Ethan Huff is a staff writer at NaturalNews, and as such responsible for a fair proportion of the wild-eyed conspiracy theories and insane pseudoscience peddled there. Huff is perhaps most notable for his anti-vaccine articles, e.g. this one on gardasil, which is based on some of Sharyl Attkisson’s rants, but adds some extra conspiracy theories, viz. that when certain people he thought were going to support the anti-vaccine cause turned out not to, it must be because either i) Big Pharma got to them, or ii) they are mentally ill; yes, that’s how things go down in the epistemic abyss that is NaturalNews. As for his article “H1N1 vaccine linked to 700 percent increase in miscarriages,” well, it was based on the “research” by Eileen Dannemann – indeed, his only source is Dannemann; although several sources are listed, they are all based exhaustively on her. We have encountered Dannemann before. We have encountered other examples of misusing the VAERS database before, too, but Dannemann’s idiocy still manages to impress (she got some anecdotes, too, as well as her own press release – which she cited in her own “research”).
Huff has also weighed in on the scientific process. In particular, after a debate at the British Royal Society, where Richard Smith, former editor of the British Medical Journal (now The BMJ), took the role of attacking the current processes of research dissemination and hyperbolically called the peer review process a “sacred cow” ready to “slaughtered” Huff took it the only way someone in his cognitive situation could, and the result was the article “‘Sacred cow’ of industry science cult should be slaughtered for the good of humanity, BMJ editor says.” Of course, people like Huff really don’t like peer review, which is a process inherently biased against pseudoscientific, unsupported nonsense dreamed up by people with little understanding of the field they are trying to engage with. Apart from that, I don’t think Huff’s article needs much comment.
It seems to illustrate a common strategy of Huff’s, though: Pick up some anecdotes, quackery, or anti-science covered somewhere else and, if necessary, add some conspiracy theories before covering it on NaturalNews – here is (a commentary on) Huff reporting a very, very dubious breast cancer testimonial reported in The Sun - dubious, in that the person in question, though praising altmed quackery for her recovery, was in fact cured – to the extent she was – by conventional medicine. Or just go for the tinfoil-hat-level conspiracies: In a preemptive review of the movie Contagion, based on the trailer, Huff penned “Hollywood begins mass brainwashing campaign to get people ready for the next bioengineered virus release.” No seriously: “The entertainment industry is no stranger to government propaganda campaigns, and the latest Hollywood flicks are no exception. A quick look at the trailer for the upcoming release of the movie Contagion reveals what appears to be a massive brainwashing campaign designed to prepare the American psyche for the next [!] intentional release of a bioengineered virus – and it also conveniently and subtly programs viewers into accepting the idea that vaccines might be the solution to a major, devastating disease outbreak.” And you have no idea how deep the conspiracy goes: You may not have noticed, but Huff has, that the themes of major movie releases over the past several decades are predictive of what ends up taking place not too long afterwards, which clearly shows “that Hollywood is deeply connected to the agendas of those that are now in control of various world governments, including the US government.” For instance, the movie Armageddon clearly predicted 9/11 since it mentioned the possibility of an asteroid hitting New York, and that proves that the government masterminded 9/11 and that Hollywood is in on it. Reflect on that, sheeple!
Meanwhile, Huff is doing his best to protect you from the big bad wolves in the name of “health freedom”. Huff has for instance promoted, and urged his readers to tell Congress to support, a bill entitled the “Free Speech About Science” (FSAS) Act of 2011, which curbs the FDA’s powers to hold supplement manufacturers accountable for the health benefits of the snakeoil they make – basically that such companies’s right to “free speech” means that they shouldn’t be forced to back up their claims with evidence (“the bill will amend current law to allow growers and manufacturers to freely share honest information about food and supplements with their customers,” according to Huff). Clearly, stopping poor supplement manufacturers from falsely advertising their products is an abuse of the health freedom of average Americans. (Defense of supplement manufacturers is a recurring theme of Huff’s).
You get the gist. Here Huff and J.D. Heyes creates a couple of year-end lists for Natural News: their 2015 Journalist Courage Awards and their 2015 Celebrity Hall of Shame Awards. Guess where the science-based stuff ended up.
Diagnosis: Once again: you get the gist. Ethan Huff is an utterly lunatic tinfoil hatter and hard to distinguish from people with epilepsy-inducing webpage designs and weird font choices who are complaining that the lizard people in their TVs have possessed their ex-partners, were it not for the fact that Huff is usually able to stick to ordinary grammar conventions. And even so, NaturalNews can apparently pride themselves on a rather substantial readership.