Sunday, 15 March 2009

MMR and autism / Reality FTW

Ben Goldacre, Guardian columnist and blogger of Bad Science fame, had a spot on ITV London news last week. I'll re-post it here for the rational amongst us.

The story goes back to early this year when LBC Radio presenter Jeni Barnett paraded her ignorance live on air with a mind numbing, hour long, screech against MMR vaccination. Ben posted the audio but was swiftly ordered to delete it by LBC's lawyers. Of course, in true internet fashion, it then spread even more widely. I heard it via The Lay Scientist (whose blog page features in Ben's report - kudos Martin), and blogged about the issues here and here. You can currently listen to Jeni's diatribe on YouTube, where are the lawyers now?

Anyway back to the point, Ben made this clip to respond to the irresponsible, scaremongering, poorly educated Jeni Barnett's of this world, enjoy:

Tips for mainstream media:

  1. A balanced argument is not about giving equal air time to the guy with the 'portents of doom' sandwich board.
  2. The plural of anecdote is not data.
  3. Measles is not a trivial childhood illness - MEASLES KILLS.


NobblySan said...

Empty headed media types get on my wick at the best of times; but when they spout off about serious issues and expect to be listened to because they're 'famous', they sink beneath my contempt.

Andy Holroyd said...

I just had one of my best mates phone me to say he has been taking Ayurvedic medicine and he 'feels so much better'. Oh dear... We’re meeting for (liquid) lunch next Saturday, he's going to get a slapping.

NobblySan said...

Ayur Vedic?

Doesn't he play Centre Half for Galatasary?

You give your mate a good slap, Andy. Tell him to get on the outside of a few pints of Timmy Taylor's Landlord, and he'll feel much better.