From Abracadabra to Zombies
Mass Media Bunk Archive
a commentary on news stories or articles in the mass media that provide false, misleading, or deceptive information regarding scientific matters or alleged paranormal or supernatural events
This blog ran from February 1996 to September 2007 and has been replaced by Skeptimedia.
No. 36 Oct 15 How faith healer Lorraine Louvat uses the power of suggestion to make it appear that a person's leg has grown longer miraculously.
No. 35 Feb 17-Sept 28 Tim Russert of NBC News ask Democratic presidential hopefuls: What is your favorite Bible verse? (SU); vitamin D study (JS); 20/20 and comatose saints (SU); Steven Milloy (JS).
No. 34 Feb 16 Oprah's 3-ring psychic circus (P).
No. 33 Dec 30 Animal Planet makes a monkey out of Jane Goodall (JS).
No. 32 Dec 26 the season for miracles (SU).
No. 31 Dec 13 media madness over Mary Cheney's pregnancy (O).
No. 30 Sept 3 three strikes against psychic crime fighters: seeing what we want to see (P).
No. 29 June 27 framing articles to promote psychic drivel; the Bee's Allen Pierleoni strikes again (P).
No. 28 April 14 busting the cholesterol myths of Uffe Ravnskov et al. (JS).
No. 27 March 30 9/11 conspiracies: the war on critical thinking (CT).
No. 26 Jan7-Mar 10 psychics (P); cloning humans (JS); and attacking atheists and Richard Dawkins (SU).
No. 25 July 15-27 facilitated communication at Syracuse U. (JS); Kevin Trudeau's natural cures (JS); healing prayer studies (SU).
No. 24 July 13 Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s rant on Big Pharma & the government conspiring to kill our children, mostly via MMR vaccinations to produce autism (JS) (O)
No. 23 Feb- March 7 Australia's Sunday Telegraph for psychics (P); the global consciousness project (P).
No. 23 Sept 1-Dec12 various kinds of blindness (SC); Russian-born energy healer Alla Svirinskaya (CAM); pet psychics (P); and PBS's "The Question of God" (SU).
No. 22 Jan 29-Mar 28 testing psychics (P); Allen Pierleoni panders to hypnotherapist (JS) (CAM); New York Times promotes astrology (JS); the Truster & other lies (JS); Natasha Demkina's x-ray vision (JS); John Stossel debunking myths (CT) (JS).
No. 22 Dec 6-10 fighting crime with prayer (SU); Sylvia Browne tells woman her mother's dead, much to the woman's surprise (P).
No. 21 March 23-Nov 15 pet psychic Sonya Fitzpatrick (P); George Barna, the Christian pollster, has bad news for Christians (SU) (SC); stupidest story I've ever read (go right to it!) (JS); healing prayer (SU).
No. 20 Jan 8-March 13 the end of the world (SU); naturopathy (JS) (CAM); psychics and cold reading (P).
No. 20 Dec 18 mediums and cold reading (P); medical quackery at Harvard (JS) (CAM).
No. 19 June 3-Nov 8 Jed C. Macosko Discovery Institute ID warrior (JS) (FH) (SU); lunar effects (SC); Fox Network beyond belief again (FH); David Icke (P) (U); the end times (SU); Padre Pio (SU); pet psychics (P).
No. 18 May 10 media gaga over psychic scam of dead talk (P) (SU).
No. 18 Sept 17-Oct 14 the sealed envelope reading trick: is David Copperfield psychic? (P); the Kwang Y. Cha study on in vitro fertilization and prayer (JS) (FH) (SU); Janelle Brown's puff piece for Francine Shapiro's EMDR (JS); President Bush declares himself "a good guy" and vows to "rid the world of evil-doers" and declares we are war, while I declare that how we carry out this war will determine not only our own destiny but the destiny of our planet (O).
No. 17 Aug 13-Sept 13 Mark Phillips's photo of Satan (O); Charles Tart, collector of anecdotes for the paranormal and supernatural (P) (SU); crime data: Utah State Bureau of Criminal Identification (BCI) claims data shows that a mother is three times as likely to be assaulted by a man on Mother's Day as on any other day of the year (JS); Peter Popoff & wife still scamming after all these years (FH) (SU).
No. 16 June 28-July 23 the polygraph (JS); and life after death (SU) (JS).
No. 15 Jan 2-June 23 Atlantis guesses (JS); memory & Freud's theory of repression (SC); Sylvia Browne, Van Praagh, and Jon Edward exposed on Larry King Live (P); remote viewing (P); Fox and the moon landing hoax hoax (FH); acupuncture (JS).
No. 14 July 7-Dec 16 psychic dogs? (JS); the science? of spiritual exercise (JS); a modern shaman (CAM) (JS); ghosts (P); North Pole melting (SC); acupuncture for cocaine addiction (JS); Shirley MacLaine's website (O); "Crossing Over" with John Edward begins (SU); secularization of public education (O).
