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Antivaccine nonsense Medicine

An Age of Autism commenter destroys yet another irony meter

riley’smom is very unhappy with Amy Wallace:

I wrote Ms. Wallace a private email. I intentionally wrote it directly to her private email and DID NOT post it in the comments section of Wired Mag. I asked her about her one sided-biased interview with Mr Offit and asked if she planned to NOW do a fair and balanced report as many were questioning her porfessional reasoning. I also asked her how it felt to be one of Offit’s whores…that perhaps she and Amanda Peet should get together and compare notes on how Ms Peets career was doing since she joined the Offit band wagon.

I received an email back form her thanking me for my input and that she takes this “very seriously”. A few days later…I receive another email from the Rants Department of Wired Mag wanting to publish my email and saying they needed my name, phone number, and home address in order to do so. (Yea, I don’t think so, I’ll get put on a list of terrorist with the likes of Bin Laden that have threatened the very delicate nature of Mr Offit and Ms Wallace)

I wrote back telling them this was a private email to Ms Wallace and I did not want it published, period. I also mentioned that if by chance they decided to go against my wishes and publish my email in any shape or form, they will be speaking to my lawyer. She had no right to forward my email onto anyone as it was sent to her privately. If I wanted the world to read it I would have posted in the comments section of Wired.

Sure, because AoA sooooo respects the privacy of private e-mails, as it did for Gardiner Harris of the New York Times, certain reporters from the L.A. Times, and yourse truly. I’d take riley’smom more seriously if she had criticized AoA as well for breaching the privacy of e-mail, which it regularly does. Indeed, those of us who counter the idiocy regularly laid down by AoA have learned a hard lesson, namely, “If someone associated with AoA ever e-mails you, assume that anything you write in the exchange is likely to be made public.”

As for the post itself, it’s just J.B. spewing the same pseudoscientific nonsense that I’ve slapped down over and over. The only difference is that he appears to be going for Orac-ian verbosity. Well, they always say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

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]

54 replies on “An Age of Autism commenter destroys yet another irony meter”

It’s interesting that someone would assume a *right* to send an unsolicited email to an author casting aspersions on that author’s character AND to insist that the author receiving this email keep it private.

I mean really, if you want your views on someone to stay private, isn’t the safest course of action just to keep them to yourself?

“I also asked her how it felt to be one of Offit’s whores”

“I also mentioned that if by chance they decided to go against my wishes and publish my email in any shape or form, they will be speaking to my lawyer.”

*SPROOOOIINGGGG*

Not again…

I also asked her how it felt to be one of Offit’s whores

If that involves being one of the reality-based community that is trying to stop infectious diseases, I’ll get myself a T-Shirt made up right away.

Age of Autism makes me a sad panda.

Intriguing that anyone should call someone a “whore” and, at the same time, demand a more favourable response.

Call me old-fashioned, but being that rude pretty much rules out getting people on your side. Surely riley’smom knows that and yet cannot control herself.

Does emotion so rule these people that any sense is missing?

“Call me old-fashioned, but being that rude pretty much rules out getting people on your side”

So true! Maybe Orac can learn from this comment.

“So true! Maybe Orac can learn from this comment.”

What do you mean Orac isn’t the one threatening people and using misogynistic comments to intimidate people.

Wait, is this the same Age of Autism that took private notes that Story Harris took during a meeting, misquoted them with a disingenuous and horrific spin, published them without checking with her first, and then demanded that she resign?

http://leftbrainrightbrain.co.uk/?p=3443

If you send questions to a reporter, you have nothing to object to if they print the questions and answer them.

Oh, shut up Sue. You’ve pretty much used up your quota of stupid. You’re now grinding against the wheelstone of tedium. Get a new schtick, please.

Indeed, those of us who counter the idiocy regularly laid down by AoA have learned a hard lesson, namely, “If someone associated with AoA ever e-mails you, assume that anything you write in the exchange is likely to be made public.”

This is the correct assumption for ALL emails.

Personally, I loved this quote:

“Seriously, it was almost like Orac was in there with his hand up her butt like a puppet making her talk.”

Attention everyone. If reality is against you, then fair and balance reporting is not impossible but also immoral.

rileysmom slipped in another dig at Dr Offit by addressing him as Mr Offit. He earned the salutation. All rileysmom ever earned was scorn and derision.

“So true! Maybe Orac can learn from this comment.”

What do you mean Orac isn’t the one threatening people and using misogynistic comments to intimidate people.

