Whenever a story like Robert De Niro's decision to choose an antivaccine film by Andrew Wakefield for screening at his prestigious Tribeca Film Festival followed by his decision to drop the film like the proverbial hot potato upon being shown just how full of misinformation, distortions, and pseudoscience the film is shows up, I not infrequently feel as though the topic takes over the blog. And so it often does. It's been the main topic here for the last week. That's why I thought I'd move on to something else, but then, seeing the reaction of the antivaccine crankosphere yesterday to the news of De Niro's decision not to screen Wakefield's Vaxxed: From Cover-up to Catastrophe at Tribeca, I couldn't resist one more dip into the well. Hopefully, readers aren't becoming too tired of this story. The reactions range from the usual "Help, help! I'm being repressed!" and "Censorship!" to the truly nutty, to the point that I was entertained enough to apply one last dab of not-so-Respectful Insolence before moving on to other pastures.
First up is the least loony response. Note that by "least loony" I don't mean in any way that it isn't loony. It is. It's just that I thought I'd start slow and work up to a crescendo. I'm referring, of course, to the response of Del Bigtree posted to NaturalNews.com and other sites in the form of a video labeled EXCLUSIVE UNCUT video interview with 'VAXXED' producer Del Bigtree that was 99% censored by ABC World News Tonight:
Right off the bat, it's disingenuous and downright dishonest to label this interview as "99% censored." Basically, apparently because ABC News only used one brief snippet of the interview in its story, it was "censoring" the rest of Bigtree's responses, as though he had some sort of right to expect that all 10 minutes of the interview (or even a significant portion of the interview) would be included in what ABC News ultimately aired. This is silly in the extreme, as anyone who's ever done media interviews knows. For instance, I've done hour-long interviews with reporters, only to have a sentence or two of my responses included in the ultimate story that is published. Does this sometimes annoy me? Of course it does, particularly when the snippet chosen doesn't match the message I was trying to get across. Is it "censorship"? Of course not. I know how little space journalists have, and the time constraints on TV news stories are even more severe. Obviously, Bigtree is a TV producer and knows this, but he also knows that most of the fans of NaturalNews.com don't know this and will lap up the song and dance about his being "censored," hence his posting a cell phone video of the whole interview. In a bit of sheer over-the-top silliness, Bigtree even includes footage of routine introductory questions in which the producer is asking him what title he wants ABC to use in the caption.
I must admit, I nearly choked on my iced tea at Bigtree's answer to the first question, where he brags about how he was the producer for The Doctors, which he characterized as the "best medical talk show in the world." (It's not.) He also brags about his being "known for doing stories that a lot of people don't want to touch," such as stories about pesticides, GMOs, pollution, etc. One wonders if he realizes why people don't touch some of those stories. (Hint: Perhaps it's not because of big pharma, big agriculture, or big industry; perhaps it's because he takes on such stories from a fear mongering, pseudoscientific standpoint. Certainly if Vaxxed is any indication, that's what Bigtree does.)
Not surprisingly, Bigtree regurgitates Brian Hooker's and Andrew Wakefield's blatant lie that William Thompson, the CDC scientist whose telephone conversations with Hooker led him to become the "CDC whistleblower" in the fevered dreams of the antivaccine movement, had accused the CDC of scientific fraud. He had not. Promoted by Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL), it's a lie that Wakefield repeats constantly and that Wakefield and Bigtree had to use deceptive editing techniques to support. Bigtree also claims to have looked at the papers provided by Thompson to Posey and characterized them as the "most compelling evidence of fraud I've ever seen in my life," which tells me that he has no clue how to interpret scientific data. Big surprise there, given that he believes Wakefield and Hooker. Matt Carey and I have both examined the primary documents, and we've found no evidence of fraud, although we did find evidence that Thompson was a bit of a troublemaker who didn't play well with others—and not in a good way.
Perhaps the most hilarious part of this video is Bigtree's response to the producer asking him if he was concerned about working with Wakefield, given that his work had been discredited and retracted and his medical license yanked for his dishonest behavior. First, Bigtree described himself as a "medical producer." I suppose by a strictly technical definition, that's sort of true, given that The Doctors does discuss medical topics, but in reality he was an infotainment producer producing one of fluffier daytime talk shows out there. He might as well have been producing The Dr. Oz Show. Bigtree then explains how he looked into "every aspect" of Andy Wakefield's career and then proclaims that the "world lost one of the greatest scientific minds when Andy Wakefield was taken from us," a phrasing I found quite odd given that Wakefield is most definitely not dead. He then went on to characterize Wakefield as a "man who was doing studies that were going to lead to healthier vaccines and better ways to take care of the health of our children." So why was Wakefield discredited? Per Bigtree, because "that was going to cost a lot of money for the vaccine industry."
I almost couldn't continue at this point, so strong was the bile rising in my throat and spasmodic the urge to collapse into an uncontrollable fit of laughter at the characterization of Wakefield as "one of the greatest scientific minds." How deluded can one man be? Bigtree tries to show us when he concludes that he is "proud to be working on this picture about the CDC whistleblower with Andy Wakefield." The bottom line is that Andy Wakefield had a patent on a competing measles vaccine when he did his MMR study in 1998. He misrepresented the results as showing that the MMR vaccine was associated with autism. He committed scientific fraud during the execution of that study. As a result of his fear mongering about the MMR vaccine, measles, once under control in the UK, came roaring back as MMR uptake plummeted because parents, fearful of the vaccine due to Wakefield, avoided it in droves. These days, quite justifiably, Wakefield has been relegated to speaking on a cruise full of sovereign citizens, crop circle chasers, paranormal "researchers," selling conspiracy theories to the credulous.
In a way, I almost feel sorry for Bigtree. He seems to realize on some level that he's committing career suicide by working with Andy Wakefield, but can't really bring himself to understand why. He complains about how the mainstream media hasn't picked up this story but doesn't ask himself why that is. To him, it's because of the power of the CDC and pharmaceutical companies but can't quite bring himself to ask himself whether the reason no mainstream news outlets are interested is because they can tell that there's no story there, that this whole "CDC whistleblower" scandal is not a scandal at all, but rather the product of the grievances of a scientist at the CDC who let his personal disagreements with his colleagues over a 2004 study fester to the point where he felt he had to unload to a biochemical engineer turned incompetent epidemiologist. Let's just put it this way. There's a reason why the only seemingly "mainstream" reporters with any interest in this story are—to put it nicely—crank-sympathetic at minimum and cranks themselves at maximum. Think Ben Swann and Sharyl Attkisson. After all, if he really thinks that vaccines are given a "free pass" in testing and are "injected directly into the veins" of our babies, that his movie is just facts, and that our assessment of vaccine safety depends so heavily on the study that Thompson criticized, Bigtree will fit right in with this crowd.
There is one thing I'd like to say to Mr. Bigtree right here, though. Near the end of his interview, he complains mightily about how much criticism there has been of his film by people who have not seen it but have seen only the trailer. I'd be happy to review Vaxxed, Mr. Bigtree. Just send me a screener or a link to a screener any time. I'll watch it and write a review. My e-mail address is email@example.com. I'll be waiting.
Of course, Bigtree is downright mellow compared to others. Louis Conte, for instance, asks if I was on the panel of scientists that Robert De Niro had with him when he watched Vaxxed and decided to pull it. Alas, no. I would have been happy to have served in such a capacity, but, unfortunately, I don't have that kind of juice that a star as big as De Niro would even take notice of me. Conte also accuses me of having a "spy" who noted that De Niro's wife Grace Hightower had been seen on one of his movie sets having a friendly conversation with Andrew Wakefield. I wish! The reality is much less interesting. A reader e-mailed me out of the blue after one of my posts about Tribeca and was very worried about my saying too much publicly. So I used my Google-Fu to try to fill in the rest. Of course, perhaps it would be better for me if Conte believed that I actually have a vast network of spies everywhere like Varys (a.k.a. the Spider) on Game of Thrones. (Come to think of it, maybe I do have such a network. Muahahahahahaha! Beware, Mr. Conte! Beware!*)
I am, however, happy to see that Conte and the clown car at Age of Autism read my work and find it so compelling that Conte thinks I'm of a stature that Robert De Niro himself would include me in a panel of scientists he asked to review Vaxxed and that I have spies everywhere. It is good to have one's enemies fear you that much.
