Bill Maher: Anti-Vaccine Kook

Bill Maher utterly embarrasses himself in this clip from his “Real Time” show, with ignorant comments about vaccination (yes, Maher is an anti-vaxer) you have to hear to believe. According to Maher, vaccination is not proven to work scientifically. (Do I need to point out how completely false this is?)

Youtube Video

ScienceBlogger Orac has a detailed takedown of Maher’s lunacy here: The 2009 recipient of the Richard Dawkins Award (a.k.a Bill Maher): Antivaccine lunatic and quackery supporter.

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140 comments

1 Walter L. Newton  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:09:57am

Add Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to that list. I was floor about 3 weeks ago to hear him suggest not to take the flu vaccine.

2 middy  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:10:44am

A new low for Bill.

3 Cato the Elder  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:11:03am

Well, he's a twit about religion, why shouldn't he be a twit about science, too?

4 Sharmuta  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:12:52am

Bill Frist really pwned Maher on this issue too, which Maher mentions in this video. You can see it here:

/hat tip: Killgore

5 spinn  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:13:34am

Bill's bad enough when he's smug for being right. It's unbearable when he's smug for being wrong.

6 Ben Hur  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:14:22am

Mathews/Baldwin at least try to talk him off the ledge.

7 DaddyG  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:14:42am

Thank goodness we didn't go for all this vaccination pseudo-science in the 20th century. Can you imagine how bad the smallpox and polio rate would be if we had injected everyone with the virus and spread it even faster? /

8 Four More Tears  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:14:45am

I watch him every week and he's never disappointed me as much as he does on this issue.

9 Varek Raith  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:14:54am

Well, I didn't believe it was possible for me to think any lower of this jackass...

10 Walter L. Newton  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:14:55am

re: #3 Cato the Elder

Well, he's a twit about religion, why shouldn't he be a twit about science, too?

Because religion is not science, just a cultural phenomena based on myth. Science is replicable and proven. Being a twit about science, in my opinion is tantamount to sinning. (full circle).

11 MandyManners  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:15:51am

Is there a certain cachet in proclaiming oneself to be anti-science?

12 SixDegrees  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:16:02am

Unbelievable.

On a somewhat related topic, we may be about to find out just how wonderful a world without vaccination protection can be. I got inspired to get vaccination against flu this year - both kinds, ordinary and H1N1 - because i'm in a high-risk group and I'm getting tired of my doctor giving me grief about ignoring it, and because I want to poke the anti-vaxers in the eye with a sharp needle.

But my county health department is completely out of ordinary flu vaccine - because, they say, the Feds ordered companies to ramp up production of H1N1 vaccine in it's place. And there's no H1N1 vaccine available yet. And, as a final insult, you're not supposed to receive H1N1 vaccine unless you've already received the ordinary vaccine - which they're now completely out of.

I'm not particularly concerned, but I'd like my kids to get vaccinated - younger people are at higher risk of H1N1, apparently, than the population as a whole. And while I think that widespread vaccination is one of the few intrusions of government into private life that is acceptable, I also belief that if they're going to do it, they ought to do it right and make sure there's enough of the stuff available to meet demand.

Gosh, it makes me twitter with anticipation of the glories that await me when government runs all health care.

Sorry - rant over. Please carry on with your bashing of Bill Maher, who utterly deserves it.

13 Martinsmithy  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:16:32am

It's heartening, in a way, to see that while far right nuttery has eclipsed the far left variety, the latter remains as loud and intellectually impotent as ever.

14 PAUL_MACDONALD  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:16:34am

re: #10 Walter L. Newton

Because religion is not science, just a cultural phenomena based on myth. Science is replicable and proven. Being a twit about science, in my opinion is tantamount to sinning. (full circle).

Well put. I'd upding you if I could, but I haven't hit 50 posts.

15 cliffster  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:17:07am

Hmm, he actually didn't seem to say much of anything on this clip.. it seemed like a followup to a previous rant he'd made? I wonder what was on that one.

16 nanook37  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:17:23am

Yes vaccines only help prevent and eliminate diseases that doesn't mean they work scientifically.

17 Holidays are Family Fun Time  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:17:54am

I got my flu shot!

How are you-all this afternoon?

18 Cato the Elder  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:18:00am

That idiot to the left of Baldwin is Martin O'Malley, the idiot governor of the idiot state of Maryland where I no longer live.

19 bosforus  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:18:04am

re: #11 MandyManners

Is there a certain cachet in proclaiming oneself to be anti-science?

I sure hope not.

20 DaddyG  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:18:19am

The only thing Bill Maher believes in is his own opinion. This does not surprise me any more than his bashing of others beliefs does.

21 acwgusa  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:18:19am

Well then, Bill, simply don't get vaccinated.

/The rest of us will.

22 GCM29  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:18:30am

This surprises me, I thought he was somewhat above this kind of bullshit.

I'm at work, so no Youtube, but one of my favorite moments on Real Time was Christopher Hitchens flicking off the audience.

23 StillAMarine  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:18:31am

No, Charles, you do not need point out how completely false this is. Lizardoids generally have a tad more sense than to fall for such stupidity.

