Thursday, April 19, 2007

John Mack: "The Howard Stern of drug blogging?"

John Mack is a lovely guy, but his predilection to spin data faster than the drug industry spins PR doesn't increase his credibility. And his choice of language is reaching a new low, only matched by some FCC banned shock jocks.

First, let's start with the data spin. John has done a blogosphere survey, which we all helped steer our readers to, but the only thing we've seen so far is spin, spin, spin.

John's major objective seems to be to show snippets of data that shows his blog ranks high.

To do this he cuts the respondents into different groups, and he favors selecting the results only from individuals who happen to work for the drug industry.

In fact, in a post today on the PharmaBlogosphere, culling the data this way, and looking for "readability," "credibility" and "usefulness" the only three blogs that made it into all three top five lists was . . . surprise, John's blog PharmaMarketing, Eye on FDA, and In the Pipeline.

Two of those blogs are so dry, you'd have to be a scientist to enjoy them, and one of the blogs that made it onto one of those lists, Pharma Watch, isn't even available to the public!

I graciously note that even though my blog didn't make it into any of John's spin-controlled lists, he still couldn't resist the temptation to write about Question Authority, and this is what he said:

"Sorry, Peter, Question Authority -- popular as it might be among all readers -- did not make the "Industry Top 5" in any category! But I will say this: Industry readers thought that Question Authority was more supportive of the industry than did non-industry readers! In fact, it was second on that list (behind Pharma Marketing Blog) of blogs that the industry thought supportive. Perhaps if the survey was done over again today, industry respondents would have a different opinion! Perhaps more closely aligned with a view expressed on CafePharma; namely, "This Rost guy is a Michael Moore crony that is an industry and medical community outcast that has nothing better to do then sit at his computer all day long blogging about things he knows little about, blowing things out of proportion, and surfing porn."

I don't think the "industry supportive" result was surprising. I didn't spend 20 years in the drug industry not liking it. It is a great industry. The fact that I disagree with a few delusional drug company CEOs is a different story. I expect history to prove me right and their nose diving share prices to prove them wrong. Just one example, look at what I wrote about Pfizer's Exubera long before the analysts realized this thing was a flop.

As for John, I think the quote he picked up from CafePharma shuould have stayed on CafePharma. It is one thing for an anonymous idiot to post drivel about porn on CP, another thing for John to make it his own, by using it the way he did.

What made me react is not only this comment, but John also--in the name of being funny--posted this unprecedented "composite comment" from CafePharma about On Pharma, (On Pharma is written by a wonderful journalist; Agnes M. Shanley, Editorial Director for Putman Media, Inc.'s Pharma Group):

"The only word that can accurately describe you is inept. Are you kidding me? Stick your ethics up your ass. Listen up, you skeevy retard: You should have clean hands before you start spewing moral turpitude...Typing fagbot on an internet forum is not the same thing as screaming it out while waiting at the counter for my BK Broiler. You remain an idiot! Selfish egotistical asshole. If you are so interested in doing the right thing why don't you ... get into a circle jerk?"

So in conclusion, c'mon John, stop twisting the data to make yourself look good, show us the whole blog survey thing, and PLEASE, shape up your approach to your fellow bloggers. In fact, another blogger wrote me today about that last comment . . . so I know I'm alone saying that no one in the blog world expects silk gloves, but we also don't think paraphrasing or adopting the worst of CafePharma is the way to go, unless your objective is to be known as John Mack, the "Howard Stern of drug blogging."


PharmaGuy said...

Peter, Peter, Peter! You don't need no stinkin' survey to be popular and help you promote yourself! You're doing a great job all by yourself.

BTW, all the analysis was done by a third party expert in data analysis. Also, you and all the other bloggers in the survey, will receive the raw data soon and can make your own hay out of it!

I just want a bit of exclusivity considering how much work I put into this -- including giving away my products (reprints and special supplements to my Pharma Marketing News newsletter) to participants as a thank you.

Is it too much to ask that I get my chance to bask in the sun? Afterall, my blog didn't win top prize and I haven't dissed the winner as you have!

Regarding the Cafe Pharma quotes let me say this: I have no recollection of that!

Just kidding. Really, you know it was all done tongue-in-cheek, don't you? Perhaps I took it a step too far, but putting me in the same league as Howard Stern and Imus is really unfair, you lilly-white ho!

What you may not know is that I have been in contact with Agnes Shanley who wrote in an unsolicited e-mail: "Thanks...for the link and writeup. Have been chuckling about it all morning, and hope it generates some discussion. Your points were all good/true, too." I have since helped Agnes by noting that her comments were not working and that's why her site is not getting comments from readers! No one else took the time or effort to give her a heads up!

So, I like to think that I give as much as I take and I hope most bloggers in the Pharma Blogosphere will back me up on that!

Your friend,


Peter Rost said...

Lilly-white-ho? Lilly-white-ho!

That means I finally had to look up what "ho" means. It isn't part of my regular vocubulary. Turns out the dictionaries on the web doesn't have the Imus definition, so I had to do a regular web search. I even learned what "nappy-headed" means.

I guess now I'm ready to listen to conservative talk radio!