Morning shows’ health news called dangerous

HealthNewsReview.org publisher and University of Minnesota Professor Gary Schwitzer writes that, through their ratings, his team has found an unfortunate trend of poor reporting on network morning shows such as ABC’s Good Morning America, NBC’s Today show and the CBS Early Show. In his post, Schwitzer looked at reviews for four popular topics: weight loss, paralysis and spinal injury, cardiovascular disease and new medical technologies. Of the 18 reviewed stories that fit into those four categories, none of them earned a rating of better than two out of five and and more than a quarter of them received no rating points at all.

In his post, Schwitzer catalogs the shows’ worst recurring offenses, writing that they:

  • Unquestioningly promote new drugs and new technologies
  • Feed the “worried well” by raising unrealistic expectations of unproven technologies that may produce more harm than good
  • Fail to ask tough questions
  • Make any discussion of health care reform that much more difficult

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