Still, nobody does demonization and conspiracy mongering better than Mike Adams, whose initial reaction I discussed yesterday. To him, it has to be Nazis. No matter how tenuous a link, to Adams, it's always Nazis. In this case, he blames the Sloan Foundation, a sponsor of Tribeca, for pressuring De Niro. Where is the Nazi connection? Here you go. Based on a brief post by HIV/AIDS denialist Celia Farber, Adams goes on one of his epic "Nazi" rants:
The Sloan Foundation is so named from Alfred P. Sloan, a Nazi collaborator and eugenics depopulation promoter. It's no coincidence that his own beliefs on using medical interventions to reduce race-targeted populations coincides perfectly with the stated depopulation goals of Bill Gates (whose financial web of influence is woven across the entire vaccine propaganda landscape).
You know, using similar logic, I must be collaborating with Nazis because one of my collaborators is based at Henry Ford Hospital, and Henry Ford was known as an antisemite and admirer of Hitler and the Nazis before World War II. Look for an antivaccine loon to quote mine the preceding sentence, coming to an antivaccine blog near you soon.
Adams isn't finished, though:
Like the most evil entities on the planet, the Sloan Foundation hides its eugenics / depopulation agenda behind a "science" agenda. But if you read between the lines, it's obvious that the foundation's ethics are rooted in globalist initiatives that sacrifice human lives to create whatever the elitists call "a better world."
But if you really want hilarity, just look at how clever the Sloan Foundation is. According to Adams, its President, Paul Joskow, despite being a member of the Council on Foreign Relations "global elite group with deep ties to depopulation advocate Bill Gates, who also awards large grants to numerous websites that agree to publish pro-vaccine propaganda," Joskow is so nefariously clever as to pull this bit of misdirection to hide his evil plans:
As part of the cover for all this nefarious activity, Paul Joskow gives money to an anti-eugenics non-profit group called "Facing History." This annual report from 2013 lists "Barbara Chasen Joskow and Paul L. Joskow" as donors, while simultaneously stating the group is "Celebrating Milestones" that include "teaching about the challenges societies face as they attempt to heal, repair, and rebuild after genocide or other instances of mass violence." It is no coincidence that vaccines are a form of mass violence against children, thereby perpetuating the circle of violence upon which these non-profit front groups depend for their funding and stature.
That's right. Joskow is that cleverly nefariously deceptive, according to Adams, and "got to" De Niro.
I have a word of advice for Del Bigtree and the antivaccine loons. Take a deep breath and take a break. You really are your own worst enemies. You want desperately to be taken seriously, but your every word screams to journalists and other reasonable people the very reasons why you shouldn't be.
*This is sarcasm. I feel obligated to point this out because antivaccine activists might actually mistakenly think that I do have a network of spies and am threatening Louis Conte or anyone else. Obviously I am not, but these people are so deluded that I feel obligated to emphasize that I am not threatening anyone. It's a joke, people.
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Somebody please post here to tell me that this piece is a fantasy by the journalist, or irresponsible behaviour by his sources.
It essentially alleges that the response to the Tribeca incident was some kind of orchestrated conspiracy by a group part funded by CDC.
Please tell me that this isn't so. I'd particularly like to hear from Alison Singer as to whether she believes this report is accurate.
I caught NBC’s coverage and although they made the point that De Niro made a mistake, they presented the entire segment pretty much as a “debate” with ominous-sounding clips from the movie or trailer shown without comment. I know journalism is supposed to be impartial, and I won’t say they completely capitulated, but I think the average viewer might be left to think that the coverage reinforced whatever views she already held. Mr Lapdog (I DO like the sound of that!) said that if it weren’t for me prattling on about blogs all the time, he might think there really is a controversy.
Although I am extremely loath to correct the ever mighty and nearly perfect Orac ( praised be his name!) ... er... he uh got something wrong today:
the writer of that awful AoA piece is Louis Conte not Ann Dachel.
Conte is at least as loony as Dachel so I can understand the confusion.
Conte wrote a detective novel that explores the vaccine-autism connection ( a fantasy novel) from the perspective of a police officer and I believe is one of the authors in that bit of legal nonsense we all laughed at years ago.
Oddly, he titles the article is Italian I suppose because both he and Mr De Niro have Italianate surnames. I suppose that that makes sense to him. Maybe I should start naming articles in French since I have a vaguely French first name.
Eh. I read something Anne Dachel's wrote about De Niro at the same session as Conte's post and must've mixed them up. Oh, well...
Well, now if Anne Dachel ends up shot with a crossbow, we'll know who'd have ordered the hit.
Regarding the article in the Guardian cited by Brian Deer in #1--it would seem odd to fabricate such an article with direct quotes. At one level, I'm glad the IAC took action--that is what they are supposed to do. On the other hand, that their actions took place behind the scenes does lend it a conspiratorial air--though this article removes some of that feeling by (if true) stating what happened.
The novel is The Autism War and it has an eponymous website. It was reviewed at both AoA and TMR. The story involves a cop, whose son has autism, who manages to untangle the knotted web of deceit covering up the Truth.
Some psychologists believe that written and graphic representations may disclose underlying beliefs and motivations of the people they study. Both Conte and Stagliano have written novels wherein their alter ego characters unlock hidden mysteries about the crimes surrounding vaccination- in other words what they think that they're doing every day in their reportage.
One last note before I leave...
Mikey continues today with his exploration of N-zis infiltrating the independent film industry which is diagrammed compleat with circles and arrows.
Like BigPharma is giving cancer to people so it can sell them cures and climatologists are using antimatter bombs so they can get more funding into AGW research. Got it.
Like there is any chance we will be lacking in acts of mass violence any time soon.
It's infuriating, this need to see evil everywhere. Everything Mike touches, he rots it. Well, it's his business model. He must sow fear and presents himself as the the only savior on this doomed Earth.
Speaking of perpetuating a circle of violence to pad one's bank account; projecting much, Mikey?
So it's a-okay when BigTree and Wakefraud edit Thompson's conversations to mean something entirely different but when just an intact blurb of BigTree's is used he whinges like a toddler.
This morning on CBS, a case of measles has been reported at the Yuba Charter School in Nevada City CA. Looking up the vaccination rate of that particular school, it turns out to be 70% unvaccinated. The chickens have come home.
Turns out the number one unvaccinated school at 90% ( Grace Family Christian School) is only a couple blocks from where I live.
We're #1. We're # 1.
“[The] world lost one of the greatest scientific minds when Andy Wakefield was taken from us.”
Odd choice of wording, that. It's what you say at a funeral. Now, if true, it means that Andrew Wakefield is a zombie. This makes sense when you consider that the principal motivation of zombies to eat the brains of the living; having had their brains eaten would explain the behaviors of some of the more rabid anitvaxxers.
Denice says "Maybe I should start naming articles in French since I have a vaguely French first name."
And here I thought you were the sister of Denephew.
@ORD: watch it, or the Hitler Zombie will awaken and go looking for brains...and I'm pretty sure he won't find them among those groups....
MI Dawn, I don't worry about the Hitler Zombie for myself. He would never eat the brain of an untermensch such as myself, especially an autistic one.
I have to disagree with you. You have a very intelligent brain, and I always enjoy what you have to say. Seems to me, you've just the type of brain he'd enjoy. Definitely much more satisfying.
Now I am a-scared. Does he like nuts?
Certainly I was involved in no coordinated action. I'm not part of the IAC and have, as far as I can remember, never been invited to be part of the listserv described in the article. (Too obnoxious, I guess.) Indeed, I had never even heard of this listserv.
I was not part of the action sparked by the IAC list-serve. I cannot speak for Tara Haelle but she was all over it; the article linked below evidently moved the dial some.
