Oil Boom Doesn't Mean an Oil Booty Boom

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Highlights from Hair Balls

Spaced City

Of course, you already know about the energy boom that has generated so much for Houston, but what about the booty boom? Well, that last part is a myth that comes up every year there's some big convention in the area, or a major draw like the Super Bowl.

Certain groups, in an effort to combat any form of sex-selling, swear there's an influx of sex trafficking.

Last week the Comic-Con of the oil and gas industry, the Offshore Technology Conference, came to town, and with it there was an alleged bump in business for pimps and prostitutes, as well as our world-renowned strip-club industry. Those horny oil business executives from around the world were supposedly at it again. But as our paper reported at length in a November 3, 2011, cover story, "Lost Boys," that's just not the case, and the whole sex-trafficking myth is usually perpetuated by organizations with ties to faith-based groups.

Case in point:

"Anytime you have a large event like the OTC that draws in tens of thousands of people, sex trafficking increases," Julie Waters of the Free the Captives anti-human-trafficking group told KPRC.

The station took to scouring Craigs­list for ads offering "disease-free" fun. They found more than a handful of booty call ads aimed at the 100,000 or so folks attending the 45th conference.

When we searched around Craigslist, mostly what we found were limo ads offering $80-an-hour rides for convention participants, but maybe that was a cover.

Know Your Local Media

Cancer Quack
Another Burzynski B-Job.

Craig Malisow

What is it with KHOU getting on its knees for self-mythologizing "cancer doctor" Stanislaw Burzynski, a man who charges vulnerable families a fortune to treat dying loved ones with a dubious potion that has never been proven to be effective?

The latest round of fluffing came courtesy of KHOU reporter Jacqueline Crea's piece on Burzynski reminiscing about his meetings with Pope John Paul II, a piece that highlighted Burzynski's "strong religious beliefs" while glossing over the questionable claims he offers parents of dying children.

Mercifully, the brief spot was not as odious as Great Day Houston's veritable Burzynski infomercial in 2010, but we're absolutely perplexed about the pass Burznyski gets from the majority of local media.

Although Burzynski, a Polish native who likes to tell people he's a "hereditary count," once sought a patent for cancer-bustin' toothpaste and claims to be on the forefront of eradicating the other C-word (crow's-feet), he's known mostly for his invention of synthesized peptides he calls "­antineoplastons."

When Burzynski fiddled about and saw his magic potion might be able to cure AIDS, cancer and neurofibromatosis, he did what anyone with "strong religious beliefs" would do — he patented that shit. (Because patients in clinical trials don't pay for experimental drugs, Burzynski's clinic charged families for incidental costs, including in many cases expensive meds sold by a pharmacy in which Burzynski held an interest.)

The Texas Medical Board and the Food and Drug Administration have battled Burzynski for decades, and antineoplastons, having never been FDA-approved, have only been provided via clinical trials. The FDA suspended the trials in 2013 after the death of a six-year-old patient. Also that year, the FDA accused the Burzynski Research Institute of misreporting patient outcomes, failing to report adverse events, destroying case history records, engaging in false advertising and other violations.

Yet in a move that astonished Burzynski's critics (i.e., real doctors), the FDA in March allowed a handful of patients to resume antineoplaston treatment, as long as Burzynski does not administer them. (Although Lisa Szabo's exhaustive USA Today article neglects to mention Burzynski's kaffeeklatsches with past pontiffs, we still recommend taking a gander.)

With Burzynski's publicity machine apparently in full force these days, we're sure to see more local puff pieces. We'll keep you posted. We just hope KHOU and other outlets allow their reporters to expense those knee pads.

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