In a Salon article already generating a lot of discussion on the Internet, Dr. Rahul K. Parikh suggests that the Huffington Post’s coverage of health and wellness issues “seems defined mostly by bloggers who are friends of [Arianna] Huffington or those who mirror her own advocacy of alternative medicine.” Parikh is not the only one worried and other doctors have argued that this has led to a preponderance of posts on HuffPo that champion “dubious treatments and therapies.”
One of the more prominent stands that the Huffington Post bloggers, including the now-discredited David Kirby and actors Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey, have taken is against childhood vaccines. These anti-vaccination posts are, Parikh argues, riddled with errors and offer “the usual anti-vaccine platitudes—blaming doctors for being in bed with drug companies [and] attacking people instead of data.”
To be fair, it should be said that the Huffington Post published an article by Dr. Paul Offit who is the author of Autism’s False Prophets: Bad Science, Risky Medicine, and the Search for a Cure and has been a vocal opponent of the anti-vaccinationists. In the article entitled Don’t Risk Going Unvaccinated, Offit warns against the dangers of not vaccinating children and pointed to the overwhelming evidence that there is no connection between vaccination and autism.
Not surprisingly, given Offit’s position on vaccines, his article in the Huffington Post article touched off a firestorm of comments both in support and in opposition to his views (scroll to bottom of article for the comments).