Journalistic Standards

The Internet makes them impossible:

After all, are chubby dietitians or portly physicians in any position to advise others how to get healthy?

That question is at the heart of a debate set off when Dr. Regina Benjamin was nominated for surgeon general.

As noted above, one side of the “debate” seems to be limited to
online comment trolls and Neil Cavuto’s televised series against
decency (thisTelegraph article
is the best I could find otherwise). The other side, from what I’ve
seen, is mostly doctors and people who aren’t professional obesity
trolls. YMMV.

But with the nation’s obesity crisis worsening, some advocates
say it’s increasingly critical for health care workers and those with
visible, influential roles to “walk the walk” and serve as role models.

Gather, young journalists, around the screen, this is a great lesson
in how to prop up a dead argument: note the word “obesity.” Is Benjamin
obese?Sure don’t look like it.
Sure isn’t any information in the article to suggest it. But by using
that word, you can keep pushing the piece down a completely separate
track:

“A doctor doesn’t need to be perfect, but it’d be hard for me to
take financial advice from a CPA who had just filed for bankruptcy,”
said Dr. Timothy Harlan, medical director of the Tulane University
School of Medicine, who says he believes physicians should make a
genuine effort to be healthy.

A kick save and a beauty. Bankruptcy? “Make a genuine effort to be
healthy?” Did anyone say she doesn’t? Does it matter to the author?

Possibly best post title ever at the link.

A.

7 thoughts on “Journalistic Standards

  1. virgotex says:

    “Make a genuine effort to be healthy?” Did anyone say she doesn’t? Does it matter to the author?

    One of the core bits of “insight” gained from being overweight in a fat-phobic society: if you’re fat, you’re just fat. Full stop.
    It doesn’t matter if you’re coming home from the gym, on your way to your ascetic lunch of chicken breast and a lemon slice, and that you’ve lost 120 pounds in the past three years. The people who hate, and are disgusted by, fat people (most of whom have never lost anything near the amount of weight you’ve lost over your lifetime) are going to hate,and are disgusted by, you too.
    They are also going to automatically think you are mentally ill and/or stupid. And forget about genetics or thyroid issues- those are just lies and denial, and your endocrinologist is just a quack. “Please have some self esteem, get some exercise, be more active, but god forbid not at MY gym, don’t gross me out at MY beach, why do you go out dressed like that- do you really think anyone is going to find that attractive?”

  2. FastMovingCloud says:

    I’m sure the svelte Rush Limbaugh has plenty to say about this, doesn’t he. I don’t remember C. Everett Coop being exactly slim and trim.
    Double standard, anyone?

  3. donna says:

    Growing up I had an overweight doctor, a dentist with false teeth and a n optometrist with glasses.
    Man did I brush like crazy when that dentist would pop his dentures out to show us what happens if you don’t take care of your teeth!

  4. MapleStreet says:

    Wouldn’t take advice from a CPA who went bankrupt?
    Wasn’t there a fairly strong association with Enron in the Bush camp? Didn’t Bush put someone in defense whose first attmpted move was to privatize electricity in Military Bases because it so effectively led to rolling blackouts in California?
    Like Virgotex said in a thread yesterday, The point isn’t about the substance. The point is to argue.
    (parenthetically, kind of reminds me of a 3 year old where the point is to argue so you can stay up later. The 3 year old can throw in any detail in the world ranging from being thirsty to aardvarks in Zanzibar.)

  5. pansypoo says:

    jerbilism isn’t about perspective.
    and she isn’t OBESE. in no way does she look like the young lard butts i see.

  6. whet moser says:

    I think the award for Creative Pwnage in the Dr. Benjamin “Controversy” goes to Jezebel, which pointed out that Ag Dept head Tom Vilsack didn’t get dinged for having “a few extra pounds.”

  7. Fleas correct the era says:

    Did anyone say she doesn’t? Does it matter to the author?
    ========================
    That would be No and No, respectively.
    And Zanzibar, by the way, is very far. You can’t get there in a car.

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