The hypocrisy of anti-vaccine activists

If there’s one thing about the anti-vaccine movement in general and one of its chief mouthpieces for propaganda, the Age of Autism blog, in particular, it’s rank hypocrisy. One of the key tenets of anti-vaccine ideology is an unrelenting distrust of big pharma. While that in and of itself would not be entirely unreasonable, given the documented chicanery of that large pharmaceutical companies have indulged in from time to time, but on AoA the crew takes such mistrust beyond reasonable skepticism and straight into tinfoil hat territory. Indeed, “pharma shill!” is one of their favorite cries any time someone has the temerity to defend vaccines or to point out that science simply doesn’t support the anti-vaccine movement’s pet contention that vaccines somehow cause autism, a belief that is utterly immune to reason and science. In any case, any connection with the filthy lucre of normal commerce is viewed as an instant reason to launch ad hominem attacks on the credibility of the person defending vaccines.

Unless the person partaking of a bit of the ol’ filthy lucre is an antivaccinationist. Then it’s all good.

In any case, yesterday I happened to check out AoA. I don’t know why, but every so often morbid curiosity gets the better of me. And what did I see? A Tweet from the official Age of Autism Twitter feed:

From Kim: Please welcome our newest advertiser, Public Affairs Media, featuring Dr. Andrew Moulden.

Dr. Andrew Moulden? Remember him? You don’t? He’s the guy who thinks, against all evidence and science, that autism is caused by microvascular strokes caused by vaccines, arguably a competitor with Mark and David Geier’s Lupron protocol for the most ridiculously horrific bit of autism and antivaccine pseudoscience ever, as I described in detail a while back. Based on this idea, he offers a bit of pseudoscientific nonsense called Brain Guard, which involves nothing more than submitting a videotape of a child to him for “analysis.”

Apparently AoA has graduated from accepting advertising from supplement manufacturers to accepting pure pseudoscience, as long as it brings in the green. What’s next, homeopathy? Distant healers? Colon cleanses? Shamanism?

Indeed, if you want to get an idea of just how bad Moulden is, consider this. John Best, of all people, after first being impressed with Moulden ultimately recognized that he was pushing nonsense. That’s bad. Real bad. Astoundingly bad. Like Jenny McCarthy recognizing someone as a quack, only worse.

But not bad enough not to be an advertiser for AoA. To J.B. Handley and AoA, it’s money that matters, as Randy Newman famously sang some 20 years ago: