If you're an acupuncturist chances are you're left of the political spectrum; but put aside your political persuasions to consider one of themes-de-jour and how it impacts our profession.
In case you've been living in a bubble for the last few weeks you may have not noticed that Donald Trump won the election. Those within the media, the career politicians and some on social media have been declaring this is due to 'Fake news' that is circulating on social media. The corollary to this is that it needs to be censored and you can guess who wants to do that.
The problem with this is that we've been bombarded with 'Fake news' for as long as I know. Remember those WMD in Iraq? Of course not, because there weren't any. Everyone I knew at the time knew it was bullshit yet every media establishment reported it as fact. This little nugget of 'Fake news' put Iraq into flames and cost a million in lives.
It goes on and on. In fact, the mainstream media are experts at propaganda aka 'Fake news'.
We in the acupuncture community are also constantly bombarded by 'Fake news'. The media's go-to sources for 'opinion' on acupuncture (in the UK) are people who don't practice acupuncture; have barely studied it; and would not be considered experts within the acupuncture world. The key factor is they are all highly dismissive of acupuncture. *
- David Colquohuon is often cited, published and referenced as an expert yet has never practiced, published or even studied acupuncture or Chinese medicine. He is not a medical doctor and has extensive links to the pharmaceutical industry. This is fake news.
- Ben Goldacre is a researcher and doctor whose speciality is in epidemiological studies and drug company malfeasance. He has never practiced or studied acupuncture or Chinese medicine. Whilst he has read some studies on acupuncture this does not make him an expert. He thinks cupping is 'obviously bollocks' and acupuncture 'a hobby'. Providing his opinion without balance is fake (i.e. biased) news.
- Professor Quack (or Professor Edzard Ernst as he is also known) was described by the editor of the Lancet as having:
Professor Quack (everything he claims to be an expert on he says is quackery) is wheeled out by the media whenever an opinion on acupuncture is sought, yet I do not know a single person in the acupuncture community who considers his opinion either informed, fair or representative. Presenting his opinion without balance is 'Fake news'.
In fact, you can see evidence of the Fake News media being called out by the fabulous Dr Mike Cummings, and having to correct this bias.
As acupuncturists we need to understand that to get our message across we have to give up on the mainstream media. They're not interested in the truth, they're interested in keeping their masters happy. Those masters should be the truth and, us, the people; but instead it is their advertisers and owners and anyone else they're willing to sell their fetid and festering souls to... including Big Pharma.
The thing the Fake News media fear more than anything is being ignored. Encourage all of your patients to share their positive experiences on social media. Stop listening to the lies of the corporate media. Make the 'Fake news' media irrelevent.
*(N.B. in NO way am I suggesting any of these people are fake; rather that the way that they are portrayed by the media as the experts on acupuncture is, effectively, fake)