The BMJ’s outgoing editor Fiona Godlee and incoming editor wrote open letter to Mark Zuckerberg over Facebook’s labeling Paul Thacker’s conspiracy-filled Pfizer story as lacking context. It did not go well. Actually, it was downright embarrassing.
The BMJ recently published an “exposé” by Paul Thacker alleging patient unblinding, data falsification, and other wrongdoing by a subcontractor. It was a highly biased story embraced by antivaxxers, with a deceptively framed narrative and claims not placed into proper context, leading me to look into the broader question: WTF happened to The BMJ? (Updated and revised from a week ago.)
In his eagerness to attack skeptics for what, in the wake of reports of blood clots associated with the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, he sees as “vaccine cheerleading,” anti-GMO hack Paul Thacker has inadvertently amplified antivaccine messaging. Or was it inadvertent?
Kevin Folta was subject to an abusive FOIA request for his emails by US Right To Know, an anti-GMO group seeking to harass him for his advocacy for GMOs. Paul Thacker, a journalist, used those emails without pointing out the true nature of the source of the FOIA request, and has argued for an expansive view of FOIA that is basically a license for groups like USTRK to harass scientists.