If I ever e-mail rileysmom and call her a “whore,” she would be more than justified in holding up the e-mail to ridicule.

Of course, that will never happen.

“If I ever e-mail rileysmom and call her a “whore,” she would be more than justified in holding up the e-mail to ridicule.

Of course, that will never happen.”

Quite true Orac. You do all your silly name calling on this web site to applause from your Neurodiversity cheerleaders.

“Quite true Orac. You do all your silly name calling on this web site to applause from your Neurodiversity cheerleaders.”

Bravo, sir!

Right . . . The willful ignorance squad, in the form of the anonymous “rileysmom” strikes again.
Hiding behind a ‘nym, whoever it is strikes out at Ms Wallace, Dr.Offit Wired magazine and Amanda Peet (whose career seems to be doing just fine, if you look at her IMDB page) and then they insist on keeping it private ? To hell with her. publish it.

PS: it’s not the pseudonym that bugs me, its the one-sided privacy. “rileysmom” gets to snipe from cover, and her targets get to sit there and take it. It offends my sense of fair play.

Give us an ‘O’
Give us an ‘R’
Give us an ‘A’
Give us a ‘C’

I like how she is mortified….mortified that a larger audience might find out what a foul mouthed ignorant bitch she is. The merest question that someone might ask politely if they can print it is enough to cause a fit of the nazis.

We can guess which small group of people are “questioning her porfessional reasoning” as well i’m sure.

Sorry. I just have to add in :
Yes, I know Orac, and myself and others post here under ‘nyms. but we’re posting in public, not sending emails to someone’s private email address. Granted, rileysmom did eventually post most of her rant somewhere, but only after Wired offered to publish it. Remind me next time to have a second coffee before posting, maybe I’ll be more clear.

So, she e-mailed something extremely inflammatory to a reporter, received a polite reply saying the reporter would look into it, then received another polite e-mail essentially offering to republish her views at no cost to her, suddenly her privacy is being violated? What, is her message not important enough to share with the public? I can only imagine that to be the case if rileysmom was afraid that it would prove Wallace’s point about intimidation. Which, based on what she reprinted on her own, it clearly would.

I am amazed how few people understand that when you send someone a letter (via any medium) is not private unless you say so. Them’s the rules of the written word. It’s not like a phone conversation, no matter how much they may wish it were. And anyway, if I received a sexually harassing e-mail at work, I don’t care who sent it; I’m sharing it with the boss, because company policy is that if you’re being harassed on the job, the company needs to know about it. Seems to me that this would apply.

Honestly, they treated her far better than she deserved. That she can’t see that is only testimony to her desire to see them as evil, no matter what.

Riley’smom is right in the sense that, if I write you a private email, I maintain copyright. If a famous poet writes you a series of letters you cannot publish them as a book.

Ms. Wallace is very likely to have a Fair Use defense, though, even without her being called a “whore.” Once that word was used, she has even more reason to forward to her employer.

Also, there are no financial damages riley’smom could possibly sue over. Although she legally has copyright, her financial rights would not be measurably damaged at all by a forwarding or publishing of her letter.

Regarding Ms Peet, isn’t she in that blockbuster movie “2012”?

According to IMDB she seems to scrape by on 3 or 4 movies a year, it must be tough.

I read some of Handley’s ‘facts’ and simply couldn’t continue. I can’t help but laugh at the accusations of ‘closed-mindedness’ by the pro-science contingency whilst they are sitting derisively in their echo chamber of communal reinforcement.

Expectations of privacy for a threatening and vile email? Rileysmom should avail herself of some high colonics (available from a DAN! near her no doubt) to help extract her head from her bum. Oh, and I wouldn’t get too worked up over the infantile attempt to disparage Dr. Offit by referring to him as Mister Offit. Afterall, it’s what we call MDs in some other countries; it’s a perfectly respectful acknowledgement.

While rileysmom maintains copyright, an email has no automatic expectation of privacy, confidentiality, or privelege – just like a normal, mailed letter. Wired acted appropriately in asking permission to publish, at which point they are attempting to gain financial benefit from rileysmom’s “work” (i.e., effluvia). rileysmom’s over the top reaction is what we call here, “borrowing a jack.” Perhaps her expectation is based on her experience with AoA and she is unaware that other institutions behave in a more civilized manner.

Offit’s whore implies that Offit is paying us money (it may also be slander since it implies an illegal, financial relationship, but perhaps that is a tad pedantic). I prefer the term “Offit groupie”, because I work for free.

