On Monday, conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh praised a Breitbart Sports article by author Daniel Flynn that revealed the scientists promoting CTE brain scans actually own the company that conducts the tests.
Without any academic studies embracing TauMark’s claim, or even federal approval for their brain scan, why did ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” publicize the company’s boast about its miracle test–which reportedly costs between $10,000 and $15,000 a pop? Since ESPN never bothered to identify TauMark’s major shareholders, speculation arises about whether doctor assessments about the scans represent a marketing pitch or scientific judgment.
Unbeknownst to ESPN’s viewers or Sports Illustrated’s readers, the doctors vouching for TauMark’s science are the businessmen raking in its profits. Despite efforts to conceal ownership, clues mounted. TauMark’s internet site, which omitted any information regarding ownership, shares the same web designer with the site of TauMark booster Dr. Gary Small. Does UCLA’s Small, whose moneymaking ventures include a book touting a preventative “cure” for Alzheimer’s, own a part of TauMark? How about Julian Bailes? His friend Billy West, who also hails from Natchitoches, Louisiana (pop. 18,323), registered TauMark’s domain name with GoDaddy.
After reading excerpts from Flynn’s Breitbart Sports article, Limbaugh said, “Folks, this is how a study that nobody has ever seen by a group nobody’s ever heard of becomes settled science. This is exactly how this lunatic fringe group, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, has gotten all of these bans on various foods that they don’t like.”
“It’s three people when they started out, three emaciated, skeletal looking people with a fax machine and a logo, and they send their stuff out to the Drive-Bys, and the Drive-Bys, because they like controlling people and telling ’em what’s good for ’em and bad for ’em run with it without checking,” Limbaugh said. “The same thing was done here. ESPN, NBC, every sports network fell for this story, and it turns out it’s probably a hoax.”
Limbaugh then read the following from Flynn’s article:
“How could so many so thoroughly botch the fraudulent story that Tony Dorsett tested positive for CTE? The widespread reporting of a fiction as a fact raises issues of the conflict of interest inherent in vested parties determining the validity of their own research, journalists acting as unwitting press agents for entrepreneurs, the prefix ‘Dr.’ transforming reporters’s natural skepticism into naivety, and the ethics of releasing purported scientific discoveries to ESPN’s ‘Outside the Lines’ for vetting rather than peer-reviewed publications better equipped for the task.”
“So basically, to summarize this, this is how we got global warming,” Limbaugh then commented. “A bunch of people nobody had ever heard of released news that the news media and the American left loved hearing, so they ran with it. I’ve been talking about this for years.”
Limbaugh emphasized that some of the sports media, “in order to protect themselves,” are “refusing to admit that they’ve fallen for a hoax and are continuing to report that there’s a new discovery that you can discover CTE in living athletes. You can’t.”