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Health News as Entertainment

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Hiltzik has another good piece, this time featuring maps of preventable diseases to show the impact of the anti-vaccination foolishness. The general outlines we know here since we have slammed on the anti-vaxxers many times. But I thought this was an important point we probably haven’t really covered:

The surge of measles and whooping cough cases underscore the irresponsibility of opinion leaders like Katie Couric in giving anti-vaxxers a popular platform. Too many figures in the entertainment business (Dr. Oz, I’m looking at you) don’t care about making sure their audiences get information tested by science, as long as they can rake in the big bucks. They have a lot to answer for.

Indeed. Much like climate change, the idea that news has to be entertaining and thus present “both sides,” as if there are two sides to the need to get your children vaccinated or the science behind climate change, is incredibly damaging to the world.

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