Have you no sense of decency, Ginger Taylor, at long last?

I have to wonder at this point if the anti-vaccine community ever gets sick of using the same McCarthyist tactics over and over again. I’ve been debating them for years now and I don’t think there has been a single occasion where they didn’t either  accuse me of being paid off by the pharmaceutical companies without any justification or accused other critics of theirs of being paid by pharma. And I’m not being hyperbolic here. This accusation has been made on every single occasion. That alone should speak volumes about the intellectual honesty of their movement.

Now another drone from Age of Autism, Ginger Taylor, has written a piece where she explains how incredibly reasonable she and her cohorts have been to their critics…despite their critics being corrupt monsters who willing sacrifice the safety of children for their own profit.

That’s her version anyway:

I published an extensive piece detailing the problems I saw in the Skeptic movement (which I really now see as just the Contrarian movement, as they don’t seem to be skeptical of some assertions that someone from Missouri would demand proof of, but merely oppose anything our community says no matter how reasonable) and in “science writers” who act as mere functionaries of Pharma and their friends/sometime employees in public health. It was entitled:

Chris Mooney, Sheril Kirshenbaum, Lori Kozlowski, Rosie Mestel, Thomas Maugh, David Gorski, Virginia Hughes, Science Journalists, The Dying of the LA Times and an Angry Autism Mom*

It details my earnest attempts to get through to these skeptics/science journalists, and an effort to point out that they are shooting themselves in the foot with their actions, and that our children are collateral damage in their efforts.  Long story short… they are some pretty myopic people and not open to self-evaluation, so their tactics continue to loose them the vaccine/autism wars.

See,  she made earnest attempts to get through to these maniacs who have the repugnance to disagree with her, despite their evil and willful corruption. Of course she, like her cohorts and her predecessor Senator McCarthy, failed to present evidence of foul play by her critics at all.

The critics she mentions share the same position as every reputable health organization on Earth and their criticisms are quite substantive. But since Ms. Taylor doesn’t actually understand enough of the science to challenge their scientific criticisms, it’s much easier to just write off every criticism as mere contrarianism…a claim that she also doesn’t seem interested in backing up with evidence.

She does give one example of alleged conflict of interest though:

(*After I posted the piece, Dr. David “Orac” Gorski sent me a flattering email saying he had actually always respected me and asked me to remove the piece. When I declined, he let the insults fly again. So… not the most honest and straightforward guy.

A few months later, we learned that Gorski has spent the last several years developing a drug for vaccine maker Sanofi, which he had some how forgotten to mention in his hundreds of posts about these issues, so I do feel a bit the sucker for approaching him as if he was actually a somewhat disinterested party in this debate. Had I known I would not have wasted so many hours trying to have a real discussion with him, but live and learn I guess.)

I guess we’re just going to have to take her word about that first incident as she doesn’t seem to link to any evidence that it took place. I don’t know what happened and I certainly don’t see how that in any way refutes the conclusions currently held by every reputable health organization on Earth. And then just just repeats the “hungry lie” (to steal Handley’s stupid phrase) of Jake Crosby, citing his piece in the same blog she writes for. This is like if one of my fellow Gotham Skeptics wrote a piece accusing Ginger Taylor of being a drug dealer, a claim made by no other person, and then I wrote a piece in the Gotham Skeptic where I repeated the claim and cited by fellow Gotham Skeptic blogger’s unsubstantiated rumor as my source.

Of course, Gorski has already told his side of the story and called young Jake out on his libelous bullshit. But his refutation of the accusation wasn’t convenient to Honest Ginger Taylor here so she didn’t find it necessary to even mention it. Cause she’s such a fair and honest journalist. Yeah, that’s the ticket! Crosby and the rest of the anti-vaccine movement deliberate choose to not distinguish tenuous relationships with industry from real conflicts of interest. They also choose not to pay attention to regulatory compliance policies and how those policies discourage unhealthy relationships by making making it very costly to all parties involved while providing huge incentives to whistle blowers, as I discussed when addressing Jake Crosby’s hilarious accusation that John Stossel had a conflict of interest because he wasn’t an only child.

But back to Ginger:

…so I do feel a bit the sucker for approaching him as if he was actually a somewhat disinterested party in this debate.

