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“Pimping Pseudo-Science”: Carson Denies Obvious Ties To Controversial Supplement Maker

At the CNBC debate, Ben Carson tried to argue that he never had anything to do with an extraordinarily shady supplement company.

That is nonsense. The truth is that Carson had a years-long relationship with Mannatech—a company that pimps pseudoscience and allegedly engaged in unethical marketing practices.

Jim Geraghty broke this story months ago at National Review. Mannatech is a supplement company that sells so-called glyconutrients. Its representatives have suggested the product can treat autism, cancer, AIDS, and multiple sclerosis. Spoiler: “Glyconutrients” do not cure cancer, and no credible researcher or doctor says they do.

In fact, if Carson had glanced at the company’s Wikipedia page, he would have seen that one top glycobologist said these “glyconutrients” have no identifiable impact on the human body besides making you pass more gas. Seriously.

The state of Texas sued the company, which settled in 2009 by paying $4 million to Texas customers, promising that its representatives would stop saying its products could “cure, treat, mitigate or prevent any disease.” The company didn’t admit to any wrongdoing.

When Geraghty reached out to Mannatech about their relationship with Carson, spokesman Mike Crouch said this: “We appreciate his support and value his positive feedback as a satisfied customer.”

But Mannatech doesn’t just sell bad medicine. At least one lawsuit alleged it uses astonishingly unethical marketing practices to do so. In 2004, a mother sued after trying to use the company’s products to help her 3-year-old son, who suffered from Tay-Sachs disease. The suit alleged that the company showed naked pictures of the boy—which his mother said she shared with representatives of the company in confidence—to suggest to hundreds of seminar attendees as evidence that its products worked. The worst part? The son died while using Mannatech supplements, according to the suit. The company confidentially settled that suit in 2005 for $750,000.

Anyway, Carson addressed at least three of the company’s annual conferences, according to National Review. His image appeared on its website’s homepage. He praised its fart-inducing glyconutrients on PBS. And as recently as last year, he suggested the company had tapped into God’s secrets for good health.

“The wonderful thing about a company like Mannatech is that they recognize that when God made us, He gave us the right fuel,” Carson said in a video touting the company’s products.

“Many of the natural things are not included in our diet,” he continued. “Basically what the company is doing is trying to find a way to restore natural diet as a medicine or as a mechanism for maintaining health.”

As part of his characteristically lackluster debate performance, Carson tried to distance himself from Mannatech on Wednesday night when a CNBC moderator pressed him on that relationship.

“I didn’t have an involvement with them, that’s total propaganda,” he said, betraying a total misunderstanding of what the word “propaganda” means. “What happens in our society, total propaganda. I did a couple of speeches for them, just for other people, they were paid speeches. It is absolutely absurd to say that I had any kind of relationship with them. Do I take the product? Yes. I think it’s a good product.”

To be fair, it is a good product—if you like to fart.

By the way, this isn’t the first time Carson has touted pseudoscientific nonsense on the presidential debate stage. At the last debate, he touted the debunked idea that parents should disregard the Centers for Disease Control’s recommended vaccine schedule and “space out” their children’s vaccinations. As The Daily Beast detailed, that suggestion is a species of anti-vax trutherism. It’s less pernicious than full-on vaccines-cause-autism trutherism, but it is trutherism nonetheless. “Spacing out” your kids’ vaccines has one effect, and one effect only: increasing the amount of time your kids are vulnerable to the diseases from which those vaccines inoculate them.

 

By: Betsy Woodruff, The Daily Beast, October 28, 2015

November 1, 2015 Posted by | Ben Carson, Nutritional Supplements, Science | , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Bald-Faced And Blatant Lies”: Debate Fallout; Even Conservatives Are Appalled By Republican Mendacity

For people who so often accuse Hillary Clinton of lying, the Republican presidential candidates seem to feel perfectly free to bend, twist, and shred the truth at will. Unsurprisingly, that is just what several of them were caught doing in their free-for-all CNBC debate. They prevaricated about themselves, their policies, and their opponents, without blinking an eye – and for the most part, they got away with it.

Do nice people tell self-serving lies? Perhaps they do, because it was terribly nice Ben Carson who uttered one of the most blatant whoppers of the evening.

To loud booing from the partisan audience, moderator Carl Quintanilla asked the soft-spoken neurosurgeon about his long and lucrative involvement with Mannatech, a nutritional supplement manufacturer that has been cited for false health claims for its “glyconutrients.” (How bad was Mannatech? Bad enough to provoke a fraud action brought by Greg Abbott, the former Texas attorney general who is now that state’s very conservative governor.)

“I didn’t have an involvement with [Mannatech],” retorted Carson. “That is total propaganda, and this is what happens in our society. Total propaganda.”

What Carson’s noisy fans probably didn’t know is that this was no “liberal media” setup. The doctor’s decade-long relationship with Mannatech – which turns out to have included a written contract, paid speeches, and a video endorsement on the company’s website – was exposed last year by Jim Geraghty of National Review, the flagship publication of American conservatism. Following the debate, Geraghty slammed Carson for “bald-faced lies” and “blatantly lying” about his relationship with the supplement firm.

Equally mendacious about his own personal history was Marco Rubio, who “won” the debate according to many observers. When Becky Quick of CNBC asked a predictable question about his checked financial affairs, which have included foreclosures, liquidations, phony expense accounts, and other embarrassments, the senator from Florida shot back: “You just listed a litany of discredited attacks from Democrats and my political opponents, and I’m not gonna waste 60 seconds detailing them all.”

Discredited attacks? Actually, Quick’s question was premised on facts that are not in dispute – as even Rubio himself acknowledged in his own campaign book. So frontally deceptive was his response that an outraged Joe Scarborough, his fellow Florida Republican, called him out on MSNBC’s Morning Joe the next day.

