17 September 2014

Huffington Post's Autism Claim is Not Credible

Vaccine Syringe
Everyone knew that The Huffington Post has already received several recognitions since it was launched in May 2005 as a commentary outlet for the liberals and as an alternative to news aggregators.

As a result of its popularity, the online blog founded by Arianna Huffington received thousands of information that features news, blogs, and original content that covers politics, business, entertainment, environment, technology, popular media, lifestyle, culture, comedy, healthy living, women's interests, and local news.

However, the loose way of scanning through all those submissions from its contributors have also risen to allegations that The Huffington Post is actually supporting pseudo-sciences and spreads unsubstantiated findings from its so-called spin doctors and self-proclaimed experts.

In 2011, Dr. Patricia Fitzgerald of The Huffington Post claimed that there is a strong link between vaccinations and autism. Fitzgerald writes, "The autism-vaccine link is being studied because there are actual concerns that warrant these studies. Some studies support the use of certain vaccines, while other studies do not. Often there are conflicts of interest within studies. It can make anybody's head spin trying to sort through these studies."

Peter Lipson, an internist who specializes in the prevention and treatment of illness, does not agree with this observation. Given that the vaccine-autism links are widely rejected by the scientific and medical community, this "two-sideism," as Lipson calls it, is infuriating.

"It is irresponsible and it's immoral," he said. "They're allowed to write whatever they want – I make that clear. But they should show some editorial fortitude that there are some lines that you shouldn't cross. It's an ideological problem."

Lipson and one other blogger have also gone after the credibility of "Dr." Patricia Fitzgerald, a " licensed acupuncturist, certified clinical nutritionist, and a homeopath," who has received a "Master’s Degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine and a Doctorate in Homeopathic Medicine."

Fitzgerald, to the science bloggers' disdain, also happens to be the Huffington Post's "wellness" editor.

"Part of it is a misrepresentation of qualifications," Lipson told dailykos.com. "They started putting the word 'Dr' in front of everyone's name – more or less for anyone who has a doctorate in something or other – and Patricia Fitzgerald claims to have a doctorate in homeopathy, whatever that is. Homeopathy is a completely discredited fantasy. When you give that kind of credibility – I mean first you invite them to a well-known mainstream outlet, you let them call themselves a doctor when they're not really qualified, and then you let them interview other people and present them as professionals – it just layers on and layers on."