Those who question vaccination programs are kooks or quacks, the press repeatedly tells us. The Globe and Mail
, CBS News, Mother Jones
and even scientific journals like Nature
label skeptics as "vaccination deniers," much as global warming skeptics are called "deniers."
magazine, citing the medical journal Vaccine
, deplores "the global anti-vaccination movement [as] a loose coalition of rogue scientists, journalists, parents, and celebrities, who think that vaccines cause disorders like autism - a claim that has been thoroughly discredited by modern science." Commentary
, a serious publication that covers politics, refers to skeptics as "vaccination truthers."
This wholesale demeaning of vaccine skeptics defies explanation. Granted, kooks and quacks exist in the vaccination field, just as they exist elsewhere. But why taint the skeptics as a whole, and fail to respectfully report dissenting views? No journalist would have had any difficulty finding dozens of distinguished skeptical scientists for the very few "rogue" scientists that the press has vilified.
How hard, for example, should it have been for the press to notice the views of Dr. Bernadine Healy
, the former head of the National Institute of Health, the former head of the American Red Cross, and the former Chair of the White House Cabinet Group on Biotechnology, one of several White House positions she held in service to three U.S. presidents.