the TV station on which he was broadcasting. But, of course, they should be the views of every sane person in the country, so for a broadcaster to think that they needed to excuse themselves from responsibility seems strangely disturbing to me. 

Anyway, it’s worth a watch, and if you have time I strongly urge you to buy Ben’s book, Bad Science.

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