No. 13 May 5-June 29 "48 Hours" phony test of the paranormal (JS); CNN promotes dowsing (JS); WebMD soft touch on therapeutic touch (JS); crystal skulls (P); 43% of CAM studies have no positive effect (CAM); feng shui (P); shroud of Turin (SU); Einstein and religion (SU); intuitive medicine (JS); Vatican reveals Fatima prophecy (SU); Fox's "Powers of the Paranormal" (JS); St. Gennaro (SU); Larry King's parade of buffoons (P); James Van Praagh, a "medium-for-asses" (P).
No. 12 March 19-May 2 Ogopogo (CZ); child care and crime (JS); Fox: ghosts, sea monsters, & psychic pets (P); miracles are in the eye of the beholder (SU); astrology (JS); Sylvia Browne's cellular memory (JS); History Channel UFOs (U); dowsing (JS); Barna poll on spirituality (SU); homeopathy (JS); obstetrics & astrology (JS).
No. 11 Jan 5- March 16 homeopathy (JS); Our Lady of the Ice Cream Spill (SU); AIDS among Catholic priests (SU); prayer may or may not help (SU); bones on tour (SU); geomancy in Hong Kong (P).
No. 11 Nov 30-Dec 27 "What was...considered quackery or fraud [in 1989]... is now being viewed as a normal part of doing business among insurers and others in the delivery side of medicine." God kills 10 an saves hundreds in ferry-sinking; Jane Seymour defends alternative medicine; acupuncture study with 12 subjects makes news; the dangers of cell-phones and breast implants.
No. 10 Oct 15-Nov 30 (with several posts from Sept 2000 relating to how many fundamentalists there really are on planet Earth) Journalist's review of "fatal medical errors" ripped; CNN promotes feng shui; God saves another one while killing hundreds of others; study on prayer published in The Archives of Internal Medicine; ABC promotes the cell-phone cancer scare; Washington Post promotes creationists; given some statistical data, my guess is that militant Christian fundamentalists consist of no more than about 4% of the population worldwide, and no more than about 15% of the population in the United States; I do battle with a militant creationist/anti-evolutionist liar for Jesus.
No. 9 May 10-Aug 18 Going to church may be good for your health (or maybe unhealthy people can't physically get to church); Fox shows "Signs from God: Science Tests Faith" and skeptics rip it to shreds; remote viewing promotion gulls local news lady; misleading study on the dangers of prescription drugs ripped by skeptics.
No. 8 Jan 24-July 26 The myth of the Kennedy curse; Audrey Santo, victim soul or abuse of the comatose?; personology; the star child skull nonsense; graphology promoted by local fishwrap; "Dangerous Doctors," by Michael L. Millenson, repeats the claim that "Most patients would be very surprised to learn that more than half of all medical treatments, and perhaps as many as 85 percent, have never been validated by clinical trials." I show where this claim came from and why it can't be trusted.
No. 7 Oct 1-Nov 3 Andrew Weil; Congress approves new National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine at Bastyr University; Valerie Vaughan defends astrology and offers a plan for astrologers to promote their craft; the History Channel promotes belief in hauntings; Catherine Dold promotes acupuncture under guise of unbiased journalism.
No. 6 Mar 6-July 17 Graphology promoted; Sharon Begley claims science finds God; magnetic therapy promoted; Newsweek promotes alternative medicine; NBC does mini-series on Noah's ark; The New York Times misleadingly reports, as did many other news agencies, that prescribed drugs are killing thousands annually; eggs standing on end at the equinox nonsense promoted in local fishwrap; Charles Grodin fawns over James Van Praagh; Anita Creamer promotes past-life regression.
No. 5 Jan 19 Washington Post promotes DKL Lifeguard.
No. 4 July 5-Nov 25 British futurist Benjamin Creme states that Maitreya - World Teacher for the coming age - will be interviewed on a major American network before the end of the year (what? you still haven't heard of Maitreya?); Larry King promotes James Van Praagh; Brenda Biondo promotes acupuncture for the treatment of cystic fibrosis, cancer, drug addiction, and Parkinson's disease; local fishwrap promotes past life regression therapy.
No. 3 April 8-March 28 Heaven's Gate cult commits suicide; Montel Williams promotes Sylvia Browne;
No. 3 Oct 11-15 Poltergeists promoted on British telly and Bill Moyers promotes faith.
No. 2 April 7-Sept 28 Discovery Channel promotes psychic powers; ABC and Richard Karne ("Tool Time") promote Eric von Däniken; Discovery Channel promotes remote viewing; numerology promoted in local fishwrap; Charles Tart and the paranormal promoted; ABC panders to the public's love of all things psychic with "Put to the Test II" that didn't involve much serious testing of anything; graphology promoted; FBI profiling of the Unabomber a total bomb.
No. 1 Feb 11-26 (with a bonus from my clippings file: April 19, 1987, Alice Kahn, "Channeling for Dollars, "The San Francisco Chronicle); Nova on alien abductions did not live up to a very high standard of scientific scrutiny of extraordinary claims; Dave Thomas rips Charlton Heston & NBC's The Mysterious Origins of Man; Ann Landers promotes herbal medicine; treatment of mental illness.