Autism News Beat

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Entries Tagged as 'Critical thinking'

Vaccine Rejectionism Spectrum Disorder

March 26th, 2011 · 19 Comments · Critical thinking

“Anti-vaccine doctor met with Somalis” went a recent headline in the Minneapolis StarTribune. It refers to Andrew Wakefield, the disgraced former UK physician who reanimated a moribund anti-vaccine movement in the US and elsewhere with his fraudulent 1998 Lancet paper. Wakefield was in the Twin Cities last week to reassure Minnesota’s 70,000-strong Somali population that [...]

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More evidence against autism epidemic

February 4th, 2011 · 14 Comments · Critical thinking

A basic tenet of America’s ill-conceived and foundering anti-vaccine movement holds that autism diagnoses have risen to epidemic proportions. Among the faithful, this imagined increase is “the initial fork in the road in the autism debate,” one that colors their entire understanding of autism. But is the increase real, or an artifact of how autism [...]

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AMC says no to shouting fire in a crowded theater

November 21st, 2010 · 6 Comments · Critical thinking, Urban legend

AMC has killed plans to screen an anti-vaccine group’s paid ads at dozens of theaters over Thanksgiving weekend. The theater giant’s announcement followed a successful protest and online petition started five days ago by Mayo Clinic pediatrician Dr. Robert Jacobson. After more than 1,000 persons backed Jacobson’s call, an AMC spokesperson left this online message [...]

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Vaccine rejectionism’s fresh start

November 3rd, 2010 · 6 Comments · Critical thinking, Junk science

Anti-vaccine groups are calling for a “fresh start” in their campaign to turn parents against childhood immunizations. Editors and reporters can expect to be plied with the same old whine, disguised in new bottles. “For too long, the media has misrepresented or oversimplified the science surrounding the autism and vaccines controversy,” says the fringe anti-vaccine [...]

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Penn and Teller drop a dime
on the anti-vaccine movement

August 13th, 2010 · 23 Comments · Critical thinking

OK, it’s funny and entertaining. But Penn and Teller’s skewed take on the phony vaccine/autism controversy sure beats the false balance that dominates the news and entertainment industry these days.

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Tribune’s “Dubious Medicine”
series wins another award

July 7th, 2010 · 1 Comment · Critical thinking

The Chicago Tribune has earned honorable mention from the The Casey Medals for Meritorious Journalism for its year-long series on unproven and potentially harmful “treatments” for autism. Reporters Trine Tsouderos, Patricia Callahan, and George Papajohn “courageously challenge doctors who peddle alternative autism remedies to parents desperate for help,” said Casey’s press release “Through inquisitive, fact-based [...]

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FDA says diet supplements must be edible

June 24th, 2010 · 5 Comments · Critical thinking, Kudos

Add “snake oil salesman” to Boyd Haley’s list of public descriptors. The chemistry professor and anti-vaccine activist has been warned by the FDA that his erstwhile diet supplement, OSR#1, is a toxic brew with potentially serious side effects. The Chicago Tribune’s Trine Tsoudeos reports that a June 17 letter from the FDA “details five violations [...]

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Lauer asks Wakefield: “Is that it?”

May 24th, 2010 · 7 Comments · Critical thinking

It’s been a very bad day for Andrew Wakefield, the disgraced UK gastroenterologist famous for birthing the latest wave of vaccine rejectionism. First, the General Medical Council stripped Wakefield of his license to practice medicine. Then, in an ill-advised effort to salvage his public image, Wakefield sat down for an interview with an irritable Matt [...]

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Old news in a shiny package

December 20th, 2009 · 12 Comments · Critical thinking, Miseducation

Friday’s long-awaited release of the CDC’s autism prevalence report revealed a long-ignored, disturbing trend: our news and entertainment media still don’t get it. ”Autism affects about 1 in every 110 American children, a 57 percent increase over the last estimate in 2002,” said the Philadelphia Inquirer. “The new data represent a 50% increase from two [...]

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Michael Specter on The Daily Show

December 4th, 2009 · 3 Comments · Critical thinking, Kudos

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c Michael Specter www.thedailyshow.com Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Health Care Crisis Add Michale Specter’s name to the anti-vaccination movement’s enemies list. The New Yorker magazine columnist and science writer is promoting his book, Denialism, where he gives vaccine rejectionism a deserved whack [...]

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