Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Huffington Post deletes two columns by prominent Yale professor/author David L. Katz MD; "undisclosed conflict of interest" [UPDATED: Retraction Watch picked the story]

11/20/15 UPDATE: Retraction Watch: Yale doc loses 2 HuffPo blog posts after secretly promoting his novel by Shannon Palus 

My original item starts below the hash marks -- PMH


Gone, baby, gone: Today the Huffington Post retracted both columns; click here and here for archived versions via the Wayback Machine

On Saturday I reported And he scores! Amazon scrubs "sock puppet" five-star book review by prominent Yale professor, author, columnist about how I successfully tagged prominent Yale professor, author, and Huffington Post columnist David L. Katz MD for posting a shill review for a novel he wrote under a pseudonym.

Today, after I brought facts to the attention of editors, the Huffington Post has scrubbed two problematic 2014 columns by Dr. Katz

Via a recent Yale Daily News story by staff reporter David Yaffe-Bellany:
In February 2014, David Katz MPH ’93, the director of the Yale School of Medicine’s Prevention Research Center, wrote two glowing online reviews of a science-fiction novel called reVision.

In his biweekly column in The Huffington Post, Katz lauded the book’s “lyrically beautiful writing,” comparing it to the work of a veritable “who’s who” of great writers, including Plato, John Milton and Charles Dickens. “I finished with a sense of illumination from a great source,” he concluded. “The most opportune comparison may be to a fine wine.” Katz had used similar language two days earlier in a five-star product review he posted on the book’s page on Amazon.

But Katz omitted a crucial detail from both reviews: the subject of his praise was his own self-published passion project...
If you want to read Dr. Katz's January 17, 2014 and February 18, 2014 Huffington Post columns hyping the novel, as of today you'll have to do so via The Wayback Machine -- that's where the links will take you.


In response to my inquiry, this morning Huffington Post Standards Editor Victor Brand informed me both columns have been withdrawn from publication. (Click here for my correspondence with him and Huffington Post Communications VP Monica Lee, who reportedly failed to respond to the Yale Daily News; after she ignored my inquiries, I asked Brand to jump in.)

Now if you click the original link to Dr. Katz's first column you'll see this:

Click the original link to his second column and you'll see this:

This is the second time the Huffington Post has pulled a story after my inquiries to editors. Details via my July 16, 2013 Sidebar item, Huffington Post scrubs Boston-area "comedy" duo's YouTube containing anti-Jewish slur.

This item has been slightly updated.