Never Mind the Facts: Crosby and AoA Got a Thing for Orac

Last week, David Gorski wrote a post for Science-Based Medicine entitled "In which Dr. Gorski once again finds himself a target of the “pharma shill” gambit." In it, Gorski provided the email that Jake "I hate anyone sciency" Crosby sent him  wanting to know why Gorski didn't disclose conflicts of interest with a drug company on his blogs. Gorski, in a style, well, heck we know I'm a fan of long and winding, well known to his readers, laid out a clear case for why he had no pharma ties and hence no conflict of interest to declare. In the process, readers got a window into some of the interesting and important research Gorski is involved in.

You'd think case closed, right? That was a whole week ago and nothing from Crosby showed up on AoA. Well, that is until today, when the stupid was up top (okay, I know, if it's on AoA, it's probably gonna be stupid). 

Crosby says he's majoring in "Health: Science, Society and Policy." I find that more than a bit concerning. Perhaps he'll go the way of Ullman, huh? Totally into the woo, because it's abundantly clear he despises the science. 

I know literal thinking is a hallmark of autistic individuals. I have three highly literal thinkers in this house, so I do get it, but really? "His motto is “A statement of fact cannot be insolent,” yet the title of his blog reads “Respectful Insolence.” In other words, even he admits there are no facts on his blog." 

Ah, didn't everyone reading that just sigh deeply? I'd argue why this is wrong, but it's just so wrong it probably reached out from the screen and smacked everyone with it.

That's not even the worst of the wrong with this piece.

"He has become the online spokesperson for the vaccine industry, a member of the highly trafficked, drug-industry-sponsored “Science”Blogs where he heavily promotes the tobacco science obscuring causes of autism."

Does anyone at AoA even really believe that? I mean really? Most of Orac's stuff isn't even related to vaccines. It's a pretty diverse collection of postings on medicine and medically-related woo. I'd say, what, less than a quarter of the articles deal with AoA's mind-numbing stupidity. Heck, by proportion, I write far more frequently on AoA and damnit, I rarely get called a shill and I've never made a cent. Perhaps I need to push "the tobacco science obscuring" blah blah bullshit.

"Posting under the science fiction name “Orac,” David Gorski has become the most outspoken, self-styled “skeptic” in defense of mercury that exceeds EPA limits in vaccines."

Yeah, I've so often noted Orac saying we should put more mercury in shit. Can't get enough of that mercury. Dumbass. I mean really. He isn't the only blogger out there who points out that there is sufficient scientific research out there showing that there is no connection between thimerosal and autism. Hell, I just read a study the other day on that (Aschner and Ceccatelli, 2010). Aschner and Ceccatelli's conclusion: "The conclusion is that there are no reliable data indicating that administration of vaccines containing thimerosal is a primary cause of autism." But why let science stand in the way of wackawoo?

"Another example of a cause of autism he vehemently denies is the MMR - the triple, combined live-virus vaccine implicated in measles virus infection in the ileum, peripheral blood mononuclear cells, and cerebrospinal fluid of children who have autistic enterocolitis." That might be because there is no such thing as autistic enterocolitis, bud, and because your good friend Wakefield was dishonest and unethical and the studies he says back him up don't actually do so. But, why let science get in the way of wackawoo beliefs?

Crosby then goes on to weave a really frakked up web that because the company that manufactures the drug Gorski is using in his research (a drug not being provided by said company, nor is the research being paid for by the company) is in partnership with Gorski's university, Gorski is in cahoots with and "has undisclosed financial ties to the vaccine industry". 

Bullshit. I mean, really, that is what it boils down to, isn't it? Crosby went on for another 2,420 tortured words that proved only that logic, reason, and reality are not on Crosby's radar. It's a painful, pointless read, and having read through the excrement twice now, I can see no purpose served in hashing it out a third time when a simple bullshit rebuts those 2,420 words. 

Gorski provides a bio with conflicts of interest at Science-Based Medicine. If readers are concerned, they can read Gorski's disclaimers there. They can read his preemptive response to Crosby's bullshit there as well (linked at the top of the post). The truth is that science-based readers had already read those, and that the AoAers could give a shit and will twist it to suit their needs.

Anyone who doubts their stories, points out the studies, points out the holes in their logic, anyone who disagrees with them is immediately tarred and feathered. That's how the anti-vaxxers work. Their narratives and their warped perception of reality is all that matters.

If you ever doubt that their view of reality is warped (as if reading AoA were not enough), go no further than these yahoo groups and their descriptions:

Click on them if you can't read them.

As Thelma would say, more dumbasses than you can shake a stick at. And they're proud of it, certain of their correctness, absolutely fervent in their beliefs. These people aren't interested in understanding, learning, growing. They're simply intent on stamping out disagreement. They would have us in the dark ages all over again, if it were possible, and they'd undoubtedly be pleased to have put us there again.


Aschner, M., & Ceccatelli, S. (2010). Are Neuropathological Conditions Relevant to Ethylmercury Exposure?. Neurotoxicity Research, 18(1), 59-68. doi:10.1007/s12640-009-9113-2

What I can only take as recognition of Countering by Stagliano:

Aww, hey, Todd, we amuse and bore at the same time. I kinda thought that was impossible, but maybe that explains some of their problems over there. 


Anonymous said...

Ms. Stagliano really ought to show more compassion.

As "amusing and boring" as it is for her to read blog posts about AoA, think how much more amusing and boring it is for us to read comments on blogs about blogs that blog about AoA.

But everyone has to take one for the team sometimes (The BigPharma/Lizard Overlord team, that is.)

Sheldon said...

Kwombles, I know how you can get more shill comments. Simply demonstrate the utter ignorance and stupidity (but politely to pass moderation)of vaccination opponents or other foolishness at venues such as Huff-Po and boy do they come out of the woodwork.

So I get it. It comes with my deliberate choice of venue.

I scanned Orac's pre-emptive response to Crosby and spent even less time looking at what Crosby wrote. I'm just glad that there are people out there, like you, that will do some of the slogging.

On the other hand, I did read through every page of Martin Walker's 'reporting' on the GMC hearing. What was it like?

If I undestand your latest brush with medical you might appreciate this analogy.

It was like being about 3 and 1/2 litres into drinking that plastic water, feeling nauseous and at the same time forcing it done and praying that you wouldn't throw up and not be sufficiently cleaned out, so that the 'scope wouldn't work and you would have to start all over again.

That's what it felt like to read Martin Walker.

Roger Kulp said...

Having just read Crosby's post,I don't see it as a case of literal thinking,I see it as just another sorry example of guilt by association,you know so-and-so is a Pharma shill,not because they are taking money directly from the drug companies,but because they work for an institution,that gets a small per cent of their funds,that they use to pay other people,from drug companies.It does get old after a while,and it is something that is only applied selectively.AoA would never go after a Tim Buie,or a Martha Herbert for the same reason.

I agree they don't give you enough respect/free publicity over there.

I thought I knew about all the Yahoo! groups,but they do pop up like weeds,so it's kind of hard to keep track of them all.This one just helps prove my point that antivaxers,are a far-right bunch, who thinks Rush Limbaugh is a socialist.

KWombles said...

Squillo, if only the paychecks were bigger.

Sheldon, yup, you find them, don't you? :-)

Oh Roger, that tickled my funny bone, about them not giving me enough free publicity. :-) After all, I do work really hard to give them attention.


There's just tons of interesting yahoo groups out there.

Alexander Cheezem said...

That could also be Silenced By Age of Autism ( http://silencedbyageofautism.blogspot.com/ ).