Age of Autism’s Anne Dachel Takes on Bill Moyers Over Vaccines. Hilarity Ensues. : Respectful Insolence
Thanks to the partying and backslapping going on in the antivaccine movement over the reversal of the decision of the British General Medical Council to strike Professor John Walker-Smith off of the medical record, after a brief absence vaccines are back on the agenda of this blog. Antivaccine cranks view the decision as a vindication and exoneration of antivaccine guru Andrew Wakefield even though it is nothing of the sort and is in fact a decision based on questionable (at best) scientific reasoning. Actually, as some of my commenters have pointed out, Justice Mitting applied legal reasoning to science and scientific ethics, with disastrous results. So, as they say, in for a penny, in for a pound. I might as well finish off the week talking about vaccines, particularly given that my favorite antivaccine propaganda blog doubled down on its usual idiocy, not so much by adding yet another post about the Walker-Smith decision (it’s already got plenty of those) but rather by publishing a post that perfectly captures the thinking (such as it is) behind antivaccine views. I realize that going after Age of Autism for its antivaccine views is rather like shooting the proverbial fish in a barrel, but sometimes it’s just something that has to be done. Coming so hot on the heals of the flurry of self-congratulation and the nauseating level of Andrew Wakefield hero worship, it’s hard to resist such a target-rich environment.
I’m referring to a post on Age of Autism by its Media Editor Anne Dachel entitled An Open Letter to Bill Moyers on When The Next Contagion Strikes. Apparently, Dachel is very, very unhappy with Bill Moyers for an excellent article he co-wrote with Michael Winship a week ago entitled When the Next Contagion Strikes: Vaccination Nation. In the article, Moyers used the movie Contagion as a backdrop to discuss why vaccination is so important and why the antivaccine movement is such a danger to public health. In particular, Dachel is very angry with Moyers because he quite forcefully argued against various forms of nonmedical vaccine exemptions and has information and opinion against it posted on his website. AFter complaining long and loud about all this, in particular a video on Moyer’s website showing officials from the CDC and Paul Offit discussing the antivaccine movement and declining vaccination rates: