Left Hates Science and Children

Neil Young’s song “The Needle and the Damage Done” was written about heroin addiction, but it might as well have applied to the liberal crusade against science. Young sings: “I've seen the needle/and the damage done.” But unlike heroin, this damage seldom impacts the individual making the choice. It hurts some of our most vulnerable – children.


For several years, while some liberals have pushed for health care reform, lefty wackos have been leading the charge against one of the foundations of our successful health care system – vaccines. One of the far left’s leading lights – Robert Kennedy Jr. – has spent years going after a supposed link between vaccines and autism.


Back in 2005, Kennedy was all over the news with his lunacy. On July 1, 2005, he wrote in the Boston Globe that an additive in vaccines was the problem. “Mounting evidence suggests that Thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative in children's vaccines, may be responsible for the exponential growth of autism, attention deficit disorder, speech delays, and other childhood neurological disorders now epidemic in the United States.”


Kennedy wrote a June 16, 2005, Rolling Stone article “arguing that most studies of the issue are flawed and that public health officials are conspiring with drug makers to cover up the damage caused by thimerosal,” according to The New York Times. He received positive coverage from numerous media outlets, including ABC, CBS and the front page of The New York Times.


Only, that idea has been thoroughly discredited. WebMD reported on Sept. 13, 2010, that a new CDC study says there is no link between thimerosal and autism. “Exposure to thimerosal-containing vaccines in infancy or in the womb is not associated with an increased risk for developing autism, according to a new study from the CDC,” wrote WebMD.


But don’t just take their word for it. How about the courts. The Washington Post reported Feb. 13, 2009, that “a special federal court ruled yesterday that vaccines do not cause autism and that thousands of families with autistic children are not entitled to compensation.”


The anti-vaccine freak-out has been driven like so many other issues in our society – by big name, liberal standbys like Kennedy, Hollywood celebs like former Playboy model and TV personality Jenny McCarthy, whose son has autism, and a compliant media that gives deference to liberal kooks as long as they bash conservatives.


Still, the left’s anti-science advocacy continues and it is having dangerous consequences. ABC’s “Good Morning America” reported in 2005 how a “controversial autism treatment that may have killed a child.” Five years later, the left’s insanity on this issue is literally making children sick. The Sept. 27 Washington Post reported about how Whooping Cough is making a scary comeback. “In California it is legal and quite easy to refuse vaccination, and the discredited theory that vaccines cause autism has created clusters of unvaccinated children.”


Despite all that, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is still considered credible. The Post called him simply “environmental activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr.” in December 2008 and published his 942-word opinion piece on coal in July 2009. Rather than using his vaccine lunacy against him when he called global warming "the greatest moral crisis of our time,” the Post and other media outlets continued to treat him like he had something intelligent to say.


Yet it’s conservatives who are supposed to be against science because they dare challenge the Gorean climate agenda. The lefty blog ClimateProgress asked the question earlier this year: “Why are anti-science conservatives so damn condescending?” The Atlantic was more direct with this question: “Is the Right Wing Anti-Science?


It’s actually a consistent theme. On Salon, former Clinton acting assistant secretary of energy for energy efficiency and renewable energy Joseph Romm told the world that “Anti-science conservatives must be stopped.”


Chris Matthews, MSNBC’s own victim of thrill-up-the-leg disease, told Rep. Mike Pence on “Hardball” that “there are people that really are against science in your party …”


That’s not even Matthews talking. That’s the sound of a lefty talking point jumping out of your TV set. If conservatives are “anti-science,” what the left is really saying is that the right is a bunch of knuckle-dragging neanderthals. It’s the long form way to say we’re stupid.


Anybody who has watched liberals for the last several decades knows that’s on the front page of their talking points. The page goes something like this. Conservatives are (select as many as needed): a) stupid b) evil c) crazy. But when conservatives point out how Code Pink’s Cindy Sheehan is a 9/11 Truther, journalists have little interest in the story. Those adjectives are reserved for the right exclusively.


Meanwhile, the left’s anti-science insanity is hurting children. Let’s see the news media talk about the damage done to them instead of what Christine O’Donnell did in high school.

 

Dan Gainor is The Boone Pickens Fellow and the Media Research Center’s Vice President for Business and Culture. His column appears each week on The Fox Forum. He can also be contacted on FaceBook and Twitter as dangainor.