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An “un-American suppression” of antivaccine views or good reporting?

I’ve been writing a lot of posts on what I like to call the “antivaccine dogwhistle.” In politics, a “dog whistle” refers to rhetoric that sounds to the average person to be reasonable and even admirable but, like the way that a dog whistle can’t be heard by humans because the frequency of its tone is higher than the range that humans can hear, most people don’t “hear” the real message. However, the intended audience does hear the real message. The way the “dog whistle” works in politics is through the use of coded language recognizable to the intended audience but to which most other people are fairly oblivious. In our not-too-distant past, for instance, “states’ rights” was code for institutionalized segregation.

As I’ve described before, antivaccinationists have a number of coded dog whistles that they like to use. By far the favorite antivaccine dog whistle is the invocation of “parental rights” and “informed consent.” The former was most blatantly exhibited recently by Rand Paul when he bluntly stated, “The state doesn’t own the children. Parents own the children, and it is an issue of freedom.” Of course, one wonders if this was a Freudian slip, because surely someone as politically savvy as Rand Paul must know that likening children to slaves who are “owned” is distasteful. But maybe not. As I’ve said many times before, antivaccinationism is all about the parents, not the children, and unfortunately in this country there is a pervasive assumption that children are property and that parental rights to choose trump a child’s right to decent medical care. We’ve seen this time and time again in other contexts, such as faith healing, where the parents’ freedom of religion trumps the child’s right to be treated for diabetes or pneumonia or a parents’ rights trump the right of a child with cancer to effective care.

Other examples of antivaccine dog whistles abound. For instance, there’s “informed consent,” which in the case of antivaccine activists really amounts to misinformed consent, where parents base their decision not to vaccinate on misinformation painting vaccines as dangerous and ineffective. That’s why antivaccinationists hate bills that propose requiring parents to receive counseling from physician or other health care professional before an exemption to school vaccine mandates will be granted. Other dog whistles are a bit extreme, and, like a low quality dog whistle whose lower register can be heard by humans, let the crazy show even to those who are not antivaccine, such as the likening of any measure to tighten or eliminate nonmedical exemptions to the first step towards a new Holocaust or even to human trafficking. You’d have to be pretty oblivious not to recognize the crazy in these.

There’s another dog whistle that I don’t recall having discussed, but fortunately (or unfortunately, depending upon your view), ex-UPI journalist turned propagandist for the nattering know-nothings at the antivaccine crank blog Age of Autism, Dan Olmsted, provided a perfect example the other day in a post entitled Control All Delete, Part 1: The Un-American Suppression of the Vaccine Safety Debate. (Oh, goody. There’s going to be a part 2.) In it, Olmsted puts that dog whistle to his lips and blows and blows and blows:

Last month, the Toronto Star ran a perfectly reasonable article titled “A Wonder Drug’s Dark Side,” about adverse events following the HPV vaccine Gardasil. It wasn’t long before the paper and its editor, Michael Cooke, were set on by the raving pack of hyenas that attacks anyone who dares suggest that vaccines are not pure as the driven snow.

Of course, as we know, the reason that Toronto Star article was so vigorously criticized was because it was a flaming pile of nonsense. No wonder Robert “Dr. Bob” Sears liked it. It was so bad that ultimately the Star printed an article signed by scientists about the other side, disowned the article, it and, finally, decided to take it off of the newspaper’s website. Basically, the reporters made an egregious rookie mistake when dealing with vaccine stories and treated reports in the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) database as though they were reliable. Oh, sure, they added some disclaimers that just because an adverse event is reported in VAERS and Canada’s equivalent database, the Canada Vigilance Adverse Reaction Online Database doesn’t necessarily mean that the vaccine caused it, but that disclaimer was weak tea compared to portraits of a mother whose daughter died, a death she blames on Gardasil.

It’s a story I’ve discussed before in detail before, Annabelle Morin, and her death was almost certainly not due to Gardasil although antivaccinationists have been furiously spinning it as such for years. I mean, come on! The online version of the article included a video in which Morin’s mother Linda is shown looking over her daughter’s old bedroom and putting flowers on her grave! Don’t get me wrong; I do feel a great deal of sympathy for Ms. Morin, but her grief has led her down the dark path of believing that Gardasil killed her daughter when it almost certainly did not and then becoming an antivaccine activist. Against Linda Morin and the other girls portrayed as having been injured by Gardasil, coupled with the usual blather by Dr. Diane Harper, and the disclaimers couldn’t stand. That’s even leaving out the extensive contacts between some of the parents and antivaccine, anti-Gardasil groups and use of naturopathic quackery to treat their daughters.

