How much lower can the New York Times go?
Thanks to serial fabricator Jayson Blair, America's alleged newspaper of record was spreading fake news long before "fake news" became a household word. As I detailed for RealClearScience in 2015, the paper has a lengthy record of eagerly promoting junk science, such as fad diets, anti-GMO propaganda, chemophobia, and the debunked link between cell phones and cancer. Last year, one of its reporters was caught sleeping with a source.
Apparently, the NYT hasn't quite hit rock-bottom yet. Somebody at the Gray Lady said, "Hold my beer and watch this."
New York Times Promotes Witchcraft
In a bizarre article titled "Here’s What Being a Witch Really Means," author Pam Grossman explains, "My grandma Trudy used to tell us that she had 'healing hands.' I soon discovered that I did, too." What sort of healing? Well, Ms. Grossman says that her grandma could make her headaches vanish by simply touching her forehead. Apparently, she resurrected a dying horse, too.
Notwithstanding the Lazarus Horse, the headache "cure" has an easy explanation: The placebo effect.
Anyway, not to be outdone by her show-off grandmother, Ms. Grossman later discovered that she, too, had the power to heal... or at the very least, make horny teenagers kiss each other:
There was the spell I did for Rebecca, my older sister’s friend, who was hiding in my room during a house party, lusting after some guy who was downstairs. I lit some candles and did some incantations: “Oh kindle the fire of his heart!” I chanted, while trying not to kindle the fire of my suburban bedroom.
Then I sprinkled her with some “love powder” that I’d bought at a New Age shop and sent her on her way. They made out an hour later.
Wow. If that isn't a slam-dunk case for witchcraft, then I don't know what is.
The New York Times Doesn't Understand Why Smart Women Fall for Pseudoscience
Entirely unironically, a few days later, the New York Times ran an op-ed by Jessica Knoll titled "Smash the Wellness Industry." The article begins by asking, "Why are so many smart women falling for its harmful, pseudoscientific claims?"
Gee, maybe it's because they read about the benefits of witchcraft in the very same newspaper? This is sort of like the Weekly World News running an op-ed denouncing fake news, while covering the latest antics of Bat Boy.
The opinion piece is actually quite good, as it echoes many of ACSH's themes. Notably, the piece denounces the "poisonous relationship" Americans have with their food, namely, that they're supposed to be afraid of it. Ms. Knoll then hits a grand slam with this:
...I could recognize wellness culture for what it was — a dangerous con that seduces smart women with pseudoscientific claims of increasing energy, reducing inflammation, lowering the risk of cancer and healing skin, gut and fertility problems.
So, why oh why, does the New York Times still have an entire section dedicated to wellness? And why does the NYT continue to publish nonsense about "detoxing"? Answer: Because the NYT knows there is a lot of money to be made selling pseudoscience to its gullible Upper West Side clientele. While the op-ed page seems to support evidence-based science, the rest of the newspaper keeps peddling junk.