“Marco just flat-out lied to the American people there,” Scarborough complained. “And I was stunned that the moderators didn’t stop there and go, ‘Wait a second, these are court records. What are you talking about?…Becky was telling the truth, Marco was lying. And yet everybody’s going, ‘Oh, Marco was great.’ No, Marco lied about his financials.” Not incidentally, Rubio also lied about the effects of his tax plan, claiming his tax cuts would mostly benefit lower-income families when in fact its biggest benefits would accrue to the top one percent, as Republican tax schemes almost always do.

Another brand of lie was pronounced by Carly Fiorina, who drew attention at the last GOP by insisting she had watched a grisly Planned Parenthood video that doesn’t exist. This time, she reached back to the 2012 Republican campaign to invent a factoid about women’s employment.

Fiorina tries to sell herself as the candidate tough enough to take down Clinton, and tries to prove it by making stuff up. At this debate, she huffed:

It is the height of hypocrisy for Mrs. Clinton to talk about being the first woman president, when every single policy she espouses and every single policy of President Obama has been demonstratively bad for women. Ninety-two percent of the jobs lost during Barack Obama’s first term belonged to women.

But as PolitiFact quickly established, that statement was false in every particular. Not only did women not lose “92 percent” of the jobs in Obama’s first term, the number of women employed during the period from January 2009 to January 2013 grew by 416,000. Naturally, as she did with Planned Parenthood, Fiorina angrily repeated the lie when challenged.

Fiorina isn’t the only Republican who doesn’t like being exposed. Rubio ridiculously claimed that the “mainstream media” is really a Democratic SuperPAC. And now RNC chair Reince Priebus has reneged on the party’s debate agreement with NBC News. He and his candidates just couldn’t handle two hours of sharp but thoroughly polite questioning.

They constantly insult Clinton, but how would any of these slippery blowhards survive something like the 11-hour Benghazi grilling she breezed through on Capitol Hill? If you want to understand who they are, just listen to them whine.

 

By: Joe Conason, Editor in Chief, Editor’s Blog, Featured Post, The National Memo, October 30, 2015

October 31, 2015 Posted by | GOP Presidential Candidates, GOP Primary Debates, Mainstream Media | , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Toxic Misfits: Donald Trump, Birthers And Other Hazardous Materials

It seems that there is no end in sight. You can’t turn to any television channel or listen to any radio station without hearing something that has to do with Donald Trump and his vile birther rants. One wonders when will it all end. Some have given Trump a pass in this regard. Many believe that he is simply doing it for the attention while others, for some odd reason, see his actions only as a joke.

It seems that this whole “birther” issue began with Jim Geraghty, a conservative blogger for National Review and National Review On-line. The spark for the birther campaign began by Geraghty suggesting that President Obama’s first and middle names were not the same as listed on his birth certificate. The embers were kindled by Jerome Corsi in an interview on Fox News where the idea that Obama’s birth certificate was fake. This quackery has been non-stop since.

This birther theory was elevated to a different level of insanity by Orly Taitz, who not only believes that Mr. Obama was not born in the United States, but also believes that Hawaii cannot be considered part of the United States “unless it can produce an authentic statehood certificate”. Taitz, mind you, emigrated from the Soviet Union to Israel and then to the United States and is a dual citizen of Israel and the U.S. In her view, “the islands of Hawaii appear to be colonies of Kenya”.  As such, “everyone born in Hawaii is legally not an American but a Kenyan”. Never mind that these assertions have no basis of fact. Joshua Wisch, Attorney General of Hawaii has repeatedly noted that the presidents certificate of live birth is on file in the archives of the Department of Health of Hawaii.

Then you have the likes of Andy Martin, Michael Savage, G. Gordon Liddy, Lars Larson, Bob Grant and…. oh yes, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Lou Dobbs, Chuck Norris, Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Roy Blunt and David Vitter.

The latest participant in this land of make believe is none other than Donald Trump. Over the past several weeks, Trump seems to have gone out of his way to etch his place in history as the “birther of all birthers”. He has been given numerous opportunities by the media, often unchallenged, to espouse again and again what he surely knows to be flat out lies. Despite “prima facie” evidence, Trump has chosen to continue down a path that can be best described in every category as bigoted, racist and divisive.

I have been trying to figue out why this gang of “misfits” continue to propagate this charade on the American people. Surely they cannot believe that actions of this nature will endear them to the majority of the American people, or do they? It really makes you wonder if they are merely front persons for the real behind the scenes “power players” whose goal is to completely alienate and isolate certain segments of the population. This idea seems to have worked very well in the past with groups such as the teaparty and the christian right. Could it be that they are attempting to expand their grasps to include even more radical segments?

Power, radicalism, extremism, racism, bigotry, hate, fear…they all work, but at what cost to the rest of the country. There is a bigger picture here…one larger than Trump or Bachmann or Newt. The “power players” are all about the preservation of an aggressive, radical and dangerous conservative ideology…an ideology that is appealing more and more to the fringe and most noxious elements of our society…nothing more and nothing less.

Continued unfettered tolerance of these types of behavior is merely an assent of their vile actions and intents. That is just not acceptable. At some point, good people will have to take a stand and put a stop to the shananigans of these toxic misfits.

By: Raemd95, April 20, 2011

April 20, 2011 Posted by | Bigotry, Birthers, Class Warfare, Congress, Conservatives, Democracy, Democrats, Elections, Equal Rights, GOP, Government, Human Rights, Ideologues, Ideology, Journalists, Liberty, Media, Politics, President Obama, Public, Pundits, Racism, Religion, Republicans, Right Wing, States, Tea Party | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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