Respectful Insolence

professional wrestling!

You know, it seems eerily appropriate. Generation Rescue always struck me as being akin to pro wrestling anyway, especially its founder J. B. Handley. His antics in the service of the scientifically discredited notion that mercury in vaccines cause autism (or, these days, that it’s vaccines that cause autism) always struck me as being largely for show more than anything else, and certainly his trademark bluster is very much like that of a pro wrestler taunting his opponents.

Generation Rescue apparently gets the celebrities it deserves.

I also have to wonder if this fundraiser is part of GR’s planned fall offensive.

Comments

  1. #1 M2
    July 22, 2008

    Speaking of vaccination…

    I was looking around for pro-vaccination posters and t-shirts, and mostly could only find “vaccines cause autism!!1!” nonsense. So, I made my own using an old polio vaccine poster. (Search wikimedia commons for “Wellbee” to find the original, public domain image.) I made a store, so other people can get them if they want. There is no markup (I’m not making money on this), and I can make my images available if anyone wants them.

    http://www.cafepress.com/Wellbee

  2. #2 anonimouse
    July 22, 2008

    Fall offensive?

    Scratch the word “fall” and that’s about right.

  3. #3 Tyler DiPietro
    July 22, 2008

    So not only does WWE’s booking suck nowadays, they’re trying to prove how socially conscious they are by endorsing vaccine-autism woo?

    Just when you think Vinnie-Mac has hit rock bottom…

  4. #4 Patrick
    July 22, 2008

    Seems like an appropriate frame.

  5. #5 Lonnie
    July 22, 2008

    Should we email them and try and get you and Steven Novella into their hall of fame?

  6. #6 isles
    July 22, 2008

    You start with Jenny McCarthy as your hook into Hollywood, this is the kind of connections you get.

    We can only imagine what kind of “research” GR plans to fund with the wrestling money. Maybe an RFP that goes like this: “We are seeking to fund a study of why vaccines are super yucky and bad. Please include your conclusions in the application.”

  7. #7 Militant Agnostic
    July 22, 2008

    Given the WWE wrestlers who have suffered numerous concussions and resulting neurologicla problems (such as Bret Hart and the guy who murdered his family before killing himself) my irony meter has exploded.

    Fake sports and fake science belong together.

  8. #8 DLC
    July 22, 2008

    Sorry, but I used up my last Irony meter reading this news.
    As it is, I’m down to my last lead-lined fire protective suit and last pair of welder’s goggles. In the future I may have to add in additional protection from the burning stupid that comes out of GR.

  9. #9 Lassi Hippeläinen
    July 22, 2008

    One more name to the list of alternative medicine celebs: Radovan Karadzic.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7519039.stm

  10. #10 Unsurprised
    July 22, 2008

    So, we have a woman who believes an Indigo alien is going to take over the world, a woman who just lost custody of her kids, a company who specialise in homoeroticism and JB Handley.

    HAHAHAHAHAHA!

  11. #11 Abel Pharmboy
    July 22, 2008

    He’s not a professional wrestler but Tom Levenson has a lovely but sad post about what happens when four countries have endemic polio because of anti-science and pseudoscience attitudes.

  12. #12 Ranson
    July 22, 2008

    Oy. I posted about my interest in wrestling just days ago. At least I admitted not watching the modern product. Here’s one more reason.

    As a side note, what’s the work on the “Autism Speaks” organization? They’re bombarding my area with billboards, lately.

  13. #13 Ian
    July 22, 2008

    You sci-bloggers are obsessed with Britney Spears!

  14. #14 andrea
    July 22, 2008

    I clicked on the Web page link … what a beautiful photograph of a woman holding her fist against a child’s face!
    /sarcasm.

    Seriously, I have never seen a professional portrait like that before. It’s more alarming than the antique studio portraits where the (standing) man is holding a (seated) woman down by her shoulders.

    But I suppose that fist-on-face photos are supposed to be “loving” in the bizarre world of professional stage-wrestling.

    andrea

  15. #15 David D.G.
    July 22, 2008

    Orac, I’m surprised I haven’t seen a comment from you yet about this little gem:

    “I’ll tell you what autism is. In 99 percent of the cases, it’s a brat who hasn’t been told to cut the act out. That’s what autism is. What do you mean they scream and they’re silent? They don’t have a father around to tell them, ‘Don’t act like a moron. You’ll get nowhere in life. Stop acting like a putz. Straighten up. Act like a man. Don’t sit there crying and screaming, idiot.” ~radio host Michael Savage

    It seems to me that, for once, even you and Jenny McCarthy might have some common ground in rejecting this odious assertion. I look forward to seeing your comments about it.

    ~David D.G.

  16. #16 Militant Agnostic
    July 22, 2008

    So Radovan Karadzic has been practicing “Alternative Medicine” while hiding from the War Crimes Tribunal – the perfect occupation for the ethically challenged.

    CAM rather than patriotism is now the last refuge of a scoundrel.

