Medical Journal Calls Anti-Vaccination Study an 'Elaborate Fraud'

Max Read · 01/06/11 01:06AM

A 1998 study in the Lancet medical journal claiming a link between vaccines and autism was retracted last year for being scientifically unsound. But a new investigation claims the study wasn't just wrong—it was also an "elaborate fraud."

Bad News for Vaccine Conspiracists is Good News for Everyone Else

Pareene · 01/29/10 05:11PM

The Huffington Post reports that Bill Gates pledged $10 billion for vaccine research. The HuffPo's utterly insane vaccine conspiracy theorizing commenters are unhappy! Meanwhile, the doctor who invented the "vaccines cause autism" lie has (finally!) been reprimanded by the UK's General Medical Council, and he may yet have his medical license revoked. Arianna's Funtime Link Party Tribune and Hothouse of Nonsense has not yet weighed in, though we can't wait to hear what Ace Ventura has to say.

Study: White People Have More Autism

Adrian Chen · 01/06/10 09:05PM

Researchers found that families in ten 'clusters' of elevated autism rates in California were more likely to be better educated, whiter and richer. Their whiteness didn't cause autism: They probably just had better healthcare with which to detect it. [ABC]

John Travolta Is a Scientologist 'Now and Forever'

John Cook · 07/29/09 03:00PM

John Travolta's rep is knocking down reports that he is contemplating leaving Scientology. Of course, Scientology can be a tough habit to kick if you are, say, a closeted gay man who was forced to privately confess in auditing sessions.

John Travolta, Defying Scientology, Acknowledged Son's Autism

John Cook · 06/11/09 09:08AM

According to a Bahamian police report taken in February after his son Jett's death last year, Travolta acknowledged in his own words that "Jett suffered from a seizure disorder and was autistic." That's a big no-no in Scientology.

Autism, the Disease of the Internet Era

Owen Thomas · 01/12/09 03:39PM

Every age, it seems, gives rise to its own medical hysteria rooted in our collective fears. Could the Internet's dehumanizing effect be driving us to fixate on autism?

Jett Travolta's Fishy Cause Of Death

Ryan Tate · 01/06/09 04:12AM

Following an autopsy, the official story is now that John Travolta's son died from a seizure. Travolta's story is that his son had Kawasaki disease. It's quite possible neither is right.

Travolta's Rumored Gay Lover Discovered Dead Son

Owen Thomas · 01/03/09 04:27PM

Did Travolta hire his unqualified gay lover to care for an ill child, who then died on the faux nanny's watch? If so, you won't read about it in the trashiest of Internet tabloids.

Denis Leary Slams 'Ridiculous' Autism Fakers

Ryan Tate · 11/19/08 03:39AM

Surprisingly, everyone appears to have missed the subtle nuance in a chapter of comedian Denis Leary's book entitled "Autism, Schmautism." Go figure. Controversy arose after the Post excerpted a paragraph from Leary's Why We All Suck reading, in part, "I don't give a [bleep] what these crackerjack whack jobs tell you - yer kid is NOT autistic." Last night Leary appeared on the Daily Show to explain that he was quoted out of context, and in reality was taking a sophisticated stand on the scientific mystery of surging autism cases:

Kyle Buchanan · 10/17/08 07:15PM

About Time: It was only a matter of time before the week's two big autism stories collided, but let's thank Access Hollywood for hastening things along. Billy Bush caught up with "cleavage and veggies" advocate Jenny McCarthy to get her comments on Denis Leary's assertion that autistic kids are stupid and lazy, and she described a scene that sounded as though it had come straight out of a Sarah Palin rally. "Whoo! First of all, let me tell you, the autism community has received probably 10,000 emails [saying] 'Go kill him!' 'Go yell at him,'" she told Bush. "[But] it’s so hard to even get up enough juice in me or energy in me to even try to fight someone that is obviously stupid." Really? Jenny, consider your guest-blogging privileges at Defamer revoked. [Us]

Jenny McCarthy: 'A Diet Of Cleavage And Veggies Cured My Son Of Autism!'

Seth Abramovitch · 10/16/08 07:13PM

While Rescue Me star and Miss Worcester second runner-up Denis Leary may have rankled some with his book's assessment of autism sufferers as being "dumb-ass kids," "junior morons," and "dumb, lazy, or both" ("Totally out of my book's context!" rebutted Leary), one true believer in the disorder—an outspoken activist, in fact—is Jenny McCarthy. Where she veers from her fellow crusaders is in her theory on its cause: She blames the Measles, Mumps, and Rubella vaccination of draining the life out of her young son Evan, and giving him autism. Now she's raising even more eyebrows by claiming on the cover of the current Us Weekly that she "saved [her] son" through "a strict no wheat-and-dairy-free diet." From

Denis Leary Denies Autism Too

Ryan Tate · 10/15/08 07:25AM

For some reason Denis Leary, who is actually an accomplished TV and movie star and halfway-decent comedian, has joined with reliable moron and talk-radio screamer Michael Savage and misguided trashy-TV host Jenny McCarthy in spreading scientifically-dubious pap about autism. The charitable explanation is that Leary was rushing to meet the deadline for his book, Why We Suck, or, as all-too-many comedians do, filling it with unfiltered, subliterate transcriptions of experimental new stand-up comedy material when he wrote, "there is a huge boom in autism... because inattentive mothers and competitive dads want an explanation for why their dumb-ass kids can't compete academically." The Autism Society is obviously thrilled. More, via Page Six:

Jenny McCarthy Calls "Bullshit" On Your "Medical Science"

Pareene · 04/03/08 10:41AM

Larry King had noted medical expert/softcore video star Jenny McCarthy on the program last night to talk about AUTISM. Specifically, how it's caused by VACCINATING YOUR CHILDREN. This is patent conspiratorial nonsense, but it's very popular conspiratorial nonsense. Of course, in a battle between concerned, credulous parents and medical experts, the media will generally frame it as, say, Debate Rages Anew on Vaccine-Autism Link. Faced with a panel of three trained pediatricians, Ms. McCarthy shouted "BULLSHIT" twice. Then Larry put it to an internet poll. Clip after the jump!