There has been extensive coverage of the HCCC public warning issued following the AVNs refusal to post a disclaimer on their website.

One wonders if Meryl Dorey would have saved herself a lot of bad publicity had she just quietly posted the disclaimer as requested. As it turns out, there have now been two waves of bad publicity for the AVN. The first, after the HCCC report was released some two weeks ago and now the second wave with the refusal to post the disclaimer.

It seems the tide has definitely turned in the media with respect to the AVN. Previously the majority of the reporting was staunchly about “balance” never referring to the AVN as anti-vax and generally giving Meryl a pretty easy ride when it came to her avoiding the question of “you say you’re not anti-vax but which vaccines do you recommend?”.

And if you don’t believe me, listen to Steve Liebermann – who reckons the AVN should be shut down – tear shreds off the AVN on radio 2UE.

In the extensive coverage of the last few weeks, there has only been one example of television that I have seen the term “balanced” used and that was on the frothy morning show Sunrise (not known for hard hitting journalism). This morning the show interviewed both Meryl Dorey and Prof. Booy, who had both previously appeared on Radio ABC 702 Sydney. Even when Meryl got a pretty easy ride from the interviewer, there was no misunderstanding about the agenda of the AVN, as Prof Booy made it abundantly clear by referring to the AVN at least twice as the Anti-Vaccination Network.

You can watch the full story here.

And whilst there was a follow up story in today’s SMH, (following yesterdays front page criticism), interviewing Dorey and detailing her reasons for starting on her anti-vax crusade, it was juxtaposed with a series of rather loopy quotes from Dorey. In a column entitled “Dorey on vaccines” four quotations were published. Although they’re certainly not the most loopy I have seen from Meryl, they nonetheless do not make her look particularly “balanced” and “pro-information” (as she is still feebly clinging to BTW).

“I don’t see that the measles vaccine has done anything for Australia”

“Make no mistakes folks, this measles “outbreak” has been orchestrated for one reason and one reason only – to force the issue of compulsory vaccination.”

More conspiracy nonsense from Meryl, directly contradicting one of my favourite quotes from her;

“…we are already seen as rabid, idiotic fringe dwellers by so many in the mainstream, it does our cause no good at all to bring in conspiracy theories, which though we may subscribe to them, are unprovable.”

Thanks to the hard work of Steve Cannane who kicked this campaign off with the awesome report on Lateline some 2 weeks ago, the tone has been set in the media. Steve did a follow up story last night, this time covering the government’s seemingly disinterest in instigating the vaccination education campaign they have been promising for what seems like an eternity.

In the meantime the McCafferys (who have been extremely brave and stoic throughout this entire nightmare) have contributed to a website in collaboration with Professor Booy called Chain of Protection

Meanwhile Meryl continues unabated. She continues to bleat they are not anti-vax, that the HCCC does not have jurisdiction over them, that she is seeking legal advice etc etc. It’s like a broken record.

Pro-tip Meryl, saying it over and over again will not make it right. And because you arrogantly refused to put up the disclaimer, many more people now know just that.

Below is some of the coverage I have collected from the past few days. If you come across anything else, please leave a comment and I’ll add it here.

HCCC Public Warning about the AVN

SMH Anti-vaccine Group a Threat

SMH Parents who lost baby stonewalled

SMH Still No Warning on Whooping Cough

The Medical News Anti-vaccination Group Declared Unsafe

Northern Star Warning Issued About AVN

ABC News Vaccine Group Needles Opponents
Anti-Vaccination Campaigners Slapped with Warning

Meryl Dorey and Professor Booy on Sunrise (video)

New Scientist Anti-Vaccination Website Poses a Risk

International Business Times HCCC Warns Public on Anti-Vaccine Group

Medical Observer Public Warning Against Anti-Vaccination Website

Meryl and Professor Buoy on Sunrise (video)

Saturday AM with Tony Eastley

2UE Steve Lieberman interviews Ken McLeod


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  • Maureen

    I can’t believe that she actually referred to the MIMS Annual as a pro-vaccination website. Can she actually provide a link to that anyway? I thought you have to subscribe to it.

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  • Grendel

    I am torn between wanting to believe she is a well-meaning idiot and believing that she knows she is wrong but is just too far down the road to ever admit it.

