Nel's New Day

October 5, 2011

Fox News Unhealthy

Filed under: Uncategorized — trp2011 @ 5:52 PM

Fox “News” has a long reputation for mis-educating its 100 million viewers (that’s almost one-third of the country’s population!) in political matters. But it’s “health” news from their “experts” can be equally dangerous.

One example of the falsehoods from Fox is that apple juice, probably from China, is high in arsenic. When The U.S. Food and Drug Administration tested the same juice that Dr. Mehmet Oz used to make this accusation, they disagreed. Oz’s former medical school classmate Dr. Richard Besser called this accusation an “extremely irresponsible” report. He explained that arsenic is naturally present in water, air, food, and soil in both organic and inorganic forms. Organic arsenic passes through the body and is essentially harmless; inorganic arsenic is toxic and presents a cancer risk if consumed at high levels or over a long period of time. Oz failed to break down the type in its testing

In the juice that Oz used, the FDA also found far lower total arsenic levels—2-6 parts per billion of arsenic versus the 36 that he claimed on his show. Nestle USA wrote the program’s producer in advance that the method the show’s lab used was intended for testing waste water, not fruit juice, and “therefore their results would be unreliable at best.” The FDA also warned the producer in advance of the show’s inaccuracies. Fox insisted on broadcasting the show.

If Fox News had its way, there wouldn’t be any regulation on the amount of arsenic in any foods—or any regulations on anything—so it would be a moot point based on their philosophy of “inconsequential government” (to use Rick Perry’s term). Oz’s testing would be a waste of time.

Even worse than Oz’s “health news” is the dangerous message from the channel’s “expert on psychiatry,” Dr. Keith Ablow, who reported that “tomboys” watching transgender Chaz Bono, Cher’s son who appeared on Dancing with the Stars, will want to become boys. In a recent column, “Don’t Let Your Kids Watch Chaz Bono On Dancing With the Stars ” Ablow added that Chaz Bono does not have a civil right to be transgender.

Ablow’s alternative to Bono’s changing gender? “Make no mistake: I would have gone to the ends of the earth to help Chaz Bono if she had come to me for help. I would have treated her with dignity and summoned every ounce of my intellect and empathy to explore her psyche with her. I would have pried loose every family secret hidden by the Bonos. I would have been relentless. I would have used everything I know about medication to help her. I would have enlisted the help of every expert I know–some of the world’s best–at everything from endocrinology to hypnosis. I would have teamed up with a spiritual counselor, if that seemed indicated.” In an earlier column about Bono, Ablow called Bono “psychotic” and “delusional.”

At least Megyn Kelly, Fox anchor, disagreed with Ablow’s homophobic, transphobic, hateful, and unscientific statements. When pressed about his column on Bono, Ablow went further, however, comparing transgender people to people suffering from anorexia and heroin addiction. Other people have trashed Bono for being transgender, but none of those people is a declared “expert” on a major television channel. Ablow seems to be an authority in everything; for example, he has determined that marriage is a “dying institution” due, in part, to the existence of the birth control and said President Obama must engage in “introspection” to determine if he has “prejudice… towards white people.”

This is the kind of “health advice” that Fox “News” provides. Yet Fox continues to employ Ablow even after this attack. My bumper sticker says “Turn off Fox.” I need another one that states “Friends don’t let friends watch Fox.”

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