No seems to be happy with the PBS: Frontline documentary The Vaccine War. Jenny McCarthy and co say they were misrepresented and censored; those who disagree with JM think science was sacrificed for "balance":
- Orac, not a Jenny fan, long review
- Jenny herself on HuffPo
- For mindset-acclimation, a particularly nasty peek under Jenny McCarthy's organization's hood
- Robert Lloyd at the L.A. Times, Jenny-sympathetic
I both appreciated the program and had my fears realized. In this case, my fears were that people would be given a platform to spread misinformation. And it happened. Jenny McCarthy and others made statements that were, in my view, misinformation. But, I appreciated the fact that Frontline took the time to counter much of the misinformation with actual experts discussing real science.Added 4.30: Emily Willingham contributed Jennifer Margulis, public health officials' nightmare to the commentary. I encourage you to read her entire post. Here's an excerpt:
How can it help the cause of a group ostensibly arguing for change on behalf of children if people speaking for them don't give a rap what happens to other people's children? What [Jennifer Margulis] says seems to be a carefully articulated but pretzeled logic barely masking selfish and irrational fear. It's a Me! Mine! Mommy mindset that cannot be helpful in any way to society, to children, or to public health. More than anything, it demonstrates the impossibility of arguing that not vaccinating will somehow make children healthier. There's no defensible, logical way to pull that one off. The fallback rationale, invariably, is the "I have a right to be selfish" argument.For the record, I vaccinate my kids though I didn't used do (thank you, Dr. Wakefield), and consider Jenny McCarthy and her constantly shifting story/opinion on vaccines and autism a danger to public health. But I'm also really tired of the smackdowns and nastiness as evidenced in all but the L.A. Times & LBRB links above. Vaccines are a complicated issue -- my hope is that those who don't vaccinate for philosophical reasons are also absolutely up-to-date on the latest research and findings.
Regardless, I'm always happy to discuss the matter with reciprocal respect.
This post is a slightly modified version of an email sent in response to a group list member's query on reactions to Frontline: The Vaccine War.