No, anyone who thinks Ginger Taylor genuinely approached David Gorski or any critic of her warped ideology without actively searching for ammunition to launch a character attack as a cheap attempt to justify dismissing their position out of hand would be the sucker.

As Gorski began his rebuttal to Jake Crosby’s libelous blog entry:

One of the very favorite and most commonly used tactics to attack criticism in the armamentarium of pseudoscientists, cranks, and quacks (not to mention politicians) is the ad hominem fallacy. In this fallacy, rather than addressing the actual evidence and science that demonstrate their favorite brand of woo to be nothing more than fairy dust, the idea is to preemptively attack and discredit the person.

And indeed, Ginger Taylor has said not one thing in her entire polemic to even address the actual evidence and science. She doesn’t understand it and she’s praying you don’t ask her about it. Instead, she’d rather fling feces at her critics, crying that they’re all out to get her while pretending she’s fair, impartial, and genuinely open to engaging in civil discourse with her critics. Bullshit!

She says it all right here:

I hope you will take the time to read it, especially if you are someone who believes the media on this issue and  super especially if you are Matt Lauer, Anderson Coooper, George Stephanopolous or any other major news personality who has been handed a press release labeled “News” that was likely drafted in a Pharma conference room and told to get really angry at some guy named Andrew Wakefield.

That’s right. They’re ALL out to get her. Everyone in the position to disagree with her is in on the big conspiracy. I have not had one interaction with any members of the anti-vaccine movement that didn’t involve them accusing critics of being big pharma shills. Not one. And clearly Ginger Taylor has not broken that pattern.

There isn’t enough money in the entire world to pay off all the people Ginger believes are being paid off by Big Pharma to make people think vaccines are safe, let alone enough money for pharmaceutical companies to pay all those people off AND still actually produce the vaccines. Who made up this plan, Dr. Evil? This would have to be the most incompetent evil plot ever. How would pharmaceutical companies even hope to profit off the vaccines if they’re throwing so much money away just to convince people get the vaccines? And even if they could manage to at the end of the day make some profit, wouldn’t there have to be a much easier way to make a profit? Like couldn’t they must sell products that work and are safe that don’t require spending quadrillions of dollars sweeping public relations disasters under the rug?

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4 Responses to Have you no sense of decency, Ginger Taylor, at long last?

  1. Hello,

    Couple of things.

    1. My understanding is that David Gorski has worked on a Sanofi drug for the last several years. If I am incorrect in this, please state so plainly.

    What the drug was, who paid him or even if he was doing it for free, has no bearing on my comments. I have stated that if I knew that he was working on a Sanofi drug, that would have been enough for me not to seek a discussion with Dr. Gorski on any matters surrounding vaccine safety.

    I think that you are confusing Jake Crosby’s discussion of Dr. Gorski’s work with mine.

    2. I have not disclosed many relevant emails that Dr. Gorski has sent to me because a. There are some I told him I would not publish and b. Either you believe me or you don’t… and you don’t… so if I posted them, you would just accuse me of making them up.

    But let me state here for the record that Dr. Gorski is free to publish all of the email exchanges that we have had for the last six years, as long as he publishes all of them so the conversations can be read in context. If I have mis characterized his emails to me, then he can make that accusation. But note that he didn’t in 2009 when I initially wrote about our discussions and he is not doing so now.

    And these conversations began on his and other public blogs shortly after my son was diagnosed in 2004, so you can dig around and see them for yourself if this is a matter that you feel needs to be fleshed out. You can judge for yourself if I was a mom looking for answers or someone out to… well I don’t know, but whatever destructive thing you think I was out to do.

    3. Discussing the science. I have been doing that for six years on my blog, I have a link to the top right called “No Evidence of Any Link” where I list research that supports the vaccine/autism connection and you can go through my more than 1200 posts to see my discussions on the science. I didn’t include any in that post, because it was not about the science, it was about the PR war. The PR war has little to do with science. If you are interested in my thoughts on the science, you can start on the link, “Why the distain…” also in the top right column on my blog.

    If there is anything else you feel I need to address, please leave it in a comment on whatever post you are taking issue with. I try to answer every substantive point made. Earnest discussion is appreciated and welcomed.

