The Depths of Media Whoredom

Well it was bound to happen again. Remember my Toronto Star article on avian flu? Evan Solomon’s show, CBC News Sunday on CBC Newsworld, contacted me to ask if I’d like to be interviewed on the show to talk about the epidemic. While I, ever the eager media whore, was excited by the prospect, I did the responsible thing and told the producer that I’m not a true expert on avian flu, and that she should seek to acquire some engaged in direct research on the topic. Alas.

About two years ago, while I was living in Washington, I wrote a similar article for The Star on SARS. This one was so popular it was picked up by the wires and I was interviewed on CFRB radio. I was then contacted by CBC Newsworld in Washington for a live TV interview. Luckily that one didn’t go forward since I was not a SARS expert either.

So if there are any media producers reading this, let me be clear. I am very happy to do your shows. But I’m an epidemiology generalist with a strong focus on international health issues. If you’re looking for an expert on a highly specific topic, I’m not your guy. However, if you’d like someone to talk about general concepts and challenges to global health, I can be quite eloquent and photogenic when the stars are aligned appropriately 😉