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Former Today Host Sues Over Deceptive Appearance in Drug Ads

An interesting story playing out this week in a Manhattan federal court underscores, without question, why I'm not beholden to any advertisers or outside interests for anything regarding this Web site and my career as a whole health physician.

Claiming she was deceived by the New York Times and DeWitt Publishing, former Today Show host Jane Pauley has sued both companies for misrepresenting an interview intended, as she thought, for a news story, when it appeared as part of an advertising supplement to sell psychotherapeutic drugs made by Eli Lilly and others.

The problem occurred when a DeWitt staffer, allegedly posing as a New York Times reporter, contacted the National Mental Health Association about an interview with Pauley, a recent honoree for her recovery from bipolar disorder. The Times, on the other hand, claims Pauley was informed through her assistant how and where the printed interview would appear. To add insult to alleged injury, the supplement, published about a year ago, featured, not only an interview, but an image of Pauley on its cover.

Pauley, like me, has refused to work as a paid spokesperson for any company, instead lending her good name and influence to charitable organizations. Nevertheless, many New York Times readers were probably surprised and definitely deceived by her appearance in an advertising section. That's why I urge you to take better responsibility for your own health decisions and not rely on a face or a name, no matter how familiar, to tell you what to do.

Houston Chronicle October 25, 2006

New York Times October 26, 2006 Registration Required

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