Let down by Crooks and Liars

I normally like Crooks and Liars.

However, this time around, while blogging about the Autism Omnibus, Nicole let me down. Saying that “I don’t pretend to have any special medical knowledge; so I will link both sides of the thimerosal debate,” she then linked to Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.’s totally dishonest fearmongering piece of crap from two years ago and Arthur Allen’s voice of reason.

This is the sort of lack of critical thinking that comes from “presenting both sides of a debate” as though they are roughly equivalent when they are not. It’s like the press presenting creationist arguments alongside those of scientists. It’s far easier to present “both sides” than to bother to find out that one side’s position is without support. To help her realize this, for Nicole’s edification (and for the benefit of the antivaccinationists who are infesting the comments of Crooks and Liars), I present a little Respectfully Insolent™ education:

  1. Salon.com flushes its credibility down the toilet
  2. The Autism Omnibus: When you don’t have scientific evidence, tug on the heartstrings!
  3. Surprise, surprise! Andrew Wakefield was paid by lawyers to undermine the MMR vaccine
  4. Arthur Allen-David Kirby Debate: All about a story with “legs”
  5. Even the zealots can’t defend this hypothesis any more
  6. Another Salvo in the Mercury/Autism Controversy
  7. Arthur Allen on conflicts of interest in the mercury militia movement
  8. Autism Omnibus crashing?
  9. Robert F. Kennedy Junior’s completely dishonest thimerosal article
  10. Lies, damn lies, and quote mining
  11. “On a mission to discredit any and all evidence of a mercury-autism linkage”
  12. Anti-mercury warriors descending further into the depths

And, there’s more where that came from, if needed. Commenting about an issue requires more than just posting links to “both sides.” What Nicole did was no different from saying, “I don’t pretend to have any special knowledge of biology, so I will link both sides on the evolution debate,” and then linking to TalkOrigins and Answers in Genesis.