You may decide to never ever trust anything written in the US Forbes magazine on anything [and not just autism] after reading this.
Emily Willingham writes a blog for Forbes magazine in the US claiming to be authoritative about “how science filters to consumers and how consumers make decisions about science“. [Although how she claims to do that without qualifications or research to back up her claims to expertise in the area is another matter.]
Emily [or “Daisy May Fatty-Pants” as she called herself when starting out as a junior blogger in the little league], got pretty hot under the collar about an article in the Whiteout press entitled “Courts quietly confirm vaccines cause autism”.
So Emily “Fatty-Pants” wrote a piece for her Forbes blog “Court Rulings Don’t Confirm Autism-Vaccine Link” [9th September 2013]. In that blog post Emily makes claims which are untrue. So CHS is setting the record straight to help Emily understand that writing biased blogs which mislead consumers about “science” whilst claiming to do the reverse is something of a “no-no“.
Forbes magazine has a track record of backing writers who claim vaccines simply do not and cannot cause autistic conditions whilst at the same time such writers will typically claim what causes them is a mystery [which is a wholly contradictory and illogical position to take]. If you claim not to know what causes autistic conditions then you might have some difficulty claiming you do know vaccines never do.
We only have to take one paragraph of Emily “Fatty-Pants” Willingham’s blog to show it makes numerous claims which are not true – so misleading the consumers she is claiming to be putting right on the facts about science:
The centerpiece of the “courts confirm” article is the 2012 finding of a local Italian court that a child was diagnosed with autism a year after receiving an MMR. The court, in linking the two things, relied very heavily on the retracted and fraudulent 1998 Wakefield MMR Lancet paper and the testimony of a single physician, hired by the plaintiff’s attorney (widely known for advising parents on how to avoid compulsory vaccinations). The physician, Massimo Montinari, it seems, has written a book on how vaccines cause autism and peddles an autism “cure” that he’s devised.”
If we dealt with all the false claims in her entire Forbes blog this would be an extremely long CHS article. The centerpiece of the “courts confirm” article was not the Italian case but two US cases.
Emily “Fatty-Pants” Omitted Articles Centerpieces – Two US Court Cases – Children Awarded US$ Millions
The Whiteout Press story centered on two US Court decisions where two US children who developed autistic conditions after receiving MMR vaccines were awarded millions of US dollars in compensation. So Emily “Fatty-Pants” Willingham’s consumer readers were very seriously misled.
The Whiteout Press centerpiece was not the claimed Italian Court decision about the little Italian boy Valentino Bocca who developed autism after receiving the same MMR vaccine given to children in the USA – Merck’s MMR II.
Emily “Fatty-Pants” False Claim – Italian Court “Relied Heavily” on Biased Testimony of Plaintiff’s Expert Physician
Emily “Fatty-Pants” made another completely untrue claim that “[t]he court, in linking the two things, relied very heavily on ….. the testimony of a single physician, hired by the plaintiff’s attorney (widely known for advising parents on how to avoid compulsory vaccinations). The physician, Massimo Montinari …“.
The Court appointed its own independent expert to write an independent report for the Court. The Court relied on the report of its own independent expert. This was not an expert hired by Valentino Bocca’s attorney. So again, Emily “Fatty-Pants” seriously misled her consumer readers at Forbes magazine on issues of science.
The Court appointed independent expert was also not anyone called “Massimo Montinari” or anything even close. So again Emily “Fatty-Pants” Willingham seriously misled her consumer readers at Forbes magazine on issues of science.
What Did The Court Appointed Independent Expert Rely On?
In a wide-ranging review of the literature the independent expert cited a large number of medico-scientific papers and publications. These included publications from the Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety (GAVCS), World Health Organization, the US Institute of Medicine [2001 and 2004], Brent Taylor, Fombonne, Madsen and many more too numerous to list here.
So yet again Emily “Fatty-Pants” Willingham demonstrates how she very seriously misled her consumer readers on their decisions about science and bases her misinformation on invention from anonymously published blogs.
Emily “Fatty-Pants” False Claim – The Court Relied Heavily on Wakefield’s MMR Lancet Paper
Another outright falsehood by Emily “Fatty-Pants” Willingham was the claim “The court, in linking the two things, relied very heavily on the retracted and fraudulent 1998 Wakefield MMR Lancet paper“. That is purely and simply invention which Emily “Fatty-Pants” Willingham appears to have quoted from a blog she linked to which is published anonymously. Bit of a Big Oops there for Emily “Fatty-Pants”.