24 Diamond Bullet  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:18:35am

Anti-vax is the left wing's answer to the anti-science strains in the right. One of Time's reporters -- I think it was Klein, not exactly a conservative -- had an article in one of the last couple of print editions about how shocked he was about the huge number of liberal anti-vaccine folks in LA. Healing crystals and pro-health chanting are not exactly scientific. Conservatives don't do themselves any favors when it comes to being seen as anti-science, but the left seems to get a huge pass on the anti-vaccine front. I have my own issues with Creationism, but at the same time it's not right to "roll the dice" on polio.

25 nanook37  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:18:38am

re: #11 MandyManners

Is there a certain cachet in proclaiming oneself to be anti-science?

It was worked well for almost everyone at Fox News...

26 SixDegrees  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:18:43am

re: #16 nanook37

Yes vaccines only help prevent and eliminate diseases that doesn't mean they work scientifically.

When you post remarks like that, it's good to indicate intentional sarcasm by closing them with a forward slash - "/" - so people don't take you seriously.

27 middy  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:18:48am

Alec Baldwin's quip is a real gem. LOL

28 Martinsmithy  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:18:52am

re: #3 Cato the Elder

I'm tempted to think that those who are full-blown militant atheists are as twisted, in their own way, as religious fanatics.

But I'm religious, so what do I know?

29 Holidays are Family Fun Time  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:18:58am

re: #20 DaddyG

The only thing Bill Maher believes in is his own opinion ratings. This does not surprise me any more than his bashing of others beliefs does.

FTFY

30 Charles Johnson  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:18:59am

re: #4 Sharmuta

Bill Frist really pwned Maher on this issue too, which Maher mentions in this video. You can see it here:


[Video]

/hat tip: Killgore

How sad is it that Bill Frist pwns Bill Maher?

Frist was one of the worst offenders in the Terri Schiavo nightmare idiocy -- promoting the claim that Schiavo would one day wake up and start chatting again. His role in that case was a prime example of an opportunistic politician exploiting an issue he had no business getting involved in.

31 DaddyG  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:19:08am

re: #17 ggt

I got my flu shot!

How are you-all this afternoon?


I missed mine because of the floods last month. I sure wish they would come to the office with another round for us latecomers. Other than that good (so far).

32 Walter L. Newton  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:19:10am

re: #14 PAUL_MACDONALD

Well put. I'd upding you if I could, but I haven't hit 50 posts.

You owe me :)

33 SixDegrees  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:19:18am

re: #18 Cato the Elder

That idiot to the left of Baldwin is Martin O'Malley, the idiot governor of the idiot state of Maryland where I no longer live.

Must...resist...best...straight...line...of...the...day...

34 Cato the Elder  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:19:30am

re: #18 Cato the Elder

I take that back. He's speaking like a sensible person, for once.

35 Holidays are Family Fun Time  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:19:39am

re: #21 acwgusa

Well then, Bill, simply don't get vaccinated.

/The rest of us will.

Then he will be safe. Somehow, I don't think the concept of "herd compliance" will penetrate his brain.

36 Charles Johnson  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:19:45am

re: #13 Martinsmithy

It's heartening, in a way, to see that while far right nuttery has eclipsed the far left variety, the latter remains as loud and intellectually impotent as ever.

The ant-vaccination craziness is neither right wing nor left wing. There are plenty of deluded fools who buy into this nonsense on both sides.

37 DaddyG  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:20:02am

re: #24 Diamond Bullet

I have my own issues with Creationism, but at the same time it's not right to "roll the dice" on polio.

Polio is one thing but why risk being stepped on by a dinosaur? /

38 nanook37  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:20:25am

re: #26 SixDegrees

When you post remarks like that, it's good to indicate intentional sarcasm by closing them with a forward slash - "/" - so people don't take you seriously.

Sorry, I forget some people are sarcastically challenged... Thanks

39 Walter L. Newton  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:20:43am

href="/showc/34/7808604">#34 Cato the Elder

I take that back. He's speaking like a sensible person, for once.

re: #10 Walter L. Newton

Because religion is not science, just a cultural phenomena based on myth. Science is replicable and proven. Being a twit about science, in my opinion is tantamount to sinning. (full circle).

I don't take it back, he's still a twit.re:

40 bosforus  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:20:43am

re: #36 Charles

The ant-vaccination craziness is neither right wing nor left wing. There are plenty of deluded fools who buy into this nonsense on both sides.

Finally, bipartisanship!
/

41 jaunte  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:21:12am

This was a good bit from Orac:

For anti-vaccine pseudoscience like what Bill Maher spews, the public health consequences are immediate and severe. People will die now, possibly lots of people, particularly children. Chris Matthews nailed it perfectly, too, when he compared Bill Maher to Tom Cruise denouncing psychology and therapy. The horrified look on Bill Maher's face after that accusation was priceless. I suspect that Maher had never had his medical ignorance so pitch perfectly called out before.
42 Walter L. Newton  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:21:14am

re: #39 Walter L. Newton

Cut and paste ate my HTML.

