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Dear Mr. King: Please show some skepticism

December 20th, 2008 · 5 Comments · Easy marks, Junk science, Useful idiots

Larry King Live’s program featuring anti-vaccine activists Jenny McCarthy, Stan Kurtz and J.B. Handley, originally scheduled for today, has been postponed. In the meanwhile, you can let the show’s producers know what questions you would like to hear McCarthy, Handley and Kurtz answer. You can email your questions and comments to:   larrykingguests@cnn.com .

Here are some suggestions:

Dear Mr. King:

As well intentioned as you may be, you are not doing children any favors when you invite Jenny McCarthy and her friends to spread misinformation about vaccines and autism. McCarthy’s most basic claims are unsupportable, and her statements about vaccine ingredients are demonstrably false. But that has not discouraged some in the news and entertainment media from handing McCarthy unchallenged public forums to repeat her baseless allegations.

If you do invite McCarthy back, could you please ask her some challenging questions so that parents can better decide if she is qualified to speak for them? Here are a few that come to mind:

  • Who is your medical science adviser? Did he/she tell you that vaccines contain anti-freeze and ether?
  • How do you define “recovery” from autism?
  • When you refer to the “explosion” in autism diagnoses over the last 25 years, are you referring to autistic disorder only, or all pervasive development disorders?
  • Most of today’s 3-5 year olds have never received a vaccine containing thimerosal. So why haven’t ASD diagnoses fallen among that cohort?
  • Formaldehyde is a natural bi-product of single carbon metabolism, and the quantities found in an infant’s blood are several times greater than what is contained in any five pediatric vaccines combined. Why do you believe that formaldehyde, in the quantities found in vaccines, is harmful?
  • Is Evan’s autism diagnosis medical or educational?
  • How does Evan’s “recovery” from autism affect his status as an Indigo Child?

Questions for Mr. Kurtz:

  • As a high school drop out, are you concerned that you may not have the necessary science education and background to fully appreciate the complexities of immunology, pediatric neurology, toxicology, and other scientific disciplines?
  • What is the status of DAN!’s relationship with the American Academy of Pediatrics? Are you still optimistic that unproven bio-medical treatments for autism will soon go “mainstream”?

Questions for Mr. Handley:

  • You recently wrote in the comment section of a skeptical science blogger that the other side is winning, since most research dollars are going to projects that are unsupported by groups such as Generation Rescue. Why has the mainstream science community so roundly rejected your claims?
  • Why have you never offered solid proof that children have “recovered” from autism? How do you define recovery?
  • You claim that the symptoms of autism are nearly identical to the symptoms of mercury poisoning. It is well documented that fetal exposure to mercury leads to microcephaly in infants. But in autism, head and brain sizes are larger than in neurotypical infants. How do you explain this?

Please do the autism community a favor and show some skepticism.

Thank you.

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5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 TannersDad // Dec 20, 2008 at 1:13 pm

    I know we do not see eye to eye but your comments are generally well thought out and I do not believe you are trying to hurt children. I would like all sides represented on Tuesday so please stop by. Maybe you can ask some of these questions directly to them.

    I have volunteered to be moderator and host for the Obama-Biden Tansition Project Autism Health Care Community Discussion. There is a very limited time to make and impact on this discussion. I came up with hosting a Autism Health Twitter day to have a discussion with all stakeholders. We will have a great day because the word is out. You could help us make it a impactful day to parents by helping us get the word out. Please if you could post anything about Autism and Healthcare then mention Autism Health Care twitter day on Dec 23 all day. I would really appreciate it.
    Thanks,
    Tim

    Press Release:
    Autism and Healthcare twitter day December 23rd all day #HHS Tom Daschle invited Tanners Dad / Tim Welsh will be the Autism / Healthcare Community Discussion Host and Moderator. Sign onto twitter. Search for #HHS and post your comments and answers to questions.

    No prizes no games no tinsel Just a conversation for families fighting for children with Autism. Be There Tues Dec 23 ALL DAY Obama wants to know.

    http://www.causecast.org/member/tanners-dad

    Regards,
    Tim
    TimWelsh/TannersDad
    Autism Advocate
    http://www.causecast.org/member/tanners-dad
    http://twitter.com/TannersDad
    http://www.linkedin.com/in/tannersdadtimwelsh

  • 2 autblog // Dec 20, 2008 at 4:31 pm

    It’s hard to see what can be accomplished by exposing Sen. Daschle to your anti-vaccine rhetoric, other than to demonstrate just how toxic and undisciplined your movement is. Tim, the science is in – there is no known association between vaccines and autism. You only damage your credibility by repeating Jenny McCarthy’s talking points, or cherry picking long long-discredited “studies”.

    Rest assured that the evidence-based side of the debate will be heard Tuesday.

  • 3 TannersDad // Dec 20, 2008 at 6:32 pm

    I am not going to be there to represent the “Anti-vaccine Rhetoric ” group. I am going to be there as an impartial moderator and host. Ok a little partial to getting funding for meaningful therapies, services and respite. Those things have nothing to do with the cause debate. You play nice and I will play nice. I will do my best to subdue anyone who gets on a soapbox.

    My goal is to have us show a united front in the quest to fix a broken healthcare system. It is broken for you and me. It is non existent on a national level for those families dealing everyday with Autism. There will be a lively discussion. If we all show up for a few minutes we could impact the reform of the system for our children. Thank you for letting me post my information here.

  • 4 autblog // Dec 20, 2008 at 7:13 pm

    Good luck controlling Jenny’s mob. That’s what she calls her supporters you know – a mob.

    Yes, it would be nice if we could work together. We could all do better for kids with ASD. But you have to understand, these notions that vaccines cause autism; that we are seeing an autism epidemic; that vaccines contain anti-freeze and ether; that the CDC, AMA, FDA, and AAP are actively covering up the deliberate poisoning of 80 million children – well, it’s kind of a distraction.

  • 5 Patrick // Dec 24, 2008 at 2:36 pm

    Cause debate?

    A Debate will not show cause, regardless of the outcome, what a useless peice of grandstanding.

    Well done studies should.
    ————————————-

    Thanks Admin, I hate to see PR overload driving what should be a Science/Medicine issue.

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