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Antivaccine nonsense Complementary and alternative medicine Medicine Quackery

Irony meter melting, must back off

I thought it was an April Fools’ joke, but it wasn’t. It was posted one day too late, but there it was staring at me:

On World Autism Day: A Plea for Better Journalism.

On the surface, who could argue with that, particularly with David Kirby’s regular carpet-bombing logic and science with unctuous and slimy speculation and prevarication? Definitely, such deceptive antivaccination-sympathetic “journalism” needs to go.

But then I noticed who wrote this article.


Dan Olmsted.

Yes, Dan Olmsted, perhaps the worst journalist ever when it comes to autism, the man who swallowed whole anecdotal and evidence-free claims from the HomeFirst practice in Chicago that unvaccinated children do not get autism, who routinely says irresponsible and stupid things about health issues, who often abuses statistics, who still champions an evidence-free claim that the Amish do not vaccinate and do not have autism, apparently without ever having actually interviewed any doctors who deal with developmental disorders in Amish country, and who regularly churns out such a load of rubbish on the Age of Autism site blaming vaccines for autism.

Yes, that Dan Olmsted.

The same one who owes me a new irony meter. I wonder if I can sue to get him to replace mine. Particularly lethal to my poor machine was this line:

They get the facts wrong, they get the nuances wrong – they just plain get the story wrong, time after time after time. I’ve said before that the big wealthy news outlets – the networks, the big papers, the newsweeklies – need to create an autism beat, and they need editors to edit this stuff who know what they’re talking about. You can’t just dispatch someone to cover autism like it’s a spectacular train wreck (which of course it is, metaphorically speaking). You’ve got to stick with it, get it right, and fix it fully when you get it wrong. You’ve got to have a lot more autism awareness, and not just on April 2.

Yes, I should consider suing. My irony meter, poor thing now sitting there melting in a pathetically bubbling pool of plastic, rubber, and copper wire, didn’t deserve this, even if it was just an inanimate object. Meanwhile J.B. Handley is crowing over how bubble-brained antivaccinationist moron Jenny McCarthy and slithering sleazeball David Kirby supposedly gave science an “all-time ass-whooping” on Larry King Live.

If I ever replace my irony meter, I’d better make sure to buy a super-duper, industrial strength, EMP-shielded version if I’m going to subject myself to J.B. Handley’s idiocy as well.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

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