43 Charles Johnson  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:21:16am

re: #24 Diamond Bullet

Anti-vax is the left wing's answer to the anti-science strains in the right.

That's simply not true. This is not a "left wing" issue. There are plenty of right wingers who are just as crazy about vaccines.

44 6pat6  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:21:20am

Bill Maher is a complete fuckin' idiot, in every way possible. How this ass still has a TV show is beyond me.

45 Varek Raith  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:21:55am

re: #38 nanook37

Sorry, I forget some people are sarcastically challenged... Thanks

Well, not challenged. It's just, occasionally, we get people who take obvious BS seriously. ;)

46 StillAMarine  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:22:25am

Gotta get to work. Can't wait till I retire ...

Bye all!

47 Cato the Elder  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:22:27am

What's the "Richard Dawkins Award" given out for? Bigoted, blind, dogmatic atheism?

48 nanook37  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:22:59am

The far-left and far-right are both off on the vaccine thing - One side because they believe in the power of crystals and Jenny McCarthy and the other because they believe the government is out to mess with their precious bodily fluids.

49 Sharmuta  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:23:02am

re: #36 Charles

The ant-vaccination craziness is neither right wing nor left wing. There are plenty of deluded fools who buy into this nonsense on both sides.

It's a true bi-partisan sort of stupid.

50 Walter L. Newton  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:23:24am

re: #44 6pat6

Bill Maher is a complete fuckin' idiot, in every way possible. How this ass still has a TV show is beyond me.

Er, he has an audience. Ya think that may have something to do with it. Sort of like Beck, Rush, Hannity...

Fuckin' idiot has nothing to do with it. Viewership and the amount of money and traffic he brings to his network does.

Simple.

51 SanFranciscoZionist  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:23:44am

re: #7 DaddyG

Thank goodness we didn't go for all this vaccination pseudo-science in the 20th century. Can you imagine how bad the smallpox and polio rate would be if we had injected everyone with the virus and spread it even faster? /

My mother in law is encouraging me not to get vaccinated for the flu because it 'causes sterility'. My husband won't get vaccinated 'because it hasn't been tested enough, and I don't trust the government'. I am surrounded by crazy people.

52 middy  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:24:03am

re: #49 Sharmuta

It's a true bi-partisan sort of stupid.

Kind of like the 9/11 truthers...

53 acwgusa  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:24:10am

re: #48 nanook37

The far-left and far-right are both off on the vaccine thing - One side because they believe in the power of crystals and Jenny McCarthy and the other because they believe the government is out to mess with their precious bodily fluids.

They've confused the government with zombies and vampires.

54 6pat6  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:24:16am

re: #50 Walter L. Newton

Er, he has an audience.

Fuckin' idiot has nothing to do with it. Viewership and the amount of money and traffic he brings to his network does.

Simple.

Sadly, you're right there.

55 Cato the Elder  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:24:21am

re: #39 Walter L. Newton

href="/showc/34/7808604">#34 Cato the Elder

I don't take it back, he's still a twit.

I was talking about O'Malley.

56 SanFranciscoZionist  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:24:22am

re: #9 Varek Raith

Well, I didn't believe it was possible for me to think any lower of this jackass...

Apparently he's very positive about Israel, which makes this even more disappointing.

57 Holidays are Family Fun Time  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:24:40am

re: #50 Walter L. Newton

Er, he has an audience. Ya think that may have something to do with it. Sort of like Beck, Rush, Hannity...

Fuckin' idiot has nothing to do with it. Viewership and the amount of money and traffic he brings to his network does.

Simple.

It remind me of High School --where popularity counted sooo much!

58 Walter L. Newton  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:24:57am

re: #48 nanook37

The far-left and far-right are both off on the vaccine thing - One side because they believe in the power of crystals and Jenny McCarthy and the other because they believe the government is out to mess with their precious bodily fluids.

Well, the conservatives are worried about what goes on in your bedroom, the liberals are concerned with every other room of you house (food you eat, drugs you take, car you drive, light bulbs you use...)

60 DaddyG  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:25:12am

re: #51 SanFranciscoZionist

I am surrounded by crazy people.

Remember: The common thread in all of your dysfunctional relationships is you. ;-)

61 acwgusa  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:25:30am

Anti-vaxxers are the type of people who survives the zombie apocalypse, simply because the zombies would starve.

/s

62 reine.de.tout  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:25:51am

re: #12 SixDegrees

Unbelievable.

On a somewhat related topic, we may be about to find out just how wonderful a world without vaccination protection can be. I got inspired to get vaccination against flu this year - both kinds, ordinary and H1N1 - because i'm in a high-risk group and I'm getting tired of my doctor giving me grief about ignoring it, and because I want to poke the anti-vaxers in the eye with a sharp needle.

But my county health department is completely out of ordinary flu vaccine - because, they say, the Feds ordered companies to ramp up production of H1N1 vaccine in it's place. And there's no H1N1 vaccine available yet. And, as a final insult, you're not supposed to receive H1N1 vaccine unless you've already received the ordinary vaccine - which they're now completely out of.

