The List of Really Bad People Who Must Be Stopped Because They're Like the Worst Person in the World Since Adolf Hitler
I know that readership in the mainstream media has declined over the past several years because people have lots of other choices and so many times it seems like the media is being bought and paid for by some industry that isn't really interested in telling you the truth.
So just in case you haven't been reading the popular press all that much, I thought I'd compile the current enemy list of all right-thinking people so you'd have it in a single place. It just makes hating people so much easier when you don't get confused about the identity of the bad guys.
1. Dr. Andrew Wakefield - Okay, let's all pile on him first. I mean, so he was a top scientist in the field of gastroenterology and he did respond to parent complaints that their children regressed after a MMR vaccination and had gastrontestinal problems. Like any good supervillian, he went looking for the source of the gastrointestinal problems and found the measles virus in the gut of these children several years after it should have cleared their system, and was brazen enough to say the findings called for additional research. That's what good scientists are supposed to do when they find something which might help people, right? Instead, Wakefield was attacked and found guilty of "conspiracy" with another gastroenertologist who had retired years earlier. However, that other doctor was able to get the insurance company to fight the verdict handed down by the British Medical Council and be exonerated. So, even though now the gastrointestinal problems of children with autism are widely accepted, Wakefield remains probably the only man on the planet guilty of a conspiracy with himself. You have to be a major-league supervillain to pull off that feat.
2. Jenny McCarthy - Jenny was an actress, a best-selling author of humorous books, and yes, she did have a rocking body that was hot enough to land her in the pages of Playboy magazine. Then she had a child who developed autism after a vaccination, and she was able to recover him, a supposed impossibility. When she talked about what had happened to her son, she was attacked as if she was, well, an NBA owner who made racially insensitive remarks. Okay, let's put her on the hate list.
3. Dr. Bernadine Healy - Healy may not have had a rocking body, but she had a rocking mind. It was good enough to make her the first female head of the National Institutes of Health, where she started the Human Genome Project. Oh, and after that little stint, she headed that crypto-fascist organization, a.k.a. the Red Cross, and was a columnist for U. S. News and World Report. She thought it was important to study subgroups of people who received vaccinations because some might be more vulnerable to side-effects than others. What?!? Some medical interventions might have different effects on different people and should be studied?!? Next, she'll be saying the world is flat and we're going to sail off the edge.
4. Sharyl Attkisson - For those Neanderthals who think the leaders of our country need to answer serious questions from reporters, like what happened to our ambassador in Benghazi, the IRS scandal, or Fast and Furious, this is your poster girl. But wait, this former top CBS investigative journalist also pursued embarassing stories that the Bush administration didn't like. I'm starting to have a thought here, but it needs time to develop. Maybe . . . just maybe . . . in a free society, the press should act as a check on whichever party is in power. Sharyl's crime? She interviewed Dr. Bernadine Healy, the former head of the National Institutes of Health, asked whether vaccines had been thoroughly studied, and reported Dr. Healy's response that they had not. Oh, and for those keeping score at home, that happened at the end of the Bush years.
5. Rob Schneider - Here's another funny actor, but he's dangerous too, because he also worries that vaccines might be hurting children. We need to crush him like a grape! Okay, maybe they should just keep him locked up so he doesn't lead good people astray, and let him out only when he does those movies with Adam Sandler because they're so damn funny. (I'm not sure, does that mean Adam Sandler should be on the list, too?)
6. Katie Couric - Well she did anchor the CBS Evening News and was known for going after people like the first President Bush, but when she did stories on the harm that the Gardasil vaccine might be causing in young girls, well, that was it. We need to turn our backs on her and shun her like a bunch of mean girls.
7. Dr. Luc Montaigner - Okay, well he did have some success a few years back when he was the first to identify the HIV retrovirus that caused all those deaths in that thing known as the AIDS epidemic, blah, blah, blah, and he did win the Nobel Prize in Medicine rather than that nasty Dr. Robert Gallo, but that only earns him a very short leash. Let him actually listen to parents about what happened to their child after a vaccination, and try to come up with a therapy which helps them, and well, if only we could get that Nobel Prize back from that soft-headed sentimentalist. Does anybody have the phone number or e-mail for the Nobel Prize Committee? I wonder if they have a suggestion box?
8. Aidan Quinn - All right so he's not a funny actor, just incredibly good-looking with those soulful Irish eyes, and he's also got a kid with autism who regressed after a vaccination. That makes him a bad man. A very bad man. Maybe real handsome, but again, a very bad man.
9. Alicia Silverstone - Another actor, but this time not one with a child who actually has autism. But because of what other people had written and talked about, she decided to do her own research on vaccinations before having children. And she didn't like what she read. (Funny thing - The CDC reports that those most likely to alter or skip the vaccination schedule are those who do the most amount of research about vaccines. In less controverrsial times, that's known as being a responsible, well-informed citizen.) After all that research on her own, Silverstone went out and wrote her own book about how to raise healthy children. I bet her children won't have the auto-immune or behavioral problems which seem to plague the rest of the population.
10. Mayim Bialik - The knock against most actors in this discussion is that they're not scientists, but this Big Bang Theory actress is one. She's got a Ph.D. in neuroscience and from what she's read, she's very wary of vaccines.
The thing about making lists of people you're not supposed to like is that eventually that list gets very big, and the list of people who still support you gets very small.
It reminds me of that great quote by the German pastor Martin Niemoller, which I've slightly modified for our current discussion.
First they came for Wakefield and I didn't speak out because I wasn't an English gastroenterologist:
Then they came for the scientists, like Healy and Montaigner, but I didn't speak out because I'd never headed the National Institutes of Health, or won a Nobel Prize.
Then they came for the honest reporters, like Attkisson and Couric, and I didn't speak out because I didn't want to know about current government wrongdoing since I voted for that guy, or I never liked that reporter because she went after that other guy a few years ago.
Then they came for the actors, like Jenny McCarthy, Aidan Quinn, Rob Schneider, Alicia Silverstone, and Mayim Bialik, and I didn't speak out because I'd never posed in Playboy, been in a great movie with Brad Pitt or made people laugh in a successful film or television show, and I certainly didn't have a Ph.D. in neuroscience.
Then they came for me - and there was no one left to speak out for me.
I hope you're clear now on the real enemies.
Kent Heckenlively is a Contributing Editor to Age of Autism