We doubt that either Dr. Oz or Andrew Wakefield will be proudly displaying these honors on their mantelpieces: Both received "Pigasus Awards" this April 1 from the James Randi Educational Foundation for the dubious honor of being among the "5 worst promoters of nonsense."Dr. Mehmet Öz and Andrew Wakefield are, of course, the quack doctors promoted by Oprah Winfrey and Jenny McCarthy (the NewAge television celebrity and the anti-vaccine child killer) so, please, feel free to attach any condemnation, of the two fakers mentioned above, to them as well:
Dr. Mehmet Oz got the "Media" Pigasus. The foundation explains why he won the prize: "Dr. Oz is a Harvard-educated cardiac physician who, through his syndicated TV show, has promoted faith healing, 'energy medicine,' and other quack theories that have no scientific basis." Among the guests that Randi's foundation deems especially dubious: psychic John Edward, who claims to talk to dead people. (Check out this TV Guide interview in which Dr. Oz says that having Edward on the show "changed [his] life!" and adds, of Edward, "He seems authentic, not at all like a charlatan. I've learned in my career that there are times when science just hasn't caught up with things, and I think this may be one of them.")
Andrew Wakefield, a British researcher known for his repeated assertion that autism is caused by vaccines, got his Pigasus in the "Refusal to Face Reality" category. Wakefield's study in the 1998 that started the whole brouhaha has been thoroughly discredited, and study after study has failed to find a vaccine-autism connection. (In fact, a lot of autism researchers aren't even sure that the rates have truly risen, because in the past, milder cases were not diagnosed.)
I do, and it does my heart good.