Earlier today, I had a bit of fun deconstructing Dan Olmsted’s whiny complaint about how “progressives don’t ‘get’ autism,” his definition of “getting” autism being, of course, buying into the scientifically discredited notion that vaccines cause autism and the quackery known as “autism biomed” that anti-vaccine loons like Olmsted advocate to “recover” autistic children. Of course, I wrote my little bit of not-so-Respectful Insolence last night; so I didn’t get to see a rather amusing additional bit of information showing Olmsted to be clueless that happened to pop up today. First, let’s look at a key quote from Olmsted’s whine:
The best major-media reporting recently on this issue has come from conservative Fox News, which has taken to running almost weekly reports. The network seems to have been prompted by the government’s strange concession in Vaccine Court – that autism was not “caused” by vaccines but autistic symptoms “resulted” from the vaccinations – which a reporter called “fishy legal language.”
Leaving aside the inconvenient fact that Fox News is owned by Rupert Murdoch, which also owns The Times, which employs Brian Deer, whose investigations into Andrew Wakefield’s ethical and scientific lapses were critical to bringing about the hearings that resulted in Wakefield’s losing his medical license in the U.K., it was amusing to have several readers e-mail me this link this morning:
The news outlet that published this article? Fox News.
As I’ve said before on numerous occasions, anti-vaccine lunacy is the lunacy that knows no political boundaries. There are right wing and left wing anti-vaccine activists, and there are right wing and left wing defenders of vaccine science. I don’t know that anyone’s ever done a study that provides convincing evidence that anti-vaccine pseudoscience is more prevalent among those who consider themselves conservative or those who consider themselves liberal (or progressive), but I do know that Dan Olmsted’s prolonged whine about how the progressive media have been ignoring his book for ideological reasons is hilarious. Apparently when Dan Olmsted and Mark Blaxill released Age of Autism, Olmsted thought he’d be invited to promote their book through interviews with Rachel Maddow, Keith Olbermann, and other liberal pundits. Too bad Olmsted and Blaxill couldn’t even score an interview with Bill Maher, arguably the best known anti-vaccine liberal out there.