What’s up with Fox News and promoting bad autism science and medicine

15 Jul

OK, it’s anecdotal. But from my perspective of all the networks, Fox just seems to be the most open to bad science and medicine reporting. CBS has Sharyl Attkisson, and her work has been far from excellent over the years. But Fox just seems to be the “go-to” news outlet for those pushing vaccine causation and unproven medical treatments.

Case in point, Fox 9 in the Twin Cities. A recent story: Investigators: Hyperbaric Autism Care.

http://www.myfoxtwincities.com/video/videoplayer.swf?dppversion=10588

Investigators: Hyperbaric Autism Care: MyFoxTWINCITIES.com

There just isn’t any evidence that HBOT works for autism. There isn’t even a good theory for why it would work. Listen to the story, they basically have it right: the brain will absorb more oxygen. In turn this will help treat autism.

That’s about it for the theory: oxygen should be good. More should be better. I.e. hyperbarics will treat autism. When it goes by fast, it sounds like they have some idea what they are talking about. But there isn’t anything there.

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34 Responses to “What’s up with Fox News and promoting bad autism science and medicine”

  1. navi July 15, 2011 at 03:30 #

    heh. I thought not too long ago it was fox news wasn’t pushing vaccine causation… Is this just local news shows or the national fox news as well?

  2. navi July 15, 2011 at 03:31 #

    but also timely, a few of my friends were asking about hbot. I referred them here. 🙂

  3. RAJ July 15, 2011 at 12:04 #

    Fox News has no interest in objectivity. They are only interested in stirring up controversy that will attract viewrs whether it is their health reporting, celebrity reporting, media reporting or their political reporting.

    The Rupert Murdoch UK hacking scandal demonstrates that increased viewership or readership at any cost, not journalistic integrity, is their bottom line.

    Matthew Freud, married to Rupert Murdoch’s daughter Elizabeth was quoted by the New York Times:

    “I am by no means alone within the family or the company in being ashamed and sickened by Roger Ailes’s horrendous and sustained disregard of the journalistic standards that News Corporation, its founder and every other global media business aspires to.”

  4. Peter July 15, 2011 at 12:40 #

    Ah, my son began to speak more, spell, request, use the potty, socialize and much more after Hyperbarics.

    1.5 ATM in a hard case chamber 1 hour dives total of 40.

  5. Science Mom July 15, 2011 at 15:19 #

    Ah, my son began to speak more, spell, request, use the potty, socialize and much more after Hyperbarics.

    1.5 ATM in a hard case chamber 1 hour dives total of 40.

    @ Peter, and many have noted the same progression with no such intervention. You are an anecdote, that’s it and why we have controlled studies. None have found any benefit for hyperbaric “therapy” and one child and his grandmother died as a result of it.

  6. Leila July 15, 2011 at 15:46 #

    I never expect good journalism from Fox News.

  7. Joe July 15, 2011 at 17:14 #

    In regards to Fox News you say,

    “The Rupert Murdoch UK hacking scandal demonstrates that increased viewership or readership at any cost, not journalistic integrity, is their bottom line.”

    Oh really. But you have no problem with the fact that every complaint/charge against Dr. Wakefield came from Brian Deer whos’ work was published/funded by the Sunday Times which is one of Rupert/James Murdoch’s main rag? You have no problem with the fact that James sits on the board (along with the CEO of the Lancet) of GSK who’s vaccine Wakefield questioned.

    You folks can’t have it both ways.

    • Sullivan July 15, 2011 at 17:34 #

      “But you have no problem with the fact that every complaint/charge against Dr. Wakefield came from Brian Deer whos’ work was published/funded by the Sunday Times which is one of Rupert/James Murdoch’s main rag? ”

      Oh, no. The “Brian Deer was the complainant” theory again.

      He wasn’t.

      Big difference with Brian Deer’s work and the current work. Mr. Deer acted ethically in exposing an unethical man (Mr. Wakefield). In the current scandal, the paper acted unethically in regards to monitoring people who were ethical.

