White Coat Underground

Let’s call a wacko a wacko

“You know the moon landings were ginned up on a Hollywood sound stage, right?”

“Hey, how come it’s so hard to get the Truth out there about the 9/11 attacks being staged by the CIA/Mossad?”

“I don’t know why they think I’m crazy; the aliens really did probe my anus.”

We hear crap like this all the time, but these wackos never get ink in major media outlets because, well, they are so clearly paranoid and deranged. So why do we see a similarly paranoid, deranged person like Jenny McCarthy on the pages of Time magazine? Is it because she’s more photogenic than most alien abductees? Is it because she doesn’t live in her mom’s basement with her cats and collection of tin-foil hats?

There’s little else that separates McCarthy from these other obvious wackos. Look at this crazy-ass interview.

There was not much in Jenny McCarthy’s early career as a Playboy model and MTV star to suggest that she would become a passionate advocate for family issues, children’s health and autism awareness.

Uh, yep. That’s true. It’s not like she was a Playboy model with a degree from Michigan. She has never shown any evidence for latent scientific skills. Other than her degree from Google U., and her friendship with infectious disease promotion gurus, there’s nothing to suggest that she would have anything useful to say about a major health issue. Meh, maybe she’ll get lucky. Let’s see.

Time: Your book points out that autism rates between 1983 and 2008 have climbed in lockstep with vaccination rates, yet childhood obesity, diabetes and even cell-phone use have soared since then, too. Why do you find causation in one and not the others?

JM: I’m not saying it’s only the vaccines

Ugh. The obvious point being made by the reporter was that there was no more evidence that autism is caused by vaccines then by any other co-incident factor. Jenny took it to mean that maybe everything causes autism. Boy, is she dumb.

JM: Babies get the hepatitis B vaccine immediately after they’re born and the only way for a newborn to contract that disease is if the mother is a carrier. Why not just screen the mother? Evan was handed to me pre-vaccinated with a Band-Aid on his foot.

This certainly falls into the realm of “not even wrong”. First, vaccines aren’t given in the heel. Blood is taken from the heel for natal screening of genetic disorders. Second, we don’t vaccinate kids against Hep B to avoid maternal-fetal transmission. We vaccinate them because it is a reasonably common virus that can lead to liver failure and cancer. Exposure can happen any time, and the earlier a person contracts Hep B, the more likely they are to sicken and die from it.

Time: Most people who blame autism on vaccines point to the mercury in the shots, yet mercury has been removed from most vaccines and autism rates continue to climb.

Idiot: We don’t believe it’s only the mercury. Aluminum and other toxins also play a role. The viruses in the vaccines themselves can be causing it, too.

ZOMG!!! Not…TEH VIRUSEZ!!! Um, Jenny, look, science is hard. Some vaccines contain inactivated viruses, some contain only viral antigens (such as the Hep B vaccine), and some contain bacteria. None of these components cause autism, but all of them help the vaccinated person develop immunity to the disease.

But Jenny’s stupidity is surpassed only by her heartless immorality:

Moron: I do believe sadly it’s going to take some diseases coming back to realize that we need to change and develop vaccines that are safe. If the vaccine companies are not listening to us, it’s their f___ing fault that the diseases are coming back. They’re making a product that’s s___. If you give us a safe vaccine, we’ll use it. It shouldn’t be polio versus autism.

That is f____ing evil. These vaccines work. The only thing an increase in vaccine-preventable disease will do for us is cause more of us to sicken and die and convince people who still have a working cerebral cortex that there was a reason we invented these things in the first place.

Time: And yet in many cases, vaccines have effectively eliminated diseases. Measles is among the top five killers in the world of children under 5 years old, yet it kills virtually no one in the U.S. thanks to vaccines.

Evil f___ing dumbass: People have the misconception that we want to eliminate vaccines. Please understand that we are not an antivaccine group. We are demanding safe vaccines. We want to reduce the schedule and reduce the toxins. If you ask a parent of an autistic child if they want the measles or the autism, we will stand in line for the f___ing measles.

Really? You want everyone to catch measles, possibly dying of encephalitis, to avoid an imaginary risk for a brain disorder that is sometimes devastating, sometimes mild?

