|WCA joins ICA in expressing outrage at anti-chiropractic PBS segment
While public television has been responsible for many great programs, a recent episode of "Scientific American Frontiers" has many chiropractors wondering if it's begun groveling to the medical conglomerates that frequently fund its shows.
The show's segment, "A Different Way to Heal?," was touted as an examination of alternative health care approaches, yet provided one-sided, blatantly inaccurate information that did nothing but promote the medical monopoly. Upon learning of the show, the International Chiropractors Association began a profession-wide campaign to generate a huge grassroots response to PBS.
The World Chiropractic Alliance immediately threw its support behind the ICA campaign, pledging to use its extensive communication network to get word of the effort to thousands of doctors around the world.
"In the broadcast that first aired on June 4th, hosted by well-known celebrity Alan Alda, chiropractic is represented as being unscientific, religion-based and extremely dangerous, all representations which are insulting and damaging to the 55,000 doctors of chiropractic who are licensed doctor-level health care providers and the millions of patients who are under their care," the ICA noted in its press release.
"The producers of this show made an obvious decision to seek out chiropractic's most virulent critics, presenting their assertions as fact, and characterizing the few positive aspects of chiropractic noted in the show, such as the enthusiastic testimonial of a patient, as unreliable and lacking in validity."
ICA President Dr. D.D. Umber said, "It is crystal clear that from start to finish, the objective of this production was to project the most negative picture of chiropractic possible. The carefully crafted, demeaning language, the complete distortion of the most basic facts about chiropractic and the absence of any reference to any of the landmark elements of chiropractic's validity, from state licensure and Medicare inclusion to any of the hundreds of studies that provide compelling evidence of chiropractic's effectiveness, reveal the editorial mission of this production."
Terry A. Rondberg, D.C., president of the World Chiropractic Alliance, agreed.
"We have been seeing an increase in media attacks lately and I do not for a moment believe this is a coincidence," he stated. "Instead, I feel certain this is an orchestrated attempt at stopping the progress of chiropractic. Our opponents in the medical and pharmaceutical industries see the inroads we have made and are feeling threatened. The revenue generated by medical and drug advertising and funding give them tremendous leverage over the content of these reports. Our profession, and the public, must make it clear that such slander and misinformation will not be tolerated. We, as health care providers and consumers, can exert equal pressure on media to present balanced and truthful reports. But we must act quickly and forcefully."
Dr. Rondberg added that if any newspaper, magazine or television station received several thousand letters of protest, they would not be able to ignore the demands of readers and viewers.
Doctors are urged to make their opinions known to PBS about the show.
• Comments also may be registered at www.pbs.org/aboutsite/feedback.html. Connecticut Public Broadcasting, Inc.
• In addition, postal letters should be mailed to the national PBS headquarters, attention of: Ms. Pat Mitchell, President and Chief Executive Officer, Public Broadcasting Service, 1320 Braddock Pl., Alexandria, VA 22314.
• Alert your local PBS station -- go to http://www.PBS.org to search for your local station and obtain specific addresses and contact information, Write and/or call the PBS affiliate that produced the "Scientific American Frontiers" episode:
240 New Britain Ave.
Hartford, CT 06106
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