    • mjr256 says:

      1. Ginger, you directly cited Jake’s piece and propagated the same exact accusation Jake made in that piece. This is precisely the same accusation, Gorski directly addressed and refuted in the piece I linked to above, where Gorski wrote:

      “I receive no money from Sanofi-Aventis or any other pharmaceutical company, nor am I likely to any time in the foreseeable future.”

      Gorski then goes into length in that piece explaining why Jake’s accusation is completely erroneous. Further, the fact that Jake and AoA chose to publish the accusation anyway (and as you demonstrate, continue to perpetuate it) even after Gorski corrected his facts is at best journalistically irresponsible and unethical, and at worst, potentially libelous.

      So how you can present the same exact false accusation as Jake while claiming I’m confusing two separate accusations is beyond me. But maybe you can explain that to me. But if you want to talk about real conflicts of interest, how about your friend, Mr. Wakefield, or the fact that your own website, Age of Autism receives sponsorship from organizations like Lee Silsby, who clearly benefit from the myth Age of Autism perpetuates that autism is the result of injury that can be successfully treated with services Lee Silsby provides or through chelation even though this is an off-label use and neither method has proven scientifically to treat autism in any way.

      2. Again, as I pointed out in the article, whatever action Gorski took or didn’t take during your email exchange is wholly irrelevant to the science backed by not just Gorski or the people you mention, but every single reputable health organization on Earth. I don’t really care if Gorski tried to intimidate your into silence (or whatever it is you’re suggesting) or if he literally spit in your face. It’s irrelevant to the science.

      3. Apparently, nobody in any relevant field of science is particularly impressed by your alleged evidence supporting a link, nor were any of the judges who ruled on the six omnibus cases. Anyone can cherry-pick small pilot studies and various studies where scientists failed to repeat the findings to justify anything. Science bases conclusions on a large body of research where those conclusions are repeated across many studies. Age of Autism doesn’t leave much room to discuss the science as they’re too busy attacking their critics. Hell, they rarely even talk about autism anymore. If you want to be taken seriously for your science, develop a reasonable protocol for a study and work with the scientific community to carry it out. But accusing everyone who disagrees with you of being a paid conspirator and subverting the scientific process are the actions of an ideologue, not a science journalist.

      Now I appreciate your response and I’d love to comment on Age of Autism myself except of course that they’re not intellectually honest enough to allow posts critical of their agenda while I on the other accept all non-spam comments, even those who are misguided and fighting on the wrong side.

  2. David Gorski says:

    Ginger, you are being disingenuous in the extreme when you say that all you said was that I was “working on a Sanofi drug.” Actually, that’s not what you said in your post. As documented here, what you said in your post was: “A few months later, we learned that Gorski has spent the last several years developing a drug for vaccine maker Sanofi, which he had some how forgotten to mention in his hundreds of posts about these issues, so I do feel a bit the sucker for approaching him as if he was actually a somewhat disinterested party in this debate. ”

    There’s a huge difference between developing a drug and “working on” a drug. In fact, it would be far more accurate to say that I have been “working with” this drug, using it as a tool to study how metabotropic glutamate receptors work in breast cancer.

    For the record, I am not, nor have I ever been, developing a drug for Sanofi-Aventis. I use a drug (Riluzole) that Sanofi-Aventis markets, but Sanofi-Aventis has never paid me to use it. As I pointed out in my blog posts cited above, I don’t even get the drug from Sanofi-Aventis. I pay for the research grade compound from Sigma Chemical Company. In this, I am viewed by my colleagues as a bit of a sucker. I also have a small clinical trial using this drug against breast cancer, but, again, the drug company doesn’t provide me with anything. A grant pays for the small amount of drug that is used.

    Of course, this is all explained in the post on Science-Based Medicine; so it’s rather disappointing that you do not understand it.

    As for your kind offer to let me repost all your e-mails, it’s probable that I still have them. I was using a Gmail account back then, after all. However, I do not wish to get into a tit-for-tat exchange with you because I simply don’t regard it as being worth the effort to search my archives for old e-mails and then read them all again. In contrast, calling you out for repeating Jake Crosby’s libelous lies is worth a small bit of effort.

  3. Nico says:

    One question:

    If evil Big pharma wanted to make as much profit as possible, wouldn’t it be better not to vaccinate people, and then sell the treatments?

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