Margaret A.WinkerMD, Deputy EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Interim CoeditorIndividualAuthor
To the Editor: The recent
removal of Dr Lundberg as editor-in-chief of JAMA is being
vociferously condemned in many quarters. Solemn voices intone that
"the result of these events is that JAMA is no longer part
of a free press," and that "issues of academic freedom" are at
stake.1 A cause célèbre has been born.
In the face of this onslaught of vitriol, an alternative
analysis of the Lundberg affair is in order. In the January 20 edition
of JAMA, a "timely" article entitled "Would You Say You
‘Had Sex' If . . . ?"
was published.2 Although the data
presented were more than 7 years old and not remotely germane to the
promotion of "the science and art of medicine and the betterment of
the public health," JAMA's expressly stated mission, the
article's publication was expedited "to influence the political
process."3 Thus, it was published in the midst of
President Clinton's impeachment trial with the tacit purpose of
bolstering his denial of perjury.
Van Gerpen JA. The Firing of Dr Lundberg. JAMA. 1999;281(19):1789. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-281-19-jbk0519