It’s time to start laughing this idiot out of the room. The mainstream media should start to ignore her, except to mock her. Education and mockery may be the only weapons we have left.

Comments

  1. #1 eNeMeE
    April 2, 2009

    Goddamn, that’s scary.

    So’s the related story called “How my son spread the measles”.

  2. #2 NoAstronomer
    April 2, 2009

    “Evan was handed to me pre-vaccinated with a Band-Aid on his foot.”

    Oh My Flipping Teapot! I knew she was dumb but apparently the knowledge is just leaking out of her brain and she’s getting dumber by the minute.

    During my wife’s two pregnancies the reason for the band-aid on the foot was drummed into to us by virtually every single member of the maternity ward, both before & after birth.

    There is simply no way Ms McCarthy was not told of the purpose of that jab. Nor was she told it was for Hepatitis.

    Excuse me, I have a letter to write.

    Mike.

  3. #3 John Hiebert
    April 2, 2009

    I am a practicing physician (M.D., Harvard Medical School 2000), a scientist (Ph.D., Harvard University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences ’94), a husband, and parent to three small children. I am about as rational as a suburban Boston Board-certified anesthesiologist can get.

    Please do not use pejoratives in association with the 9/11 Truth Movement. Please do consult Medical Professionals for 9/11 Truth (www.mp911truth.org)

    The events of September 11, 2001 have been used by our government to justify killing over one million people. President Obama, within weeks of his inauguration, invoked 9/11 as a justification for sending 17,000 more troops to Afghanistan. Our civil liberties have been eroded by the Patriot Act of 2001, the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, the Protect America Act of 2007, and numerous other Orwellian edicts. The official explanation for 9/11 has been conveyed in the mainstream media with astonishing certainty beginning within hours of the attacks. Does this explanation deserve merit? Sadly and disturbingly not. High school physics, a bit of chemistry, and common sense lay bare a false narrative.

    ‘We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false.’ — William Casey, CIA Director, 1981-1987.

    ‘The Central Intelligence Agency owns everyone of any significance in the major media.’ — William Colby, CIA Director, 1973-1976.

    The facts of 9/11 tell the real story. Here are a few impossibilities that serve as tip to the iceberg:

    Impossible: rapid and extreme destruction without additional energy source.

    Impossible: free-fall speed by pile driver mechanism.

    Impossible: molten steel from office fires, still flowing weeks later.

    Impossible: numerous examples of prior knowledge — WTC collapse known by Giuliani; WTC 7 collapse known by officials on the scene, on video; WTC 7 ‘collapse’ reported by multiple news media outlets while the building still stood.

    Impossible: that X-ray energy dispersive spectra of multiple 9/11 dust samples would show the chemical fingerprint of the high-energy explosive thermate, if no explosives were used on that day. (ref. J. 9/11 Studies, vol. 19, Jan. 2008)

    Thank you for your attention.

    Sincerely,

    John Hiebert, M.D., Ph.D.
    Asst. Clinical Professor, Tufts University School of medicine
    Director of Regional Anesthesia
    Department of Anesthesiology, Lahey Clinic
    Burlington, MA

  4. #4 PalMD
    April 2, 2009

    I am about as rational as a suburban Boston Board-certified anesthesiologist can get.

    Please do not use pejoratives in association with the 9/11 Truth Movement.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA…

    (wiping tears)

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    (coughing, choking)

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  5. #5 PalMD
    April 2, 2009

    Which pejoratives should I avoid? Insane? Paranoid? Tinfoilhatwearingnutjob?

  6. #6 D. C. Sessions
    April 2, 2009

    This is a lovely example of something I spend months hammering into trainees: it doesn’t matter how competent you may be in one subject [1], you’re worse than useless in others. At best you know enough to stay out of the way of people who know what they’re doing.

    Does anyone remember the scene from “Why Me?” where the Glenn Close is being rushed in through ER?

    [1] Never mind how competent you think you are.

  7. #7 Blind Squirrel FCD
    April 2, 2009

    I am a practicing physician (M.D., Harvard Medical School 2000) etc.

    But do you vaccinate?

  8. #8 Whitecoat Tales
    April 2, 2009

    I’m not sure if its a good thing or a bad thing that I still want to give good Dr Hiebert more leeway on this one than Jenny McCarthy. He’s wrong, but at least he’s not suggesting we kill children to prove he’s right.