But, hey. To Olmsted the criticism leveled at the Star, its editor and reporters, and its publisher is akin to being set upon by a “raving pack of hyenas.” (You know, that wouldn’t be a bad name for a band.) Indeed, he seems to be wishing for the “good old days” when editors had a “bite me!” attitude. Actually, that’s just what the Star‘s editor, Michael Cooke, exhibited at first, when he sent Julia Belluz of Vox.com an e-mail saying, “Stop gargling our bathwater and take the energy to run yourself your own, fresh tub” and told off another critic on Twitter thusly, “Stop being an idiot.” Very classy. No wonder Olmsted liked it. Of course, cooler heads prevailed and the publisher ultimately decided to retract the story, enraging Olmsted:

Under a barrage of criticism, on February 20 the publisher – his boss — announced that “the Gardasil story package of Feb. 5 will be removed from our website.”

In explaining the article’s removal, the publisher wrote: “The weight of the photographs, video, headlines and anecdotes led many readers to conclude the Star believed its investigation had uncovered a direct connection between a large variety of ailments and the vaccine.”

Well yeah, it kind of did lead readers to conclude that – and the conclusion was more than justified, as readers of our own coverage of the vaccine will know. But “we have concluded that in this case our story treatment led to confusion between anecdotes and evidence,” the publisher said, and so it was pulled.

So, the publisher did the right thing; we don’t know whether Cooke was on board with it or not or whether he simply had to swallow and accept this rebuke from his publisher. Either way, it took the Star over two weeks last month of flailing to realize what a mess it had made, but at least in the end its publisher made the right choice.

Now here comes the dog whistle:

This is just the latest example of a disturbing and, frankly, un-American (in the case of the Toronto Star, un-North American) trend: self-censorship and craven caving to criticism. Salon pulling Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s piece on the CDC’s cover-up of thimerosal’s damage in vaccines was among the first and foremost.

It’s not just pulling published journalism that is suppressing urgently needed debate. Google is reported to be talking about ranking its search results not just by relevance and popularity but by deciding which sites are most “accurate.” So if you humans don’t cause global warming or do cause autism, you can expect to show up lower and later because, as we all know already and need not discuss any further, you are not accurate!

Yep. If you don’t have the science, invoke “open debate” or, as I like to call it the “help, help, I’m being repressed!” gambit. It just goes to show that the media has gotten a lot better at avoiding false balance that gives too much credence to crank viewpoints with respect to vaccines. Beginning a decade ago, back when I was a new blogger struggling to find a voice, I frequently noted that I both dreaded and looked forward to April. Why? Because April is Autism Awareness Month. I dreaded it because, like clockwork I’d see the media do vaccine-autism stories and trot out antivaccine loons like J.B. Handley and, later, Jenny McCarthy and her then-boyfriend Jim Carrey to give the “other side,” alongside actual physicians and scientists. Calling Dara O’Briain!

I can’t help it. I love that video. I also like that we don’t see such egregious false balance about vaccines in the media as much as we used to. The media seem to be learning, although the Disneyland measles outbreak has unfortunately somewhat resurrected false balance or even explicitly antivaccine stories.

I also love how Olmsted has zero self-awareness:

The New York Times and other publications explicitly forbid what they call false balance – giving any credence or even coverage to what they consider “anti-vaccine” cranks. If you think that vaccine reactions are more frequent and more serious than the drug companies and government say – the heart of our argument and, again, a perfectly reasonable policy debate — and that those reactions include autism, you are a tinfoil-hat type.

Well, yes. Exactly. Dan Olmsted and the rest of the crew at AoA are tinfoil hat types, and the media have finally started to recognize it (or at least stopped being as willing to give equal time to tinfoil hat types as they used to be). AoA uses pseudoscience, misinformation, and conspiracy theories to try to argue that vaccines cause problems that they do not, problems such as autism, autoimmune diseases, sudden infant death syndrome, and the like. They claim that they are “not antivaccine” and are “pro-vaccine safety,” but you will never, ever see any of them willing to provide an example of a vaccine they consider sufficiently safe and effective to use it on their children. (If any AoA blogger has given such an example, I’ve never seen it, and unfortunately I’ve been reading the damned blog since its inception.) These are the things that make them tinfoil hat types, not their mere questioning of vaccine safety. In other words, it’s the process, the reasoning (or, more precisely, the lack thereof) and pseudoscience that got them to their conclusion that vaccines are dangerous that makes them cranks, not the conclusion.

