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Dachel Media Update: John Oliver

Online newsBy Anne Dachel

May 9, 2016, A John Oliver Video a Week Reduces Risk of Being Uninformed

Not everything you hear about science may be entirely reputable, says John Oliver. On Sunday’s Last Week Tonight, Oliver skewers the absurd ways talk shows, news outlets, and scientists themselves cater to the public desire for sensationalist science studies by reporting on studies that “deserve better than to be twisted out of proportion and turned into morning show gossip.” It’s even becoming a problem, because people are starting to associate all science with the kind of mundane reports that make the news, leading to doubt and skepticism about real science that proves climate change is occurring or that vaccines do not cause autism.

The problem has a range of causes, and scientists are not immune to criticism themselves. As Oliver points out, scientists earn tenure and receive funding on the basis of their publications. With so much riding on the success of their studies, it’s not hard to image juicing up results or even “p-hacking” to seek out interesting, if meaningless, findings. Oliver cites a Vox report that found statistically significant results between eating cabbage and innie bellybuttons as well as eating raw tomatoes and Judaism.

15:00 Video: “If we start thinking that science is a la carte and if you don’t like one study, don’t worry another will be along soon, that is what leads people to think that manmade climate change isn’t real, or that vaccines cause autism—both of which the scientific consensus is pretty clear on.  …If they are going to say, ‘A study says,…’ they should have to provide sourcing and context….”

Oliver said that the media should tell us if a study is industry funded.

I’ve got a really fraudulent study claim that medicine and the media have given us FOR DECADES:

“New study says…. it’s safe to inject untested mercury into pregnant women and babies…

…it’s safe to inject aluminum into humans…..

….it’s safe to inject multiple live viruses into children ….and none of this can lead to autism.”

Oliver needs to find out what he’s talking about. Guess how many of the studies HE CITED are industry connected? ALL OF THEM. Maybe he'd like to do a special segment on that topic.

Anne Dachel is Media Editor for Age of Autism.


Mercky Business


Quite a shrewd observation there about confirmation bias, except it more than cuts both ways. You believe everything you say and don't think you have to justify it: anyone who disagrees (from their own experience or from reading quandum studies) is intellectually defective by virtue of the fact the fact that they disagree with you and with public policy. But perhaps you simply don't know what you are talking about. Confirmation bias is what the vaccine industry does.


I don't suppose this will be posted but I'll try anyway. Also, I will keep it short.

What I find fascinating (and horrifying) about these comments is the total confirmation bias going on. You are convinced that you are right and no amount of evidence will sway you from that stance.

Denial of the benefits of vaccines is irrational. It was irrational in 1798 and is irrational, today. Is it perfect, no. Is it dangerous?, far less than almost every single thing you do every day such as getting in a car or crossing a street.

Birgit Calhoun

The weird thing is that there is an ideology about vaccines that is irrational.

Furthermore the process of vaccine manufacturing is very intuitive. For instance, it is a mystery to me how one can say that adding adjuvants, like aluminum, Thimerosal etc. after attenuation (gross, I mean puke-worthy) are going to increase the immune response. I would like to know what constitutes a valid immune response. Is it that you get a fever with a rash or something? And why would that be a reason to believe that that protects you from future illness.

My oldest son had a reaction to a tuberculin skin test way back when. He was treated for tuberculosis with Isoniazid that damaged his liver. After that he was never tested again. Does that mean he still has tuberculosis. One doctor even told him he never had TB because there was no shadow on his lungs. Tuberculosis is also not just a lung disease. It can go to any part of your body including your nerves and brain.

Why do we not get that information from our health-care providers? Does anyone ask where the fever comes from? Has anyone ever asked whether the attenuation or adjuvants have an unsatisfactory outcome? Does anyone really know if it is an appropriate response to a specific virus or just an artifact that gives scientist the false idea that now the vaccine is working?

Gary Ogden

John Stone: And apparently the high priests are fearful of being found out for the charlatans they are. According to Dr. Lyons Weiler’s blog, yesterday Senator Pan fled the capitol through a back stairway, and was seen proceeding on foot down the street away from the building, absconding, as it were, after his staff noticed some constituents, including Del Bigtree, in the hallway outside his office. I certainly would be pleased to meet a famous Hollywood producer, but apparently he wasn’t. Or maybe he had a nearby dental appointment he had forgotten about, and was late.

John Stone


I think the analogy is very apt - we have a modern form of magical thinking. Vaccines are a messy technology at best but the ideology of vaccines is something else: unreal, untrue, fiercely intolerant; an irrational, groundless belief system (also very territorial).

Birgit Calhoun

It's easy to talk glib like John Oliver. It's easy to gloss over what is and is not science. Science was first perpetrated in the dark ages. It began with medieval religion. I am in the process of reading a German book "Der Teufel in der Wissenschaft" (The Devil in Science)by Gerhard Prause. Sorry, I don't believe there is a translation. This book talks about the fact that early science was done by those who knew how to read and write. Those people were most likely clerics. In this book one of the very important items that needed scientific investigation was where witches came from. There were treatises written on the subject. I don't want to go into detail. Some of that "science" is pretty wild. But if you did not adhere to what these people said, you were burned at the stake.

With reference to John Oliver, I hope we are not again entering the dark ages. His dismissive attitude about vaccination shows that he is either not serious about what he is saying or he indeed has in mind to underhandedly sell the non-scientific method so that our children are all kept in a state of under-education. If indeed he is trying to teach us to be scientific he is teaching us surreptitiously never to watch his show again.

I am afraid that we are going full circle about what constitutes science.

Deb S

Let's invite him to Autism One and have him talk with some doctors and other people with letters after their name (because for some reason they are more credible than moms).


If the whole bit is on how off these studies are, how could he think any of them are worthwhile? And...

JOHN OLIVER - READ THE STUDIES!! You cannot comment on studies you have not read.

Bob Moffit

"Oliver needs to find out what he’s talking about. Guess how many of the studies HE CITED are industry connected? ALL OF THEM. Maybe he'd like to do a special segment on that topic."

Amen to that.

Webster's defines science: 1) systemized knowledge derived from observation, study, etc. 2) a branch of knowledge, esp one that systemizes facts, principles and methods

And so .. by Webster's definition .. when tens of thousands of parents share the same experience .. taking their perfectly healthy child to a pediatrician .. their child receiving numerous vaccines .. and .. within hours, days or weeks .. those tens of thousands of parents report OBSERVING their child suffer extraordinarily high temperatures, ear piercing screams, inconsolable crying tantrums, sleepless nights for weeks on end, constant diarrhea, on and on .. resulting 1 in 45 of those children diagnosed autistic


Instead .. public health officials .. determined to avoid doing what true science demands be done .. callously dismiss those critical OBSERVATIONS of parents and those now quite observable injured children .. by fraudulently applying the UNSCIENTIFIC principle .. that "correlation does not equal causation".

Indeed .. the deliberate failure of SCIENTISTS to construct a scientific, independent METHOD, to study the FACTS between the health of vaccinated v. unvaccinated children is further evidence that SCIENCE .. as it has been applied to vaccines .. has been and continues to be .. a SCAM .. a FRAUD .. where the standard SOUNDS LIKE SCIENCE .. has replaced the methods, principles and facts that SOUND SCIENCE once required.

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