Carr has been making waves in the health food and cancer prevention worlds for a while now, by taking the messages of prominent integrative-health physicians like Dr. Alejandro Junger and Dr. Mark Hyman and making them, well, sexier.
But rather than delve into her nutrition philosophy and why so many people are turning to her to become “wellness warriors,” the Times latched onto her desire to be the “next Oprah,” and made the growth of her business the driving force of the piece.
Editors also made a questionable decision by calling the print version of the story “Every Cancer Has a Silver Lining.” Really? We can’t believe that title didn’t get booed down at the editorial meeting, much less make it through the magazine’s arduous editorial process.
This title turns Carr’s positive “prevention is hot” message into a patronizing one, particularly if you’re a cancer patient whose disease has progressed or if you’ve lost someone to the disease—or if you’ve never heard of her at all. The title used for the online version: “Kris Carr: Crazy Sexy Entrepreneur” wasn’t much of an improvement.
Both titles showed a kind of offensiveness and belittling skepticism. And it’s our observation that the Times seems to reserve this stance for alternative health (and yoga) topics.
While articles on chefs, filmmakers, technology inventors focus on the subject’s ideas, merits, or success, articles on alternative health tend to focus on how much money is being made. Eye-rolling seriously implied. Snake-oil-salesman invoked.
Not surprisingly, Times readers left comments that matched the article’s tone. While on Twitter, Carr’s unflappable followers rejoiced at the mainstream attention, calling her “my inspiration” and “my superstar.” Unfortunately, the divide the Times fostered between these audiences could hardly be called a healthy one.
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