In this, antivaccine activists are just like creationists. It’s not “questioning Darwin” that makes creationists cranks. It’s the misinformation and pseudoscience used to question evolution. It’s the process. No wonder Olmsted really detests that comparison as well:

Creationism and vaccine-induced autism – what a moral equivalency! The real equivalency is between the Times warmongering coverage of Iraq’s supposed weapons of mass destruction, and its smug certainty that vaccines don’t cause autism – the most important international, and the most important domestic, issues of our time, both muffled and missed by the Times. Some institutions have no memory or ability to learn from their mistakes.

This is, of course, a non sequitur. Just because the New York Times got it wrong about weapons of mass destruction does not mean it didn’t get it right about vaccines and autism, and it did. Its explicit policy of not giving false balance to antivaccine cranks is a wise policy. After all, when it’s publishing a story about astronomy, does the NYT interview an astrologer alongside, say, Neil deGrasse Tyson for “balance”? Or when doing a story about earth science, does the NYT interview a flat earth believer, just for “balance”? Or, yes, when doing a story about evolution, does the NYT interview Ken Ham or another creationist for “balance”? No, at least not any more. The same is and should remain true about not interviewing antivaccine loons like Olmsted for “balance” in vaccine or autism stories.

Science, unlike politics, is not a system where, when you have two extreme viewpoints, the answer usually lies somewhere in the middle. That’s what’s known as the “fallacy of moderation” or the “fallacy of the golden mean.” No, in science, there are right and wrong answers, and in the case of vaccines the right answers lie on the pro-vaccine side, not the antivaccine side. It is not “un-American” to say that and act accordingly, nor is it in any way muzzling free speech, given that the antivaccine movement has numerous outlets through which they can promote their message. Nor is Google stifling free speech by trying to tweak its algorithms to produce more accurate search results rather than the most popular; it’s improving its product and responding to business imperatives. That such a change is likely to greatly diminish the rankings of many crank websites in Google searches is good thing, and certainly no website has a “right” to a high Google ranking based on popularity. It’s Google’s business, and it can change its algorithms as it sees fit.

In scientific and medical controversies, if you have the data and evidence, you use it. Since the antivaccine viewpoint is not a medical viewpoint and is not supported by science, that just leaves using dog whistles like appeals to freedom, warnings about creeping fascism, and complaints of being victims of “un-American” suppression of speech. It’s all antivaccinationists have. Well, that and anecdotes and pseudoscience.

Oh, and calling vaccine scientists like Paul Offit names like Dr. Proffit. Stay classy, Dr. Bob.

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]

734 replies on “An “un-American suppression” of antivaccine views or good reporting?”

So if you humans don’t cause global warming or do cause autism

Olmsted seems to have missed out the word “think”, but more importantly, he is saying that vaxophobia is the equivalent of climate-change denial. OK, I can’t argue with that.

raving pack of hyenas.

Hyenas are highly cooperative social animals. They are working hard to get a living, and like Marines, they don’t like to leave one of them behind.

Not everybody could be a lion living off his (mostly) females’ followers.

Helianthus

Not everybody could be a lion living off his (mostly) females’ followers.

And the first thing that male lion or a coalition of male lions do when they take over a pride is call the young cubs and drive off the older cubs. This is a good analogy to anti-vaxxer’s attitude to other people’s children.

What the heck is “un-North American”, anyway? Disliking football AND hockey? Refusing to partake of either apple pie or maple syrup?

Just when I think I’ve got the hang of this place, too…

What the heck is “un-North American”, anyway?

Shouldn’t there be tequila and tacos also, for a full triumvirate of North Americana?

I always thought the idea of un-American anything was a bit weird. I mean, I can’t imagine declaring anything un-Swedish or un-Mexican behavior, for example.

