Monday, January 17, 2011

Salon Does The Right Thing

It has deleted (with explanation) a screed against vaccinations by the estimable Robert F. Kennedy, Jr..

In 2005, Salon published online an exclusive story by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. that offered an explosive premise: that the mercury-based thimerosal compound present in vaccines until 2001 was dangerous, and that he was "convinced that the link between thimerosal and the epidemic of childhood neurological disorders is real."

[. . . ]

At the time, we felt that correcting the piece -- and keeping it on the site, in the spirit of transparency -- was the best way to operate. But subsequent critics, including most recently, Seth Mnookin in his book "The Panic Virus," further eroded any faith we had in the story's value. We've grown to believe the best reader service is to delete the piece entirely.

May this be the last time that Mr. Kennedy (or any other politician, movie star or journalist) is able to find willing publishers for his unproven nonsense simply because he's famous. Kennedy is well-known for his sage pronouncements on topics as varied as the environment and oil politics, but this time was different: people (children mostly) died for not having been vaccinated.

Shame on our society for believing that celebrity is synonymous with intelligence.

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