Anti-Science Liberals that Get a Pass

By Keith Kloor | October 24, 2011 7:08 am

When I saw this recent RFKJr Huffington Post column, titled “The Fracking Industry’s War On The New York Times–And The Truth,” I tweeted:

RFKJr has waged war on truth w/his anti-vax nuttery and cape wind nimbyism.

If you’re unfamiliar with this history, read here and here. On Cape wind, RFKJr is simply hypocritical. But his anti-vax propagandizing should have long ago disqualified him as a legitimate liberal spokesman. As Steven Novella has written at Neurologica:

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has been the most prominent environmentalist to take up the anti-vaccine cause, in several articles and speeches. While he appears to be only a part-time anti-vaccinationist, his celebrity and street cred among environmentalists lend a great deal of weight to his paranoid musings about scientific fraud and government cover ups.

But he’s a teflon celebrity green. Despite the aforementioned baggage, RFKJr still still has juice in the liberal media ecosystem. When I noticed that Climate Progress republished his HuffPo column, I couldn’t resist emailing a comment:

Your comment is awaiting moderation.

People still take RFKJr seriously? After all the anti-vax nuttery and cape wind NIMBYism?

I guess somebody at CP is still feeling a little sore, because the comment was never approved.

That said, this sentiment by someone else did get through:

Robert Kennedy Jr. is an enemy of science and does not deserve a place here. He has no credibility whatsoever and merely damages any cause or idea with which he is associated.

Hello? Anyone listening?

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
  • http://thingsbreak.wordpress.com/ thingsbreak

    Anti-vaxxers are anti-science and are bad. Robert Kennedy, Jr.’s anti-vaxx views are anti-science and bad. I wish that he was not given as much attention as he is. If someone like Romm is going to publicize his views on a topic where he isn’t wrong, he should at least make a point to note that his views on vaccines are wrong and dangerous.

  • Menth

    Speaking of “Teflon green” looks like Paul Ehrlich still has credibility for some strange reason: http://bit.ly/qdvsnC

  • Keith Kloor

    Menth (2)

    There’s also the obligatory ghoulish photo of a starving Somali child to boot. But in fairness, that’s not on the writer or even Ehlrich, who didn’t mention Somalia, I don’t believe (I quickly scanned it.) The editor would be the one to make that pairing. 

  • EdG

    Congratulations Keith. Daring to criticize him will no doubt bring you plenty of hostile reaction from the herd.

    And re #3, the role pf photo editors in propaganda is barely noticed, as is the effects of their work. But it is very powerful.

  • http://www.skepticalscience.com Steven Sullivan

    Keith, the HuffPo, home of Deepak Chopra et al.,  is not considered a realiable science news resource — and there are plenty of  ‘liberal media ecosystem’ science bloggers who have written about that, and will tell you that. 

  • hunter

    It is amazingly appropriate that an anti-vaccination wackjob is also into a frakking industry consipracy delusion.
    Only a big green opinion leader like RFK jr. can do so much to make people see how non-sane big enviro really is and how they rely on ignorance and fear to promote their causes.

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About Keith Kloor

Keith Kloor is a NYC-based journalist, a senior editor at Cosmos magazine, and adjunct professor of journalism at New York University. His work has appeared in Slate, Science, Discover, and the Washington Post magazine, among other outlets. From 2000 to 2008, he was a senior editor at Audubon Magazine. In 2008-2009, he was a Fellow at the University of Colorado’s Center for Environmental Journalism, in Boulder, where he studied how a changing environment (including climate change) influenced prehistoric societies in the U.S. Southwest. He covers a wide range of topics, from conservation biology and biotechnology to urban planning and archaeology.

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