I am amazed how few people understand that when you send someone a letter (via any medium) is not private unless you say so. Them’s the rules of the written word.

Actually, even then, it’s not private. Just because you want to keep it private, doesn’t mean that the other party have to agree.

It’s not like a phone conversation, no matter how much they may wish it were.

In many countries (e.g. Canada, but not the US), it only requires the accept of one party of a phone conversation to legally record it. The other side doesn’t even need to be made aware of the recording.

So, phone conversations are not necessarily private either.

… a fair and balanced report …

Come on, Wallace, bring your journalism to the standards of Beckoreilnity.

That’s what Americans are demanding of you!

… they needed my name, phone number, and home address in order to do so. (Yea, I don’t think so, I’ll get put on a list of terrorist with the likes of Bin Laden …

Curses! Now none of the Major Modern Conspiracies™ will be able to track down and “re-educate” riley’smom… even about correct use of plurals.

Kristjan Wager @ # 28: In many countries (e.g. Canada, but not the US), it only requires the accept of one party of a phone conversation to legally record it.

In the US, that varies by state.

“Quite true Orac. You do all your silly name calling on this web site to applause from your Neurodiversity cheerleaders.”

Oh, the irony of resorting to silly name calling, whilst admonishing someone else for silly name calling, will be totally lost on Harold.

In many countries (e.g. Canada, but not the US), it only requires the accept of one party of a phone conversation to legally record it. The other side doesn’t even need to be made aware of the recording.

This is true in some states in the US, including California.

I had a quite controlled and interesting e-mail conversation with Kim Stagliano, managing editor of AoA. It went quite nice. We even agreed on a couple of things. It really is a shame that adults can’t have adult discussion. Now, should I publish my e-mail discussions with Kim? Anyone dare me to? (Anyone a lawyer at a reasonable rate?)

Grats on getting conversations out of Ms. Stagliano. She and her anti-vax cohorts at huffington post routinely censored my comments if they (my comments) were addressing the atrocious abuses of science they were perpetrating on the rest of us.

I even went out of my way to be polite and stuff and no dice :p

Over doing the irony thing a bit aren’t you dedj? Calling someone cheerleaders because they act like cheerleaders doesn’t equate with the self satisfied, back slapping, name calling that takes place on this alleged science blog.

Sorry Harold, but the point was about calling people silly names.

You can’t even stick to the point you had originally, so don’t try and get on your high horse and act pure and mighty.

You used a silly name during your attempt to admonish another for using silly names.

You got caught out, and shown up, that is all there is to it.

Add to the thread or kindly remove yourself.

I will officially call Harold a poo-poo head! So there:p That being said, Harold, have you any data to support the perspective that vaccines are as harmful as AoA advocates?

Calling someone a “whore” isn’t calling them a silly name. Saying “poo-poo head” is silly. And so is “flibbertigibbet”. “Whore”, by contrast, is a very direct and misogynist insult, with no silliness at all.

Harold, I have no power to ban you, nor should I have to resort to such things even if I did.

I was making a request for you to be civil and come up with an arguement of substance, which you utterly failed to do on both counts.

You instead chose to compound your intial error by resorting to the very tactics you supposedly deride.

Your self-contradiction is showing. Time for you to do your own flies up before deriding others.

This blog is hugely liberal in terms of what you can get away with here, so its unlikely to get added to the ever increasing number of blogs you are banned from.

If you want to substantiate your comments, you could try some direct quotes, or perhaps you have something of substance to add to the OP?

Somehow I think we’ll all be waiting quite a while.

As an aside, I find it funny that this thread already has more commentators in a few hours than Harold manages in a fortnight.

You guys are probably not familiar with JB Handley’s email communication with Dr. Minshew. Dr. Minshew said:

Mr. Handley none of you have permission to share emails that i have sent to you as individuals with anyone besides the intended receiver nor do you have permission to quote me publicly. Unlike the newspaper which was public, private emails to individuals sent confidentially are not for public quotation.

You know what his answer was?

Says who?

And, tough shit.

This is also when he made a very illogical pronouncement:

Since we both can’t possibly be right, one of us has to be crazy.

These anti-science, anti-reason “vaccines are bad” morons are pathetic, and nothing to be afraid of. What is their response to the vastly decreased number of sufferers of polio or smallpox? They have none. They are laughable. Let them rail against us, with their spokesmen with no background in science at all — they are the equivalent of flat-earthers, astrologers, and dowsers. They speak only nonsense…but that nonsense gets them book deals and speaking engagements on Oprah and Larry King. No wonder they protest so vocally against real data.