I'm not particularly concerned, but I'd like my kids to get vaccinated - younger people are at higher risk of H1N1, apparently, than the population as a whole. And while I think that widespread vaccination is one of the few intrusions of government into private life that is acceptable, I also belief that if they're going to do it, they ought to do it right and make sure there's enough of the stuff available to meet demand.

Gosh, it makes me twitter with anticipation of the glories that await me when government runs all health care.

Sorry - rant over. Please carry on with your bashing of Bill Maher, who utterly deserves it.

I'm in a "high risk" group, and so I've already gotten my regular flu shot because my immunologist gets these sorts of things earlier than regular docs.

HOWEVER - the way the limited supply of h1n1 vaccine is being distributed - he will not be getting that vaccine. Not one dose.

In a bit of good news, doctors seem to be figuring out what it is about h1n1 that causes severe illness and death in some folks, and have begun figuring out how to treat patients.

63 acwgusa  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:25:55am

re: #60 DaddyG

Remember: The common thread in all of your dysfunctional relationships is you. ;-)

We put the FUN! in dysfunctional!

64 Holidays are Family Fun Time  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:25:58am

re: #51 SanFranciscoZionist

My mother in law is encouraging me not to get vaccinated for the flu because it 'causes sterility'. My husband won't get vaccinated 'because it hasn't been tested enough, and I don't trust the government'. I am surrounded by crazy people.

Some people might want to get it just for that reason! Easier and cheaper than surgery!

65 Martinsmithy  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:26:58am

re: #43 Charles

You are of course correct - Beck and Limbaugh have joined the anti-vaccination brigade. Still, I think it's traditionally, at least, been more of a far left phobia.

66 bosforus  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:27:45am

Personally, I've gotten a flu shot once in the past 8 years, just 'cause there's never been a Saturday morning when I've woken up and thought, "Yay! Today's the day I get a flu shot!". The one time I've gotten the flu in those past 8 years was during the Christmas season when 22/25 of the members of my family that had all gathered together also got it.

67 Cato the Elder  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:27:57am

re: #47 Cato the Elder

What's the "Richard Dawkins Award" given out for? Bigoted, blind, dogmatic atheism?

Well, Charles, I'm guessing Maher didn't win it for science. So what is it for? Stupid movies?

68 SixDegrees  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:28:07am

re: #62 reine.de.tout

I'm in a "high risk" group, and so I've already gotten my regular flu shot because my immunologist gets these sorts of things earlier than regular docs.

HOWEVER - the way the limited supply of h1n1 vaccine is being distributed - he will not be getting that vaccine. Not one dose.

In a bit of good news, doctors seem to be figuring out what it is about h1n1 that causes severe illness and death in some folks, and have begun figuring out how to treat patients.

Good news. Although I guess I'd rather not get the damn thing in the first place, rather than benefit from the knowledge of how to treat it once I have it.

Note to those attempting to rework how health care operates: vaccination is vastly cheaper than any kind of treatment. Period. End of story. There's nothing else to see here.

69 acwgusa  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:28:10am

re: #51 SanFranciscoZionist

My mother in law is encouraging me not to get vaccinated for the flu because it 'causes sterility'. My husband won't get vaccinated 'because it hasn't been tested enough, and I don't trust the government'. I am surrounded by crazy people.


Tell him and her that 23 people, including a 5 year old child, have died of H1N1 here in San Diego County, and to grow up.

70 Holidays are Family Fun Time  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:28:50am

re: #66 bosforus

Personally, I've gotten a flu shot once in the past 8 years, just 'cause there's never been a Saturday morning when I've woken up and thought, "Yay! Today's the day I get a flu shot!". The one time I've gotten the flu in those past 8 years was during the Christmas season when 22/25 of the members of my family that had all gathered together also got it.

I had the flu two years ago. I learned how people can die of it. If I had been in a third world country I would have. If it wasn't for Tamiflu, I would have been in the hospital.

NEVER AGAIN!

71 Slumbering Behemoth Stinks  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:28:55am

re: #43 Charles

That's simply not true. This is not a "left wing" issue. There are plenty of right wingers who are just as crazy about vaccines.

Indeed. There were right-wing anti-vaxers on this very blog who flounced out over the issue.

72 GCM29  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:29:22am

O'Reilly had Juan Williams filling in for him the other night and one of the prominent stories was about this woman who had some kind of bizarre and very severe reaction to the seasonal flu vaccine. The funny part was, the doctor who was brought in to discuss it immediately said that the flu vaccine was very unlikely to have been the cause of that particular condition...Williams must not have vetted his guest because he looked pretty shocked that the doctor wasn't playing into the narrative that he seemed to want.

So yeah, plenty of crazy to go around.

73 Charles Johnson  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:29:28am

re: #47 Cato the Elder

What's the "Richard Dawkins Award" given out for? Bigoted, blind, dogmatic atheism?

Sorry, I can't let that one stand. Richard Dawkins is constantly smeared with this kind of stuff, and it's not true. I've read his books, and there is no evidence of bigotry, or dogmatism. He makes solid logical arguments for everything he writes.

