Oct 042013

It was only a matter of time, of course. Faced with an increasingly vocal outcry about the potentially lethal disinformation punted by the loons behind What Doctors Don’t Tell You, the aforesaid financially canny loons have felt constrained to Speak Out. They have published a Press release, which I reproduce here in its entirety because it’s currently housed as a non-archivable HTML page in a public Dropbox folder and I expect it to disappear magically fairly soon. Much good that’ll do them, as it was also sent out to email subscribers.

First, some journalistic context. The original Times article is behind a paywall (even journalists have to eat), but fortunately you’ll find a copy of it here, along with a review of some of the other coverage this affair has been getting over the past few days. Now on to the fuckwittery, which I shall comment with remarkable restraint because there’s such a lot of it.

The WDDTY wars: why they don’t want you to read all about it

Two days ago we woke up to find ourselves and our magazine What Doctors Don’t Tell You the subject of a national scandal. On Tuesday October 1, the Times ran with an article about how there was a ‘call to ban’ our journal What Doctors Don’t Tell You over ‘health scares’.

Ooh, scare quotes. The call was actually for retail outlets to stop selling it, which isn’t quite the same thing as banning.

The original Times article alleged that a group of ‘experts’, including ‘scientists, doctors and patients’ were ‘condemning’ shops for carrying our magazine,

No it didn’t. The key word here is “group”, which has been inserted to suggest the actions of a lobby or small pressure group. It isn’t. The call is coming from the general public, people from all walks of life, people who often don’t even know each other.

The article also said that we’d claimed that vitamin C ‘cures’ HIV, that homeopathy could treat cancer, that we’d implied the cervical cancer vaccines has killed ‘hundreds’ of girls and that we’d told parents in our latest (October 2013) issues not to immunize their children with the MMR.

I don’t know precisely what you wrote in the magazine, Lynne, but I have your email to subscribers which categorically states that Gardasil has killed ‘up to’ 1,700 girls in the USA. So don’t fucking lie to us, because the Times article actually watered it down.

The Wright Stuff on channel 5 quickly followed suit with a television debate, flashing up a picture of me, Five Live followed up with a television debate about our magazine. By Thursday, when the Press Gazette were onto it, the headlines had escalated to: ‘Warning that claims in alternative health mag could prove fatal.’

Interesting that McTaggart, for it is doubtless she, should suddenly use “me” here. It does rather cast doubt on the “we”, “us” and “our” used elsewhere.

In all of the furore, not one of the newspapers, radio shows or television stations bothered to contact us, even to solicit a comment – which is Journalism 101 when you intend to run a story on someone, pro or con.

That is what is known as “being economical with the truth” or, for the more technically minded, a barefaced lie. Witness this statement from the science journalist in question:

It’s also apparent from the information published in The Times and in all the media following that not one journalist or broadcaster has read one single word we’ve written, particularly on the homeopathy story, and for very good reason: the article and the magazine containing it in fact have not yet been published.

However, the indignation isn’t merely about one miserable issue, as McTaggart would have you think.

  • Alan Henness

    Tom Whipple gave additional information about his attempts to contact WDDTY on their Facebook thread where McTaggart posted the above missive:

    Lynne. I emailed you and Gemma in your office, I phoned your office phone and left a voicemail on editorial and I left a voicemail with your managing editor. Journalists are expected to make every reasonable effort to get comment. I did. If you are there everyday and all day I am extremely confused as to why no one picks up the phone or answers email?

  • Alan Henness

    And another thing…I hope it didn’t escape your notice that she spends most of her diatribe railing against what The Times dared to say (and quite a few things it didn’t), yet she ends with the retort:

    People don’t believe newspapers anymore.

    Know of any good irony meter repair establishments?

    • http://blog.anarchic-teapot.net anarchic teapot

      You’ll notice that I kept the WTFometer well away from that post. I’m not daft, they come bloody expensive around dingbatshittery of that calibre.

  • Josephine Jones

    It’s the “Advertising Standards Association”, according to Lynne. You’d think after their record breaking performance in breaching advertising guidelines, WDDTY would at least know what the initials “ASA” stand for.

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