Just checked the Tribeca FB page. This comment made me laugh:
seriously cancelling VAXXED makes me want to learn more, they are obviously trying to HIDE something... I am now ANTI VAXX because of THIS cancellation.. way to make it backfire, if you have NOTHING to hide it would not be an issue!!!!
if nothing ELSE this person has INSPIRED me to randomly CAPITALIZE everything from NOW ON and commit ACTS of ELLIPSIS abuse . . . just sent a SKYPE to Mr. Delphine .. "have you PAID the PROPERTY tax bill or was I supposed TO DO that, also LET me know HOW many eggs we have LEFT in the fridge PLEASE and thank you!!!!!!!"
as soon as I see the all-caps come out, I just wanna punch something
That makes about as much sense to me as if I were to put article titles in Danish, Swedish, or Norwegian because I have a name consistent with origins in that part of the world and I have colleagues/collaborators in all three countries. In reality I don't know enough of any of the Scandinavian languages to pull it off, and besides, most of my audience is from countries that don't speak any Scandinavian language.
I am indeed of Danish/Swedish ancestry; however, all of my grandparents were born in the US.
Delphine@21: I hope I don't have to remind you (as I would have to remind whatever Punk you quoted) of the Internet Convention that Writing in all Caps is considered Shouting. A more effective Method for getting the Emphasis you desire is to follow the Practice, common in eighteenth-Century English, of beginning all Nouns with capital Letters (which to this Day remains the usual Custom in written German).
Speaking of internet customs: There is a reason Godwin created his eponymous law. There is also a reason for the convention that the first side to bring up the Nazis (outside of contexts such as the politics of Germany in the 1920-1945 period) is considered to have lost the debate.
"I’m not part of the IAC and have, as far as I can remember, never been invited to be part of the listserv described in the article."
It has been a good source of data since I can remember:
It makes sense that they would have a listserv of members, probably public health employees, researchers and medical folks.
I hear Bigtree retort about dissenters of the film "not having read the book", & my mind quickly wanted to lash out & growl a reply:
"Look [insert egregious expletive here], you haven't read the book. Yeah, it's a science book!"
But I nearly composed myself.
The best part of that whole interview is when she asks him if there's anything else he wants to add, "just to make sure it goes to air". That reporter was playing Del Bigtree like a quintessential violin, & he was in complete blissful oblivion to it.
Not part of that listserv either and didn't know about it until the Guardian article Brian linked to. I commented on my own time and dime but damn I wish my check would come through to do what I am so oft' accused of doing.
And for the last word on the topic, "The Onion"
The middle comment is the best.
Now, I wonder why that would be? Could it perhaps be because Wakefield et al have actively sought to prevent neutral parties from viewing the film? At ConspiraSea, the movie was screened, but reportedly journalists were *explicitly* barred from seeing it.
And now they claim that people aren't reviewing it based on anything more than the trailers? Well gee golly, maybe they should let journalists actually see it, then. Unless, of course, they're concerned about getting very negative reviews. That is, after all, precisely the strategy Hollywood employs when they know they've got a massive bomb on their hands but they've invested a lot so they need to get as good an opening weekend as possible before word of mouth gets out and people stop coming. Like that abomination called "The Avengers". (No, not the recent Marvel movie. The one in the 90s based on the old TV series. Dear god, could Ralph Fiennes and Uma Thurman *be* any more wooden?)
Always be wary of a movie that won't let reviewers see it. Always. Be even *more* wary when they object to people criticizing it based on the trailers. Dude, if the trailer's all you let people see, and even that sucks, it's *your* fault if they don't like it.
Can someone explain this bizarre antivaxer theory that vaciines are part of some Nazi eugenics conspiracy. I just don't get it. I mean if you want to depopulate the world why not just stop vaccinating altogether and let all those nasty viruses we don't tend to die of these days get on with the job.
Anyway isn't it tbe antivax brigade who are in favour of eugenics? Don't they regard autism as some kind of dreadful epidemic. Better to risk the complications of measles than to risk creating another autistic child etc,
The other thing I was wondering. Any of you good folks know why these antivax types all seem to hold a slightly contradictory position that vaccines are unsafe becuse they are full of toxins and haven't been properly tested and then they try to flog you some weird remedy that is at best untested at worst a good deal more toxic than anything in a vaccine. Then when one protests they say DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH!!. Apparently reading a shed load of scientific data doesn't count so do I have to set up a lab in my kitchen and run my own trials with my friends and neighbors?
The newspaper I read has once a week a kind of reading advise for someone who is in the news and it has mostly something to do with things they have said or done. My reading advise for those people, complaining about n*zi's and suppression would be: 'Every man dies alone', by Hans Fallada
Exactly! Wakefield wants to control the message and the surrounding "criticism". That's why I wasn't confident any critical examination post-film would be allowed at Tribeca. I just got done listening to a delusional rant by Brian Hooker on the 'Robert Scott Bell Show' and all he did was encourage people to call their local theatres to get Vaxxed screened which tells me they aren't really interested in getting their message out but keeping the controversy alive and screaming "Censorship, We're being oppressed" when no theatres will host this film. Okay, you want people to see it Wakefraud and Bigtree? Then show it; let's see what you've got.
seriously cancelling VAXXED makes me want to learn more, they are obviously trying to HIDE something… I am now ANTI VAXX because of THIS cancellation.. way to make it backfire, if you have NOTHING to hide it would not be an issue!!!!
I am doing STUPID things NOW and being an EEDJIT and it's all De Niro's FAULT and I bet he's SORRY.
Eric Lund @24
from the pedantry department:
it's Mr. Godwin who's eponymous, not his law.
I realise this is honoured more in the breach nowadays, even on Wikipedia..
Yep. Perhaps I'll send an e-mail to Del Bigtree asking for a screener that I can review, as I mentioned in my post. I wonder if he'll send me a DVD or link for a screener? :-)
Indeed. If I can't be part of the Illuminati vaccine shill listserv run by the IAC that they won't even tell me about, at the very least I want my shill check for spending so much time cranking out quality insolence directed at lying about debunking The Truth antivaccine lies. :-)
Heh; I'd love to see his response to that, Orac, although I rather suspect it will of the "LALALALALALA I CAN'T HEAR YOU!" variety.
Seriously, though, there is nothing whatsoever stopping them putting this video out on YouTube. If, that is, they're *really* interested in sharing it, rather than just sharing rumors about it. I saw several anti-vax commenters (who were otherwise repeating party line) crowing about how we'd be sorry once the video went up on YouTube. Which, of course, begs the question of why, if "censorship" is really Wakefield's problem, they haven't just posted it already.
I have to say that I've been more shocked by that Guardian report than by quite a lot of things in media lately. I've asked IAC for a statement on it. They might simply ignore me, but I can hardly think of a journalist with any integrity wouldn't be surprised at the idea of a network of the kind described there targeting that film.
I want to know if it's true.
I have to say I was quite uncomfortable at some of the sentiment over the weekend to the effect that people shouldn't be allowed to show anti-vaccine films.
The point for me was that the allegations being made were factually untrue, and that the authorial voice couldn't be trusted. But that's not a free speech issue, or denying the right to express contrary views, or uncomfortable facts.
But The Guardian article is framed as revealing a network of "scientists" and "activists" opposing the film because it was against vaccines.
Which, I have to say, I think is wrong, and if there was the kind of activity described, then it was a serious misjudgment, and ought to be acknowledged as inappropriate.
Anyone think this outcome is actually what these (insert appropriate adjective) people may have wanted? They have received national and international sound bites.
That's not the sense I got about it. I saw it more as saying that there was a network of scientists and activists who are on the lookout for blatant misinformation and conspiracy theories about vaccines making it into the mainstream and work to counter antivaccine misinformation when they see it. If that's in fact what's going on, I see nothing wrong with that.
I could certainly see how it could be seen as a blanket action against anti-vaxx activity but upon closer reading several quotes stood out to indicate that it was about challenging conspiracies involving vaccines causing autism. It would have been nice to see the factual inaccuracies present in the trailer and the entire premise of the film discussed more but we don't know what the IAC conversation actually was.