I get that you don't like Richard Dawkins. But it's not fair or accurate to accuse him of "bigotry."

74 SanFranciscoZionist  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:29:41am

re: #48 nanook37

The far-left and far-right are both off on the vaccine thing - One side because they believe in the power of crystals and Jenny McCarthy and the other because they believe the government is out to mess with their precious bodily fluids.

The point where my patience with McCarthy simply evaporated was when I realized that before she got into anti-vaxx she had written a book about how her child is a 'Crystal', and she is an 'early Indigo'. I can't stand this. Kids are going to die because this woman is experimenting with idea after idea to prove that her child is really more special than yours or mine?

75 reine.de.tout  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:29:48am

re: #68 SixDegrees

Good news. Although I guess I'd rather not get the damn thing in the first place, rather than benefit from the knowledge of how to treat it once I have it.

Note to those attempting to rework how health care operates: vaccination is vastly cheaper than any kind of treatment. Period. End of story. There's nothing else to see here.

Oh, heck I agree! I get the flu vaccine every year.
Now, though, I have to try to figure out how to get in line for one of the limited h1n1 doses - since my doc for high-risk patients won't be getting a supply. I wonder what genius decided on how to distribute these supplies.

76 Walter L. Newton  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:30:27am

re: #65 Martinsmithy

You are of course correct - Beck and Limbaugh have joined the anti-vaccination brigade. Still, I think it's traditionally, at least, been more of a far left phobia.

I don't know if you can "weight" which side is more locked into this than the other, but I know of many independent right christian sects that won't except vaccines, and this has been going on for decades.

It is not a new phenomena and has been around, right or left for longer than you probably realize.

77 watching you tiny alien kittens are  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:30:28am

I suppose he wants to see polio and smallpox back killing tens of thousands every year. Hell talk to anyone over 55 about what polio was like, how theaters and other public venues were closed to children in the summer when it ran rampant. There were over 60,000 cases in 1952 with more than 3000 deaths and thousands of others maimed for life from it. If vaccines don't work how is it that we have practically eradicated it?

He. Is. An. Idiot.

78 Martinsmithy  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:30:40am

re: #65 Martinsmithy

Actually, when I think about the flouridation scares of past years, which were pretty much a right-wing phobia, I have to take back even my last equivocation in #65. As we have seen with creationism, anti-science nonsense is at least as prevalent on the far-right as on the far-left.

79 Martinsmithy  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:31:53am

The other possible explanation for all of this is that Bill Maher wants to get inside Jenny McCarthy's pants.

80 Walter L. Newton  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:32:28am

re: #68 SixDegrees

Good news. Although I guess I'd rather not get the damn thing in the first place, rather than benefit from the knowledge of how to treat it once I have it.

Note to those attempting to rework how health care operates: vaccination is vastly cheaper than any kind of treatment. Period. End of story. There's nothing else to see here.

Can you trust this report?. It's not from a news agency that is recognized as ligit by the US government and I believe Fox has no credibility or advertisers.
//

81 Four More Tears  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:32:35am

re: #79 Martinsmithy

The other possible explanation for all of this is that Bill Maher wants to get inside Jenny McCarthy's pants.

That's not outside the realm of possibility...

82 GCM29  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:32:36am

The majority of people I know who attack the methods used by Dawkins or Hitchens are people who have not bothered to sit down and read their articles or books. Dawkins takes a very fair and reasonable approach to the subject.

83 Cato the Elder  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:32:44am

re: #73 Charles

Sorry, I can't let that one stand. Richard Dawkins is constantly smeared with this kind of stuff, and it's not true. I've read his books, and there is no evidence of bigotry, or dogmatism. He makes solid logical arguments for everything he writes.

I get that you don't like Richard Dawkins. But it's not fair or accurate to accuse him of "bigotry."

Actually, I didn't. I wondered what Maher got the prize for. There's a lot of stupid bigotry in him, but maybe he won it for something else.

I'm guessing it was for "Religulous", though, which was a piece of bigoted stupidity if I've ever seen one.

And I don't dislike Richard Dawkins - as a scientist.

84 Holidays are Family Fun Time  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:33:19am

I read somewhere that "just because a person can read, doesn't mean they are literate." (paraphrase)

This comes to mind when I read about the utter lack of basic understanding of science.

85 acwgusa  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:33:35am

re: #79 Martinsmithy

The other possible explanation for all of this is that Bill Maher wants to get inside Jenny McCarthy's pants.

I don't think they would fit him.

/s

86 watching you tiny alien kittens are  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:34:05am

re: #47 Cato the Elder

What's the "Richard Dawkins Award" given out for? Bigoted, blind, dogmatic atheism?

In this case it was for making the stupidly shallow and caustic movie "Religulous." I suppose people somehow thought it advanced the cause of atheism, just goes to show that stupid people have no specific creed.

87 Holidays are Family Fun Time  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:34:06am

re: #85 acwgusa

I don't think they would fit him.

/s



groan

88 SixDegrees  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:34:31am

re: #75 reine.de.tout

Oh, heck I agree! I get the flu vaccine every year.
Now, though, I have to try to figure out how to get in line for one of the limited h1n1 doses - since my doc for high-risk patients won't be getting a supply. I wonder what genius decided on how to distribute these supplies.

