Fear sells, which is why news outlets provide so much of it. But constant bad news is bad for our health. Turn off the TV and social media.
The coronavirus pandemic has devolved into just another partisan battle. In the process, it has revealed how poorly served Americans are by their leaders and the media.
Peter Fairley, an environmental journalist and contributing editor for MIT Technology Review, cited an anti-vaccine website, DeSmogBlog, in a smear directed at our organization. Simultaneously, he spread misinformation about influenza and COVID-19 and endorses advice that contradicts that of the CDC and World Health Organization.
The website’s strategy is clear: Throw ad hominem attacks as early and as often as possible. Why? Because it works. And the people most eager to spread the lies are self-proclaimed skeptical scientists and journalists.
Historically, microbiologists named new diseases after locations, animals or people. To this day, flu strains are named after the city in which they were first isolated. Obviously, that's because microbiologists are racist. Right?
The purpose of the Facebook page "I Fu**ing Love Science" is to popularize science while remaining scientifically accurate. However, one of its posts was recently flagged as "fake news" by Facebook fact-checkers.
I pitched a column to the journal Science titled, "How I Became a Junk Science Debunker." It was initially accepted and went through two months (and nine rounds) of editing. At the last moment, however, the column was spiked by senior editor Tim Appenzeller (pictured). Why? Because I'm a corporate shill, of course.
It's been a good month for us at ACSH. Cox Media correctly defined us in a story about glyphosate in cereal. And a media fact-checking group decided that we deserved a 'High' rating for a "clean fact check record." And the month's not even half over.
The prevalence of cigarette smoking among American adults is at an all-time low. Many media outlets decided to downplay or ignore this milestone public health achievement and instead scare people about vaping.
Contrary to wide-eyed speculation and fearmongering, coffee is not going extinct. Coffee bean production is up, and prices are down.
Over the past decade, Americans' trust in the news media has collapsed. However, it can be restored, if the media dedicates itself to accuracy and correcting its mistakes. As we are learning Americans care less about a media outlet's political slant than its dedication to the truth.
Air quality is very good pretty much everywhere in the United States. This fact stands in stark contrast to utterly absurd claims in the media, such as blaming air pollution for killing 155,000 Americans. Take a look at the maps provided by the World Health Organization.