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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Imus Lied, Children Died

Update: Slashdot commentator eldavojohn (898314) has a better source, well documented and drawing great comments.

Nick "The Jacket" Gillespie
The Jacket at Reason's blog carries the news that many of us thought was the real truth:

The Fraud Behind Autism-Vaccination Scares

The deranged family Imus
In 1998, the British medical journal Lancet published a study linking autism to childhood vaccines authored by Andrew Wakefield and others. Last February, Lancet retracted the article amid concerns of its accuracy. In May, Wakefield was stripped of his British medical license and now another journal has wrapped up an investigation that concludes that Wakefield cooked the data for all 12 of the patients discussed in his hugely influential article.
There was a time when I could not listen to Imus in the Morning* without hearing Don, or his deranged wife Deirdre, rant about the dangers of vaccinations, specifically about Thimerosal.

As mentioned in this story, Mrs. Imus has a simpleton approach to her investigation: Follow the Money.  As PalMD points out, "following the money" is not the greatest scientific method ever created.  For one thing, those of us who are involved in science and business know that money follows success.  In the case of government money, success is measured quite differently than in the private sector.  However, the issue here is the notion that vaccine manufacturers would knowingly put poison into their products to extend the shelf life, and cause autism in children so they can make a few extra bucks.  If that were their objective, I think there are cheaper and easier ways to do it.
Wakefield and a female companion.

Following the money does come in handy when examining why someone would publish a phony report, like Andrew Wakefield did (see the Reason article for details).  His motivation was to create a report for lawyers to use as ammunition to sue vaccine manufacturers.  He profited from fraud, the lawyers profited from fraud and so did the Imus family.

This fraud has persuaded an unknown number of parents to expose their children to childhood diseases that are easily preventable with safe and plentiful modern vaccines.

This won't hurt a bit.
*The first time I heard that show was through the radio of a friend's father during rides to school.  We teased our friend that her father liked to torture children.  Years later, I had to wake to Imus, aka the Crypt Keeper while living with a much older lover and that was when I heard the nonsense about vaccine preservatives causing autism.

I have attempted to listen to it since, but just can't get into it.  Beloved likes the Bernard character on the show and that is fine, as long as I cannot hear it.