By Ozone Amanda, Spirochicks Contributor.
The December 8th “Health” section Chicago Tribune article was not true journalism, but an opinion piece. It is a black spot on the Chicago Tribune’s journalistic integrity that it was not labeled as such.
As Paul Raeburn states in his Knight Science Journalism Tracker article, the Tribune article is “what happens when reporters make up their minds about a controversial story before beginning to write.” Raeburn goes on to say that if the Tribune reporters wanted to debate the existence of chronic lyme, that would have been an arguable point. Instead, they drafted a bit of anti-chronic lyme propaganda, complete with the vignette of a patient who believes lyme was manufactured in a government lab.
I say if the media or medical journals want to debate the existence of chronic lyme, bring it on. All of us who suffer know it exists, but scientific debate is the only way conditions and treatments become accepted. With insurance companies, medical authorities, and now, reporters persecuting chronic lyme patients and their doctors, demanding more peer-reviewed, scientific research into the chronic lyme “question” may be the only way to reverse the tide.
Maybe researchers can start by examining lyme testing. Opponents of chronic lyme believe testing proves sufferers do not have lyme, while proponents say testing is deeply flawed. Dr. Klinghardt, a prominent lyme doctor who developed one of the major lyme herbal protocols (and whom Callahan and Tsouderos seem to have ignored in their research), writes: “Bb tends to infect the B-lymphocytes and other components of the immune system that are responsible for creating the antibodies, which are then measured by an ELISA test or Western Blot test. Since antibody production is greatly compromised in infected individuals, it makes no sense to use these tests as the gold standard or benchmark for the presence of Bb (7).” Why not fairly examine this claim?
We cannot let prejudiced reporters pre-empt real research by experimenting with words and quotes as a “journalistic” substitute for labs. Chronic lyme exists. We know it. If you don’t believe it, please go test that theory with something other than opinion.