I also asked her how it felt to be one of Offit’s whores

If that involves being one of the reality-based community that is trying to stop infectious diseases, I’ll get myself a T-Shirt made up right away.

The slogan “Offit’s Whores: Saving Lives” has a ring to it, doesn’t it?

“I’ll get myself a T-Shirt made up right away.”

And please, for Harold’s sake, could you, um, wear the cheerleader skirt?

I see no reason not to call names: riley’smom is clearly not functioning highly enough to understand other forms of reasoning, so I’m going to call her, let’s see, a stupid misogynist poopyhead.

Nyah nyah so there.

Oh also, Harold. Harold is making up threats to ban him, is name-calling on the topic of name-calling, and seems rather put out that everyone doesn’t fall down over his clearly superior intellect which isn’t done justice by the quality of his comments, or something. I’m waiting for that superior argument Harold. I’m sure you have wonderful studies in your hand which prove your point.

Or not.

These anti-science, anti-reason “vaccines are bad” morons are pathetic, and nothing to be afraid of.

I’m not afraid of them. I’m afraid of the consequences for the children of those who take them seriously.

We’re already seeing pockets of resurgence of vaccine-preventable diseases. While we probably won’t see a doomsday scenario, there could be a good amount of totally unnecessary M&M.

Just as a point of journalistic ethics, riley’s mom had no reason to expect her email should remain private – you make an agreement with a journalist about keeping things ‘off the record’ before you say them, not afterwards.

If she emailed first and said she had some concerns, but could they keep the rest of the conversation private then sure, she may have a point (if Wallace had agreed, at least).

What’s she’s done is the equivalent of doing an interview with a journo and then saying ‘oh, by the way, that last bit was off the record’ – if you want to do that, you rolls the dice and you takes your chances…

Wired and Wallace did the right thing in contacting her and asking, but they were under no obligation to do so imho.

-You do nothing here but smear dissident voices.-

Dissidents from science…yes. Yes you are. ie anti-science. It is a shame you are not also anti-technology (even though this tech came from the science you deride)

There are lots of dissident voices allowed here, which is more than I can say for Harold Doherty’s blog, where censorship is the order of the day. He’s even resorted to advertising his posts on the EoHarm yahoo group to try to drive himself some traffic.

I really wonder about Harold, and I sense a great deal of anger there. Years ago he was angry at Michelle Dawson, and in fact, at anyone who dared suggest that ABA wasn’t a cure for autism. Now he’s moved to becoming an apologist for the anti-vaccine movement.

Harold, since I can’t post this on your blog, I want to point out a recent editorial published in the journal Pediatrics:

http://www.jpeds.com/article/S0022-3476%2809%2900035-3/abstract

Application of behavioral interventions for autism exceed evidence of efficacy

This issue of The Journal includes the report of a study by
Australian investigators Spreckley and Boyd, who performed a systematic review of studies of acute behavioral intervention (ABI) in preschool-aged children with autism spectrum disorder.

They evaluated robustness of study methodologies using the
physiotherapy evidence database (PEDro) scale and performed
meta-analysis using selected studies in order to assess efficacy of interventions on intellectual and behavioral outcomes. Considering that only three randomized controlled trials (including a total of 76 children) have been published, that subjects were not always stratified by age at intervention or cognitive ability, and that control groups participated in uncontrolled interventions, it may not be surprising that ABIs had little demonstrable value added for long-term outcomes. The authors provide critically important information to the medical community and highlight gaping holes in our knowledge of the best ways to support preschool children with an autistic spectrum disorder and their families.

In an accompanying editorial, Msall agrees fully with the
authors’ conclusions and adds the context of US children affected and dollars that would be required to apply ABI. Most importantly, he stresses the opportunity and necessity for parents and developmental professionals to be allies in the challenge of each child’s care and also in planning research. As Msall points out, it is critical to measure broad outcomes that include the caregiver’s
physical and mental health, the sibling’s physical and mental health, and the impact on family life.
—Sarah S. Long, MD
page 338 (article)
page 319 (editorial)

(sorry all, jumping over the lovely discussion in the comments tonight)

Just wanted to point out that I also sent Amy Wallace an email and got a request to post my email on the rants section. So, it’s not gathering information for a “terrorist” list.

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