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Thread: Medical correspondent, Sanjay Gupta, Surgeon General?

  1. #16
    Elite Member Moongirl's Avatar
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    Sanjay Gupta is a sweet choice for surgeon general. - By Troy Patterson - Slate Magazine

    A Spoonful of Sugar
    Sanjay Gupta is a sweet choice for surgeon general.

    By Troy Patterson
    Posted Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2009, at 11:04 PM ET
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    It is a measure of TV journalism's unhealthy self-regard that Wolf Blitzer launched today's edition of The Situation Room (CNN) with a story that one of his colleagues, chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta, might have a new job.

    Blitzer blared, "And we begin with the breaking news—a surprising prospect for a high profile job in the Obama administration. The post—surgeon general of the United States. This is a story that hits all of us here at CNN close to home. …" John King had the deets: "Here in the CNN family, we call him the good doctor. We may soon be calling him General Gupta."

    Gaza was wreckage, the president-elect was forecasting trillion-dollar budget deficits, Lindsay Lohan was denying breakup rumors, and Wolf led with this. No wonder some members of the public reacted to the news with a kneejerk huh?!—as if Gupta weren't a doctor just because he plays one on TV. It sounded a bit like a joke, a circumstance helped along by the fact of surgeons general having been figures of fun in recent decades: Joycelyn Elders had a fine run as a late-night punch line after stating support for teaching masturbation as a part of sexual health—an infraction that got her fired by Bill Clinton!—and C. Everett Koop has that beard, this pop-culture résumé, and those commercials for Life Alert bracelets.

    But Gupta is a brain surgeon, a policy wonk, and a fine broadcaster. Never mind the run-of-the-mill cable-news nonsense he's committed to video—the storm-lashed stand-ups in hurricanes and spot commentaries on celebrity autopsies—he's a journalist whose talents for transforming jargon into English and spin into sense are appropriate for a gig that is, at its best, pro-health PR work. Upon the release of Sicko, he gave a cool rebuttal to Michael Moore's bluster on Larry King Live, marshaling what I would call an impressive knowledge of the medical system if I had the patience to watch the whole tedious neutering.

    As a TV presence, Gupta is confident and not too slick, with a common touch and a healthy blandness—the equivalent of the warm bedside manner he described to People upon being named one of its Sexiest Men Alive in 2003: "A recent study said that most doctors interrupt their patients within 11 seconds. … I don't, I think I'm an emotional doctor." People also ventured that Gupta is "so sexy that he makes you forget he's reporting on the flu, SARS or pesticide levels in farmed salmon," and that is his trump card. Joycelyn Elders caused a scandal by saying that self-pleasure was a positive thing. Sanjay Gupta conveys the same message without speaking a word. He just makes the scene and flashes a smile, and things take care of themselves.

    .

    .

    Troy Patterson is Slate's television critic.

    Article URL: Sanjay Gupta is a sweet choice for surgeon general. - By Troy Patterson - Slate Magazine


    Copyright 2008 Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive Co. LLC

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by witchcurlgirl View Post


    Seriously though, he has very troubling links to Big Pharma
    Yes.
    And President Obama, how many of your numerous nominees are without ties to big business?

    Change, my ass!

  3. #18
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    sooooo true or he brings in old ones that was there before. what a big change :-|

  4. #19
    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    Sanjay Gupta Treads the Ethical Line

    Sanjay Gupta, Obama’s reported choice for surgeon general, is no stranger to the ethically sticky situation physicians often find themselves in with drug companies. Speaking with Paula Zahn in 2005, he noted that “there is a lot of nudge, nudge, wink, wink going on, as far as some of these freebies, giveaways, trips to Aspen for performing a certain number of procedures or prescribing these medications. … It becomes a slippery slope.” As Paul Krugman and other critics have pointed out, but not yet fully explored, Gupta has treaded the ethical line in several instances.

    For over six years, Gupta has been co-hosting “AccentHealth”—a CNN television segment beamed straight into doctors’ waiting rooms, sponsored in part by many of the major pharmaceutical companies. Touted on its website as an “integrated marketing opportunity” that allows companies to deliver their message “in a trusted environment,” the show has been underwritten by drug industry leaders Aventis, Pfizer, Procter & Gamble, Merck, and Warner Lambert.

    At the same time, Gupta has been appearing on CNN’s primary broadcasts as an ostensibly objective medical authority, discussing the drugs produced by the very same pharmaceutical companies. In a November 2003 broadcast of CNN’s “American Morning,” Gupta described the benefits of the cholesterol-reducing drug Lipitor, which is produced by Pfizer:

    I actually talked to the doctor who did this study and I asked him the same question. I asked him about myself, I said, “Should I be on this medication?” And he sort of laughed, and said, “I'm not ready to do that over the phone,” as a good doctor would. But he said, for the most part, it's a pretty good drug and there's very few reasons not to be on it.
    Later, in a 2005 “Accent Health” broadcast, Gupta took up his promotional mantle and advised viewers how to buy discounted Lipitor online. These weren’t the only times that Gupta’s news coverage involved medications manufactured by the companies that have sponsored the quasi-infomercial he co-hosts. Gupta has also name-dropped Allegra, a popular allergy medication manufactured by Aventis, as an allergy remedy on “AccentHealth” in 2005 and repeated on CNN’s “House Call With Dr. Sanjay Gupta” in 2006. And in 2006, he began reporting extensively on Gardasil, the HPV vaccine produced by Merck.

    A representative for AccentHealth says there is no relationship between Gupta and the show’s sponsors, and even if there were, it wouldn’t necessarily disqualify Gupta to be the next Surgeon General. But the sometimes thin line between his CNN and AccentHealth work--and his public support for pharmaceutical products that have helped pay his salary--raise a host of questions yet to be answered about how he’ll perform as the Obama administration’s leading public health advocate. A growing body of evidence, chronicled in books like Shannon Brownlee's Overtreated, suggests American medicine is far too aggressive, which leads to higher costs and, all too frequently, actual harm for patients. If Obama wants to reform the health care system, his surgeon general will have to push back against both the pharmaceutical companies that promote ineffective treatments and the doctors who prescribe them. Assuming he does turn out the be the nominee, the Senate would be wise to press Gupta on these issues during confirmation hearings.

    --Marin Cogan and Suzy Khimm
    Sanjay Gupta Treads the Ethical Line - The Plank

    “integrated marketing opportunity” is great doublespeak for commercial.


    There is a scathing article in The New York Review of Books this week on doctors and big pharma. I was going to post it in health and fitness, but it really is way too long. But it 's great reading. Here's the link if anyone is interested:
    Drug Companies & Doctors: A Story of Corruption
    By Marcia Angell
    No one knows the total amount provided by drug companies to physicians, but I estimate from the annual reports of the top nine US drug companies that it comes to tens of billions of dollars a year. By such means, the pharmaceutical industry has gained enormous control over how doctors evaluate and use its own products. Its extensive ties to physicians, particularly senior faculty at prestigious medical schools, affect the results of research, the way medicine is practiced, and even the definition of what constitutes a disease.
    It's no longer a dog whistle, it's a fucking trombone


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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Gupta tried to call out Michael Moore on CNN live, said his movie "sicko" was totally inaccurate...

    except that it wasn't, and his information was confirmed lol
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

  6. #21
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    Thumbs up

    dr. sanjay

    i would love to see him as SG


    i hate the big business ties, sadly , all the DC power players have big business ties

    those ties make senate hearings great TV

  7. #22
    Gold Member ymeman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grimmlok View Post
    Gupta tried to call out Michael Moore on CNN live, said his movie "sicko" was totally inaccurate...

    except that it wasn't, and his information was confirmed lol

    I know, I saw that on americablog. Screw him. I don't like anyone who makes their living off the conservative news network, I don't trust any of them.