Like the most evil entities on the planet, the Sloan Foundation hides its eugenics / depopulation agenda behind a “science” agenda. But if you read between the lines
I know exactly what Adams means. Whenever journals reject my papers it's because of the editors and reviewers concealing their Nazi depopulation policies behind a guise of "science". The Editorial Mission Statement of Attention, Perception and Psychophysics doesn't explicitly come out and admit its Nazi eugenics agenda, so I have to read between the lines and see the words they didn't write and listen to the voices of the leprechauns.
The Sloan Foundation is so named from Alfred P. Sloan, a Nazi collaborator and eugenics depopulation promoter. It’s no coincidence that his own beliefs on using medical interventions to reduce race-targeted populations
Sloan evidently promoted eugenics in clever non-verbal ways that left no traces. His support for depopulation is so well-known as an article of faith in Mikey's circles that no citation or evidence is required.
Nevertheless the Sloan Foundation are determined to conceal their true purpose, by underhanded tricks like funding historians to research and write critical histories of eugenics, and why would they do that if they had nothing to hide?
Mikey seems to go on about "elitists" a lot, which I take as a hint that he's trying to appeal to a resentful underachieving market of Trump supporters and ex-Tea-Partiers. In other words, his mouth-frothing stream of toxic bullshit is part of his cynical scam rather than genuine derangement.
Orac: "I saw it more as saying that there was a network of scientists and activists who are on the lookout for blatant misinformation and conspiracy theories about vaccines making it into the mainstream and work to counter antivaccine misinformation when they see it."
The listserv could be nothing more than folks that are listed under their super secret "About us" pages. Let's see there is a list of their Advisory Board, the Board of Directors, Staff, Funding and Corporate Membership Program.
Uh oh... the last one. Oh no! Could it be Big Pharma!
@32: "Okay, you want people to see it Wakefraud and Bigtree?"
They don't merely want people to see it, they want people to *pay* to see it.
Supposedly le Grand Fakir, Andy, will appear later tonight on the Progressive Commentary Hour at prn.fm:
the woo-centric host vows to get the film shown so that *more people will see it than would at Tribeca* ( paraphrase)- which should be easy. The latter fraudster has a history of premiering his so-called documentaries to raise funds for a non-profit radio station and himself- usually, admission is about three times the going rate for normal movies in that area.
I'll listen in as an hour or two of pure tripe has yet to harm my psyche ( although I have to be careful so that I don't grind my teeth too much).
Comment in moderation (for using the N*zi word), HELP HELP I'M BEING CENSORED!
COME SEE THE CENSORSHIP INHERENT IN THE SYSTEM!!
Was anyone else intrigued by Adams' use of the codeword 'elitist'? It is almost as if his tirade was a cynical attempt to stoke the resentment among his audience / customer base of magical-thinking under-achievers (rather than the outcome of genuine derangement). Because unspecific resentment has worked so well in the past for the Tea Party and the Trump campaign for keeping the suckers irrational.
I wonder if he has read "The Paranoid Style in American Politics" and is using it as a guide.
Below is another probable nail in vax/autism coffin. Of course they'll say that vaccines induce the genetic changes.
Genetic Changes That Cause Autism: Spontaneous mutations to ‘jumping genes’
Posted by Press Release on March 28, 2016 // Leave Your Comment
The types of gene mutations that contribute to autism are more diverse than previously thought, report researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine in the March 24 online issue of The American Journal of Human Genetics. The findings, they say, represent a significant advance in efforts to unravel the genetic basis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
To conduct their study, researchers enrolled hundreds of volunteers from families with one child affected by ASD and sequenced the complete genomes of every family member, including the parents and typically developing siblings. The researchers then looked for de novo mutations, gene alterations that appear spontaneously in one’s offspring and are due to a mutation in a father’s sperm or a mother’s egg. Based on the authors’ previous discoveries, it is known that de novo mutations contribute to risk, particularly in sporadic cases where there is no family history of autism.
The most common type of de novo mutations are spelling mistakes that change a single letter of the DNA code. However, in their new study, the researchers discovered many other mutations that introduce changes that are more complex. Called structural variants, these alterations involve the insertion or deletion of entire words or sentences of the DNA code.
The research team found a surprising variety of spontaneous mutations, from simple deletions or insertions to “jumping genes” – elements of DNA that copy and paste themselves into other parts of the genome. They also found that structural mutations sometimes occur in tight clusters where a combination of different mutations occur all at once.
“These mutations can insert, delete or in some cases scramble the DNA sequence,” said senior author Jonathan Sebat, PhD, associate professor of psychiatry and cellular and molecular medicine and director of the Beyster Center for Genomics of Psychiatric Disease at UC San Diego School of Medicine.
Sebat and colleagues discovered that spontaneous structural mutations occurred at a surprisingly high rate in individuals – 20 percent – and mutations in autism tended to disrupt genes. “Children with autism do not have more mutations overall,” said Sebat, “but their mutations are more likely to disrupt genes involved in brain development.”
The study, Sebat noted, highlights several genes that could play a key role in brain development. For example, the scientists identified a deletion in one gene called “stargazin” that is required for regulating the transmission of signals between neurons in the brain.
“Mutations in stargazin are very rare,” said first author, William Brandler, PhD, a postdoctoral scholar in Sebat’s lab, “but they point us to a biochemical pathway that may be important for social development. In the future, discoveries like this could lead to more effective personalized treatments for autism.”
Comment in moderation (for using the N*zi word)
Well, you could say Dennis.
Which is perfectly OK. It's understandable that Wakefield and Bigtree would want to recoup their investment (or the investment of whoever their backers were) and possibly even turn a profit. Most documentary makers aren't in it for the money, but that doesn't mean they don't want to recoup their costs and make a profit if they can, nor is it wrong of them to want that.
It's just disingenuous of Wakefield and Bigtree to keep pretending it's all about "free speech," exposing the CDC, and wanting as many people to see their documentary as possible, because if it were truly about that they could just put their movie on YouTube or Vimeo and everyone would see it.
@ herr doktor bimler:
I interpret 'elitist' - which I hear often enough- as meaning people who attended real universities and who can discern reality from fantasy. In other words, those who reject alt media BS artists like him.
Indeed. Diseases being necessary to cull the weak is a truly awful but rarely stated part of the AV worldview. Nevermind that this implies vaccine efficacy (time and again I'm reminded that internal consistency is not their strong suit).
The flip side of this belief is that their superior genetics protects them and their children. This is related to the belief their children must be perfect and when they are not it must be that some outside factor "damaged" them and "stole" their perfect child.
Every time I stop to think about AV beliefs I'm reminded how vile and fractally wrong they are.
Well, what we definitely have is a plethora of evidence for a cracking good read. De Niro accompanied by a syringe front cover! Imagine, the Guardian article stretched over four, five-hundred pages! You never know, such a book might even dedicate a chapter to this blog, highlighting the correspondence between Orac and Deer. A sure best-seller.
Is it not quite telling that the alleged whistleblower has not come forward to back up the claims being made.
Brian Deer wrote:
^^^The qoute from Brian Deer ends at "acknowledged as inappropriate.” The rest is mine, excpept for the remaining marked quotes, of course.
This deNiro-Wakefield-Vaxxed-withdrawal-fuss is mentioned even here on the other side of globe, on some local Finnish mainstream media webpages.
While not being involved in the IAC listserv (not being an expert in that area and all), if this is like other e-mail lists of experts that I do belong to, it has been set up as a way of quickly sharing information about media opportunities and stories among a group of experts.
The traffic may be as simple as someone has been approached for an interview on a topic they don't feel confident in handling and pass the invitation around to see who might be willing to do it, to discussions of how the media is dealing with the science in the topic area, what resources might be needed to help people understand the science, to occasional activism.
In my experience, the vast majority of contributors are researchers and don't have much time to devote to dealing with the media or the public and this is a way of being able to contribute in a more strategic manner without having to do all the legwork themselves. The groups tend to be closed to outsiders (that is you have to be invited to join) to reduce the amount of e-mails being received and to reduce the noise in the messages.
I have been involved in groups that have coalesced from a few scientists deploring the way the media deals with science stories and deciding to do something about it, but also groups strategically set up by scientific societies.
