New York Times helps promote book poorly reviewed by New York Times




Don't the NYT opinion pages have some sort of ontological obligation to be unbelievable dreck, in one way or another?


I bet he threatened to meticulously clean the office for a century, and then see if they don't become unwell.


While the book in question seems to be one of these dreadful "simple answer to all medical ailments" books that wants to blame one thing (sugar, cleanliness, whatever) for all ills -- the type of book that seems to be designed more to sell than inform, it isn't uncommon at all for the NYT to publish multiple differing opinions on a book. There are many people writing for the NYT and they may have different opinions. Don't look at where something was published -- look at the author.


From the article:

Look, most readers of the Times are unlikely to remember that this was the same guy writing three pieces, and these three articles, all played up big, are likely to look like evidence of a booming scientific movement.

This is absolutely true.

When reading the latest column about asthma in last Sunday's Times and talking about it with my wife, I said "The Times has really been into this microbiome stuff for a while now."

I had no idea that it was all one guy with a book.


But doesn't the editor tell them what books to like? What is this freedom of which you speak?


Read the book when came out and didn't come away with idea that V-M was putting forth panacea for a myriad of conditions- more like breathless excitement about new ideas regarding immunity (& the accompanying caveats). Kinda mystified, in fact, as to why there's been this backlash building towards him, seeing just advocacy, esp when his own experience to correct his universal alopecia via worms didn't work! (& is part of the narrative presented, exploring the idea of hygiene hypothesis- from worms to malaria- and then speculating on possible treatment approaches & how they might vary with age/ condition). Advise folks to get copy from library & see for selves (granted, starts slow- with his personal experience- but then gets into patterns of immune disease, from MS to allergies.)
Missed the review but have seen the multiple op-ed pieces and think NYT publishes because the hypothesis (ideas he's reporting on, not creating) is so very intriguing- esp when there's a paradigm shift happening in how look at immunity (indeed, whole biome).
(Besides, do reviewers call the shots on what's interesting to run elsewhere in the paper? Should Thomas Friedman be dropped from write op-eds if his latest tome is panned by reviewer?)


Full of unfounded assumptions. See author response here:


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