How to end a scientist’s career with some fancy editing

I’ve been taking extra strength exedrin today, all day. I have this nagging headache. See, I get these headaches when I hear people lying. It’s like a superpower, except that it hurts worse as I hear more stupidity. The “Thinking Moms” decided that they were going to have a “Twitter Party.” Well, they don’t know how twitter works. They thought that creating an echo chamber of anti-vaccine people repeating the same hashtag (#CDCwhistleblower) would make said hashtag trend and attract regular Twitter users to their message of anti-vaccine madness. That’s not how it works. For something to trend and be featured on Twitter, you need to have a lot of individual people using that hashtag in their conversation. A dozen people writing it a thousand times has an impact factor of 12, whereas twelve-thousand people tweeting it just once has an impact factor of 12,000.

My headache only got stronger when I was directed to this video from who else but the “Autism Media Channel”:

(I wonder how many autistics work at the Autism Media Channel?)

Anyway, the video is more fancy editing from Andrew Jeremy Wakefield and his team. This time, we get to hear more snips and soundbites attributed to one Dr. William Thompson. As much as the anti-vaccine activists have been demanding that Dr. Thompson come out into the open and make some sort of a statement, no one seems to demand that Andrew Jeremy Wakefield and his team publish the entire recorded conversation between Brian Hooker and Dr. Thompson. All we get are lies and innuendo. We have operatives like Ginger Taylor writing on Twitter that CDC deliberately didn’t look at birth certificates for African-American babies in the DeStefano study. Others keep repeating that the DeStefano study is like the Tuskegee study, where African-American men were deliberately denied penicillin when they had syphilis. It’s not.

Still others are saying that this is yet another form of abuse of African-Americans by the government, then they compare it to the unrest happening in Missouri. The even use imagery from the riots and of the teenager killed in Ferguson by a police officer. Again, autism to the anti-vaccine crowd is just like murder, just like death.

Yet none of them demand that Andrew Jeremy Wakefield release all the tapes. If I were running his public relations machine, I would probably do the same. Release little bits, edited ones, ones taken out of context, all to feed the masses who clamor for evidence where there is none, all to keep them worshipping their god. And it wouldn’t matter to me if I destroyed a scientist’s career, as long as the donations kept coming in and the sheeple kept up their deification and sanctification of Andrew Jeremy Wakefield, the godhead, and Brian S. Hooker, the priest.

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8 thoughts on “How to end a scientist’s career with some fancy editing

  1. Dr. William Thompson CDC Senior Scientist is the whistleblower. Audio tape has him stating he was sorry for cooking the data and not only that, he states how dangerous and absurd to give a Flu Shot to a pregnant woman. He also states he would never allow his wife to have one.

    Thompson’s official statement was released through his Cincinnati attorney, Rick Morgan.
    The key piece in Thompson’s statement is:

    “I regret that my coauthors and I omitted statistically significant information in our 2004 article published in the journal Pediatrics. The omitted data suggested that African American males who received the MMR vaccine before age 36 months were at increased risk for autism. Decisions were made regarding which findings to report after the data were collected, and I believe that the final study protocol was not followed.”

    “My concern has been the decision to omit relevant findings in a particular study for a particular sub group for a particular vaccine. There have always been recognized risks for vaccination and I believe it is the responsibility of the CDC to properly convey the risks associated with receipt of those vaccines.”

    Everything else in Thompson’s statement is backfill and back-pedaling and legal positioning and self-protection.

    But this part, this is big. Within Thompson’s community of researchers and the general world of medical research and publishing, people know what it means.

    It means major fraud.

    Thompson, a co-author of the 2004 study, published in the prestigious journal Pediatrics, is admitting to egregious fraud. Cooking the data.

    If you must resort to name calling (lunatics, anti-vaccine etc) than you’ve lost the debate. Name calling is the last refuge of the out argued.

    • While it is frequently true that name calling and other ad hominem attacks do mark the loser in a dispute, there is another thing to consider.
      There are times when one is merely annotating asshattery on the part of the opponent. In this case, hacking an interview to the point where context is lost and what was played back is opposite to what was actually said.

      What is actually notable is that the good doctor has qualms as to the quality of the now redacted study.
      But, you ignore that in favor of some mythical monster under the bed. Something utterly absent in every peer reviewed and replicated study ever conducted by modern medical science.
      For, the only monster under the bed is a dust bunny, if one is deficient in routine cleaning.

  2. Pingback: Online discussions discussing the recent CDC data “reanalysis” story | Left Brain Right Brain

  3. It’s pathetic how they can’t find their whistle blower, and their own whistling echoes like nails on a chalk board down the hallucinogenic halls of anti-vaccine lunacy.

  4. Meanwhile back in the real world genuine scientists are studying the genetic markers which (unlike vaccines) genuinely are associated with autism.

  5. ” Nearly as bad as riding herd over a bunch of Privates in the Army.” Speakng as someone who has been both in the military and in IT: Privates are cinch compared to engineers.

    I do wish Dr Thompson would emerge from the shadows, if only to sue the pants off someone.

  6. I can think of other descriptive words to describe those two, but such language is not for use in polite and mixed company.

    As for their Twitter party, well, when a small group of twits get together and Twitter, twaddle is the result.*

    As for getting headaches from lies, bovine defecation uttered by the intellectually obtuse or other inanities uttered by the village idiot, well, I’d be long dead from status migrainosus. I have long worked in IT and have, for quite some number of years now, worked in information assurance.
    Information assurance, for those unacquainted with the term, is network/systems/information security. We’ve heard pretty much, “It All” and as a former system administrator/network administrator and also former PC tech/help desk type, I *have* heard it all.
    Interestingly enough, I’ve worked with many men and women who were well within the autism spectrum. Asperger syndrome is quite well represented in IT career fields, especially in systems and network administration.
    Very bright in the technical, merry hell to ride herd over supervising and keeping on task.
    Nearly as bad as riding herd over a bunch of Privates in the Army.
    Nah, nowhere near as bad as *that*. 😉

    *I honestly have never, *ever* thought I’d use the word twaddle in a sentence.

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