Friday, March 27, 2009

The self-righteous fury of the blogs

If you don't read Carl Zimmer's blog, The Loom, you should. He has a magnificent post about the cl/rash between blogs and the mainstream media (Zimmer also writes for Discover, The New York Times, and other more traditional news sources) in which he writes,
"Take, for example, a recent righteous rant from Ben Goldacre, a British doctor who writes the blog Bad Science. Goldacre is doing fabulous work on his blog, taking on irresponsible sensationalism and misinformation about vaccines, quack medicine, and other offenses. His guns are blazing particularly hot in a recent post about some awful reporting on recent studies on prostate cancer. He concludes with this sweeping condemnation of our trade:

Journalists insist that we need professionals to mediate and explain science. From today’s story, their self belief seems truly laughable.

Goldacre is big on evidence and down on anecdote, but as Zimmer notes here, he's guilty when it comes to condemning the MSM based on cherry-picked stories.

When I am critical, as I often am, I do worry about this, and I hope that I have taken a fair line with who I blame. If I haven't I trust you to let me know.

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