Nation v. Harper's

Cross posted in PEEK and The Mix.

Update: The Columbia Journalism Review has weighed in on the controversy...

The twists and turns of the magazine industry. One minute you're the toast of the progressive blogs for Lewis Lapham's impeachment plea... the next you're taken to task by the Nation for publishing "a stunning 15-page article by well-known AIDS denialist Celia Farber (formerly of Spin magazine) that extensively repeats UC Berkeley virologist Peter Duesberg's discredited theory that HIV does not cause AIDS."

Richard Kim lists the Duesberg claims parroted by Farber. My personal favorite: "75 percent of AIDS cases in the West can be attributed to drug toxicity. If toxic AIDS therapies were discontinued...thousands of lives could be saved virtually overnight."

Stupid stupid doctors.

Kim posts this letter from Gregg Gonsalves of Gay Men's Health Crisis:
Gregg Gonsalves: "Dear Editors, I have been a long-time Harper's Magazine reader. I am sorry that the March 2006 issue is the very last that I will read.
With Celia Farber's article "Out of Control, AIDS and the Corruption of Medical Science," your magazine has managed to destroy its 156 year-old reputation in 15 pages.
...
If Harpers was some fringe publication or supermarket tabloid then we could all laugh at Farber's weird conspiracy theories and pseudo-science. The sad thing is that unlike the hoaxes perpetuated on the New Republic by Stephen Glass several years ago, Ms. Farber's reputation as a crank is widespread. Thus, it seems that your editors, after careful research and despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary, decided that Ms. Farber was a serious journalist with a real story to be told.
If you choose to report falsehoods as truths when it comes to HIV/AIDS, how can I trust the veracity of the rest of what appears in your pages?
Yours truly,
Gregg Gonsalves
Dylan Stableford wades into the comments to find this gem:
I am always sympathetic to skeptics and contrarians, so I was curious to read Celia Farber's HIV articles.

In 1987, when I subscribed to Spin.
(The Notion, Fishbowl)

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