/offtopic

@ Militant Agnostic

This is a good analogy to anti-vaxxer’s attitude

I was quite pleased coming up with this analogy, but I didn’t realize it could be that deeply accurate.
In real life, the over-romanticized lion is quite a jerk and a bully. If it is the role Olmsted see himself in by giving us the hyena part, I will gladly let him having it.

OT
Re: the picture used by Orac under the headline.
Is it projection on my part, or are people surrounding the speaker having a “damn, here he goes again” face?

@Helianthus: not projection. If my guess is correct, that man is Senator Joseph McCarthy, who headed up the House Un-American Activities Committee and whose activities are mest remembered with the phrase “McCarthyist Witch Hunts”.

Yes, that is Senator Joe McCarthy.

Actually, however, Sen. McCarthy was not the chair of the House Un-American Activities Committee for the simple reason that he was a Senator, and the HUAC was a committee of the House of Representatives. The two did operate at the same time for a while, although the HUAC predated McCarthy, having started in the late 1940s, while McCarthy’s campaign didn’t start until 1950. In any case, HUAC was known more for going after Communists in the entertainment industry, resulting in the blacklisting of actors, writers, directors, etc., accused of being Communists or having Communist sympathies. Sen. McCarthy was known for casting his net wider and claiming that the US government was riddled with Commies, starting with a speech accusing the State Department of having Communist infiltration. The HUAAC actually lasted a couple of decades, whereas McCarthy’s reign of terror lasted less than five years—fortunately.

My husband pointed out that Rand Paul’s statement implicitly makes him pro-choice, since “parents own the children”.

Sometimes it’s like they don’t realize people have memories, or the ability to look things up.

@ Orac, Julian Frost

Yes, that is Senator Joe McCarthy.

Ah, I thought so. I have read Joseph Welch hotly diatribe against McCarthy when he had enough of the BS and I enjoyed the style.
(actually, I just learned it’s Joseph Welch in the left of the picture)

And funny enough, I just learned (or have been reminded) that McCarthyism was also against “socialized” medicine, including water fluoridation (of course, a classic), and ‘ding ding ding’ polio vaccine. Plus ca change…

Very apropos picture.

“This is just the latest example of a disturbing and, frankly, un-American (in the case of the Toronto Star, un-North American) trend: self-censorship and craven caving to criticism.”

First thought on reading this quote. Does Olmsted realize Canada is not the 51st state? The subsequent clarification does little to change the opinion.

I may just have too many Canadian friends and relatives but the idea that the two entities are essentially identical just grates for me.

Isn’t it hilariously ironic that Dan talks about ‘suppression’ when he and his fellow/ sister anti-vaccine activists work to SUPPRESS most of the studies that illustrate that vaccines and autism are un-related?

They endeavor to discourage parents from viewing more realistic writers’ articles- including research – about vaccines and/ or autism by labelling them ‘shills’. ‘liars’ or ‘felons’. They call for the heads of journalists of whom they don’t approve because of their support of SBM. Recently, it appears that Dan entirely mis-represented what Brian Deer discussed on his website. And it wasn’t the first time. Orac’s work is not exactly portrayed accurately as well.

AoA moderates comments with a vengeance and it is rare that an opposing viewpoint gets through ( although a few of Orac’s minions have succeeded).

Like the alt media prevaricators, Dan & Co, would have their readers envisage a vast, looming police state, bent on censoring their rebellious voices and planning, as we speak, to jail revolutionaries for their every action and thought.
HOWEVER they do seem to spend a lot of time on the internet broadcasting these impending crimes UN-IMPEDED in any way.

I guess that’s the worst form of suppression- the kind you don’t see.

If you think that vaccine reactions are more frequent and more serious than the drug companies and governmentdozens of national and international public health and scientific organizations sayhave shown with compelling evidence from large-scale studies, and you also beleive that there is some sort of global cover-up that has effectively silenced hundreds of thousands of parents, pediatricians, scientists, and public health workers while somehow entirely failing to silence a rag-tag group of mentaly disturbed parents egged on by a small handful of profiteering doctors...you are a tinfoil hat type.

FTFY, Dan.

Here are some questions** for Orac;s minions:

does anyone know what Dan is paid or earns from AoA?
Does he have other means of support? I know he writes books with Blaxill but I can’t imagine that being very lucrative.
He lives in the Washington area which I’ve heard is rather expensive. He can afford an Uber ride.