@ Rich Bly
I downloaded and read that study this morning. My impression is that it won't change the minds of any anti-vaxxer, because they don't read and can't understand what you read and understand. Nonetheless, it's still encouraging that ever-improving sequencing and analytic techniques continue to reveal more and more of the genetic architecture of autism. It's interesting that this new analysis shows that although there are many structural variants in the genomes of both autistic and unaffected individuals, those in autistic individuals tend to be more damaging and to disrupt genes.
Re: Orac @ #49
It's more disingenuous than you might guess. Few docos recoup production costs via distribution. The economic model, to the extent there is one, is that the film is a kind of 'loss leader' that generates revenue for the maker in other areas. E.g. at my low level, if you've made a film that's been screened at festivals, it's easier to get a teaching job. Wakefield would make more $$ from the "side-effects" of 'Vaxxed' if it's widely seen than he would if it's narrowly seen in theatrical distribution.
The benefit of theatrical screenings would not be so much direct income, but increased publicity, creating a potentially larger audience for when it's later offered for free on the web. The company distributing Vaxxed wprks primarily through loss cost (~$3 - $4) Vimeo pay-per-view/download.
I conclude Wakefield and Bigtree absolutely do NOT want the widest possible audience to see the film, but want to spread it through the anti-vax subculture while hiding it as much as possible from critical eyes. As such, I have suspected from the beginning that they never intended to screen the film in front of a open audience at Tribeca. If they weren't going to have a friendly audience (hah! they can't be THAT dumb, can they?), they would have come up with their own excuse to pull out claiming 'repression!' or whatever. Something like "due to the Big Pharma shills stirring up their goons, we feared for Dr. Wakefield's safety, but would have braved it anyway had we not received a credible threat, conformed by an anonymous tipster' yada yada yada.
Along similar lines, my guess is that RDN promised to show Andy's then work-in-progress sight unseen, Andy promised to send him a screener, but never did, making a series of excuses for not doing so. That's how con games work: the promised object never appears, but always remains a chimera. It's actually not totally outside film festival practice. I've had work accepted on the basis of a rough cut, and worked on the 'final' cut up until the night before the screening... Thus, Andy's film buddies could have helped him come up with at least semi-plausible excuses for never showing TFF the 'finished product'.
Regarding the listserv issue,
I parked myself on the Tribecafilm.com comments for several hours and on that basis I would say the listserv team, if present, was small. The busiest pro-science posters were war weary types relying on "what bullshit" counterarguments. I do not criticize because Scudamore. My own comment-fu is a slow wind up that relies upon a friendly, humble, silly tone with easy apologies. But I do fall back on "what bullshit" later in the game.
We could round up the blog posts or articles with the most punch (e.g., Penny Lane) to see if any of those people know about the listserve.
I did not make a Facebook so I know nothing of who hit the comments in that forum.
MI Dawn: Thank you for the kind words. However, I am a Jew, an autist, a political liberal, and something else, that would make me an untermensch, a life unworthy of life, an enemy of society, and a dangerous deviant. I agree with you that I am intelligent but I would never say so. It would of course run counter to my prize-winning humility.
Everyone, more or less: A trailer is composed to show some big moments of the film - a good gag, a splashy action scene, a dramatic exchange. If the trailer gives a negative impression, it's a strong indication that either the film is crap or ineptly promoted. In other words, the poor reception of the trailer is their own damn fault.
Troublemaker: Even if they gave everyone a sack full of cash to watch their movie, anyone who watched would still pay for it.
Everyone, again: If I wanted to depopulate the world, I would take the less expensive course of giving a Kalashnikov and a thousand rounds to everyone in the target region capable of lifting one, after taking away their planes and boats so they couldn't reach me.
Lastly, just for the lulz (always wanted to say that), here's a take on conspiracies: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P6MOnehCOUw
I can't take it any more. There is no such thing as "a listserv." The (now) L-Soft product is software that manages E-mail lists. That's it.
And you know what Orac thinks of pedantry.
I have to agree with Brian Deer -- the Guardian article seems to hint that there's a vast, resource-rich conspiracy at work.
At least enough to convince the true believers.
Oh well, that's two hours I'll never get back.
I'd better get paid.
I listened to tonight's
Progressive Commentary Hour/ prn.fm show with Andy, Del Bigtree, Polly Tommey and Celia Farber' It will archived there. Not much new.
Andy claimed that recent events were an " attack on first amendment rights and freedom of speech" His film contains "hard evidence" etc.
Del, who calls himself a "medical journalist", details his interest in stories about GMOs and glyphosate. He said that De NIro's problem was not just with the TFF's sponsors but went "higher up" .. to "corporations and government"
Both men, when asked to discuss the film, said that it needed to be seen - it's very visual...
Polly discussed her parental experiences with autism
Celia talked about the media wherein "reporters are trained as attack dogs" and sent to "bizarre schools"; the government's public health "tentacles' get into the press, movies and documentaries.
She discusses her experiences with Harper's surrounding her denialist articles about hiv.
the ridiculous host played excerpts from a film featuring parents of AJW's subjects ( Edwards, Thomas etc) and highly select clips of Brian Deer speaking to some of them outside the GMC hearings- which we've seen before .
Next, we hear a recording of Mr Posey, the congressman, reading the statement- we've seen that too.
Finally, the host promises that he will rent a theatre in NY bringing in the principals ( e.g. Hooker) and showing the film and that he is talking to his lawyers. He will post a new article tomorrow about the affair on his websites
Fortunately, I didn't have to be anywhere or have any visitors so I had some wine, tried on my new Italian shoes and spent quality time grooming the cat who really needed it. So not a total waste of time.
I feel like I have to say "listserv" cuz that is what the Guardian said.
Anyway if these organized pro-science minions are out there to defeat woo whenever it raises its ugly head, they weak.
Everytime I turn on the radio, bogus supplement ads. Turn on the TV, woo friendly doctors. All the top presidential candidates, lovin' the woo.
It is so hard to get people up to speed with science right now, conversations are nearly impossible. Popular categories of thought are not distinct, e.g., "alt med" v "conventional med," or "acute illness" v "chronic illness." So before you can rebut a point you have to unpack and rebuild a bunch of terms.
@ Shay #64--The true believers already believe in some vast "machine" of a conspiracy. You can't talk them out of it. I think too many people are worried we're somehow making them more of a believer (as if that's' possible) by actually organizing to take them on for realz, instead of just inside the vast empty paranoid spongiform spaces in their craniums.
@ Denice, I'm going to guess Ferragamo or Bruno Magli.
Narad's no pedant, he's just Narad.
What can I say, I have an abiding love for those who would take in strays.
fwiw (i.e. nada) the 'IAC conspiracy theory' would be positing movements behind the scenes, not any sort of 'vox pop' on a comments thread. In The Guardian, Pilkington has only this weasel word statement to support his thesis: "by Saturday the force of the scientific blowback unleashed in part by the listserv proved overwhelming and the scheduled viewing of Vaxxed was cancelled.' Note he doesn't say what part, or give any indication of what mechanism could have directed this 'blowback' into the face of anyone with Robert De Niro's ear. The AVers, just as I did, checked which sponsors listed on the TFF site might have taken some objection to Vaxxed being screened, and decided the since the Sloan Foundation is listed there, It Must Have Been Them! Speaking of weasel words, Wakefield and Bigtree have a statement up on the 'Vaxxed' website: "It is our understanding that persons from an organization affiliated with the festival have made unspecified allegations against the film." Well it's my understanding that these jerks lie about everything, so I'm guessing they pulled that 'understanding' out of their bumholes so they could scream about "corporate interests censoring free speech, art, and truth." Scuse me while I go vomit.
JP, it is okay to be irritated by those you love. I really admire Narad, but sometimes he just gets on my nerves.
Saw this clickbait headline in my email box:
"The American Anti-Vaccine Mom Turned ISIS Superstar"
It's from The Daily Beast. The lead: "Before she was tweeting in support of ISIS, a Missouri mom was blogging about vaccines causing autism and “chemtrails” poisoning Americans..."
@ Science Mom:
No, I don't spend that much on shoes because I would bring them home, wear them twice and find I didn't like them or they hurt so I'd have to donate them to charity. Strictly moderately priced.