The Italian Court did not rely on the Wakefield paper “heavily” or at all.
Emily “Fatty-Pants” Failed to Tell Her Consumer Readers The Italian Government Did Not Dispute Merck’s MMR II Vaccine Caused The Child’s Autism
Emily “Fatty-Pants” misled her consumer readers in making their decisions on issues of science in that the evidence in the Valentino Bocca case was sufficiently clear that the Italian Health Ministry did not contest that the MMR vaccine had caused little Valentino Bocca’s autism. They instead contested his entitlement to compensation because the vaccination was not compulsory [but of course heavily promoted to Italian parents to make them feel guilty if they did not vaccinate their child].
Emily “Fatty-Pants” Did Not Even Read the News Article She Criticised on Forbes
Worse is whilst Emily “Fatty-Pants” linked to a blog she relied on as her source Emily “Fatty-Pants” failed completely to link to the news story she was writing about. She did link to a different blog which did not carry the original Whiteout Press article but a reblogged different and clearly edited version.
And yet even worse still for Emily “Fatty-Pants” is that it seems she did not even read the article at all. She cited it by an incorrect title – omitting the word “quietly“. That is what the blog she cited as her source did – used that incorrect title – omitting the word “quietly“. So it looks very much like Emily “Fatty-Pants” just read the anonymous blog she used as her source and not the article she claimed to criticise at all.
The blog Emily “Fatty-Pants” cited, SkepticalRaptor is one of the dime-a-dozen negative “skeptic” attack blogs pumping out misinformation about health issues, contributing nothing of value to human knowledge, whilst claiming things like “hunting pseudoscience in the internet jungle“. And like a bird-of-a-feather Emily “Fatty-Pants” claims to write about “how science filters to consumers and how consumers make decisions about science” with no proper sources to back it up – but plenty of invention and hot air.
And it gets worse.
Emily “Fatty-Pants” Missed Mentioning Another of the Article’s Centerpieces
A centerpiece was also this – which Emily failed to mention at all – and which led directly to the article being published:
It was a regular reader named Kathleen that brought this ongoing story to our attention here at Whiteout Press. When asked what her connection to the vaccine-autism battle was, the young reader replied, “I just researched it for a school project a while back and then I stayed on top of it, until I couldn’t stand it anymore. I’m not a parent, nor do I belong to any organization – a mere outside observer.”
This reader isn’t alone. The news that vaccines cause autism has spread across the US despite a coordinated media black-out. She takes her concerns one step further explaining, “All I want is to see this information where the public can access it. I’ve looked everywhere, and no one gives this dire Wakefield situation even ONE small mention.” She goes on to give us another motivation for her activism, “In Washington State, where I’m from, vaccines have become mandatory for school children, which is very frightening!”
Emily “Fatty-Pants” Calls Wakefield’s Paper Fraudulent But Fails to Mention it is Just An Allegation And Is Being Contested in the Texas State Court
Emily “Fatty-Pants” use of “fraudulent” is subject to defamation proceedings in the Texas State Court against the British Medical Journal. She failed to mention that at all which is a bit of an oversight and is misleading to your consumer readers when making their decisions about science. If any of them get into trouble with the law later for repeating that can they sue Emily for misleading them whilst claiming to be an authority on science and how consumers made decisions about science?
We thought we ought to mention that “fraudulent” appears to be an allegation made by the BMJ which may have been made without looking too carefully at the facts first. The BMJ’s Texas “Anti-SLAPP” statute counter suit, predicted by the blogosphere to put an end to the case instantly as baseless, appears to have vanished and been dropped by the BMJ. That seems to add some credence to the possibility that “fraudulent” is a less than appropriate description. Maybe Emily you might care to mention that as a matter of accuracy? But then it is Forbes magazine you write for and if we go by your blog then, who knows, maybe accuracy is not Forbes strong suit?
Emily “Fatty-Pants” Defames An Italian Doctor Too
Defamation seems to be a bit habit forming for Emily. It appears there is an Italian doctor Massimo Montinari who has helped hundreds of children and families with treatments which have been working for many doctors in the US, UK and around the world: Vaccine and autism, alarm or psychosis? October 22, 2012 L’Unità
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