Today I'm giving thanks for the antivaccine propaganda blog Age of Autism and one of its bloggers, Julie Obradovic for giving me an utterly irresistable bit of material that I rather suspect you'll find just as amusing as I did. Of course, what made her post so irresistible to me is the very reason she's not going to be very happy with me if she sees this post. Not that I care much, I just find it amusing. You see, Julie Obradovic really, really, really doesn't like being called "antivaccine," as in hates it so much that she wrote a post bout how much she hates it and considers it a horrific injustice and wants to convince you that she and the merry band of antivaccine propagandists over at AoA aren't anti-vaccine after all. Yes, it's the old antivaccine trope, "I'm not 'antivaccine'; I'm a vaccine safety advocate," and it comes in the form of a post entitled The Trouble with the ANTI "Anti-Vaccine" Movement: How They Hijack the Issue; Distort the Facts; and Totally Miss the Point. Not content to turn the antivaccine whining up to "10," Obradovic turns it up to "11" with 11 things she finds really, really wrong with those of us who stand up for vaccine science against the likes of AoA.
It's truly hilarious reading. Well, hilarious and sad at the same time.
The most common form that torture of the English language comes in is denying they are "antivaccine" and trying to recast themselves as vaccine safety advocates, starting with Jenny McCarthy herself proclaiming herself to be "not 'antivaccine' but 'pro-safe vaccine.'" It's a lie, of course, and it's a lie that's easy to refute. All that's necessary is to ask Obradovic (or any other anti-vaccine zealot), "If you are not 'anti-vaccine,' then, please, tell us which vaccines you would give your children." In other words, make them get specific: Would you give your child the MMR? The Hib vaccine? Pertussis? Don't let her waffle; don't let her place all sorts of conditions on it. The questions should follow the form of "Do you think this vaccine is safe enough to give to your child, yes or no?" Be aware that this question may require some pushing to get an answer. Rarely am I able to get a definitive answer on the first try, because most anti-vaccine advocates are cleverer than that. They realize that I'm trying to get them to admit that they are anti-vaccine. Even so, if I ask something like, "If you had it to do all over again, would you vaccinate your child?" or "If you have another child, will you vaccinate that child?" I will usually get the candid response I'm looking for. The reason I try to make the question real now is because often antivaccine activists will retort that they vaccinated their child. That's in the past and it's a dodge. What matters is what they say now and what they would do now, not what they did or thought in the past.
As is often the case with propagandistic twisting of reality, there is a grain of truth in Obradovic's viewpoint. In an earlier post, she wrote that the "overwhelming majority of parents foregoing vaccines are actually not anti-vaccinationists." No one that I'm aware of disputes that, but it's an irrelevant observation. Most parents who don't vaccinate have been frightened by people like the bloggers at AoA claiming that vaccines cause autism and a wide variety of other chronic diseases, slamming vaccine scientists as corrupt, touting any study that they can twist into fear mongering. Because in the end, to the antivaccinationist it is about the vaccines. It's always been about the vaccines. It always will be about the vaccines. They always find a way to make their health fears be all about vaccines.
That's what I mean by "antivaccine."
Thursday, February 9, 2012
Orac on AoA's Julie Obradovic
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