Selected Clips

Experts Warn Expanded Heart Valve Use Risks Patient Safety, The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists

A new kind of artificial heart valve has revolutionized treatment for many patients. Now, doctors and advocacy groups with significant financial ties to the manufacturers are pushing for uses that aren’t supported by the evidence.

How Addiction Recovery Facebook Groups Became a Huckster's Paradise, The Verge

Both addicts and their loved ones often turn to Facebook groups for emotional support as they navigate addiction and recovery. That means rehab marketers know just where to go to find the most desperate – and potentially lucrative – sales targets. Some marketers even start groups themselves, with or without disclosing their financial ties to rehabs.

Addiction-Focused Media Companies Have Deep Ties to Rehabs, The Verge

Popular websites The Fix and Rehab Reviews, as well as Addiction Unscripted, a publication that's been promoted by Mark Zuckerberg, double as marketing operations for luxury treatment centers. But it can be hard for readers to know exactly who's funding their news source.

Searching for Help, The Verge

How do so many addicts end up in Florida and California for rehab? Very often, it's through unscrupulous internet marketers, who use deceptive Google ads and high-pressure sales tactics to turn desperate people into "heads in beds." 

  • After publication of this story, Google halted the sale of ads alongside many addiction-related searches. You can read my followup here.

Breakdown, The Verge

An investigation into Talkspace, a startup that uses the gig economy model for anonymous, chat-based therapy, putting patients and therapists at risk. 

The Peer Review Scam, Nature

The co-founders of Retraction Watch and I reported on a "ring" of researchers who were caught peer reviewing their own papers, the investigation into the scam, and the technological loopholes that made it possible in the first place.

How to Kill a Fish, Topic

Most of the fish we eat die by asphyxiation. But there’s a better way, both for the fish and those who eat them.

The Trouble With Tortoises, America's Ill-Advised Pet Fad, BuzzFeed News

Over the last three decades, massive sulcata tortoises have become a popular American family pet. Now, thousands of giant tortoises, often deformed due to improper care, are filling up sanctuaries. Meet the people who made that happen — and the ones who are begging you not to buy one.

Addicts for Sale, BuzzFeed News

In Delray Beach, the "recovery capital of America," addicts are bought and sold for their insurance policies, and many of them are coerced into sex.

Eddie Davison's Life Sentence, BuzzFeed News

Locked up in a psych ward under the false premise that he was a convicted sex offender, Eddie Davison sued New York state for false imprisonment. Now the state says he owes it $2 million. 

Valuable Antibodies at a High Cost, The New Yorker

Santa Cruz Biotechnology, one of the largest suppliers of research antibodies in America, violated federal animal welfare regulations for close to a decade, including hiding over 800 goats from federal inspectors. 

A Sweeter Pill, The Archipelago

In a San Francisco homeless services center, homeopaths have become de-facto counselors for homeless veterans living with PTSD, particularly those who decline traditional therapy.

The Pull to Pull, Racked

Cheryn Salazar's compulsive hair pulling led to her career selling wigs and makeup for those with medical hair loss. For her, customer service often means counseling people as they navigate questions of identity, beauty, and the search for a supportive community.