As a reporter with a decade-long history of credulously reporting antivaccine conspiracy theories and pseudoscience as news, Sharyl Attkisson is an old "friend" of the blog. This time, she's reporting a new-old conspiracy theory about the Autism Omnibus proceedings. I say "new-old" because she tries to mightily to produce a new version of the central conspiracy theory of the antivaccine movement.
Mike Adams made a video about the "vaccine holocaust." It's the wildest antivaccine conspiracy theory ever. It even has aliens, and there are people dropping dead in the streets like in "The Omega Man." All it needs are mutants. Where's Charlton Heston when you need him?
Dr. Andrew Zimmerman issued a press release claiming he had been misrepresented in a news report by antivaxer Sharyl Attkisson. He wasn't. Rather, he's been a useful idiot for the antivaccine movement.
Dr. David Brownstein is a local "holistic medicine" doctor. Unhappy at a pro-vaccine New York Times editorial, he tried to refute it. It didn't go well—for Dr. Brownstein. His self-own was epic.
Antivaxers are nothing if not persistent and sometimes creative abusing science. This time it's molecular mimicry, because of course it is. Anything to blame vaccines for autoimmune disease!
I've mentioned Dr. Paul Thomas before as a rising star in the antivaccine movement. A month and a half later, it occurs to me that I haven't given proper due to his co-author, Jennifer Margulis, as an equally prominent rising star in the same crank movement. Here, I rectify that oversight.
Earlier this week, Chelsea Clinton spoke out against Andrew Wakefield and in support of vaccines. Hilarity ensued as antivaxers lost their mind in rage and faux disappointment in her.
The Pathological Optimist is a recently released documentary by Miranda Bailey about Andrew Wakefield that I got a chance to see. In interviews and in the film’s promotional materials, Bailey takes great pains to emphasize that she “doesn’t take a side” about Wakefield. Unfortunately, her film demonstrates that, when it comes to pseudoscience, “not taking a side” is taking a side, and that a film’s bias is often more evident in what is not shown and told than in what is.
One of the most frequent complaints leveled at pro-science advocates who defend vaccines against antivaccine misinformation and pseudoscience is that we’re way too fast to label them as “antivaccine,” that we use the term as a convenient label to demonize their views. We’re not really antivaccine, they tell us. We’re vaccine safety advocates. Really. Now, I have no doubt that this is how most of these antivaccinationists masquerading as vaccine safety activists see themselves, to the point where sometimes I find it refreshing when I encounter an antivaccine activist who proudly labels herself antivaccine. However, it doesn’t take much poking …
Antivaccine quackery is arguably one of the worst forms of quackery. First, the pseudoscientific beliefs undergirding such quackery are based on the fear and demonization of one of the greatest medical advances in the history of the human race, the result of which are children left unprotected against preventable diseases that routinely used to populate cemeteries with little bodies. Almost as bad, one of those beliefs, namely the scientifically discredited belief that vaccines cause autism, has led to a cottage industry of quack “treatments” based on the idea that autism is a manifestation of “vaccine injury.” Thus, the most vulnerable …