Age of Autism finally got around to their inevitable attack against the character of Amy Wallace, the author of the Wired Magazine piece that superbly debunks many of their claims. Like with $cientologists, no crank can resist trying to destroy their critics utterly while avoiding substantive responses to their actual arguments.
In this case, J.B. Handley literally steals the language of skeptics that he clearly doesn’t understand the meaning of in order to project the same criticisms of himself onto Ms. Wallace. He begins by claiming she’s drunk “the Paul Offit Kool-Aid” even though he’s yet to ever point out a single criticism of the man based on actual truth. Then he rips off a phrase I believe David Gorski popularized, if not in specific reference to anti-vaccinationists like Handley then certainly in reference to cranks in general. That phrase is “Google University,” which Handley uses to describe Wallace’s research. Um, no Handley. That’s how you do research on the occasions that you don’t just make up some bullshit on the spot.
Then he complains of alleged false balance, insisting that she “never actually bothered to interview anyone from our side of the fence,” as if the truth is two-sided. Maybe she didn’t interview you for the same reason no one interviews Holocaust deniers when discussing the Holocaust or moon landing deniers when doing a story on NASA, or geo-centrists when reporting the weather. Why Handley, would any journalist in their right mind call you when there’s at least 6.7 billion people on the planet more qualified to discuss vaccines?
Then of course Camrade Handley couldn’t resist his classic anti-capitalist reference to “Paul Offit’s Rotateq-funded mansion,” even though I’m pretty sure he doesn’t actually live in a mansion and that Handley is well aware that his previous claims of the many millions of dollars Offit allegedly got from his Rotateq vaccine have been debunked on many, many, many, many, many, many occasions. But speaking of money, I can’t help but notice all those advertisements surrounding Handley’s article, all of which are specifically for companies that benefit from Age of Autism’s message. This is the most transparent example of conflict of interest one could imagine. I wonder how much is Handley’s cut of the profits.
Then I couldn’t contain my laughter when I read Handley claim Wallace made so many “logical fallacies,” when Handley wouldn’t know a logical fallacy from a banana. And of course he never actually cites a single one of the “many” logical fallacies that she makes. But he does surprise me by actually attempting for once to address specific arguments. . .though not the logic of them.
In his first rebuttal, he asks about the 34 (non-existent) vaccines that haven’t been studied and the 50+ (non-existent) ingredients that no one has considered. The rest of this paragraph is just a host of already debunked claims like the “too much too soon” gambit that has never been based on even a shred of real science, a plug for his already thoroughly debunked website where he tries to dismiss the many studies that prove him wrong out of hand by waving a proverbial magic wand, and reveals his own God of the Gaps position that shifts the burden of proof onto the medical community to meet his impossible standards in 100% disproving his claims, which were never based on anything other than conjecture in the first place. No Handley. It’s YOUR job to prove your claim, not anyone else’s job to absolutely disprove it.
I’m not even going to continue because, really, what’s the point when Handley refuses to accept any aspect of reality that might suggest he’s wrong and/or crazy. Plus, I can’t stand to even read J.B.’s unwarranted smug, condescending attitude anymore and his commitment to citing fraudulent medical authorities as his sources. It’s like trying to explain gravity to a fruit fly. I’m sure one of the many science bloggers like Gorski will offer up yet another complete refutation to all of Handley’s idiocity. But I have no patience for him any longer.