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Posted by on Mar 17, 2008 in Ethics, Media, Pharma

Who Needs SNL’s Weekend Update When You’ve Got the AP?

Who Needs SNL’s Weekend Update When You’ve Got the AP?


Perhaps trying to justify how it spent the last 5 months, the AP follows up its throw-up-your-hands-to-the-skies “exposé” of trace-trace-trace pharmaceuticals in drinking water by reporting the reactions to its story. “Test it, study it, figure out how to clean it—but still drink it,” is how the AP begins its follow-up. Did the AP—perhaps now substituting alcohol for all of its drinking water—expect that we would or should avoid consuming water on the basis of its arguably useless report?


There is no wisdom in avoidance,” advised one Washington-based environmental lawyer as quoted by the AP. No freekin’ shit, Sherlock. Whatever risks may be posed by drinking infinitesimal amounts of pharmaceuticals—and nobody knows if there are any—lack of water will kill in no time. Trust me. They teach that stuff in medical school.


The AP water story reminds me of those ridiculous signs in California hotels that warn of the dangers of breathing the building’s air. What in a supreme being’s name am I supposed to do with that information? Not breathe? Run outside, where the air’s even filthier?


Next thing you know the AP’s going to tell me that saliva causes cancer, but only if swallowed in small quantities over an extended period of time. No wait. Chevy Chase already reported that information on SNL in nineteen-dickety-two. It’s the cycle of news to parody, back to news again.



bmartin (1127 Posts)

A native East Tennessean, Barbara Martin is a formerly practicing, board-certified neurologist who received her BS (psychology, summa cum laude) and MD from Duke University before completing her postgraduate training (internship, residency, fellowship) at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. She has worked in academia, private practice, medical publishing, drug market research, and continuing medical education (CME). For the last 3 years, she has worked in a freelance capacity as a medical writer, analyst, and consultant. Follow Dr. Barbara Martin on and Twitter.