Anti-vaccinationists & the media – The honeymoon is over

The media has turned on the anti-vaccine movement. Instead of just credulously reporting the scientific claims of dopey celebrities, they’re actually starting to look to the real experts. And as you might expect, the anti-vaccinationists are not happy.

So what’s a denialist to do?

Well, that’s easy. Try to kill the messenger. Age of Autism, the propaganda arm of the movement posted a blog today condemning the Chicago Tribune over what they consider to be the latest in a series of articles unfavorable to their ideology:

For those of you who are new to the autism-vaccine saga, the Chicago Tribune keeps sinking to new lows with its coverage.

The article that got Ms. Teresa Conrick of Age of Autism so upset covered the latest DAN! scandal, DAN! standing for Defeat Autism Now!, which is an organization devoted to selling bogus autism treatments (and before someone in the UK decides to try and sue me, by “bogus” I’m not necessarily suggesting their being deliberately dishonest, only that the treatments don’t work).

Oddly enough, Age of Autism didn’t express their outrage against every other news outlet that covered this major news story, just the Chicago Tribune.

But was there ever any doubt that Age of Autism would defend DAN! against the accusations NO MATTER WHAT?

Being prominent in the DAN! movement, speaking at autism conferences and training other doctors has the potential for making you a prime target for possible trumped up lawsuits.

Oh, the impartiality!

And McCarthyists that they are, of course they had to fling incoherent accusations at some of their other critics:

What makes this even more concerning is that Dr. Usman herself had not received the lawsuit, all 46 pages to be exact, yet anyone could obtain it from Orac.  The question remains how did Orac get it and who gave it to him?   He is a vocal critic of the research on the environment/vaccines causing autism reality and spends an inordinate amount of time protesting research and treatments as he blogs to what appears to be an agenda, and now displaying lawsuits to try and shut them up.  But why?

Included in the suit are the names of the attorneys.  Another odd thing is that one is from California and happens to have been spotted on a website with Dr. Stephen Barrett. I had written about Barrett here. Also, the Tribune has covered this divorced family now twice though they are not famous in any way except they have a child with autism.

Yeah, how dare non-celebrities take away attention from Jenny McCarthy? Only famous people are newsworthy, dammit!

But the Chicago Tribune isn’t the only publication of Age of Autism’s hit list today. They also went after Time Magazine for a piece that was pretty neutral on the issue and not nearly as critical of Jenny McCarthy as it should have been:

More than most other media outlets, you can count on “Time” magazine for the worst in autism coverage. In the pages of Time, rising autism rates are always due to better diagnosing; causes are always genetic, orthodox scientists are always heroic and parent advocates always sadly misguided. What’s more, any and all vaccines in any combination are always safe and certainly have nothing to do with autism. A friend of mine calls this the big hungry lie. Why hungry? Because it’s so wrong, it requires frequent feeding and thanks to a largely compliant media, feedings take place with regularity. Always at the front of the pack, “Time,” in a February 25 article, fed the hungry lie again in a fascinatingly passive-aggressive essay titled, “Who’s Afraid of Jenny McCarthy.”

Um, I read the article and none of that was in there…which maybe may be why Mark Blaxill, Age of Autism’s editor, didn’t bother to actually link to the story. Here it is. I wish it had been that aggressive against these loonies.  But it wasn’t. But that doesn’t stop Blaxll from bringing out the childish insults:

In case, you missed it (who reads “Time” anymore?), the Time piece focused on celebrity mom Jenny McCarthy, who has become one of the most prominent and formidable autism parent advocates.

Um, apparently you do, Mark, or at the very least one of your goons. And I’m pretty sure Time Magazine has a readership many orders of magnitude larger than your little weblog. And wait. Isn’t this the same Time Magazine that interviewed Jenny McCarthy last year too despite the fact that she’s not a medical expert? You didn’t seem to mind them then. And if they’re readership is so tiny, why did Jenny even waste her time with them when she’s got Oprah?

So anyway, now Age of Autism is at war with the Chicago Tribune and Time Magazine. And I’m sure they’re not too fond of Newsweek after last year’s cover story criticizing Oprah, Jenny, and more of the anti-vaxxers’ favorite celebrities. And of course they hate the UK’s Sunday Times because that’s where Brian Deer published his Wakefield expose. And the NY Times has recently written articles critical of them.

You’re running out of media sources there, Mark. But don’t worry because there will always be the Huffington Post, which will happily publish anything Jenny McCarthy writes because they’ve got no standards at all. And in the end, isn’t that what you really want, Mark?


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