That's the part I have trouble with. If you're forced to limit access, distribute it through hospitals or other licensed medical facilities and require a prescription for it. That way, your doctor doesn't have to complicate the distribution system by getting it directly, but can make sure his patients who need it can go get it.

My attempts have revealed that, instead, what they have in place is a total clusterf*ck that's going to leave people who really need to get the vaccine going wanting, while the government continues to drive the population to near-hysteria with it's warnings about vaccination being essential this year, yet offering nothing but instructions to wash my hands.

89 Cato the Elder  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:34:36am

re: #81 JasonA

That's not outside the realm of possibility...

He may want to, but I think Jenny is smarter than that.

90 DaddyG  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:34:43am

re: #78 Martinsmithy I think we mix spectra of "teh crazee" up with political spectrum too often. "Teh crazee" is not a right or left exclusive nor does it follow the same parallel path. "Teh Crazee" is oblique to politics.

91 acwgusa  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:34:44am

re: #87 ggt


groan

Yeah, it was bad. I know.

92 Holidays are Family Fun Time  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:35:37am

re: #89 Cato the Elder

He may want to, but I think Jenny is smarter than that.

Think about that sentence. Do you really think she is smarter than a rock?

93 DaddyG  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:36:08am

re: #88 SixDegrees
Don't forget "sneeze into your elbow".

94 acwgusa  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:36:11am

re: #92 ggt

Think about that sentence. Do you really think she is smarter than a rock?

Hey now. That's an insult to the rock.

95 SanFranciscoZionist  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:36:13am

re: #92 ggt

Think about that sentence. Do you really think she is smarter than a rock?

Is there evidence that a rock has ever slept with Bill Maher?

96 acwgusa  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:36:42am

re: #95 SanFranciscoZionist

Is there evidence that a rock has ever slept with Bill Maher?

"There was this one time, back in band camp..."

97 Varek Raith  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:36:45am

re: #92 ggt

Think about that sentence. Do you really think she is smarter than a rock?

That depends on what kind of rock were talking about. Some are denser than others, afterall.
/

98 Holidays are Family Fun Time  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:36:50am

re: #94 acwgusa

Hey now. That's an insult to the rock.

re: #95 SanFranciscoZionist

Is there evidence that a rock has ever slept with Bill Maher?

Perhaps the rock has been in her pants. . . .

99 Holidays are Family Fun Time  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:37:18am

Sh!t, I gotta go.

Have a great day all!

100 acwgusa  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:37:48am

re: #98 ggt

Perhaps the rock has been in her pants. . . .

There's a gastrointestinal joke in there, but damn if I'm going to make it.

101 Baier  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:37:55am

Someone posted him saying similar stuff in Link Viewer last week(?). This surprises me. I never would have pegged him as a anti-vaxxer.

102 The Sanity Inspector  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:38:30am

Proof that health kookery knows no political boundaries.

103 Killgore Trout  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:38:57am
104 Buck  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:39:21am

re: #72 GCM29

O'Reilly had Juan Williams filling in for him the other night and one of the prominent stories was about this woman who had some kind of bizarre and very severe reaction to the seasonal flu vaccine. The funny part was, the doctor who was brought in to discuss it immediately said that the flu vaccine was very unlikely to have been the cause of that particular condition...Williams must not have vetted his guest because he looked pretty shocked that the doctor wasn't playing into the narrative that he seemed to want.

So yeah, plenty of crazy to go around.

I thought that was a great example of balance.

105 DaddyG  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:40:37am

re: #103 Killgore Trout

Salute!

Those darn Nazis are always kissing up to the teacher by answering all the questions. /

106 Randall Gross  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:42:08am

Bill Maher sounds like Discovery Institute denying evolution in his series of talking points. This is ridiculous.

107 DaddyG  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:42:27am

re: #103 Killgore Trout Heh. The Secret Service Agent in the background looks like he's napping. No time like a grade school classroom I guess?

These are too cute.

108 Wozza Matter?  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:42:28am

i like bill - generally - but he has gone down many many many leaps in my estimation by this issue

109 AmeriDan  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:43:05am

re: #75 reine.de.tout

Oh, heck I agree! I get the flu vaccine every year.
Now, though, I have to try to figure out how to get in line for one of the limited h1n1 doses - since my doc for high-risk patients won't be getting a supply. I wonder what genius decided on how to distribute these supplies.

I work in a hospital, so I have had the flu one and will receive the H1N1 in a week. As I understand it... the young and caregivers are being given the H1N1 first. If not for working in a hospital I would be last in line too, due to my age of 45. The thinking is that our immune systems have seen and defeated some strain of this before.

It seems to be more of a manufacturing problem. Why are drug companies not pumping this stuff out like tap water? Are there restrictions on who can manufacture it, and if so, why? Certainly, there is a profit motive involved if not.

Price controls, anyone?

110 soundboard fez  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:44:08am

re: #13 Martinsmithy

It's heartening, in a way, to see that while far right nuttery has eclipsed the far left variety, the latter remains as loud and intellectually impotent as ever.