  9. #9 dean
    April 2, 2009

    “I am a practicing physician (M.D., Harvard Medical School 2000), a scientist (Ph.D., Harvard University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences ’94), a husband, and parent to three small children. I am about as rational as a suburban Boston Board-certified anesthesiologist can get.”

    You forgot to add this about yourself: “I am an ignorant fool.”

    If you really are a doctor, I’m hoping you rail against those outside your profession who claim that medical procedures are worthless and that stuffing beans into a person’s ass will cure cancer (or that vaccines are linked to autism) – and that would be appropriate, since they don’t have the expertise.

    It is the same thing with the events of September 11, 2001. Why should people side with the ragtag group of folks in the “truther” movement who don’t have expertise in science and engineering, but who claim to know better what happened than the experts in the field? Hint: they shouldn’t: the truthers should be ridiculed, because their insistence that we believe in their unsubstantiated conspiracies is stupid and insulting. Attempting to assert authority on this due to your medical and social background is equally foolish.

    I think you ordered a tin-foil hat that is too small.

  10. #10 PalMD
    April 2, 2009

    My main problem with this is one that I’ve stated before…once you open the door for one irrational belief, any narishkeit can waltz right in.

  11. #11 MartinM
    April 2, 2009

    Medical Professionals for 9/11 Truth

    Ah. That explains why there are so many engineers who support intelligent design. Crank conservation.

  12. #12 Mark C. Chu-Carroll
    April 2, 2009

    My father used to say that roughly speaking, everyone is equally intelligent. Therefore if you’re a genius in one field, you’re an idiot in all others.

    My experience has led me to refine that. There are people who are idiots in all fields; and there are reasonably intelligent people. My father’s rule applies to people in the latter set.\

  13. #13 D. C. Sessions
    April 2, 2009

    My main problem with this is one that I’ve stated before…once you open the door for one irrational belief, any narishkeit can waltz right in.

    Did you know that there’s actually a theorem that maps into that statement?

  14. #14 b. j. edwards
    April 2, 2009

    It’s appalling enough to have to deal with the arrogance of ignorance of the likes of Jenny McCarthy, but to have John Hiebert, M.D., Ph.D., step into the fray and reject, with all seriousness, the logical and critical thinking that PalMD is really pleading for is more than astounding.

    As one who has dealt with the scourge of Denialism from moon-landing denial to Holocaust denial, I am appalled at the inability of Heibert to understand the most fundamental basis for logical and critical thinking and, instead, to buy into the repeatedly debunked claims of the 9/11 Denial Movement without a single concern for objectively doing any research whatsoever. It is morally offensive and an insult to the intelligence of rational and ethical people when a professional displays his own arrogance of ignorance without the slightest concern for that which his training requires.

    “Please do not use pejoratives in association with the 9/11 Truth Movement,” Heibert proclaims. How sickening a statement from one who should KNOW better. It’s one thing for an ex-Playboy Bunny to expound on things for which she absolutely has no qualifications; it’s quite another for a supposedly trained professional to stick a finger up to the most fundamental tenets of rational and critical thinking that underlies science and the profession he has chosen.

    Heibert owes the victims of the 9/11 attacks an apology.

  15. #15 Lion Dancer
    April 2, 2009

    Don’t be fooled, the fact that you’re intelligent and have a (or many) degree(s) or you’re intelligent and not don’t have any degrees you still can be a wack-a-loon. It only means that you have the means to conflate and confuse more people more effectively.
    Yourself included.
    If one is not aware that they are an idiot (I include myself) then they are even more of idiotic than they can even imagine.

  16. #16 Danio
    April 2, 2009

    Don’t be fooled, the fact that you’re intelligent and have a (or many) degree(s) or you’re intelligent and not don’t have any degrees you still can be a wack-a-loon.

    Two words: Michael Egnor

  17. #17 DrBadger
    April 2, 2009

    I am a practicing physician (M.D., Harvard Medical School 2000), a scientist (Ph.D., Harvard University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences ’94), a husband, and parent to three small children. I am about as rational as a suburban Boston Board-certified anesthesiologist can get.

    You know you’re saying something wacko when you’ve gotta preface it by how educated you are.