  8. #23
    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    CNN's Sanjay Gupta, Laura Bush and the Marketing of Merck's Gardasil

    Doctoring the News

    CNN's Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, was raising eyebrows five months before he bungled his fact-checking segment on Michael Moore's health care documentary, "Sicko," leaving Moore and many of CNN's viewers questioning Gupta's journalistic integrity. Writing on his CNN blog on February 28, 2007, Dr. Gupta endorsed Merck's controversial and scientifically challenged vaccine for girls and young women, Gardasil, without shedding any light on the incestuous relationship he has with Merck.

    "As a doctor, and parent, I would recommend the vaccine for my daughters. I feel the ability to protect them in any way, including from cancer, is my primary obligation."

    The vaccine is being touted by Dr. Gupta, First Lady Laura Bush, and nonprofit groups funded by Merck as a means of preventing cervical cancer. In fact, however, its clinical trials never tested for preventing cervical cancer. The vaccine was tested for preventing pre cancerous lesions associated with two strains of Human Papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted disease. Since these lesions can take 12 to 20 years to develop into cervical cancer and the clinical trials lasted less than five years, medical experts warn that the jury is still out on what impact this vaccine might have on cervical cancer rates.

    The results of Merck's clinical trials showed the efficacy of the vaccine was "modest," even for preventing pre cancerous lesions, among a general population of young women, according to the New England Journal of Medicine.

    This might have been enough to kill the idea of mass inoculations with the vaccine had Merck released its final clinical trial data to peer reviewed journals in a timely fashion. Instead, it launched three ad and marketing campaigns that fostered the false impression that this vaccine had been proven to prevent cervical cancer along with a public relations blitz that stretched from California to Paris and involved payments to journalists. Only then, after the Food and Drug Administration had approved the drug, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had recommended it for broad use, and questions grew in the press as to why this "miracle breakthrough" had not been peer reviewed, did Merck finally release its late phase trial data.

    Eleven and twelve year old girls, the very target of proposed mandatory vaccination by Merck, were never tested at all for efficacy in pre-licensing clinical trials. Merck simply decided that the bodies of prepubescent girls would react the same as mature women to the vaccine. The FDA was fully aware of this when they licensed the vaccine for potentially millions of prepubescent girls, requiring only that post licensing studies be done for efficacy and safety on these children after they were injected with the drug.



    Dr. Gupta began his on-air promotions for Gardasil eight months before the vaccine was vetted and approved by the FDA. Here's a segment from a "CNN Live Today" broadcast of October 6, 2005:
    "GUPTA: The vaccine is called Gardasil, and Merck and Company Inc., the manufacturer, says it plans to apply for a license before the end of the year. Now, if approved, this vaccine may become extremely common, recommended to all women in their teenage years before they become sexually active. Rose Dennis had no such option. She had to endure a hysterectomy, chemotherapy and radiation to become cancer free. For her, and possibly thousands of others, a vaccine would make all the difference."

    Dr. Gupta continued over the ensuing months to promote Gardasil. Here's an excerpt from the "Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees" broadcast on June 29, 2006:
    "GUPTA: Now there is a way to prevent the virus from ever taking hold in the first place. It's a vaccine. Typically, you think of vaccines for the measles or chicken pox. But Gardasil protects you against cancer. Trials showed the vaccine could lower cervical cancer rates by 70 percent."
    The clinical trials for Gardasil showed no such thing. Even Merck is not making this wild and unsupported claim.

    On May 17, 2007, CNN aired an interview between Dr. Gupta and First Lady Laura Bush. The First Lady endorses mass inoculations of children with Gardasil on the basis that it will protect them later in life against cervical cancer. Gupta does not challenge her on the fact that there is zero evidence that the vaccine provides such long-term protection. The vaccine's own researcher acknowledges this.

    Would any of the following information have been relevant for Dr. Gupta or the First Lady to share with CNN viewers in discussing a vaccine planned for mass inoculations of children: according to Merck's SEC filing 11 days prior to this broadcast, the company is facing a criminal investigation by the Bush administration's U.S. Department of Justice over Vioxx marketing; a scheme that concealed tens of thousands of heart attacks and strokes caused by its last blockbuster drug, Vioxx. Additionally, the company reported it "has also been named as a defendant in separate lawsuits brought by the Attorneys General of Alaska, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Texas and Utah. These actions allege that the Company misrepresented the safety of Vioxx."
    Perhaps Dr. Gupta was reluctant to bring up the subject of Vioxx, given his early dismissal of the dangers.



