Denial, Self-Justification, and Pure-Dee Nonsense: Wakefield and AoA Remain a Perfect Match

"Stephanopoulos had the American people believe that he had read Callous Disregard, and that he had done so cover-to-cover. One only has to read yesterday's MedScape article to confirm this. His questions and his demeanor lead me to believe that, in fact, this was not the case. I suspect that as the truth behind this issue emerges, as it will, he and others may come to regret being part of the witch hunt. Their attention should be on the real problems of autism and lack of evidence for vaccine safety." --Wakefield to Dachel on AoA

In Wakefield's strange little world, you believe him, you have to. He's so gosh-darn pretty, he's got a posh accent, an adoring fanbase, and he's a maverick with the whole world out to get him. His country kicked him out (no, it didn't--he just couldn't make any money there anymore and hoped, undoubtedly that by leaving he wouldn't see the GMC strike him off). So anyone who says they've read Callous Disregard and don't believe his story must be a part of the global cabal against him.

The man has to go on cranks like Alex Jones to find any love these days. 

Dachel remains staunch in her support of Wakefield (and it really is a wonder why as she'd admitted her own child is grown, drives, is doing well): "Dr. Wakefield tried time after time to get Stephanopoulos to understand that as a gastroenterologist, his focus was on the bowel disease that he was finding in children who'd regressed after the MMR.  These were healthy kids who become physically sick.  They developed chronic diarrhea, constipation, food allergies, and encephalitis.  They regressed into autism.  Are we to believe that it's all one huge coincidence that normal kids suddenly lose [sic] learned skills, become autistic, and develop bowel disease all at the same time?"

Yes, the man is a veritable saint. All of that would be great if it were true, but it's been shown quite well that this wasn't the case. Brian Deer details how the children's medical histories were altered in the case series. No, Anne, you're not supposed to "believe that it's all one huge coincidence that normal kids suddenly lose [sic] learned skills, become autistic, and develop bowel disease all at the same time?" Because it didn't happen that way. Aww, and come on, can't the AoAers and Wakefield keep it straight? They keep flopping back and forth from the article never said MMR caused autism to it did. Which is it?

Dachel writes, "Several things emerged as the interview progressed.  First of all, it was never acknowledged that Dr. Wakefield is a gastroenterologist.  He was described merely as a "British researcher.” He's neither now, right? He was trained as a gastronenterologist, but he was not a clinician during the time he was working for the lawyers, and he was not allowed to treat patients. And he was never a pediatric gastroenterologist. 

Oh, how terrible that George didn't mention that all-important, changes-nothing tidbit. Dachel then asks the incredibly daft question, "To make this fair and balanced, why didn’t GMA interview Dr. Jon Poling, father of Hannah Poling?" What the hell? Umm, because Wakefield wanted to promote his book and defend himself and in a story about the discredited Wakefield, Poling wouldn't make the piece fair and balanced, he'd make it ludicrous. 

According to Dachel, "Corruption, collusion, and cover-up, three things we usually assign to the actions of our Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, are also true for the British government.  Dr. Wakefield wrote, 'Children were the experimental marketplace.'”  Now, that's true. Children were absolutely that for Wakefield. Year after year, dollar after dollar. 

Just as Wakefield ended his interview with George Stephanopoulos telling him that parents should go away, it appears that in his book he let another inadvertent truth slip out. 

Being a true believer is hard work. It takes a lot of effort to keep those blinders on, to believe in vast global conspiracies that involve industry, governments, and the media. Brian Deer carefully documented his work, backed it up. Wakefield just keeps saying there was no fraud and no profit.

And yet there was. He was dishonest and lost his medical license for it. Deer writes "According to the figures, released under the Freedom of Information Act, Wakefield was paid £435,643 in fees, plus £3,910 expenses." And all this before the Lancet article: "Wakefield’s work for the lawyers began two years before he published his now notorious report in The 
Lancet medical journal in February 1998, proposing a link between the vaccine and autism."

Dachel ends her piece with this thought: "There has been a massive and conscious effort to mislead people." I'll agree that there's been a "conscious effort to mislead people," but it wasn't massive. Wakefield's spent the last decade and some change misleading people. If there's a "hungry lie" it points in his direction and to those who choose to feed it by believing him.

And AoA makes it clear: it isn't about autism at all. It's about them and vaccines, dreams, nightmares and their sponsors. Fascinating, all the truth that's slipping out.


Liz Ditz said...

When are they going to change their name to "Age of All Vaccines are Bad, All the Time"?

kathleen said...

Reading Daschel is like stepping into an alternate reality..I'm waiting for the piece that says that "Wakefield didn't really make that much money compared to Offit-who made trillions of dollars while his wife masqueraded as a male blogger" I think AoA is imploding..