The Daily Fail has now printed an opinion piece that calls parents who failed to vaccinate their children “refuseniks” and – it gets better – “morons”.
The parents of Silas, Mimi and Toby are middle class and university educated, but they are behaving like morons and turning their children into pariahs […] The autism theory was genuinely disturbing and the reaction of the medical establishment was so complacently dismissive that many reasonable people suspected a cover-up. [jdc: No – the autism theory may have been genuinely disturbing to parents who feared autism (many people will probably find this fear of autism inappropriate) if, and only if, there were some basis for it other than one deeply flawed paper.] It didn’t help matters when Prime Minister Tony Blair refused to confirm if his youngest son had been given the MMR jab. [jdc: Well, what I think was unhelpful was the media building up a scare story and implying a conspiracy.] […] Their alternative to vaccinating their children, she told me, is to give each other tips on concocting potions which they insist will ward off vicious childhood illnesses. Middle-class twits like Joanne pottering around the kitchen brewing up potions would be amusing if it weren’t so serious. […] Now in Britain there is a growing backlash against women like Maria, who insists that spinach will protect her three-year-old son Marcus against measles. [jdc: There should be a backlash against papers like the Daily Fail rather than the people who listened to the Fail’s dangerously wrong advice.]
The Daily Fail are calling people who failed to protect their children by getting them inoculated “morons” and characterising them as “middle-class twits”? Really? After everything they printed about not trusting MMR, or Blair, or the scientists who spoke in defence of MMR? After everything they wrote about Saint Andy being a brave, charismatic doctor determined to ferret out the truth? After all the references to a conspiracy of silence surrounding MMR? It appears the trend now is for papers to criticise those who failed to have their children protected against measles, mumps, and rubella with nary a mention of the sustained campaign by the mainstream media (including themselves) to cast doubt on the safety of MMR. This piece is a good example of how the Fail treated the issue of vaccine safety. I blogged about it recently here. As I wrote in a previous blog post about Wakefield being scapegoated by the media:
The Daily Mail. Halvorsen, Hitchens, Carling, the Kirsty Robinson Russian roulette article. I can’t believe that the almost endless publicity given to the MMR scare by the media is now being brushed under the carpet. The media cannot pretend that they didn’t publish these articles and nor can they pretend that the articles were unimportant or that they failed to influence.
I was wrong – it seems they can pretend they didn’t publish these articles. They can get away with blaming Andrew Wakefield for having an idea and the parents who failed to vaccinate for, um, reading the Daily Mail. Hypocritical, irresponsible, and moronic – that’s the Daily Mail for you.