But they have to be leather.
Narad never gets on my nerves- he is a breath of fresh air in a smoggy world.
Apologies everyone, it's my team of medical scientists that are responsible for the global collusion against pseudoscience. We are legion. Resistance is futile.
See? I'm terrible at this. I had you pegged for Ferragamo, possibly Magli or Prada.
Dear MarkN, what does your team pay. Lord Draconis has not been paying the shills bills.
@ Science Mom:
Altho' I did see a pair by Prada with 2" heels that looked like something Marie Antoinette would have worn. I could also.
spent quality time grooming the cat who really needed it. So not a total waste of time.
It is always good to see that someone has the right priorities.
“Before she was tweeting in support of ISIS, a Missouri mom was blogging about vaccines causing autism and “chemtrails” poisoning Americans…”
That's pretty common in Truther circles. They already accept that the New World Order is conspiring to poison the world with chemtrails and vaccines, and that everything reported in the media is a stage-managed charade... in particular, every terror bombing has been faked for nefarious ends. There are Sandy Hook truthers. but no specific term for "Paris bombing Truther" or "Brussels Bomb Truther" because it would cover them all.
As a sample of the whole milieu, here's Joanne Baskett, full-time Lyme-malingering Truther:
Anyway, having accepted that ISIS is fighting the NWO, and is the victim of a campaign of defamation, it makes sense for them to explicitly support the group.
How apropos :D
Note to self: learn how to defeat WP's formating rules.
Y'all know what I wanted to point to...
Hi Alain, nice to see you.
Actually, I had forgotten about your uses and was simply being driven to distraction by the follow-ons. Internecine and other "pedantry" has always seemed to be fair game.*
* Something something begging the question something.
It's baaaaack. Hot date night!
VAXXED - Exclusive One Week Engagement
Friday, April 1st, 2016
Angelika Film Center
18 W. Houston St., New York, NY 10012
Show times: Friday (4/1) thru Thursday (4/7): 11:00a, 1:15p, 3:30p, 5:45p, 8:00p, 10:30p
A special group ticket price is available for $8/ticket for groups of 25 or more, however tickets must be purchased in person at the box office.
There will be Q&As following the 8:00pm shows on Friday (4/1) and Saturday (4/2)
The Dachelbot did a service today by quoting the Bigtree interview (emphasis added):
"Bigtree did say that the CDC conducted the 2004 MMR study because of what Wakefield had done, 'and it appears they found the exact same thing that Andy Wakefield did. And when they saw it, what they decided to do was hide it and cover it up.'"
“Bigtree did say that the CDC conducted the 2004 MMR study because of what Wakefield had done, ‘and it appears they found the exact same thing that Andy Wakefield did. And when they saw it, what they decided to do was hide it and cover it up.'”
For the less knowldgeable, this quote suggests that Mr Bigfoot has not the slightest clue what he's talking about. Not the slightest.
If Wakefield does to him what he's done to previous collaborators, Mr Bigfoot will rue the day he ever got involved.
This is a flat-out lie by Mr Bigfoot. He's in on it.
“The really sad thing is the amount of doctors I’ve spoken to that say to me, ‘Del, I know that vaccines are causing autism, but I won’t say it on camera because the pharmaceutical industry will destroy my career, just like they did to Andy Wakefield.’ And that’s where we find ourselves, being bullied by an industry that doesn’t actually care about the health of our children like it should.”
the amount of doctors I’ve spoken to
"Amount"? He was measuring them by the kilogram?
Maybe he's lost his fingers in an accident and so couldn't count both of them?
(Sorry, couldn't resist)
Both being Andy and...?
I find the start date for Mr Fraudytrousers' new screening of the film to be most apt.
More likely by the pound; the principals are British or American, after all.
Plus, this unit neatly doubles the considered amount.
Now, there is this charming English saying about being weighted and found wanting...
So according to Adams people who give to good causes are evil, using the donations to cover up their true motives, whilst those who use fraud and lies to enhance their own bank balances are in contrast heroes. I can see why this vision appeals to him.
Rebecca @ 90, good catch.
OK folks, these screenings definitely deserve some insolence, up close & personal.
Yes, I'm suggesting it's worth spending the money to get one person into the Friday and Saturday 8PM showings, who can ask a carefully-worded question that will hopefully have a beneficial effect on the audience. It will need to be a different person each time. This part should be easy.
Also it's worthwhile to have a small number of demonstrators out in front with signs & leaflets, at every single showing. Two people on each side of the theater should be sufficient, though a third is recommended on each side in case someone has to take a bathroom break.
One way to arrange logistics for bathroom breaks is to recruit a friendly nearby restaurant owner, by way of "We'll all be coming in for dinner in between the evening showings, and we'd like bathroom privileges during the day." Then every evening, you get to eat out while you discuss the day's activities. This is also a potential educational opportunity with the restaurant owner as to why you're holding a demonstration.
To stay friendly with local police, you'll want to a) not block the sidewalk or traffic, b) keep the signs to a reasonable size that can be held without need of a stick, and c) not set up tables. The arrangement of three people on each side of the theater enables having two holding signs and one holding the leaflets, and improvising slightly when someone takes a break.
Suggestion: don't ask people to boycott the theater, that'll only cause hostility with the owner and regular patrons, which is a distraction from the main point of the action. There are ways to phrase the signs & leaflets that won't "go there" but will still get the message across.
The street demonstration is also a great educational opportunity for reaching the general public who aren't looking to see the film.
Wow, you guys must be really scared of what's in the film and being exposed to go to those lengths!
Oh we must be scared, must we? And there I was thinking that we're just irate that a "documentary" riddled with demonstrable falsities was going to be aired. Marsha, you've opened my eyes.
"Down with this sort of thing!"
Hellanthus @ 91: I think he was measuring doctors by the gram, as in, "A gram is better than a damn."
Re. conspiracies and networks of spies: Sure, we're a great big conspiracy and a network of insidious spies with high-tech spy gear and death-rays disguised as ball-point pens.
According to "some people," we took out Andrew Breitbart in 2012 and made it look like his bad diet & drug habits. According to "some people," when Andrew Wakefield goes to the big measles outbreak in the sky, it will have been our doing. And according to "some people," crop circles are our doing as well.
We're the same conspiracy that reminds people to wash their hands after they poop and before they prepare food or eat, reminds people to empty anything in their yard with standing water in it and keep the lids on their garbage cans, and writes bad reviews of restaurants that are infested with cockroaches, rats, flies, etc.
We are everywhere. We are legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget.
Orac has divined that you cannot be moderate in your take on vaccines; that you are either entirely pro or against. While this may frequently be the case, it isn't invariably true. Wakefield is most likely a case in point. He has utilised the anti-vax movement to help create a platform for himself (no other option is available to him). However, he is almost certainly sincere in his advocacy for a single measles vaccine. This fact is likely to create problems down the road for those extremists who cannot admit of a more moderate perspective, simply because the assumption of his position is fundamentally incorrect.
Please google "argument to moderation". You have just committed that fallacy.
No he isn't.
Wakefield only cares about Wakefield. He took money from a lawyer to build a case against the MMR Vaccine, subjected vulnerable children to invasive medical procedures to get the evidence he required (committing numerous ethical violations in the process), cooked the data when it pointed away from a vaccine autism link, attempted to set up businesses to benefit from the scare he helped engineer, including a measles vaccine he tried to create and failed to disclose his multiple conflicts of interest.
Wakefield is not sincere at all.
That is, I am given to understand, what you sell England by.
@Julian Frost: well, he *could* have been sincere about the single measles vaccine if his patent hadn't lapsed (I think that's what I read about it recently).
This is untrue. Andrew Wakefield cares about one thing only and that is to have people talking about him. That and raking in the money. The two things Andrew Wakefield cares about are having people talking about him and raking in the money and...
It was getting all Monty Pythonish there for a moment, but really Andrew Wakefield couldn't give a toss about his single measles vaccine - it was simply a means to an end. Likewise every other thing he has ever done. Have you ever stopped to wonder why all his collaborators end up getting burned? To burn one collaborator might look like carelessness, but to burn them all is a pattern of behaviour.
