Firehosing: the systemic strategy that anti-vaxxers are using to spread misinformation - 2019-11-07
Yet again a popular show is giving an anti-vaxxer a high-profile platform to spread lies and cause harm to an audience of millions. This time it's Bill Maher who last week hosted Jay Gordon, a controversial doctor who peddles misinformation about vaccines and is best known for providing hundreds of personal belief exemptions for families to forgo school vaccine requirements.
The 14-minute interview on Real Time with Bill Maher doubled down on all the dangerous views we've heard before: highlighting discredited work on vaccines and autism, disingenuously labelling measles a benign illness, and questioning a vaccine schedule that has been proven safe and effective by decades of research.
Like many who work in science and medicine, I am exasperated. How does this keep happening? Why do people keep giving snake-oil salesmen a microphone? And how can anti-vaxxers keep telling us the same obvious lies without shame, when they have been debunked and factchecked time and time again?