  17. #17 Orac
    July 22, 2008

    It seems to me that, for once, even you and Jenny McCarthy might have some common ground in rejecting this odious assertion. I look forward to seeing your comments about it.

    Michael Savage is such a despicable wingnut that his comments do not surprise me. He’s an idiot, always has been an idiot, and always will be an idiot..

  18. #18 Rev Matt
    July 22, 2008

    Seriously, not to ad-hominem or anything, but if the big name celebrities you get on board for your MEDICAL cause are Jenny McCarthy and Mom-of-the-year Britney Spears? You might not want to promote that fact. I know a few mercury milita fellow travelers who will seriously reconsider when the see Brit-brit believes it.

  19. #19 Rogue Epidemiologist
    July 22, 2008

    M2, that’s an excellent idea. I forwarded the link to my colleagues. I think I’ll get the red ringer tee.

  20. #20 Screechy Monkey
    July 22, 2008

    Well, at least we have Amanda Peet on our side:

    http://www.cookiemag.com/entertainment/2008/07/peet_apology

    She apologized for calling anti-vaxxers “parasites,” but she’s holding strong on the substantive issue:

    However, I still believe that the decision not to vaccinate our children bodes for a dangerous future. Vast reductions in immunization will lead to a resurgence of deadly viruses. . . .

    In this era of cynicism, it’s hard to believe that any corporation, medical or otherwise, has our best interests at heart. But it’s irresponsible to suggest that virtually the entire medical community, and the CDC, and the American Academy of Pediatrics are behind a massive cover-up about vaccine safety. Fourteen studies have been conducted (both here in the US and abroad), and these tests are reproducible; no matter where they are administered, or who is funding them, the conclusion is the same: there is no association between autism and vaccines. How many more studies do we need to conduct on vaccines, before we start re-channeling our efforts and money towards research on autism?

    The real question is why the media and journalists are still presenting vaccine safety as a controversy. There are a few fringe medical groups and parent advocacy groups who claim that vaccines cause autism, or that they have too many “toxins,” or “viral challenges” for our tiny babies’ bodies to handle. In fact, although there are many more vaccine doses given today, the entire vaccine schedule contains far fewer antigens–components of viruses or bacteria–than vaccines of the past. (In other words, it’s more shots, but less vaccine.) Why doesn’t anyone talk about this? There are still fringe scientists who claim that HIV is a government conspiracy, but these people do not get a lot of media coverage, as it’s accepted that this theory has no medical/biological plausibility.

    My concern is for our children and their futures. In the fifties, vaccines were recognized as life-saving. My mom had polio and was quarantined when she was 6 years old. It’s so hard to appreciate vaccines now that so few children are dying from preventable diseases today, but that could all change if we’re not vigilant. There are currently multiple measles outbreaks in the United States. Hopefully children do not have to die before people start to realize the cost of withholding vaccines

  21. #21 Ruth
    July 22, 2008

    As Michael Wiener, Savage has written books on homopathy and ‘natural’ healing for kids. So far I haven’t seen any HIV denialism. Savage used to be a liberal and friend to Allen Ginsberg. He may have seen the right-wing rants as a better marketing tool.

  22. #22 Liesl
    July 23, 2008

    Good for Amanda Peet. I’m sure she’s getting all kinds of crap from the antivax whackaloons right about now.

  23. #23 Cath the Canberra Cook
    July 23, 2008

    I see this as good news. Associating this rubbish with Britney is not likely to persuade anyone, now, is it?

  24. #24 Bunnies for Gardasil
    July 23, 2008

    If you weren’t impressed enough with Hefner, Spears and Sheen supporting Handley’s church of the Generation Rescue, how about the wrestling “Divas” who showed up at his fundraiser? There’s video on the WWE website showing Jenny kissing Britney at the party, and a wrestler Diva. Jim Carrey looking moronic with a shorn head. It shows what appears to be a small group of attendees.
    http://www.wwe.com/shows/snme/generationrescuesnme/
    Don’t forget to check out the wrestlers who support GR.
    “MVP – The Ballin’ Superstar tells our fans to support Generation Rescue.

    Mickie James – Learn more about autism awareness with Women’s Champion Mickie.

    Big Show – Watch Big Show’s Generation Rescue message for the WWE Universe.

    Maria – SmackDown Diva Maria hopes our fans will support the cause.

    Mr. Kennedy – Watch the loudmouth’s message for our fans.”

    These people are every bit as classy as JB Handley himself and every bit as knowledgeable about science. Frightening. DAN!/ARI rip-off artists gets a word in on that page, too. “autism.com” Smells like desperation to me. Maybe JB Handley will be posing nude himself next, to raise $$$?

  25. #25 TheProbe
    July 23, 2008

    This truly saddens me. The WWE has been the only professional “sport” that has consistently supported the Empire State Parks Games for the Physically Challenged.

    I thought they knew what they were doing.

  26. #26 anonimouse
    July 28, 2008

    I tried to write them to explain that they were being suckered in by woo. Of course, I got no response.