This 'documentary' is more of the same. Thompson is being hung out to dry by Wakefield, who has also conned Bigtree (who I suspect is covering the costs of the 'documentary' at the moment) and Andrew Wakefield doesn't care whether it gets shown or not. He has his outcome.
If Andrew Wakefield really thought this was so explosive, he would have made it available for review, but he hasn't and won't if he can help it. He doesn't want people to see the film, he wants them to talk about it. And send him donations.
Reading comprehension isn't your strong suit. Come to think of it, that is so with the vast majority of anti-vaxxers. We would Love to see Wakefield's little flick. Holding a demonstration to bring to light the rank fabrications it has =/= scared.
"[Wakefield] is almost certainly sincere in his advocacy for a single measles vaccine."
No, he was paid about a million dollars, at today's rates, to attack triple vaccines, and nothing to attack single measles vaccines.
Marsha@94: Bless your heart.
Emphasis on "his". He initially positioned himself to sell a cure of his own making for the vaccine ills he was set on discovering.
When the whole affair became wahoonie-shaped, he quickly dropped anything which could have slowed him down, including his project of an alternative measles vaccine, crossed the Atlantic, and started anew in the US.
He then jumped on the bandwagon of "Too many, too soon". And any other antivaccine bandwagon, really.
@Brian Deer (#1),
Alison Singer wrote in the article you referenced “The question of whether there is a link between autism and vaccines has been asked over and over again, and the answer is always the same – no. We don’t discuss whether the world is flat or round any more.”
Pro-vaxxers can be as radical as anti-vaxxers.
Hot date night indeed.
I can just imagine all of the downtown trendsters lining up to get into a showing of this earth-shattering marvel of directorial *je ne sais quoi*
It is getting free advertisement from prn, Natural News, AoA and other woo-tinged internet outlets.
I don't know how many of the principals of anti-vax live nearby enough to attend- TMR's Professor, AoA's Kim Stagliano, Louise Kuo Habakus and Barry Segal *et famille* of Focus Autism/ Health . Obviously alties like Null ( part time NY) and Farber will be around.
It should be quite hilarious.
Helianthus@107: So what you're telling us is Follow the Money? Shirley you're doing it wrong.
Has, if you really follow the money, you'll find charlatans like Andy and the others we discuss.
Oh, It'll be quite something, Im sure. I do hope the Q&A is challenging.
@Notchka: I tried to see what regular advanced sales ticket prices would be for Vaxxed, but no luck. And I refuse to pay to go into Manhattan, and get down to Houston St, and find they are $15+ at the door. It's way too costly for me.
Eh, following a trail of bread crumbs is a time-honored method of successful investigation.
Ideally, you have to spend a bit of time ascertaining that the one leaving the trail acquired its bread through/for nefarious purposes. The AVers are a bit fuzzy on this concept.
Some anti-science people even go so far as reproaching scientists for eating bread, trail or no trail. Must be shilling for gluten-free diet.
Notchka @ 112:
The way I'd suggest to do this is, write down your question a few days ahead, and practice reading it until you have it memorized. Then practice saying it in a conversational voice. Do it over and over until you can give a performance worthy of live theater.
The best questions are ones that cause Wakefield to have to put his foot in it bigtime, and make a fool of himself in his own words, rather than rants that come off as attacks that will cause others to sympathize with him as the victim.
For example ask about how those FDA numbers that were used to claim MMR/autism link for black kids, showed no relationship for white kids, so how do you square that with your own data claiming a relationship for white kids?, etc.
It might be useful to have someone in the audience who plays the role of a sympathizer but whose question actually has the opposite effect, for example by pitting various anti-vax factions against each other. "You can't both be right, so who should I believe?"
With good organizing, you could have a half dozen or more different people at each showing.
It might also be fun to have one very vocal skeptic from the first showing, come to the second, and upon being dis-invited at the door, thereby hand another person the opening to play sympathizer but ask about "censorship just like at Tribeca."
Think of it as political theater with a live audience;-)
As per Fandango:
@Gray Squirrel - I'm in California and won't be attending. As much as I would so adore to witness some squirming, I'm also *really* not qualified to represent.
Iiiii live in Manhattan. But I'm not sure I want to pay $15 for this nonsense...
I have a simple rule:
I absolutely refuse to spend any money on woo.
I only read material that is free or attend lectures that are free.
(The only exceptions I can think of were attending a few New Age lectures and presentations in the mid-late 1990s. I also took classes in tai chi/ martial arts and yoga - a/k/a exercise).
And yes, I have seen many woo-docudramas and read many books through the internet mostly but also libraries and book store browsing.
I wouldn't pay to see a screening that might enrich charlatans like Andy and his enablers. The film will be on the intent for free eventually.
I would advise others to not pay for crap either.
HOWEVER if people want to attend the premier on Friday, that might be free outdoor entertainment- a red carpet perhaps?
- although the forecast says thunderstorms.
It's NY, what do you expect: clear skies and sunny- that's only in the movies.
It won't be; this is Wakefraud here he's going to control the Q & A. And then use that as promo he weathered critical-analysis spectacularly. He's a performer not a scientist.
Transportation Washington DC to New York
Hotel one night in NewYork
Ticket to the premier of Vaxxed: From Cover-up to Catastrophe
The chance to give "Doctor" Wakefield a case of the red a$$
Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit comedy.
Justify your assertion. Especially since...
"The question of whether there is a link between autism and vaccines has been asked over and over again, and the answer is always the same – no."
...is not radical in any way. All the evidence we have so far gathered says that there is no link between vaccines and autism.
Notchka@83 NO NO NO, they are poisoning my favorite NYC theater that has delicious popcorn and wonderful movies. If I did not have a convention this weekend I would be there. It is on Houston and a short walk from sooo many good places to eat, just cross Houston and start wandering.
Heck, Jesse Wente was talking about this on the CBC Metro Morning show yesterday morning.
He acknowledged that film festivals generally don't like being told what to do, but neither him nor the host seemed to think this was a bad decision.
Respectfully, Orac, I'd suggest that the reasons for cutting the time of your interviews are quite different from those concerning Bigtree.
Julian Frost says (#122),
All the evidence we have so far gathered says that there is no link between vaccines and autism.
I'll be convinced when future proteomic investigations clearly show that vaccinated individuals (i.e., autistic vs. non-autistic) have similar profiles.
So far, more proteomic data needs to be gathered before we can say there is no link between vaccines and autism. :-)
@Kochanski. . . I know. I'm an ex West Villager. Lower Manhattan has a huge place my heart!
Yet another thing you are ignorant about.
The average news item runs for no more than 90 seconds. This has to include an introduction to the topic and a conclusion by the reporter, who after all is the star of the piece and gets the most time. The talent will be given a grab (or two if they are lucky) of about 10 seconds each.
It is typical to do about 10 minutes of interview for the editor to look through to find an interesting comment for the grab. Experienced interviewees take advantage of this by providing pretty much the same answer, no matter what the question is, giving the editor little choice.
Having said that if Orac did an hour long interview for a story, it might indicate he suffers as much from logorrhea IRL as on RI.
Also, the interviews to which I referred in this piece were interviews with print reporters, and were a combination of background for a story (often early in the reporter's research) and an interview looking for a quote or two. That's why a few of them were that long. Most interviews I've done are only on the order of 10-15 minutes or so. And I have developed a few talking points for various topics that I always use. :-)
Also, believe me, a reporter won't let an interview stretch to an hour unless he's getting something out of it. I've learned that, too.
Del Bigtree is a TV producer. He's probably been involved with productions containing hundreds of interview segments, all of them created in the conventional manner: footage shot over 30-60 minutes of real-time condensed to a few seconds of sound-bites. He knows the routine. His umbrage is 100% fake. Given his professional experience, his motive for doing the video was almost certainly that any cut ABC would make would give him the opportunity to scream 'Censorship' to the marks he hopes to con into either paying to see Vaxxed, or more likely to send Andy money because they can't see Vaxxed. Of which Del must be getting a nice cut.