    If the latter is the case then there are ethical and moral considerations of a serious nature. What amuses me is that she plays the victim and declares a skeptics conspiracy against her. Fromwhat I have seen the action against her is of her own making following the tragedy faced by the McCafferey family.

    That is when I became aware that there were others outraged as well.

  • http://scepticsbook.com Maggie

    Seemingly she can’t do simple SI unit conversions either, or she misunderstands them. Maybe someone else can explain this to me. I’m lost.
    .
    In her final response to the HCCC Meryl responds to levels of formaldehyde considered safe.

    Context:
    “…Regarding the quantity of formaldehyde in the Infanrix vaccine, the HCCC states that, “The current standard for Australian vaccines is a maximum of 0.02% w/v of free formaldehyde.” They further go on to state that testing of Infanrix by the TGA detected a formaldehyde concentration of 0.0004%
    w/v.”

    Clanger:
    This is misleading based on the fact that the normal measure for formaldehyde is mcg – not percentage weight per volume(my emphasis)

    You know you can convert from percentage to µg right? Meryl?

  • AndyD

    I was rushing out when I wrote that last comment and on re-reading the article I see that it wasn’t a slip – she actually did mean to say she was a no brainer.
    .
    In other news, the WA coroner has announced in his findings into the death of Penelope Dingle, that homeopathy is a crock of shit and that those who promote it and other alternative “remedies” are outrageously deluded, unbelievably incompetent or seriously misinformed (paraphrased).
    .
    He went on to rule that state and federal governments should seriously consider ways to appear to be concerned about homeopathy without actually doing anything to stop people profiting from it if they could sleep at night by telling people it had merit.
    .
    In much earlier news, the WA govt banned a so-called “fuel-saving device” on the basis that people might waste money on something that probably wouldn’t work. The fact that the people selling this device genuinely believed it worked, and that the promoters had both “scientific” and anecdotal evidence as to its validity, held no sway as the government made its decision. No one died, nor was ever likely to die, from using the Moletech fuel saver.
    .
    And in other news where reality masquerades as a fairy tale gone wrong, the AVN blog tells us that the ABC have decided the HCCC is full of crap and that Meryl Dorey is most definitely Australia’s most authoritative go-to person for advice on whooping cough (no linky for that one).

  • AndyD

    From her latest article…
    .
    “When my son was born, I thought that vaccination was a no-brainer. The truth is, I was a no-brainer.
    .
    Freudian slip?

  • AndyD

    So, would she be happier if MMR came with optional fluffy dice and pinstripes?
    .
    The urge to return to blogging grows stronger with every new article she posts. Sigh.

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  • http://NOTAFREESPEECHISSUE Ken McLeod

    Rob,that really is wonderful prose. You should re-post it at our Facebook page “Stop the AVN.” We need a good laugh.

  • http://scepticsbook.com Maggie

    @Rob. Gold!

  • http://semiskimmed.net Rob

    Meryl’s pleading victimhood, losing her temper with a journalist and wheeling out a car dealership analogy of what the AVN does.
    I think a more valid car showroom analogy would be that the showroom is run by people who actually consider people’s circumstances and vehicular needs and do their best to recommend the most appropriate vehicle, if any. Outside the showroom is a shouty crazy woman wearing a sandwich board, screaming into a megaphone and handing out pamphlets from the Australian Vehicle Network about how CARS ARE POISON! and VEHICLES WILL KILL YUR BABIES! and LOVE THEM, PROTECT THEM, NEVER TRANSPORT THEM! while claiming that car engines work by channeling the fury of demons maddened by radioactive kryptonite. Every so often the people in the dealership ask the crazy lady to keep the noise down or get off their property, at which point she launches into a big diatribe about how they’re trying to squash freedom of expression and don’t they know it’s a democracy. When traffic congestion or vehicle safety is in the news, journalists interview the crazy sandwich board lady to get “both sides of the story”.

  • http://thesiteformallyknowas.blogspot.com/ Ramon Insertnamehere

    Not too sure if you have this one from AM on Tuesday.

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  • Adam

    Nice title. Hope the AVN aim a little higher next time.

  • http://scepticsbook.com Maggie

    @AndyD cheers. Will add.

  • AndyD
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