I find myself needing to periodically check in to read Kos and DU just to remind myself of that fact.

111 GCM29  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:44:57am

re: #104 Buck

Yes, showed some balance, even if it was unintentional (or appeared to be, from Williams's reaction).

112 GCM29  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:45:55am

re: #110 soundboard fez

You get some really great weirdness on HP as well.

113 SixDegrees  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:47:56am

re: #77 ausador

I suppose he wants to see polio and smallpox back killing tens of thousands every year. Hell talk to anyone over 55 about what polio was like, how theaters and other public venues were closed to children in the summer when it ran rampant. There were over 60,000 cases in 1952 with more than 3000 deaths and thousands of others maimed for life from it. If vaccines don't work how is it that we have practically eradicated it?

He. Is. An. Idiot.

I've said this before, but it bears repeating. A trip through any graveyard that's been around a century or longer will reveal the horrible truth of what life in pre-vaccination eras was like. They are packed to the rafters with children, from infants through teenagers. They far outnumber the adults buried there up through the '40s or '50s. And nearly all of them were felled by viral diseases now easily prevented by vaccines.

Or, up until their deaths just a few years ago, you could have talked to my grandparents, who grew up in an age where they watched childhood friends fall to whooping cough, diptheria and measles, where adults and children both were routinely scythed down by smallpox and those few who survived it's scourge remained horribly scarred for life afterward. They viewed the development of vaccines and public vaccination as nothing short of miracles, and given a chance I have no doubt my grandmother would take Maher's and McCarthy's hides off with a brass brush, followed by a rubdown with rock salt if she heard them spewing this garbage while she was alive.

I'd like to personally airdrop both of them in any of a number of third world countries where vaccination isn't routine, so they can see first hand the effects of the idiocy they're proposing when people have no choice but to follow it.

114 DaddyG  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:51:05am

re: #113 SixDegrees Well said. Every time I visit a graveyard I look for the markers from 1917-1918. It is a sobering section of older graveyards to see where entire families died within months of each other.

115 reine.de.tout  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 11:58:40am

re: #88 SixDegrees

...

My attempts have revealed that, instead, what they have in place is a total clusterf*ck that's going to leave people who really need to get the vaccine going wanting, while the government continues to drive the population to near-hysteria with it's warnings about vaccination being essential this year, yet offering nothing but instructions to wash my hands.

That about sums it up.

116 dwells38  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 12:00:02pm

Not surprising. He's at that stage in his life, career and fame that he figures whatever pops into his head must be correct merely because of an army of sycophants that wait for his every wise utterance.

He would claim he's a staunch science advocate while not bothering to find out there's still no scientific basis for thinking vaccines are doing anything other than good and no causal link between vaccines and autism.

117 reine.de.tout  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 12:01:28pm

re: #72 GCM29

O'Reilly had Juan Williams filling in for him the other night and one of the prominent stories was about this woman who had some kind of bizarre and very severe reaction to the seasonal flu vaccine. The funny part was, the doctor who was brought in to discuss it immediately said that the flu vaccine was very unlikely to have been the cause of that particular condition...Williams must not have vetted his guest because he looked pretty shocked that the doctor wasn't playing into the narrative that he seemed to want.

So yeah, plenty of crazy to go around.

They don't seem to vet their guests very well, and this is nothing new.

I recall after Katrina I was ROFL when they had the Superintendent of Schools for St. Bernard Parish on the show and kept asking her questions about the Orleans Parish school system. She was completely perplexed that they kept asking her about Orleans; they were completely perplexed that she had no answers about Orleans.

118 Spare O'Lake  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 12:06:34pm

I am by no means anti-vax.

However it is not entirely fair to equate the idiotic opposition to smallpox, polio, mumps, rubella and whooping cough vaccines with the reluctance shown by some to take influenza vaccines.

For one thing the flu, if caught, is not nearly as likely to cause the horribly severe symptoms of these other diseases. Not even close.

Also, flu vaccines are not nearly as effective in preventing one from catching the flu as are these other vaccines. Not even close.

So I would say that with the exception of those who are at extreme risk of contracting the flu and dying from it i.e. the very young and the very old, and with the further exception of health care workers who work in close proximity to children and seniors, there is probably good reason for others to consider whether the risks outweigh the benefits.

119 BlackFedora  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 12:10:52pm

Well damn...

Chris Matthews looked quite sane on that panel. I'm glad at least someone he had the show questioned him a little there. I'm not a huge Bill Maher fan but I didn't expect this type of anti-science nuttiness from him.

You want to see some really bad anti-vax nuttiness? WARNING: COULD CAUSE EXTREME BRAIN HURT? Anyhow.. there are people nuttier than Maher and unfortunately people like this guy might start appealing to him.

I can see it now, "Even that godless heathen Bill Maher says..."

120 Fenris  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 12:13:13pm

I knew Maher was a complete douchebag before, but I didn't know this side of him. Orac of scienceblogs suggests that Bill gets his antivax information from the site whale.to, which also specializes in (wait for it) Holocaust denial.

