All opinions and views stated on this site belong solely to Corina Lynn Becker, and do not represent or reflects the views and opinions of any organizations, unless otherwise specified.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Methinks thou dost Project too Much

Really, I was going to work on other articles, like the review I've been poking at for the past month, or the draft of an article on burnout, but this honestly needs a response from me, because honestly, these people need to get their metaphors straight.

a lovely little exercise

As Orac has put it, Kim Stagliano of the Age of Autism has put up this lovely little gem of projection entitled "Harvard and CNN Report on Lower than Expected H1N1 Vaccine Uptake". (edit: apparently AoA has pulled the post off the net. Too late though). It is, as I see it, a beautiful merging of self-congratulations and self-indulgent, self-proclaimed righteous outrage. It's also a lovely little exercise in dodging responsibility by projecting blame onto someone else, based on one's own grand illusions and paranoid hallucinations. Otherwise known as scapegoating.

Let's take a look, shall we?

First, dear Ms. Stagliano reports the findings on American vaccination rates by Harvard and CNN, and directs this towards Dr. Offit:
Despite your use of ad campaigns, non-profit pharma groups, pretty movies stars, curvy pop singers, NPR, The Chicago Tribune, the LA Times, The New York Times, press releases, a new science-based autism organization, magazines, the book publishing industry, and more, the majority of Americans surveyed by The Harvard School of Public Health are not convinced of the safety or necessity of the H1N1 vaccine:
She then launches into a self-indulgent rant on how Dr. Offit is blaming "anti-vaxxers" (oh, yes they are) for the decline in the vaccination rates, and how it's really Dr. Offit's fault because of his and the government's "strong arm tactics", that are backfiring.

one of the few doctors

Of course, this is based on the assumption that Dr. Offit is the "self-annointed face of public health and vaccination in America", and thus backed by the pharmaceutical companies that make vaccines and the government. This assumption is based on what? The fact that Dr. Offit, a vaccine inventor, is speaking up to advocate for vaccines and against the myth that vaccines cause autism?

Uuuuuummmm, right. Assumptions based on ... very little.

Look, if Dr. Offit is "self-annointed", that means that he's an independent, and thus is not actually employed by anyone to promote vaccines. Dr. Offit, if I remember correctly, and according to his website:
Paul A. Offit, MD is the Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases and the Director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Dr. Offit is also the Maurice R. Hilleman Professor of Vaccinology, and a Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.
While he WAS (as in, past tense) a member of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, DOES (present tense) publish books, and HAS (past tense) received awards for his work, he is NOT (negative) employed as a spokesperson, PR staff or any other funding for his advocacy. The reason why he gets a lot of media attention is due to the fact that he's one of the few doctors who is willing to stand up to the self-righteous paranoia of the anti-vax crowd. Given the responses he's had from the anti-vax crowd, I can see why not too many doctors would do what he has done. After all, who wants to receive harassing phone calls and death threats?

a reluctance to be responsible

Moving along though, Ms. Stagliano makes some interesting comparisons, comparing the anti-vax crowd to "ragtag colonials" and the vaccine-advocates as "Red Coats" (makes me wonder who the "natives" would be... hmmm....), and then claims that if a deadly disease was to break out, it would be Dr. Offit's fault:
Here's my real concern. What if there is an anthrax attack on American soil? Or a biological attack that could be thwarted with a vaccine? ... If such an attack happens, will the nation hold you responsible for having diminished the public's trust in vaccines? I think that's entirely possible. And dangerous. What a legacy.

So apparently because of his "strong arm tactics", and not because of a group of people who are convinced that vaccines are more harmful than the diseases, Ms. Stagliano thinks that Dr. Offit should be held responsible if the public distrusts vaccines should a biological attack that could be thwarted with a vaccine, occurs.

... Right.

Have I mentioned that Dr. Offit is an independent when it comes to advocating vaccines? That really, all he's doing is education and awareness? Yet HE is suppose to be responsible because THEY feel that vaccines are dangerous and IF a biological attack completely out of his control happens?

For the record... no. As mature adults, these people are responsible for themselves. So, if they, after reading all the information, decide not to vaccinate themselves or their children, it's THEIR responsibility. Not Offit's.
Thus, Offit would not be blamed. They would. No amount of immature scapegoating and blame shifting is going to change the fact that they consciously made that decision.

Of course, Ms. Stagliano doesn't it that way:
As much as I'd like to think that 28% of the American population reads Age of Autism and visits our sponsors' sites, I can assure you that's not the case. Your message has failed. Think Shakespeare, Dr. Offit. Too much protest.
Yes, Ms. Stagliano, because Age of Autism consists of the entire anti-vax population and all the anti-vax propaganda in the entire country. I'm sorry, but despite your arrogance and self-indulgence, AoA is not the only anti-vax site out on the Internet, or the only outlet for anti-vax stories. As we have seen, the media does love a good story, has been very willing to pick up on tragic stories, and has picked up on anti-vax stories. Sorry, but while you are anti-vax, you are not the only ones. So it's not just you.

And I doubt that Dr. Offit is protesting too much when you're projecting so much. I mean, really. This kind of projecting indicates a reluctance to be responsible for one's own actions, coupled with inflated sense of self-importance that hinges on the delusional.

not very good at paying attention

Lastly, Ms. Stagliano makes a stab at being seen as reasonable:
Your brutal attacks on the the autism community as the source of all your ills is untoward and grossly out of synch with your message of protecting children. Our children are human beings too. Yes, we have raised serious questions about their health as it relates to vaccine injury. And yes, we have questioned your livelihood by doing so. But a pediatrician is supposed to care for all children, not simply the ones whose parents agree to full vaccination sans questions.
Hmm... Dr. Offit isn't attacking the autism community. Dr. Offit is, at worse/best, attacking the anti-vaxxers. How do I know this? Because, I happen to know that there is a good sized group of autistic people and parents of autistics who support Dr. Offit and are not anti-vaxxers.

Also strangely enough, Dr. Offit got into the field of vaccines in order to care for all children, which Ms. Stagliano would know if she bothered to pay attention to any of Dr. Offit's biography.

Here's also a funny thing. Ms. Stagliano claims that autism is a vaccine injury and that "our children", assumedly autistic children, are human beings too, and yet she's not very good at paying attention to the autistic adults who also should be included in the "autism community". And I'm not just talking about dear Craig. She seems to forget the children who are human beings, grow up to be adults who are human beings too.

So, Ms. Stagliano, pay attention to someone who is also one of "[your] children" in the "autism community":

I am an autistic adult who more or less received the same vaccine schedule as children nowadays, including the MMR. By your own theories that vaccines cause autism, I am therefore a person who is "genetically predisposition" to have had my autism caused by vaccines. If you follow the conspiracy theories, then the H1N1 shots are either designed to a) kill me or b) make people autistic, regardless of age.

On October 28, at 10:47am, I received a 0.50ml dosage of Arepanrix H1N1 adjuvanted vaccine. By the toxins myths, this is full of all sorts of toxins and mercury that causes autism, and is one of the "too many" that joins all the "too soon" vaccines apparently still in me.

It's been over a month since the vaccine; still not more autistic.

Nope, just as autistic as I was before.



  1. It's back up. Maybe they did some editing?

  2. Hmm.... let me check. I have screencaps of what it was before it went down, at any rate.

  3. Nope, from what I can see, it hasn't been touched.


Remember the Code of Conduct: Be polite, Keep on topic and no spamming please!