      In one case, the journalist gets a major award, and the business enterprise (Mr. Wakefield’s various programs) are put in jeopardy. In the case of the current scandal, the newspaper (business interest) is facing the legal challenge.

  8. Leigh July 15, 2011 at 19:59 #

    None have found any benefit for hyperbaric “therapy” and one child and his grandmother died as a result of it.

    Really? Because my child realized tremendous benefit as a result.

    And, yes – the tragedy in FL was just that – a horrible tragedy. My thoughts and prayers are still with that family. However, 6 people died in a car accident on I-494 yesterday but I still drove to work today.

    • Sullivan July 15, 2011 at 22:23 #

      Leigh,

      I’m happy for your child that he/she has made some gains.

      No study has shown any clear benefit from HBOT. Even Thoughtful House (an organization I would think would be inclined to be favorable to the treatment) in their study said that HBOT showed no benefit. No one has presented a good theory as to why it should work.

      Given all that, I’m putting HBOT in the same category as secretin. There are still people supporting that treatment, even though the data against it are over 10 years old.

      Perhaps the Fox story would have been “news” if they included the actual studies performed which show no benefit, rather than just touting it as a wonderful treatment.

  9. Penny July 15, 2011 at 21:08 #

    Sully, thanks for staightening out Joe. I was wondering though, where has Brian Deer been getting a pay check from the last 14 years, or is he independently wealthy? Which one of Wakefields 100’s of paitents filed a complaint against him? Why wasn’t anyone but Deer allowed to testify at Wakefield’s 3 year trial? Who did tap into Wakefields phone to find out he got blood samples from NT kids at a b-day party? Sounds pretty Murdoch-ish to me. I know trying to help sick autistic children get well is a crime. Good job Brian and Sully!

    • Sullivan July 15, 2011 at 21:51 #

      Penny,

      “Why wasn’t anyone but Deer allowed to testify at Wakefield’s 3 year trial?”

      Would you be so kind as to tell me where you have been getting your information? I ask this because it is in error.

      You appear unaware that Mrs. 12, the mother of one of the Lancet children testified.

      You seem to think that Brian Deer testified (he didn’t).

      Are you aware of someone Mr. Wakefield wanted to call to testify who was denied? If so, can you point me to the source of that information. The lack of testimony in support of Mr. Wakefield is due to his lack of calling witnesses. For example, he could have called the person who drew blood at his child’s birthday party. He did not.

  10. Peter July 16, 2011 at 03:21 #

    @science mom

    I 100% disagree with your comments.

    Yeah through the “someone died” statement to scare everyone.

  11. Science Mom July 16, 2011 at 05:35 #

    I 100% disagree with your comments.

    I don’t expect you to agree with me; you’re a true believer. You don’t care about controlled studies or biological plausibility or any of that stupid science stuff; you saw it with your own eyes right?

    Yeah through the “someone died” statement to scare everyone.

    Why should that bristle you? Two people needlessly died in pursuit of a worthless treatment; I hope it would give someone pause before embarking on a treatment with zero evidence of efficacy and non-zero risk of harm. Not to mention the money.

  12. Ken Reibel July 16, 2011 at 15:13 #

    Peter, can you explain why you “100% disagree” with the comments? Even Mr. Wakefield knows HBOT is ineffective for treating autism.

  13. David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E. July 16, 2011 at 16:04 #

    Ken: “Peter, can you explain why you ‘100% disagree’ with the comments?”

    Other than that Peter’s too stupid to understand science, I can’t see him having a good reason for disagreeing 100% with ScienceMom’s comments. And if Peter doesn’t like the notion that he’s too stupid to understand science … I don’t care. People like him are putting the lives of autistic children at risk: the two children who died as a result of incorrect treatments based on scientifically disproven hunches about what autism is and how it comes about died needlessly, and arseholes like him are happy to take that sort of risk with children.