121 Diamond Bullet  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 12:36:06pm

re: #43 Charles

That's simply not true. This is not a "left wing" issue. There are plenty of right wingers who are just as crazy about vaccines.

Yeah, I was not trying to suggest that anti-vax is "only" a liberal thing. However, my personal experience has been that conservatives who refuse vaccines do so on a religious basis -- i.e., they acknowledge vaccines have utility, but take the position (right or wrong) that their religious beliefs are more important. There are undoubtedly some that avoid vaccines because they think they are a plot by space communists from beyond Neptune, but thankfully I don't interact with those folks (same thing with the 'fluoridated water = brain control' squad). On the liberal front, the anti-vax stance seems to be a more direct and active refutation of the underlying science -- namely that vaccines cause autism or mercury poisoning or harelips or something. These were the folks Klein was concerned about when he attended a family health meeting and, as I recall the article, a doctor started talking about how the odds were pretty good of polio not really harming your kids anyway. I guess I don't like how conservatives can be generally smeared as "anti-science" when liberals have just as many subsets of anti-science quacks of their own. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to throw on my circulatory magnet wristbands and pound some St. John's Wort to really limber up my chakras.

122 philosophus invidius  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 12:48:37pm

I think it was funny that Maher says he wants a debate and then doesn't let anyone else get a word in edgewise.

This brand of anti-science is arguably worse than creationism. Creationism is pretty abstract. But people will die if they (or their parents) don't get vaccinated.

P.S. I got my H1N1 vaccine today.

123 Ray in TX  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 12:51:27pm

I've always liked Maher as a healthy skeptic, but he is way off-base on this particular form of skepticism.

124 Randall Gross  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 12:59:56pm

re: #121 Diamond Bullet

You haven't been paying attention to the young followers of Luap Nor, I could link you to quite a few really rancid militia sites that are anti vaxxer / Libertarian.

125 Splatt  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 1:24:37pm

What he NEEDS to do is get that hairline of his vaccinated.

126 queenesther  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 1:36:28pm

re: #81 JasonA

re: #79 Martinsmithy

The other possible explanation for all of this is that Bill Maher wants to get inside Jenny McCarthy's pants.

That's not outside the realm of possibility...


A long time ago, in one of his "monologues", I distinctly recall Bill Maher ridiculed the veracity of the female orgasm. I don't think Jenny would think much of him on a date.

127 Political Atheist  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 1:40:40pm

re: #11 MandyManners

In the context of populist rating baiting sure. Pundits! Many like this guys are just English to English translators that deliberately misunderstand.

128 Political Atheist  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 1:41:17pm

re: #122 philosophus invidius

How did you get it so soon? my wife is high risk and has had no luck. We already did the seasonal.

129 Political Atheist  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 1:43:20pm

re: #118 Spare O'Lake

There is a larger public interest at stake-Its called herd immunity. We generally share elevators airplanes, subways. The risk is so small as compared to the benefit.

130 GCM29  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 2:08:32pm

re: #122 philosophus invidius

I don't think we've got the H1N1 vaccine yet here in Texas...or maybe its just the Rio Grande Valley, but I plan on getting it. I'm out of sick days at work.

131 Pepper Fox  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 3:27:36pm

I had a friend who said if they mandate H1N1 vaccinations he would move to South America, and he is a smart guy! I was dumbfounded and had to sit him down and explain to him that the H1N1 is the exact. same. vaccine. as the annual flu shot, just a different strain in it. The regular shot is like 3 strains and if swine flu had become an issue sooner it would have been in the regular annual one with the others.

132 kellygrrrl  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 4:15:44pm

for all his ranting against meat and vaccines, he doesn't seem the least bit concerned with the health risks of sleeping with "pros"

133 Unakite  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 5:07:59pm

Way late to the party and no one will probably see this, but I wish I had known this earlier. I spent all morning getting four vaccinations for overseas travel. :(

134 irving  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 5:11:19pm

What's exceptionally horrifying about the anti-vax people is this kind of snarky anti-science is bad in the short term. Climate change deniers are bad, but odds are pretty good that they'll be dead by the time everyone's screwed. If people take fools like Bill Mahr seriously, we'll have dead people right away.

135 brav  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 5:54:39pm

Interesting article about this very issue today in Wired:

[Link: www.wired.com...]

136 eneri  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 6:25:07pm

Bill Mahr is not as bright as he thinks.

137 harry91  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 6:52:36pm

re: #135 brav

Good find

138 The Yankee  Mon, Oct 19, 2009 7:41:45pm

re: #30 Charles

i watch Bill's show allot. He doesn't mind loosing an argument I don't like his view on medicine to much. But people shouldn't accuse him of being into winning every argument or being egotistical like some pundits are.

That said I don't like that he is expressing this opinion at this time. Nor the way he acted with Bill Frist as if he knew better.

139 [deleted]  Tue, Oct 20, 2009 2:08:57am
140 gdalpert  Tue, Oct 20, 2009 9:49:28am

You've got a heck of a debate when Alec Baldwin comes away as the most rational person at the table.


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