Chris Mooney, vaccines, and Morning Joe

By Phil Plait | February 16, 2010 4:00 pm

My Hive Overmind co-blogger Chris Mooney was on the Morning Joe show with Dr. Nancy Snyderman to talk about all the recent news about vaccines and autism. They hit all the high points: there is no connection, the science is unequivocable, the antivaxxers are letting emotions take over when they should be looking at the evidence, and how hostility toward science is making this worse.

It’s really good to see the mainstream media not only taking on this issue, but doing it correctly too: no antivaxxers spreading their lies to give a notion of "balance", just calm, clear, rational discourse on a critical issue where the noise tends to swallow up the signal. Well done!

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Alt-Med, Antiscience, Science, Skepticism

Comments (20)

  1. I’ve always thought that Dr. Snyderman was a good medical correspondent. :) Glad to hear it.

    Wonder if they read Todd’s antiantivax site or Facts, not Fantasy? :P

  2. jfoster

    Isn’t Mooney the one who called for a dialog with anti-vaxxers, oh , about a week ago?

  3. jfoster
  4. Right on!!!!! Love Dr. Nancy!

  5. Ron

    More very good news:

    http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/anti-vaccination-group-to-collapse/story-e6freuy9-1225830689187

    “The country’s largest anti-vaccination group – accused by critics of endangering children’s lives through misinformation – is on the brink of collapse.

    The likely demise of the Australian Vaccination Network by the end of the month comes just weeks after the State Government launched an investigation into the organisation.

    The Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing will conduct an audit following complaints the group was allegedly fundraising without a licence. A spokesman said inspectors would shortly visit the organisation’s North Coast offices to examine records and interview staff.

    The Health Care Complaints Commission is also wrapping up a six-month investigation into AVN over allegedly giving medical advice without the authority to do so.”

    Australian skeptics should take some credit for this.

  6. isles

    Dr. Snyderman does a really nice job. I don’t now how she can stand to deal with the influence of TV journalism, but I’m glad she does, because she’s the smartest medical voice out there, and it’s much better that people get their news-show medicine from her than from some prettyboy who never met woo he didn’t like (I’m sneering at you, Dr. Oz).

  7. Ron J

    This interview was so refreshing. Gotta hand it to Chris Mooney and especially Dr Nancy Snyderman – she has a new fan in me! Go Dr. Snyderman!!!

  8. Keith

    Great to see antivax get the journalistic equivalent of a Bruce Lee butt kicking for a change.

  9. Mike

    I’ve liked Dr. Nancy since she had it out with whats-his-face on the TV, telling him there was no controversy. Good interview.

    This has been a good week for reality.

  10. Rand All

    What’s this?!?! Reasonable, rational coverage of the vaccine ‘controversy’ on mainstream TV?!?! I think I just saw a pig flying past out my window.

  11. Chance Gearheart, NREMT-P/EMD

    @10 – I think you mean Manufacturversy

  12. csrster

    What’s this?!? People being nice about Chris Mooney on the science blogosphere?!?! I think I just heard the devil calling for warm blankets and a cup of cocoa.

  13. Impressive segment. Could the media finally be turning around? Granted, antivaxers will likely cry that the media is censoring them. But, they’d be a bit hypocritical. I’m looking at you, Age of Autism.

  14. Dan I.

    @ 2. jfoster

    A dialogue is a good thing if it means educating the anti-vaxxers and stopping this movement.

    I’ve noticed the change since the Wakefield paper was publicly discredited, which makes sense. The media is all for spouting nonsense when its unproven, but they are a little more leery of lending credence to a notion that has been just straight said to be based on falsity.

  15. ND

    Dan,

    That’s silver lining with the anti-vax fiasco in that once it’s shown to be a fiasco based on dishonesty that itself becomes newsworthy. There was money involved with Wakefield. The parents and lawyers came up with suing MMR manufacturers first and come up with evidence to support it second.

  16. DreamDevil

    Good thing Mooney didn’t talk for too long, or he would probably end up saying something stupid.

  17. JT

    @csrster
    People were nice to Mooney back when he was about promoting science and not “framing” science. I think many of us would like nothing more than for him to turn back from the dark side.

  18. Chris A.

    Umm, Phil, I think you meant “unequivocal.” I’m pretty sure “unequivocable” is not a word (unless you’re trying to coin one again…).

  19. Keith

    Chris A: I think Phil’s trying to coin one again, he’s funny like that, lol.

    (Love ya, Bad Astronomer, mean it)

  20. Alma Shakarian

    Its nice to see Chris mooney actually doing something good for science, since he is such a waste of time when it comes to placating those who support child rapists and con men (religious ones). Mooney should learn that science and faith are diametrically opposed. Take the case of Kara Neumann for instance and then add Mooney’s accomodationist nonsense.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kara_Neumann_case

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