  18. #18 T. Bruce McNeely
    April 2, 2009

    Raoul Duke offers an explanation for Dr. Heibert:

    There is nothing more helpless and irresponsible than a man in the depths of an ether binge.
    Hunter S. Thompson

  19. #19 blf
    April 3, 2009

    If that wacko really is a doctor, shouldn’t its license be pulled? It’s too fecking stupid—or at least incapable of logic / deductive reasoning—to be allowed anywhere near a human and make/suggest potentially important decisions. I smell a quack: Stupidity, harping on about its education, and loads of nonsense and woo-woo.

  20. #20 Dunc
    April 3, 2009

    We hear crap like this all the time, but these wackos never get ink in major media outlets because, well, they are so clearly paranoid and deranged.

    I take it you don’t read the editorial pages of the Wall Street Journal then?

  21. #21 Danimal
    April 3, 2009

    “I don’t know why they think I’m crazy; the aliens really did probe my anus.”

    If you substitute doctor(s) for aliens the statement might make some sense. Perhaps that the point John Hiebert is trying to make? Not.

  22. #22 James F
    April 3, 2009

    What evidence would convince the truthers that it wasn’t an inside job? It’s like dealing with creationists.

  23. #23 Art
    April 3, 2009

    Your in the hospital and have been wheeled into an OR for a major operation. The kindly anesthesiologist tells you everything is going to be all right. Then, to pass the time until the drugs take effect, he mentions that 9/11 was an inside job as proved by: rapid and extreme destruction without additional energy source, free-fall speed by pile driver mechanism, molten steel from office fires, still flowing weeks later. he then smiles and tries to place a mask over your face.

    You:
    1) Lay back and smile knowing that the kindly and well informed anesthesiologist will take care of you.

    2) Lay back and hope the guy knows more about anesthesia than he does about building construction and how buildings fail.

    3) Fight your way to consciousness, grab the nearest sharp object, hack and slash your way out of the OR, and flee the hospital as fast as your drug weakened legs will carry you.

    I could go point by point as to why the “impossible” claims are wrong but a person capable of getting a PhD should know how to find the information showing them wrong or, at the very least, be able to consult with engineers or architects who work with high-rise construction and have them explain the gaping holes in his “facts” to him.

    Then again reconciling that even with a MD and PhD he is still ignorant of so much, having to consult with other fields and admit they know more about it than he does might interfere with the polymath, know-it-all, Little Tin God, self-image.

    The greatest danger is not falling for the flattery of others. It is when we flatter ourselves.

  24. #24 Dianne
    April 3, 2009

    If that wacko really is a doctor, shouldn’t its license be pulled?

    Why? Unless he is mistreating his patients in some way because of his beliefs (i.e. thinking that a Jewish patient is part of the Mossad conspiracy and not giving proper analgesics because of it) then his opinions on the 9/11 attacks are irrelevant to his profession. I have a number of non-standard beliefs too (for a US-American): I don’t believe in a god or gods, question the utility of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki attacks, and don’t favor organized prayer in public schools. Fortunately, none of these beliefs impacts my ability to prescribe chemotherapy (and deal with the consequences of doing so) so they’re irrelevant to my licensure. 9/11 conspiracy theories may be even less mainstream, but they’re also irrelevant to one’s ability to monitor depth of anesthesia.

  25. #25 PalMD
    April 3, 2009

    I have to agree with Dianne on this one. Just as someone can hold onto irrational religious beliefs, i think they can hold other irrational beliefs and still be good at other more rational pursuits.

  26. #26 catgirl
    April 3, 2009

    And why should we believe that a physician knows anything about special about 9/11 that the rest of us don’t know? Being a physician doesn’t make you more informed or insightful about a topic that has absolutely nothing to do with being a physician. I have no reason to believe that you know anything about engineering or politics.

  27. #27 Dr Benway
    April 3, 2009

    Harvard has a lot to answer for, IMHO.

    Here ya go doc:

    http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/military_law/1227842.html

  28. #28 PalMD
    April 3, 2009

    I was way too lazy to dig up the popmech link (also, i didn’t think it would get through the tin foil). Thanks.

  29. #29 D. C. Sessions
    April 3, 2009

    Just as someone can hold onto irrational religious beliefs, i think they can hold other irrational beliefs and still be good at other more rational pursuits.

