Lyme Policy Wonk: CBS Lyme Story, A Tale of Conflicts of Interest & Bias

CBS Lyme Story, A Tale of Conflicts of Interest & Bias
Blog: Lyme Policy Wonk, published by
Written by: Lorraine Johnson, JD, MBA and Chief Executive Officer,

December 18, 2011

A CBS news story on Lyme disease has patients concerned about the misinformation that it promotes. On top of that, the story does not have the level of journalistic integrity that serious topics should have. For one thing, there is the title: “Lies and Truths”. Lies are statements that are known
to be false that are told to intentionally deceive another person. Lies are not issues that are matters of scientific debate. When a science article title uses the word “Lies”, it tells the reader that it is not about science. Second, the article is a single source article. This means unlike most journalism and particularly good science journalism, there is no attempt to present different sides of the issue. One side, in fact, one person’s opinion is put forth as uncontested “truth” with no counterpoint. Third, the piece is edited by the Orly Avitzur, M.D., M.B.A., Editor-in-Chief of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN). You may recall that the AAN was part of the antitrust investigation by the Connecticut Attorney General into the Lyme guideline development process by the Infectious Diseases Society of America. The reason?

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