Los Angeles Times reporter Mike Dorning has some important information (3/6/09) absent from coverage of Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s recent surgeon general candidacy–“For several years, Gupta has been co-anchor of a CNN-produced healthcare show distributed monthly via flat-screen TVs provided free to doctor’s offices”:
The show is sponsored by healthcare, consumer and pharmaceutical companies that want to get their message directly to patients, according to the website of AccentHealth, a privately held company that distributes the programs and sells them to advertisers.
Dr. Quentin Young–who heads Physicians for a National Health Program, a group that advocates for single-payer, Canadian-style national health insurance and other changes in the present system–and other critics cited occasions when Gupta favorably mentioned sponsors’ brand-name drugs.
“His record is not a good one here,” Young said.
While Dorning gives space to such unsupported CNN platitudes as “Gupta’s on-air comments had always been under the editorial control of CNN and unrelated to any advertising contracts” and “Dr. Gupta has no relationship with the advertisers of the program–monetarily, editorially or otherwise,” regular FAIR readers have known of Gupta’s untrustworthiness for years; for more critique of CNN‘s medical coverage, see our current Action Alert: “CNN: Single-Payer Is So ’90s: Medical Reporter Warns Against ‘Government-Run Health System'” (3/12/09)