I doubt any minions still have working irony meters at this point, but Bigtree's whine follows on the revelation that he appears as an 'interviewee' in the Vaxxed trailer, identified as a 'medical journalist', when he is quite obviously presenting scripted material as part of the fraudulent framing of William Thomspon's comments on the CDC, vaccines, the DeStephano study, etc. etc. etc. He's the producer forcrissakes. He's 'interviewing' himself. The only edits involved in that were probably picking the best takes.
Gray Squirrel ( #115) is quoted, singled out by a commenter at AoA ( on 'Tossed from Tribeca') as expressing "feeling threatened".
Right, sure, so say people who screamed, "Censorship" when the film was removed, scurried around trying to get it re-instated and failing that, sought out a theatre in which to show this wonder of cinematography.
Denise @ 131:
Ha!, funny. They introduce it with "Somebody from Respectful Insolence "Science"blog is feeling threatened:" and then quote my entire comment, no doubt a copyright violation if someone wanted to pursue it (I don't, I find it amusing as hell).
If only they knew how fully & thoroughly they were infested with spies for our side, they'd retch and get hives. Hint: a) comments that endorse outrageous conspiracy theories (AoAers don't spot those as trolling because they're likely to believe them), b) testimonial moaning with a touch of hysteria or strong entitlement (ditto), and c) repetitive remarks that cause fence-sitters to become bored and stop reading ("wheat from chaff problem").
If AoA wanted to rid themselves of our spies, it would take months of very close checking of IP addresses, times-of-day of postings, and matching of writing styles. The US Intelligence Community has attribution tools that can match identities across differing userIDs based on writing style, and it takes a ridiculously small amount of text to do it. But methinks AoA doesn't have friends in those sorts of high places to help them out, so they'll just have to guess. I'm willing to bet they'll give it some thought and decide it's too difficult, and then come up with some rationalization for doing nothing.
OK, 'nuff said, I have to go deposit my monthly check from (a Pharma that shall not be named). I'll get back to thinking up tomorrow's fool-fodder later tonight.
And what constitutes a "similar profile"? Your comment comes across as an attempt to leave an opportunity to goalpost shift.
Whether you compare autistic vs non-autistic, or vaccinated vs non-vaccinated (your phrasing is unclear), I expect you will have different proteomics profiles.
The people you will be comparing will have different medical histories, and hence a different proteome. All these extra antibodies following vaccination, to start with.
There is evidence accumulating of genetics difference between autistic and non-auisitic people. That should be reflected into their proteome as well.
And it will prove nothing regarding your pet stories.
You will still have to show a relation between whatever difference in protein content you found and a supposed vaccine/autism reaction.
Wow, thanks for the free publicity!!
As a 20 year veteran of the pharma business, what I find most darkly hilarious about pharma conspiracy theories is believing medical schools where most of the research goes on are in the pocket of "big pharma". Plenty of people in America's top research institutions are extremely anti private pharmaceutical companies. Many feel they should be in charge of how all research dollars are spent and view private pharma as competitors. Access to researchers, teachers, and administration is tightly controlled to the point of being a completely closed system to any outside influence. This same group is avid single payer advocates who feel that the government should control all healthcare both vertically and horizontally. To think that this same group of medical school administration and faculty would cover up deliberate crimes against humanity in order to increase Merck or Sanofi or any other company's profit margin is just plain idiotic. My only reasonable conclusion I can come to is that the conspiracy theorists have a common closed head injury history.
The reality is a lot simpler than a head injury.
These people are so invested in their version of events being the "TRUTH" that the only way that can conceive that someone with expertise disagrees is that person must have been bought off by the enemy. The alternative does not bear thinking about or the whole house of cards will come crashing down.
Susceptibility to which is caused by vaccines (inter alia), BTW.
True AoA logic on display there.
Over here, where we have that horrible socialised NHS, every NHS employee and those of university medical schools (if they aren't NHS employees - there can be an overlap) are bound by all manner of policies and protocols about declaring any hospitality or gifts received, even down to a box of chocolates, with disciplinary action up to and including dismissal hanging over them...
That and the drugs company reps had their hospitality budgets removed quite a few years ago...
But a few inconvenient facts have never bothered the CT types.
I mean, I personally am part of The Big Pharma Conspiracy (former nurse), The Moon Landing Fake Conspiracy (one of my geology lecturers had one of the first samples of lunar rock in the UK), The GMO Conspiracy (a mate worked for the John Innes Institute - he's a plant biochemist), probably the AGW Conspiracy (I have an environmental sciences degree and have friends who are climatologists) and who knows what else...
It appears that Andy & company had a "successful Q and A" yesterday after VAXXED's premier at the Angelika Theatre.
@ delbigtree links to 15 minute you tube coverage of this earth shattering event.
The participants include AJW, Bigtree, Polly Tommey and Brian Hooker. We learn that Del met Andy at a fundraiser in LA and later quit his job in television in order to make the film- he compares the scandal to Watergate.
There is a smattering of applause that leads me to believe that the audience was not in the hundreds: the camera briefly pans around the theatre - I'm guessing that I could count back about 10 rows of seats. One question is asked and not really answered.
Supposedly, there will be 4 Q and As - two Friday and two Saturday. Oh joy more you tube videos. Another person named Jaxon IIRC is now involved as well ( as MC?)/
Andy wears a high priced leather jacket and Polly wears a sleeveless LBD. They'd better! It's NY.
"Several dozen people (and more than a handful of reporters) arrived for the first showing of “Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe”"
In addition to the NYT news story, coverage so far:
IndieWire: 'Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe' is Designed to Trick You
Hollywood Reporter. "Absorbing but unpersuasive."
Daily Beast: I Watched the Anti-Vaxx Doc Booted from TriBeCa Film Festival and It Was Insane
Guardian: One-sided film leaves the elephant in the room
Guardian: Controversial Vaxxed film premieres in New York despite scientists' outcry
Guardian: Vaxxed: an expert view on controversial film about vaccines and autism
Todd Drezner's Open Letter to Cinema Libre
Drezner's pro-vaccine, pro-neurodiversity documentary Loving Lampposts was distributed by Cinema Libre.
Nothing from Anna Merlan at Jezebel yet.
@ Joewv #137, all that matters is that once I view vaccines as beneficial against disease, and stick needles into kids, I'm an uneducated stooge for "big pharma".
I just wish this "big pharma" would pick up my "big edu" loan tab for all the uneducation.
Just to finish this up- although I'm sure we'll hear more-
the woo-enabler I mentioned is Jeffery Jaxen and he includes various clips of the shlockumentary Q and A at his twitter crapperia
That should be JEFFEREY Jaxen
he's an independent journalist or it that
Indie Journo/ Indy Journoe?
he has a website and various other self-promotion
Also TMR features an article and a review- by the Professor
I saw a comment on AoA or maybe Facebook, in which someone asked, seriously, whether nurses receive kickbacks for every vaccine administered. Blows me away.
As I tend to do, I'm curating a list of all the reviews of the film.
I really want to watch it with Matt Carey.
Something tells me the film really needs a Rifftrax :)
Joel Hodgson is bringing MST3K back for a handful of episodes, but he already has a list of 'candidates'. Maybe there will be a second season of the reboot.
A few additions:
I surveyed a few anti-vax sites and twitter - including the video Liz links, Luke Rudkowski- and I noticed:
- a rather long line for the evening premier ( a quick guess would be 200 people-
- Ginger Taylor ( I think) posing with AJW
- a better view of the theatre's layout ( I had said I could see 10 rows back) it looks like a long narrow set up- perhaps 20 rows?
Today's prn.fm noon woo-fest featured the incredibly ageless** host's latest article, " I'm Jumping on the Vaxxed Bandwagon"** -
I only heard the last 20 minutes ( mercifully, my other work keep me away from the start - but it'll be posted for your amusement)
wherein the woo-meister said that RFK jr said that De Niro told him he was pressured or suchlike by whomever.
** I'm joking
Erin Elizabeth would like your money to help make a movie about the Holistic Doctor Deaths:
Scene from the upcoming movie on Holistic Doctor Deaths
It appears Robert De Niro regrets pulling the film.