** I did run across AoA figures a while ago but am pressed for time.

@KayMarie

I had the same thoughts regarding the un-American comment.

To Dan and the rest of the AoA set, anything that agrees with their mindset is automatically double-plus good and free from any faults. Anything that disagrees with their mindset is automatically double-plud un-good and clearly a conspiracy perpetrated by Eastasia (or was it Eurasia…latest missive from the Ministry of Truth seems to be late).

After the Star fiasco, CBC Radio had a lovely session with a vaxer and antivaxer on the program The Current. Definately an excellent case of media balance. More like staking out a goat to attract the prey. 🙂

http://www.cbc.ca/radio/thecurrent/vaccinations-assisted-suicide-ruling-organized-crime-1.2952333/vaccinations-pro-and-anti-vaxxer-parents-make-their-cases-1.2952339

The host of The Current is generally well-briefed and not shy. It is an interesting look into the mind (???) of the woman who said she did her “research”.

Just in time to be cut off at the knees by the host. It, really did not make the antivaxer look too good.

I don’t know the audience numbers but the show is heard coast-to-coast and seems very popular. It is likely to have had a decent effect although I suspect the demographics are a bit in the older range. Still having a raging grandma asking why the kids are vaccinated may help.

Remember, you can’t be “unAmerican” without the UN!
kidding /

I’m sure that vaccine reactions are greater in number than what companies and the government report. Thus is the nature of epidemiological surveillance. You don’t capture all cases all the time because public health is not omniscient. The thing is that these questions are best left to be answered by science than by anti-vaccine blogs and celebrities.
I’m also sure that vaccine reactions are smaller in severity than what the anti-vaccine groups say. Again, the true severity of reactions is out there, but all the evidence we have so far — from a myriad of sources — points to reactions that are mild, and away from autism.
But that’s not what they want to hear. They want a different way of doing surveillance for adverse events only if it will lead toward their preconceived notions about the number and severity of adverse events. Anything short of their fantasies coming true is unacceptable.

(Anecdotal): When I worked as a public health nurse for a large County health department, I audited children’s immunizations records at the 7 County health clinics, at area hospitals’ pediatric clinics and at private doctors offices.

I also had contact with the State Department of Health’s Immunization coordinator, who discussed any severe adverse events that were reported to the CDC. They were few and far between. I recall one case of a severe adverse event (onset of seizures), following a vaccination and the parents refused all vaccinations for their younger child…who, was eventually diagnosed with a seizure disorder.

“Oh, and calling vaccine scientists like Paul Offit names like Dr. Proffit. Stay classy, Dr. Bob.”

Dr. Bob’s classless Facebook remarks about Dr. Offit has already been covered by Skeptical Raptor, Orac:

http://www.skepticalraptor.com/skepticalraptorblog.php/evidence-that-youre-anti-vaccine-bob-sears-personal-attacks-on-paul-offit/

raving pack of hyenas.
I suspect that Olmsted meant ‘ravening’ but he’s not very good with words. He also talks of ‘moral equivalency’ when he simply means ‘equivalency’, but that’s what happens when your rhetoric is a mushy regurgitation of half-digested fragments of other people’s phrasing.
As Narad noted, Olmsted seems to be an admirer of Spiro Agnew.

@22 Ren re: under reporting of adverse effects…

The anti-vaxxers continually shout “only 10% of adverse effects are reported!” Where does this come from?

As Narad noted, Olmsted seems to be an admirer of Spiro Agnew.

That was Orac, man. I was lamenting the missing “nabobs.”

Regarding Joe McCarthy, I witnessed an intriguing sidelight. When Roy Cohn, the notorious attorney who was McCarthy’s right hand man, was sick with AIDS (He was a closeted homosexual who persecuted gay men alongside McCarthy.) he also had an opportunistic malignancy from it. I heard Dr. James Holland, a legendary oncologist who was head of oncology research at Mount Sinai in New York, remark that Roy Cohn had asked him for treatment. He called Cohn a son of a bitch, said he had refused his request, and also said he had had dealings with Cohn in the past that were enough for him. While Holland had a reputation for being cantankerous, he also was generally pretty reasonable, and I have always wondered what passed between them.

Dave, Lanka has a history as an hiv/aids denialist.( virusmyth)
Not the only one shifting focus to vaccines:
Farber, Ruggiero, Montagnier ( who was first a realist)
probably others.

