Monday, August 29, 2022

#2561: Nick Bilton

Nick Bilton is a journalist, author, and filmmaker, until 2016 a columnist for the NYT, and special correspondent at Vanity Fair. He is actually a bit of a deal, though Gawker called him the “worst columnist at the New York Times for the general level of inanity in his commentaries. He is also a promoter of pseudoscience, conspiracy theories and idiotic fear-mongering. In particular, he has promoted the debunked idea of a link between cell phones and cancer, judiciously overlooking the evidence, which consistently shows no link – except for a couple of questionable studies from one single research group in Sweden. Bilton didn’t overlook those. In the process of describing how he interprets the situation, he distorts conclusions from major research organizations (like this; guess what Bilton’s take was), quotes legitimate authorities out of context, and even tries to liken current opinions among those who know something about the topic with the myth that doctors thought cigarettes were safe in the 1950s (a beloved crank gambit). He even quotes Joe Mercola as an authority. There is some fair and even-handed discussion of Bilton’s column here and here.


Bilton’s response to legitimate criticism was as feeble as you’d expect from someone like him.


Now, it is perhaps not entirely clear that Bilton is genuinely committed to the nonsense he writes. Perhaps his promotion of FUD was just an attempt to garner some attention that the inanity of his other columns struggled to get him. That would possibly make everything worse.


Diagnosis: Inane

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like he came with a "Bilton" sense of conspiracy-mongering.