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George falls for Bill

BMJ 1999; 318 doi: (Published 06 February 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;318:406
  1. John Roberts, general internist
  1. Washington, USA

    After, at first, merely reporting the facts of the sacking of George Lundberg, editor of JAMA (the journal of the American Medical Association), the US media have come roaring back over the past two weeks, realising the link with the Clinton impeachment trial. Editorialists brandished scalpels as they castigated the association for its removal of one of the finest editors of JAMA in its 115 year history.

    Lundberg was fired on 15 January by the association's executive vice president, E Ratcliffe Anderson Jr, after he rapidly pushed through a brief report that showed that 59% of US college students did not consider orogenital contact to be “sex.” Leaders of the American Medical Association pulled together to defend the firing, which, they say, injected the journal into the impeachment trial. In providing an explanation worthy of Orwell, Anderson said that, despite his firing of Lundberg, the association was not censoring JAMA; it was protecting its integrity.

    At least 53 metropolitan newspapers reported the firing on their front pages. It seemed that …

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