    Perhaps for a time, yes. On the other hand, the principle of crank magnetism applies. As I alluded above, once you allow irrationality into a connected system (e.g. any of the physical sciences) it eventually metastasizes to corrupt any rational process that it can reach — a sort of transitive property of narishkeit.

    The reason is that maintaining the unquestionable irrationality requires an ever-increasing proliferation of root causes. Each of these leads to more potential contradictions, which in turn have to be resolved by more root causes, and eventually you end up with full-blown Flat Earthism.

    Mathematically, if you can introduce a contradiction (both A and not-A) into a system, you can prove anything. If I want to “prove” X, I start with the usual proof by contradiction: show that you can derive both A and not-A from not-X, therefore not-X must always be false and therefore X is always true.

    Well, crank psychology does the same kind of thing. In the early stages of the disease they can function but without the usual mechanisms that limit irrationality by apoptosis, the neognosim spreads to the point where there is no room for rational cognition at all.

  30. #30 blf
    April 3, 2009

    My questioning his suitability for a license to practice medicine is not directly related to his beliefs. Instead, it has to do with his apparent inability to reason. Non-comedians who put 2 and 2 together and answer “duck”—which is a far more logical answer that I suspect it’s capable of—is neither confidence-inspiring nor skill-demonstrating.

    Yes, people are able to compartmentalize conflicts. So what? Is it unreasonable to expect someone whose profession requires a through ability to investigate and deduce (as well as infer based on experience) to both know the limits of their knowledge and realise when they’ve strayed into unsupported silliness?

  31. #31 Egaeus
    April 3, 2009

    Someone remind me not to trust any Boston board-certified anesthesiologists, if that’s as rational as the get.

  32. #32 D. C. Sessions
    April 3, 2009

    Someone remind me not to trust any Boston board-certified anesthesiologists, if that’s as rational as the get.

    As pointed out previously, the anaesthesiologist is not someone you’re in a position to negotiate with. Much of the time, your only (conscious) contact is through billing statements.

  33. #33 Dianne
    April 4, 2009

    Is it unreasonable to expect someone whose profession requires a through ability to investigate and deduce (as well as infer based on experience) to both know the limits of their knowledge and realise when they’ve strayed into unsupported silliness?

    How are you going to standardize the test of whether someone has an adequate understanding of the limits of their knowledge? Apart from the obvious means of “can’t pass boards in subject means you can’t claim to be an expert”? Because if you can’t make a standard definition then you’re left with an “I know it when I see it” style of enforcement, which is notoriously prone to selective enforcement.

  34. #34 Phoenix Woman
    April 6, 2009

    Every single 9/11 conspiracy theory it’s possible to dream up has already been debunked. http://www.debunking911.com/ is your one-stop shop for debunking “9/11 Truthers”. (My own personal favorite is the “WTC 7 wasn’t all that damaged” one (http://www.debunking911.com/pull.htm); they ignore the photos showing the big gaping holes in it and the extensive fire damage that put it in dire danger of collapsing.)

  35. #35 sff
    April 15, 2009

    #12: There *are* very rare people who are competent in many things and very good at a few.

    Still, that rule definitely applies generally speaking: and I think the same thing applies to rationality. While there are quite a few people who are exceptionally rational, almost everyone is irrational about something: and it strikes me that there’s a bit of ‘conservation of irrationality’. In my personal experience people with weird pseudoscientific or religious beliefs are often more mainstream politically than the more skeptical people; but again, there are exceptions.

  36. #36 kemibe
    April 23, 2009

    I never knew it was possible for Playboy models to jump the shark. I was wrong.

  37. #37 BikeMonkey
    April 23, 2009

    kemibe, when do they not jump the shark? when do they not?

  38. #38 ZenMonkey
    October 28, 2009

    Note to self: do not allow any future children to attend Tufts med school. Wow.

  39. #39 flynn
    October 28, 2009

    Idiot: We don’t believe it’s only the mercury. Aluminum and other toxins also play a role. The viruses in the vaccines themselves can be causing it, too.

    So, wait. If you vaccinate, you will “get” autism. If you are exposed to the disease you’re being vaccinated against…you will also get autism? Why have autism rates changed then? *baffled*

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