Sharyl Attkisson and big, fat frauds

To say that Sharyl Attkisson, the former CBS reporter, has been acting a little weird lately is an understatement. It seems that she believes that there is a vast government conspiracy to keep her quiet. If that’s the case, the government is doing an awful job at it. She’s been speaking everywhere, including a testimony before the US Congress.

Her persecution complex appears to be one where she sees things happening all around her. For example, she thinks her computers at work and at home where hacked, but she never had access to the computers at CBS:

“But a report from the inspector general’s office obtained Thursday by The Associated Press said investigators found no evidence of remote or unauthorized access on her personal Apple iMac. Attkisson has also alleged that her CBS laptops were compromised, though CBS declined to make the computers available for examination…

According to the report, Attkisson provided the inspector general’s office with recorded videos showing the screen of her CBS-issued laptop.

One video showed what was determined to be a standard error prompt, the report said. A second video that showed text from a document she was creating on a Macbook laptop being deleted without her apparent involvement actually “appeared to be caused by the backspace key being struck, rather than a remote intrusion,” according to the report.

The report also said Attkisson pointed out a “suspicious” cable attached to her internet service provider’s connection box that she said may have been used to “tap” her house. But the cable was determined to be a “common cable” that could not be used to monitor or affect her phone or Internet service.”

My cable box is full of, you know, cables. I bet I’m being monitored too.

To make the conspiracy come full circle, Sharyl Attkisson also claims that there are “astroturf campaigns” out there designed to do stuff. Let her explain:

“The many ways that corporations, special interests and political interests of all stripes exploit media and the Internet to perpetuate astroturf is ever-expanding. Surreptitious astroturf methods are now more important to these interests than traditional lobbying of Congress. There’s an entire PR industry built around it in Washington.”

It’s her variation on the “Pharma Shill” gambit that anti-vaccine zealots use to cast doubt on facts supported by science. If the science is that vaccines save lives, and I tell you so, I must be getting paid by Big Pharma to say so. If a mother and another caregiver brutally murder a child with autism for no reason (BECAUSE THERE NEVER IS A REASON TO MURDER A CHILD), and I tell you that they are murderers who were misguided and misinformed by pseudo-autism-support groups whose true nature is anti-vaccine, then I must be getting paid by Big Pharma to say so.

To come up with her list of “top 10 astroturfers”, Sharyl Attkisson relied on a poll on Twitter. I’m not surprised about this because anti-vaccine advocates like Sharyl Attkisson often rely on like-minded zealots to form their opinions. Had she really conducted a proper poll, the results would have been different. I mean, if we’re going to talk about frauds, chief among them is Andrew Wakefield.

Andrew Jeremy Wakefield conducted one of the most damaging scientific frauds in the history of mankind. I’m not overstating it. He was hired by lawyers to take down a vaccine, and Andrew Jeremy Wakefield was more than happy to comply. He had a handful of kids go through some invasive medical procedures and come up with nothing to link the MMR vaccine to autism, except for his own gut feeling.

Perhaps inspired by that fraud, another big-time fraud has come up within the anti-vaccine movement:

“[T]he 37-year-old Coloradoan behind [an anti-vaccine website, Vactruth.org], Jeffry John Aufderheide, isn’t what his glossy website would have you believe. Vaccines just one of the many conspiracies in his rolodex—he’s also a 9/11 truther, gun-rights fanatic, and Infowars darling. Oh, and he lies about his time in the Navy.

The Navy discredited Aufderheide’s claim that he served as a “rescue swimmer,” stating that he actually served four years as an Information Systems Technician, Third Class. “This is all the releasable information we have,” Sharon Anderson, the Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs, told The Daily Beast in an email. According to the job description on the organization’s website, Aufderheide’s role closely resembled that of an IT guy, one who acted as “admin on mainframe computers” and “management” on internal databases. A necessary position, it’s less the life-saving Navy SEAL that “rescue swimmer” with “top secret clearance” implies.”

I’m not surprised that an anti-vaccine zealot would resort to lying in order to get people to follow him. And his zealotry doesn’t stop there:

“In May 2013, during an interview on Alex Jones’ InfoWars—who calls Aufderheide a fantastic writer that he’s been following for years—about a new government-funded mobile app that he believes is designed to track anti-vaxxers. Later in the same interview, Aufderheide claimed the polio vaccine gives people cancer. When asked by a user whether the chemicals in vaccines could affect the outcome of a person’s sexuality, he called it a “legitimate question.””

That’s right folks. I must be in love with Pedro (not her real name) because of the vaccines that I got, not because, you know, I was born this way. (I’d even be willing to entertain the other nutty idea that sexuality is guided by our experiences with the opposite sex and not the other way around.)

Then again, to Aufdeheide’s followers, the Navy must be lying in order to paint him in a bad light. I’m sure he’ll come out and show us the pictures of his days as a Navy SEAL.

As for Sharyl Attkisson’s claims about text being deleted from her documents, it’s a known issue with Microsoft Word. People have been reporting problems similar to hers for a long time now. It could be something as simple as having hit the “insert” key while writing. I’ve even had it happen once in a while. But we all must be operating well within Crosby’s Labyrinth, where things are not explained by simple phenomena that can be wrapped up in a few minutes. In this reality, it’s all one big massive conspiracy aimed to do something nefarious. I mean, the government nailed the response to Katrina so goddamned well that it is not outside the government’s ability to coordinate all these astroturfers.

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4 thoughts on “Sharyl Attkisson and big, fat frauds

  1. Pingback: This Week From The Blogroll – Anti-Vaccine Observatory

  2. Attkisson is showing clear signs of delusion regarding her self-importance. She also doesn’t seem to know or care what astroturfing really is when she accused some of it. I also can’t fathom why TEDx would give that freakshow a platform and a patina of legitimacy.

    • “Pay for play” – pretty much sums it up.

      Did you know that anyone can get a Star on the Hollywood “Walk of Fame” if you pay them enough money?

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