3/05/2010

Age of Autism: And the Disconnect Causes Massive Implosions

Today, at AoA, readers experienced a rush of cognitive dissonance so intense that massive neuronal death ensued. Proving that AoA presents a classic FAIL at every turn, Dan Olmsted authored on one single solitary day, two separate pieces that took what was left of any integrity he had and tossed it into the incinerator (hint, there really wasn't any left). In addition, it rendered mute the question as to whether he was aware of the concept of self-justification past the point of absurdity.

First, he penned with Blaxill a piece that having read it first, had me all but laughing hysterically and wetting myself simultaneously when I scrolled down to the next entry. Entitled Scandal Looms Over Key Scientist In Danish Mercury Autism Study, it details the potential conflicts that might exist because a researcher held employment at two universities.  Blaxill and Olmsted are up in arms because a scientist worked for a second university (against the first university's regulations); because of this, the study that dismisses thimerosal/autism concerns is out, at least according to Blaxill and Olmsted.  Why, then, surely this is where they both admit that Wakefield is toast, right? Hah, you know them too well, don't you, to fall for that trick?

Then, flying solo, Olmsted pens this piece of work on why Wakefield is a hero: "What, exactly, did Dr. Andrew Wakefield do wrong?" Oh, cry me a river, will you? You gotta love this piece of nonsense:

And now we’ve sunk to the seventh circle of journalism hell – based on this slapdash and slipshod reporting, the media says the entire debate over vaccines and autism has been settled. Nothing to see here. Please move along.

Right, blogpost above, you've decided that Thorsen is toast, but here, because Wakefield is YOUR guy, it's all bad reporting. In fact, Olmsted writes (and all our heads should implode here upon reading this tortuous line of reasoning):

So, again, what exactly did Wakefield do wrong? We fail to see a problem here. The paper as published meets every test of transparency we can imagine – including the comment that the self-referrals by the parents raised the risk of a chance pattern. To reel in horror 12 years later over a non-randomized, cherry-picked, biased report that might have been due to chance – well, it makes you want to puke.

Note, he was writing solo here, so who's this magesterial we?

See, AoA: epic fail on all accounts. You cannot roast someone for working two jobs against the guidelines of one of the employers and decide that's a reason to reject a study on the very same day you contort yourself into believing Wakefield did nothing wrong and the case series you've used for years as proof it's vaccines says nothing of the sort. You could have at least had two different people pen the pieces. Olmsted must have had a massive headache as he wrote the two pieces. Or, perhaps he was laughing maniacally, sort of ala The Shining?

16 comments:

Clay said...

Any way of finding out how much these guys get paid to write this stuff? When "Deep Throat" said, "Follow the money!", it was good advice.

Hey, I wonder how much I could get for selling out? ;-)

kathleen said...

heehee.."All work and no play makes olmstead a dull boy" "All work and no play makes Olmstead a dull boy" "All work and no play makes olmstead a dull boy"
Yeah, the "Shining" reference works for me..

Science Mom said...

What were you just saying about the screaming and stomping by the AoA crowd and the cognitive dissonance in the wake of Wakers?

I'm certainly curious about Dr. Thorson, but I'm sure not going to get that information from AoA, thankyouverymuch. The double-standard they apply really is gut-busting.

Clay said...

With apologies to Donna Summer -

He works hard for the money,
So hard for the money.
He works hard for the money,
So you better treat him right!

He works hard for the money,
So hard for it, honey.
He works hard for the money,
Telling how autism bites!

Jonboy there, in his old bedroom,
Just where he always is.
And it's strange to him how
Some people seem to have everything.
Nine AM on the hour hand,
He's just now going to bed,
He's been up all night,
Writing all about his Hell.
And he's looking real shabby,
Almost worse than his smell.

He works hard for the money,
So hard for it, honey.
He works hard for the money,
Telling how autism bites!

He works hard for the money,
So hard for it, honey.
He works hard for the money,
Selling out autistic goals!

Fifty four years have come and gone,
And he's seen a lot of fears,
Coming true for him,
'Cause that's just what they do.
He's lost all his jobs,
And SSI's just not coming through.
Tired of asking his dear old mom
For a little pocket change,
So a deal with Generation Rescue
Was soon arranged.

He works hard for the money.
So hard for it, honey.
He works hard for the money,
Telling how autism bites!

He works hard for the money,
So hard for it, honey.
He works hard for the money,
Selling out autistic goals!

It's a sacrifice, working day to day,
But it's what he has to do to earn his pay.
He's a college educated snob,
Much too good for a blue-collar job.
So he writes his tale of woe -
Wearing pajamas!

Already knows, he's seen some bad times.
Already knows, there will be worse times.
All he can do,
Is to sell out,
He always will,
For that almighty dollar bill!

He works hard for the money,
So hard for it, honey.
He works hard for the money,
Telling how autism bites!

Belinda the Nobody said...

All I can do is shake my head in puzzlement, when it comes to stuff like this. :/

And I never watched The Shining, but I read the book... so I maybe-sort of get what you mean.


(BTW, love the new blog look.).

olmsted.dan@gmail.com said...

Hi Countering Folks! Can I offer a minor correction? I'm 57, not 54. Best, Dan Olmsted

kathleen said...

Kim, I love that you have a site where people can express their opinions or maybe correct or add information..and you don't moderate...it is refreshing.

Clay said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
KWombles said...

Ahhhh, Dan, I was initially confused as to the whole age thing, but I see where you got it from. I believe Clay is parodying another individual, not you.

Welcome to Countering; we're always glad to chat with opposing viewpoints.

KWombles said...

Ah, Clay, be nice. :-) Dan will think we don't welcome folks here to comment and share.

Clay said...

Okay, schoolmistress says "Be Nice", so I will. Come on back, Dan, we'd like to talk with you.

olmsted.dan@gmail.com said...

sure, let's talk. -- dan

Science Mom said...

Dan, How do you reconcile calling into question the studies Thorson co-authored, presumptively based upon his having 2 posts and funding discrepancies, with all that Wakefield has done and been proved in numerous professional and legal venues?

Clay said...

Hey Dan,
Can you answer my original question, and just give us a ballpark figure on how much they paid you for the article? I'm retired, and looking to make a little extra money. I might want to join you and Kirby, Kim S. and Jakeboy as a contributor to AoA. I'm already on several blog aggregators, so I have a bit of 'reach'. Let me know.

KWombles said...

We're going to have to conclude that when Dan wrote we could talk that he meant into the wind, not that he'd actually answer any questions.

Still waiting for AoA to run that they don't actually have any substantiating information on Thorsen, just the post from a less than reputable site. Sure, there are a couple of newspaper articles alleging that a researcher has vanished and that there appear to be funds missing. But once again, the researcher isn't named. The supposed release from the university can be found only at The Flu Case.

Hey, that's AoA for you: where facts don't get in the way.

David said...

So how does "flucase" go from "Thorsen had a second secret job" to "a hidden bias in the studies and undermine the scientific case for thiomersal." Why would a researcher having a second job (which is a very common practice) reflect on his conduct in a paper? And if there is a conflict of interest behind joint employment, why would it have anything to do with thimerosal?