When Dr. Marc Siegel of Fox News published an opinion piece this weekend claiming that e-cigs pose significant health risks to teens, many vaping enthusiasts were initially quite shocked. Could it be true that one of the vaping community’s staunchest supporters and most vocal allies had suddenly turned traitor and sided with the anti-vaping conspiracy wing of the political establishment? Had this political watchdog famous for testifying in the notorious Engle lawsuit that landed an unparalleled $145 billion verdict against Big Tobacco lost his mind? Or had Siegel simply given in to the corruption and pay-for-play politics currently escalating in Washington, DC?
Upon closer examination, readers soon discover that the Dr. Marc Siegel of Fox News is not who he appears to be. Dr. Marc Siegel is a practicing internist and a contributor to Fox News since 2008. Dr. Marc Siegel is an aggressive anti-vaping activist, at least, according to his May 12 Op-Ed entitled Dr. Marc Siegel: E-cigarettes pose special danger to teens. He’s even recently appeared on Fox News Varney and Company to blast his vaping-as-a-gateway gibberish to anyone who is listening.
Will the real Dr. Siegel please stand up?
Dr. Marc Siegel of Fox News should never be confused with the pro-vaping Dr. Michael Siegel of The Rest of the Story: Tobacco News Analysis and Commentary. The latter – Dr. Michael – is very much in favor of vaping as a tobacco harm reduction tool. And unlike Dr. Marc of Fox News, Dr. Michael Siegel has over 30 years of experience in the field of tobacco control and public health. He is also a longtime Professor at the Boston University School of Public Health in the Department of Community Health Sciences, and his medical expertise is from the University of California, Berkley, with an emphasis on preventative medicine.
Now, those are some kick-ass credentials.
Conversely, the Fox News wannabe – Dr. Marc – is a Fox News contributor and a mere associate professor at New York University. Perhaps his most outrageous claim to fame is his gig as a sometimes talk show guest on Sirius XM’s Doctor Radio where he talks about everything from bird flu epidemics to possible terrorist activities in emergency rooms (Dr. Mike, on the other hand, sticks to three basic topics: tobacco harm reduction, alcohol public health policy, and firearms violence).
And while the Fox Siegel has been published in Forbes and elsewhere, most of his nonsensical rhetoric appears in Fox News publications. For example, in January of 2018, Dr. Marc wrote a truly groundbreaking column (note sarcasm, please) entitled, Dr. Marc Siegel: Why I hope that Neil Diamond will lend his voice and heart to the fight against Parkinson’s.
Why does Dr. Marc’s headlines always begin with his name?
When readers of the anti-vaping Siegel of Fox News click on his bio page on the Fox website, a strange trend begins to emerge. About 75 percent of his articles begin with the phrase “Dr. Siegel” or some rendition of his moniker. Is this intentional?
One begins to wonder. Is the Fake Dr. Marc suddenly writing anti-vaping Op-Eds on Fox in a feeble attempt to confuse readers with the pro-vaping Dr. Mike? After all, the Fox News contributor has not written much about vaping much in the past. He’s written about swine flu and Barbara Bush’s final days, but substantial, science-based reporting does not appear to be his forte.
So, why is the Marc-not-Mike Siegel writing about vaping now? And is Fox News in on it? Or is this all just a very strange coincidence? Vapers beware of what you are reading. It may not technically be “Fake News,” but the line between real and fake is becoming considerably more blurred.