The anti-vaxxers continually shout “only 10% of adverse effects are reported!” Where does this come from?

When pressed, it generally boils down to either a comment (PDF) about AERS or a completely unsourced assertion by Mr. Dinner Jacket, Gary S. Goldman.

(The Flying Dolphin has a half-assed cite to some newspaper.)

“The anti-vaxxers continually shout “only 10% of adverse effects are reported!” Where does this come from?”

Who knows?

Even if that was the case, then that means that 90% of reactions are not bad enough to be reported… For those of us living in the real world.

In Crosby’s Labyrinth, it means that 90% of really bad reactions are being covered by paid doctors, nurses, lab techs, epidemiologists, parents, daycare providers, etc. That must be where all that money from vaccines goes to, to pay all of us to keep quiet.

Not the only one shifting focus to vaccines:
Farber, Ruggiero

Ruggiero is focussing most of his attention on his yogurt-enema cancer-cure scam.* I haven’t seen any sign of him switching to the vaccine grift.

* A worthy topic for Respectful Insolence.

Roy Cohn … had an opportunistic malignancy from it

“Opportunistic malignancy” sums up Cohn’s entire career.

Yogurt enemas? What is this obsession the woosters have with sticking perfectly good foodstuffs in the wrong orifice?

“The media seem to be learning, although the Disneyland measles outbreak has unfortunately somewhat resurrected false balance or even explicitly antivaccine stories.” pro vaccine dog shite
LOL so according to the CDC an unknown woman who was probably unvaccinated and is now untraceable probably started the outbreak. The dog-whistle here is that the vaccine has failed and dark forces are being used as a smokescreen. Meanwhile the child that died of measles in Germany had already been vaccinated for measles and we don’t mention that just in case it detracts from the emotional appeals to ‘get that damn vaccine’. Hey Groski, if you push the dog whistle up your arse you could probably play a tune. toot toot

What is this obsession the woosters have with sticking perfectly good foodstuffs in the wrong orifice?

Ruggiero has a lucrative little business making “Bravo probiotic” magic yogurt, but there is only so much that his patients can absorb through the mouth and inhaled as an aerosol, so he also sells them suppositories per vas nefandum.

Altho’ I am certainly loathe to correct my very handsome Antipodean brother, Ruggiero developed a protocol for ASD treatment (2014) and will be a presenter @ AutismOne 2015 (see website).

-btw- he calls it the Swiss Protocol ™:
I wonder if it includes…….

I’ve seen Ruggiero on the autism grift, yes indeed. He has linked up with Bradstreet, a serial recipient of Oracian insolence. Oddly enough the same magic yogurt that cures cancer and HIV and heavy-metal poisoning and CFS, also turns out to cure autism! Who would have expected it!

But he seems to be circumspect on the *etiology* of autism (where rash speculation could rule out potential income streams).

RobRN: “The anti-vaxxers continually shout “only 10% of adverse effects are reported!” Where does this come from?”

EpiRen: “Even if that was the case, then that means that 90% of reactions are not bad enough to be reported… For those of us living in the real world.”

Most of us don’t bother reporting a sore arm.

Johnny: “Meanwhile the child that died of measles in Germany had already been vaccinated for measles and we don’t mention that just in case it detracts from the emotional appeals to ‘get that damn vaccine’. ”

Stop lying.

36 posts, and the first anti-vax screed is from some dude blasting obscenities and misspelling people’s names?

I remember the days when the wackjob heavyweights would show up in a comments thread. Now we get dudes who probably couldn’t get an AoA or whale.to guest blogging spot. Maybe this site need to be more anti-vax insolent. 🙂

You know, I know what you’re talking about. I used to get JB Handley, and a bunch of other antivax heavyweights commenting here. I don’t think it’s ramping up the insolence that’s needed; what happened, I suspect, is that they so regularly got their posteriors handed to them that they now avoid the comment threads here. I know they know about me though. Readers send me examples of their complaining about me and insulting me on Facebook and various other discussion forums.

These days, only the dregs or newbies who haven’t encountered RI before seem to be willing to dip their toes in.

Johnny’s been elsewhere trying to peddle his lies – I truly believe the anti-vaxers believe that if they keep repeating the same lie over and over again, that eventually it will be accepted as truth.

