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The New York Times has some of the worst science coverage in the nation, its Tuesday section notwithstanding. The Times shamelessly promotes alternative medicine and organic food while scaremongering over "chemikillz" and trashing scientists who work in biotechnology.

There's a reason for that. Not only is the paper trying to appeal to its elite, Upper West Side clientele, but the New York Times's publisher, Arthur Sulzberger Jr., is married to Gabrielle Greene, who is on the board of Whole Foods. In May...

Journalism isn't what it used to be.

Decades ago, it was a widely respected career. Every night, people would gather around their television sets to watch the nightly news. There weren't many options to choose from, and Walter Cronkite was easily the most famous. He was so influential, that a myth widely believed to this day circulated about him: When Cronkite declared the Vietnam War a stalemate, President Lyndon Johnson supposedly remarked, "If I've lost Cronkite, I’ve lost Middle America."

He never did say that, but the kernel of truth at the heart of the myth still rings loud and true: There was a time when Americans...

Much buzz has surrounded President Trump's "Fake News Awards." Given that part of our mission is debunking pseudoscience and bogus health claims, we felt obliged to offer our own Fake News Award ... for junk science.

Websites like Food Babe, Mercola, InfoWars, and Natural News are perennial contenders. But giving them the award is too easy and predictable. Anyone with a halfway decent frontal lobe knows that these websites are pure garbage.

So, the Fake News Award for Science should go to a media outlet that has credibility (in some people's eyes, anyway), yet consistently gets the science wrong, likely for ideological reasons. With those criteria in...

The Gray Lady has gotten raunchy in her old age. News has just broken that the New York Times's national security reporter, Ali Watkins, was sleeping with a source who worked as an aide to the Senate Intelligence Committee. That source has now been arrested as part of an investigation into leaks of classified information.

It's long been known that journalism, like the legal profession, attracts its fair share of agenda-driven sleazebags who prioritize half-truths and personal ambition over honor and veracity, perhaps none more so than the New York Times. Back in 2003, Jayson Blair, a reporter for the NYT, resigned because he plagiarized and...

In September, a front page, New York Times story tried to describe the tactics of two feuding groups over the decision to label GMOs. According to the article's author Eric Lipton, both sides had enlisted scientists to cite as experts in order to validate their respective beliefs. The article even cites email correspondents and other documents between industry leaders of both sides. However, a skeptical eye could easily catch the slant Lipton was displaying.

The...

Do you think video games have led to more violent attacks by young people? You are not alone. Lots of people do. It was in every major newspaper because a meta-analysis once showed it was so.  But then another meta-analysis showed that belief is false.

Journalists gushed over both claims(1) even though one was suspect to anyone who understands the nature of selection bias in meta-analyses. So let's discuss what a meta-analysis is and what it can and cannot do. 

What meta-analysis is: It is just what it sounds like, an analysis of analyses, which is better than a literary criticism of literary criticisms, though in...

A short while ago, despite two hurricanes and a shooting in Las Vegas, advocacy journalists in North Carolina were spending time attempting to Gerrymander the word "conservationist" in order to make sure an expert in favor of natural gas could be excluded from a committee. Mostly because he lacked their key criterion, a donation to Sierra Club.

Yet they didn't come right out and say that. Their stated concerns were that Jim Womack, a member of our Board of Scientific Advisors, was filling a slot reserved for a "nongovernmental conservation interest" on the state's Oil and Gas Commission. This passes for controversy in political environmentalism. Womack, a West Point graduate, retired after a long career as an Army Officer, where he had served in the Pentagon and testified before...

It's often helpful for journalists who do not have specialized knowledge of complex scientific topics to write about them anyway, because if they can understand them and figure out how to communicate them, they can perform a tremendous public service. However, if journalists don't take the time to understand complex topics and get the very basics wrong, they do the public a massive disservice and end up looking like buffoons.

Which brings us to veteran New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, who studied law and fancies himself an expert in chemistry and toxicology. Chemists and toxicologists disagree.

His latest diatribe -- which was easily and thoroughly debunked by my...

Stephan Neidenbach is a middle school technology teacher. To counter the barrage of misinformation about biotechnology on the internet, he began a Facebook page called We Love GMOs and Vaccines. He quickly gained prominence among science communicators.

Anti-biotechnology activists – especially those who are on an ideological bender against genetically engineered crops – are trying to destroy the careers of scientists who work on or publicly advocate for GMOs. Their favored tactic is to target academic scientists with Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, then fishing through e-mails for any evidence that the scientists are “corporate shills.” Finding none, activists pull quotes out of context, fabricate conspiracies, and cyberbully scientists online. University of Florida...

Chris Portier, Ph.D., an activist statistician who pushed to get the common herbicide ingredient glyphosate listed as a "hazard" for carcinogen labeling purposes while with the International Agency for Research on Cancer, only later revealed he was on the payroll of an anti-science litigation group that was targeting glyphosate at the time - Environmental Defense Fund.

A court deposition and the implicit threat of perjury should he lie forced Portier to disclose he was also being paid by a lawyer who wanted to sue over glyphosate once he helped get it declared a "probable" carcinogen. That left glaring questions: How did the law firm learn of the IARC...