    Here's how he responded to Miles O'Brien on CNN's "American Morning" on October 30, 2003:
    "Miles O'Brien: Let's talk about Vioxx. Some indication it might increase the risk of heart attack?
    "Gupta: This stat has been around since August of 2001. They talked about the increase of heart attack with Vioxx. The numbers are very small. Perhaps a small percentage increase in the overall risk of heart attacks with Vioxx. They say 37 percent to 39 percent but that's of a very small number. After 90 days, no increased risk."
    It's difficult to imagine a statement more riddled with factual inaccuracies.

    And where did Dr. Gupta get his information? He tells us in the interview: "We've talked to the makers of Vioxx, the Merck company."

    The overarching issue in all of this is the dangerous and growing tentacles of a corporate agenda that seeks to control every message pertaining to its corporate brands in every venue visited or medium viewed by a consumer. That includes TV and cable news. Increasingly, corporations demand "integration" for their advertising dollars.



    Dr. Gupta is part of this new wave of "integration" as co-host of a program called AccentHealth. Here's how the AccentHealth website explains itself:
    "AccentHealth is America 's #1 integrated health media company offering advertisers multiple consumer touch points in the place where health matters most ­ the doctors office. AccentHealth's waiting room TV network produced by CNN and hosted by CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Robin Meade, reaches 132 million viewers annually in 185 Nielsen Markets...To complement your broadcast message, and the consumer focused product information you can provide in our 10,800 offices, AccentHealth offers another channel into the physician's office -- a unique fax program that can help you strengthen your physician relationships...Reinforce product credibility through the "Halo Effect..." How would you like to see your product on our show? AccentHealth runs frequent on-air promotions to engage viewers and ensure more focused viewing...Our healthy mascot "Abby Apple" has been reminding our viewers to lead a healthy lifestyle for 4 years! Abby can appear on-air using your product... AccentHealth is committed to meeting your campaign expectations. With an audience of receptive, health conscious consumers and a direct line into the physician's office we will customize your AccentHealth initiative to meet your specific brand goals...Use our production facilities to create a custom message for our unique environment...Let us organize a consumer event to coincide with your AccentHealth on-air campaign...."
    In a January 17, 2007 interview with TV Week, Greg D'Alba, Chief Operating Officer of CNN ad sales and marketing, explained what's driving "integration." "What's interesting is it's not about what's new anymore, but what's becoming the norm...For every fully integrated package that we present there is an advertiser. We're batting 1,000 percent on that. And it's not because we're developing it and throwing it out there and we're finding sponsors, it's because our advertisers and our partners are requesting it, they're demanding it."

    Given the incestuous nature of "integration," should Dr. Sanjay Gupta have revealed to his CNN viewers during his extolling of the virtues of Gardasil that its manufacturer, Merck, was a financial sponsor of this integrated marketing scheme he co-hosts at AccentHealth? And exactly who prepared and vetted the First Lady's whopper on Gardasil? Should the First Lady have been commenting at all on a product from a company under criminal investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice? Inquiring minds not yet "integrated" want to know.

    Pam Martens: Doctoring the News
    It's no longer a dog whistle, it's a fucking trombone


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  9. #24
    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    yeaaaaah.. another winner choice by team Failbama..
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

  10. #25
    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    But Grimm...he's so cute
    It's no longer a dog whistle, it's a fucking trombone


    All of God's children are not beautiful. Most of God's children are, in fact, barely presentable.


    If I wanted the government in my womb I'd fuck a Senator

  11. #26
    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Who cares?

    I'd rather have Jabba the leprotic guanobaby with a real medical degree in the position.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

  12. #27
    Elite Member Moongirl's Avatar
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