    They make me want to vomit.

  14. Andrew July 16, 2011 at 19:15 #

    Penny: Since you were curious – the parents of “Patient 11” were among the people that noticed and complained that Wakefield was lying about their child’s records.

  15. Larison July 16, 2011 at 23:12 #

    Penny really sounded like she was onto something. But it turns out she was just making stuff up. No wonder the anti-vaccine movement is fading fast.

  16. Science Mom July 16, 2011 at 23:59 #

    None have found any benefit for hyperbaric “therapy” and one child and his grandmother died as a result of it.

    Really? Because my child realized tremendous benefit as a result.

    As Sullivan said, glad your child is making developmental progress, however, the alignment of the planets is just as responsible as HBOT. No studies that have examined HBOT as an autism treatment have been able to demonstrate efficacy, nor provide any biological mechanism for hypothesising its efficacy.

    And, yes – the tragedy in FL was just that – a horrible tragedy. My thoughts and prayers are still with that family. However, 6 people died in a car accident on I-494 yesterday but I still drove to work today.

    Well you derive a tangible benefit by driving so you accept the risk of doing so. The risk/benefit ratio is vastly different with a fatal outcome and no benefit. Let’s be clear, it was a tragedy that was 100% preventable if only desperate parents weren’t snookered by charlatans.

  17. RAJ July 17, 2011 at 16:07 #

    Fox News and Rupert Murdoch’s empire doesn’t give a rats a** about whether Brian Deer is right or wrong or whether vaccines do or do not ’cause’ autism. They are only interested in stirring up controversy and interest that might increase readership or viewership.

  18. Jen July 19, 2011 at 17:16 #

    What’s up with the Today Show and Nancy Snyderman not reporting on the new twin study? Or Sanjay Gupta or Anderaon Cooper? That seems very odd, unless of course, the pharma-controlled media want to just keep the status quo. Maintain the genetics crap, so people don’t look at environmental causes. I hope Brian Deer and James Murdoch (GSK) are investigated with respect to their roles in the Wakefield matter. If not, what’s up with that?

    • Sullivan July 19, 2011 at 17:52 #

      “I hope Brian Deer and James Murdoch (GSK) are investigated with respect to their roles in the Wakefield matter. If not, what’s up with that?”

      Brian Deer has been “investigated”. His peers followed his stories and gave him a Press Award–the UK equivalent of the Pulitzer.

      What’s up with that?

      You will find a lot more discussion of environmental causation on this blog than those who push vaccine causation.

      What’s up with that?

  19. Dedj July 20, 2011 at 00:50 #

    “If not, what’s up with that?”

    So tell me, how is Wakefields compliant against Deer in front of the Press Complaints Commission getting along?

  20. Dedj July 20, 2011 at 01:13 #

    “I was wondering though, where has Brian Deer been getting a pay check from the last 14 years, or is he independently wealthy?”

    He’s a journalist, writer, documentary maker, speaker and reporter.

    Those are all jobs that tend to earn wages once the person is working above the high school level.

    “Which one of Wakefields 100’s of paitents filed a complaint against him?”

    Wakefields’ contract apparently did not allow him any clinical oversight on any person, thus it is doubtful he can be claimed to have had any patients.

    He currently has no licence to practice anywhere, so if you are aware of any current patient, then please report him to the relevant authourities. (Wakefield that is, not the patient)

    In addition, one of the reasons why we have ethical safeguards in place is because the inherent vulnerability, reliance on the clinician and personal investment in the outcome of treatment may mean that a patient may not recognise misconduct in thier treatment and may be actively willing to excuse or defend any misconduct they are aware of.

    Indeed, the lack of patient complaint can mean either:

    there is no basis for a complaint,
    or that the patient is not aware that there is a basis for complaint,
    or that the patient is actively invested in there not being a complaint.

    The potential of up to a million pounds worth of compensation each (according to Dawbarns, based on early 90’s figures), is a significant motivator for active investment in a particular outcome.

