Does Michael Wolff understand how to use Google?
Long ago, I established that Michael Wolff doesn’t know how to use Newser, the website he helped launch (and that I briefly freelanced for). But now I think we’re getting the picture that he doesn’t understand how to do basic Internet research.
Wolff’s daily column for Newser (why?), which also gets picked up by Vanity Fair (even more why!?) today notes that The Author has noticed all the young ladies about his neighborhood exposing their sexy tattoos. He then breathlessly warns them that they’ll never be able to get MRIs in the future. Why? Because tattoos, he writes, have metal in them:
Everywhere in the MRI unit are warning signs about tattoos. They’re made with metal apparently and the image resonance magnet pulls the metal right out of your skin, to excruciating effect. Do the tattooed know this? That their inner organs can’t be inspected?
If Wolff had bothered to do a tiny bit of fact-checking just before he hit publish (and maybe even before his assistant hit ’send’ on the daily mailing list), he could have just hit the ‘I’m feeling lucky’ button on Google. Then he would have received the following clear-eyed explanation of why metal in tattoos isn’t a problem for the young people with body art who he says don’t have jobs worth keeping. This is Karen Hudson at About.com:
How can you know if your tattoo contains metal? Well, there is no really easy way to know for sure unless you have access to a very high-powered metal detector. But don’t fret – if your tattoo was obtained within the past 20 years you are almost assured that this is not going to be an issue for you. Even if your tattoo is older than 20 years old, that doesn’t mean the ink absolutely contained metal. And even if it did contain metal, that does not mean you absolutely will have a problem with getting an MRI. If you find yourself at this juncture, it will be best for you to inform your doctor of your concerns and let them help you make an informed decision. Remember that there are always alternatives to MRI – people with pacemakers and metal implants (among other things) also have to find other diagnostic methods. Your doctor can help you decide if you might be at risk and, if so, what alternate options are available to you.
So, Mike, thanks for propagating Internet rumors. What’s next in your daily ‘column’? An explanation of how rhythmic coughing can save you from a heart attack? Will you share with us the Mrs. Fields cookie recipe on Friday? Etc. And if you are going to circulate things like this, can you at least keep them to 120 words like Newser writers do?