Johnny’s been elsewhere trying to peddle his lies
Got links? I have a morbid curiosity in Johnny Labile / Philip Hill’s obsessions & compulsions.

You know, I know what you’re talking about. I used to get JB Handley, and a bunch of other antivax heavyweights commenting here. I don’t think it’s ramping up the insolence that’s needed; what happened, I suspect, is that they so regularly got their posteriors handed to them that they now avoid the comment threads here.

I remember those days. Sadly, all I’ve seen lately were a few tiny comments by Dr. Jay, and they were pretty pathetic examples. I’ve noticed this happening to a number of blogs I read on a regular basis, the big names used to come and get involved, and came out looking pretty bad to anyone that was not one of their acolytes. It actually seemed a bit strange to me, they are often very good at controlling their message, making sure they are never questioned, so coming here, and to similar blogs, always seemed like such a mistake. I suppose over time, they did learn it was not helping. Not that they have stopped caring, they still rant and rave about the same people, they just do it where they are not going to have to answer questions.

LOL so according to the CDC an unknown woman who was probably unvaccinated and is now untraceable probably started the outbreak.

Philip Hills, Hope Osteopathic Clinic Essex, as usual, you’re so fυcking stupid that you can’t even be bothered to get the contents of your anal sacs properly congealed before repeatedly carpet-scooting the same material all over the place.

The CDC never said any such thing. Now, I know where it came from, as does most anyone who has been paying attention. Then again, I also know where the NICE guideline on antipyretics that you tediously mischaractize the year and content of is.

So, why don’t you be a good little shіt and either take a hand out of your pants or off the bottle and sort it the fυck out?

Mein Herr Doktor B. – I doff my chapeau to your characterization of Roy Cohn.
I have to say that I was not the only one astonished to hear the words “son of a bitch” come out of the mouth of the usually quite proper Dr. Holland. That’s what makes the background to that remark tantalizing.

a-non, “Now we get dudes who probably couldn’t get an AoA or whale.to guest blogging spot.”
More like “dudes who couldn’t write their own names without auto-complete” or “dudes who couldn’t pour piss out of a boot without illustrations printed on the heel” (and dudettes, of course).

Meanwhile the child that died of measles in Germany had already been vaccinated for measles and we don’t mention that just in case it detracts from the emotional appeals to ‘get that damn vaccine’.

It’s really extra-super-plus repellent that you keep repeating that vicious, self-serving lie.

jrkridea: “OT more or less, but the excellent Lawrence Soloman of EnergyProbe in Toronto, noted climate denier and all-around science-phobe has just started his own anttvaxer site.”

Stupidity runs rampant there. It is almost like it is a AoA wannabe.

What I found interesting is that I tried to find Solomon’s CV. No where can I find his educational background, it is like it is completely missing. I am going to guess that he only graduated from high school, barely.

Meanwhile the child that died of measles in Germany had already been vaccinated for measles and we don’t mention that just in case it detracts from the emotional appeals to ‘get that damn vaccine’.

Once again, supposing this were true (which, based on good information, it isn’t), then what would this show? It would show that the vaccine is not 100% effective (which everyone knows) so some people who are vaccinated but not immune can still catch the measles (which only follows from the previous statement), and that measles can be fatal (which everyone knows). Thus it is important to get your children vaccinated not only for their own sake (as it’s the best way we know to reduce their chances of getting the disease) but for the sake of other children, even those who are already vaccinated.

Philip Hills, Hope Osteopathic Clinic Essex, as usual, you’re so fυcking stupid that you can’t even be bothered to get the contents of your anal sacs properly congealed before repeatedly carpet-scooting the same material all over the place.

Jeebus you need to come with a warning sometimes. I made very strange piggly noises when I read that…but yeah I’m twelve.

Ah, yes. I remember when thought leaders from AoA would comment here- Handley, Stone, Jake.
Believe it or not, they seemed to have actually learned that they will be corrected and schooled, having their common urban legends up-ended and their pseudo-science ridiculed publicly. This is not good for their images,

So they know that they will later have to explain what occurred to their readers and it’s too hard for them. Orac and company present them with questions that they can’t answer. They are constantly rebuked for their misattributions and misunderstanding of basic research. AND certainly their own entrenched interests are questioned.

Thus it’s better to send in the ranks as cannon fodder.
And right, the wounded ( Greg, Jen) regularly report on Orac and his scandalous minions.

