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Friday, December 17, 2010

Griper Blade: A Study in Rightwing Media Misinformation -- The FDA and Avastin

AvastinIf you've ever wondered how the right got crazy, then join the club. Personally, I think it happened after Clinton was elected. For some reason, this unleashed a fury in conservatives, who seemed to believe that the White House in a post-Reagan world belonged to Republicans. They were entitled to a president from their own party and a Democrat sitting in the Oval Office became an affront to liberty and freedom and blah, blah, blah. Never mind that Clinton brought with him an unparalleled period of prosperity and growth. Never mind that Clinton balanced the budget. Never mind that he was meeting Republican goals, he was a Democrat and that automatically made him incompetent. With Clinton administration rose what Hillary Clinton rightly called a "vast rightwing conspiracy" -- a campaign of misinformation and outright lies that began with Rush Limbaugh and would eventually be described as the "rightwing noise machine." What began as talk radio blather grew into a massive, self-feeding echo chamber that exists primarily to agree with itself and attack anyone outside a certain group of politically correct ideologues.

Case in point; a University of Maryland study that found viewers of Fox News to be the most poorly informed of all cable news viewers. Worse, the study found that the more you watched Fox, the less informed you became. In other words, watching Fox News makes you dumb and watching more Fox News makes you dumber.

But Fox News isn't the worst offender. Here's Fox on the FDA's revoking of approval of the drug Avastin for treatment of breast cancer:

Dr. Cynara Coomer, Chief of Breast Surgery and Director of the Comprehensive Breast Center at Staten Island University Hospital, told that doctors should ultimately base their decisions on statistics.

"Avastin has been given to patients to decrease the chance of metastases, but they are not really finding that there is that much of a significant difference," Coomer said...[CLICK TO READ FULL POST]

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