    “Why wasn’t anyone but Deer allowed to testify at Wakefield’s 3 year trial?”

    Deer didn’t testify, anyone was allowed, and no evidence has ever been presented that indicate Wakefield even attempted to admit witnesses for testimony, much less that they were rejected.

    “Who did tap into Wakefields phone to find out he got blood samples from NT kids at a b-day party?”

    He admitted it publically during a presentation.

    • Sullivan July 20, 2011 at 19:58 #

      “Wakefields’ contract apparently did not allow him any clinical oversight on any person, thus it is doubtful he can be claimed to have had any patients.”

      This is accurate. This is, in fact, an issue which resulted in charges by the GMC. He overstepped his position and took active roles in the treatment of children even though he was prohibited from doing so.

      The families of one of the children seen at the Royal Free did complain.
      http://blisstree.com/feel/colonoscopy-at-the-royal-free-hospital-was-not-clinically-justified-500000-payout/

      The child had the bowel perforated in multiple places, resulting in organ failure.

  21. Andrew July 20, 2011 at 01:58 #

    “What’s up with the Today Show and Nancy Snyderman not reporting on the new twin study? Or Sanjay Gupta or Anderaon Cooper? That seems very odd, unless of course, the pharma-controlled media want to just keep the status quo. ”

    It took reporters a decade to that Wakefield was bought off to commit fraud and you expect them to pick up on tentative results from a study immediately?

  22. David N. Brown July 20, 2011 at 09:05 #

    Actually, I would say there are logical reasons why HBOT would propositive results: A hypebaric chamber, by definition, is a controlled and sealed environment, where any number of stressors that aggravate an individual’s autistic symptoms will be excluded. Not, of course, having anything to do with the concentrated oxygen or the core causes of autism.

  23. Science Mom July 20, 2011 at 16:10 #

    What’s up with the Today Show and Nancy Snyderman not reporting on the new twin study? Or Sanjay Gupta or Anderaon Cooper? That seems very odd, unless of course, the pharma-controlled media want to just keep the status quo.

    What status quo would that be Jen? Finally recognising the anti-vax position as completely fallacious? What is your obsession with the most recent twin study, discussed here as a matter of fact? It is additional information that may very well contradict the previous evidence of higher concordance, not that it validates your erroneous beliefs. If only your ilk could treat evidence for what it is and stop trying to torture it into your paradigm, you wouldn’t look so foolish and feel so bitter all of the time.

  24. Dedj July 20, 2011 at 17:24 #

    “where any number of stressors that aggravate an individual’s autistic symptoms will be excluded. ”

    I find this suggestion interesting.

    I’ve seen self-reports and parental reports (as well as a few studies that I might have to dig out) that indicate a similar effect with Snoezelen rooms, self-isolation or ‘chill out’ rooms, self-isolation in small plain rooms (e.g. toilets and shower rooms), tents, bed covers and the like.

    I can’t imagine hyperbaric rooms are anything near quiet, but I’ll be willing to bet that inside the chamber itself is rather calm.

  25. Saraquill July 25, 2011 at 12:49 #

    What is rather perplexing is that these people use HBOT to try and treat the brain. They either don’t know or refuse to know that too much oxygen can lead to brain damage. Other possible side effects are blindness and lung damage. Those people rather seem to be missing the point.

  26. Peter March 21, 2012 at 23:32 #

    Hey David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E. when you vomit you might as well get it all over that useless degree of yours.

  27. McD March 22, 2012 at 22:03 #

    Actually, I would say there are logical reasons why HBOT would propositive results: A hypebaric chamber, by definition, is a controlled and sealed environment, where any number of stressors that aggravate an individual’s autistic symptoms will be excluded. Not, of course, having anything to do with the concentrated oxygen or the core causes of autism.

    Good reasons why you would expect a good study of HBOT to use a control group where the participants (consenting adults I hope) go through the process with the motor running, but without the HBO.

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