Perhaps I’m being too literal minded, but the example of McCarthy is an awkward analogy.

McCarthy was a creep, and there were a substantial group of Communists working to harm the nation. Whether or not McCarthy intended it, he became their greatest asset.

What I found interesting is that I tried to find Solomon’s CV. No where can I find his educational background, it is like it is completely missing. I am going to guess that he only graduated from high school, barely.

Considering how Solomon boasts of his accomplishments, including being a “leading” environmentalist, a “best-selling” author and “research director” and “chairman” of a multitude of obscure “institutes” and organizations, I think it’s safe to
say that if he had any educational qualifications, he would let us know about them. Oh, how he would let us know.

I suspect that he started this website because his antivax nonsense was getting too ridiculous for his overlords at the Financial Post (who still just loooove articles denying anthropogenic climate change). There have been much fewer antivax articles by the Professional Ignoramus in the FP this year compared to last.

OT more or less, but the excellent Lawrence Soloman of EnergyProbe in Toronto, noted climate denier and all-around science-phobe has just started his own anttvaxer site.

I can but hope for some sort of turf squabble with the other Lawrence Solomon.

“Believe it or not, they seemed to have actually learned that they will be corrected and schooled, having their common urban legends up-ended and their pseudo-science ridiculed publicly.”

In the real world, yes. But, in Crosby’s Labyrinth, they won the arguments and even unmasked us for the paid pharma shills that we are.

The pro vaxx view is difficult to comprehend. Continual failure to prevent outbreaks, even when the mythical herd immunity is achieved. Next they will be telling us that ebola vaccine is the only way to save the world.

Can’t wait for the next installment – who is Mr Hills anyway?

Are you sure the Disney outbreak wasn’t fielded by the marketing company that did the Sony Kim Yung scam – or maybe it was Mr Dear and Offit ? I think we should be told

Ren looks more like a burger shill, do you think he could get a test tube up im?

“Believe it or not, they seemed to have actually learned that they will be corrected and schooled, having their common urban legends up-ended and their pseudo-science ridiculed publicly. This is not good for their images,” Denice the naughty

Not really, one often sees dog dirt and tries to avoid it. Deliberately standing in it is a bit weird. It is eminently funny to drift by here and see the same revolving door of science denial and religious vaccine fervor, but after a while the Narads and Her Dictors of this world become stunningly dull.

There is a whole wide world out there that beckons one away from poo poo corner. As we are all finding out the experts and ‘well trained’ are all fuckwits extraordinaire.

But it wasn’t reached, Johnny. Even if the country as a whole reaches herd immunity, non-vaxxers tend to cluster with the result that there are pockets that fall below herd immunity levels.
This has been explained before. Are you really too stupid to comprehend?

Johnny, can you remind me, what did they relabel smallpox as? Or was there some other reason it doesn’t seem to be around anymore?

The pro vaxx view is difficult to comprehend. Continual failure….

Phildo! Slow morning sobering up over on Stanford-le-Hope? I could have told you that nearly anyone could see through an attempt to pass off a little tremulous, perspiring slap & tickle as “Classical Osteopathy” even if billed as “Dr. Pop Sucket’s Early-Bird Special.”

How’s the qi-based grooming side of the scam coming along? You should send your better half around sometime, as I think you can be a bit too… yin sometimes, if you get my drift.

“But it wasn’t reached, Johnny. Even if the country as a whole reaches herd immunity, non-vaxxers tend to cluster with the result that there are pockets that fall below herd immunity levels.
This has been explained before. Are you really too stupid to comprehend?” Julian FW

Jools my dear boy. Germany has 95% MMR uptake which is the mythical herd no. and that is where the only measles death occurred and that child had been vaccinated with MMR so that is a double vaccine failure. What about vaccine failure do you not understand?

Sorry Narad, I am not and never have been Mr Hill. Why don’t you email him and ask. Meanwhile back at poo poo corner eoor was still…………………

Remember the latest vaccine hype started in Disney, if that isn’t taking the piss…………………

Wasn’t it whooping cough last year. The CDC told us ‘ we don’t understand it, we have the highest uptake ever of whooping cough vaccine at the same time as the highest number of cases ever. The more one scratches below the marketing hype the more the holes appear.

What is it you actually believe here, market shares or bodies?

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