David Kirby and Autism Speaks, sittin’ in a tree…


All right, I give up. Since I’ve been sucked into the whole vaccine thing again after only one day away, I might as well highlight this simultaneously amusing and depressing tidbit. Earlier today, I wrote about a coordinated attack by the antivaccine movement on the Autism Omnibus decision two weeks ago. Given that it involved Generation Rescue, Jim Carrey, Jenny McCarthy, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Deirdre Imus and her eirdre Imus Environmental Center for Pediatric Oncology, the Huffington Post, Age of Autism, and various other antivaccine activists, I thought it pretty obvious that there was a lot of planning and coordination of effort. However, I never expected to find the sort of planning and coordination of effort discovered by Kevin Leitch. It turns out that David Kirby and Peter Bell of Autism Speaks have been coordinating their efforts to drum up “respectability” to the idea that vaccines cause autism.

Kevin discovered this when David Kirby posted an e-mail to his Evidence of Harm Yahoo! group. This e-mail happened to include an exchange between him and Peter Bell that led to Kirby writing his latest HuffPo spinfest based on an Autism Speaks interview with Duane Alexander, M.D., Director of the NICHD.

Most telling is this exchange, after Bell had forwarded this interview to Kirby:

Bell: You just happened to find this on our website, right? J

Kirby: I go there often, yes! The piece will be up in minutes NICE JOB!

Wink, wink, nudge, nudge.

Note also that Peter Bell isn’t just anyone at Autism Speaks. He is an executive vice president there:

Peter Bell is executive vice president for programs and services at Autism Speaks. He oversees the foundation’s government relations and family services activities and also serves as an advisor to the science division. In addition, on an interim basis, he is overseeing the organization?s communications and awareness efforts. Prior to his role at Autism Speaks, Bell was president and CEO of Cure Autism Now, which merged with Autism Speaks in February 2007.

Clearly, Autism Speaks is down with the antivaccine movement for which David Kirby is chief propagandist and is feeding him information and leads on the down low. As Kev wonders, why keep it secret anymore? After all, if Generation Rescue–excuse me, “Jenny McCarthy’s” autism charity–is now a seemingly “respectable” autism charity in spite of its rabid antivaccination viewpoint, Autism Speaks, with its kinder, gentler antivaccine stance should be able to follow suit, shouldn’t it?