Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Agony of The Feet

During the last few days, the fearless leader of the Vaccine Vanguard, formerly known as the Mercury Militia, had several hissy fits just because a veteran New York Times reporter named Donald McNeil insisted that J.B. get his story straight.

It all started with Mr. McNeil contacting Fearless Leader to discuss his upcoming article reviewing Dr. Paul Offit's new book, Autism's False Prophets. Mr. McNeil, you see, is a real journalist, with credentials and experience far beyond that of J.B.'s paid mouthpiece, David Kirby. J.B. actually cites some of Mr. McNeil's experience. However, he strangely leaves out this from the official biography:

He has won several awards: For a series on patent monopolies on AIDS drugs in Africa, for a series on AIDS in one South African town, for a series on six diseases on the brink of eradication and for a series on third world cancer victims dying without morphine.
Oh, so Mr. McNeil is an award winning journalist who just happens to be very knowledgeable on the subject of vaccination? J.B. cannot handle that. So he leaves it out. Intellectual chicken.

Speaking of chickens, J.B. has been eviscerated by Orac, over at Respectful Insolence, and at Autism News Beat. I suspect that other bloggers will pile on, since J.B. leaves so much to discuss wherever he goes.

And, let us not underestimate J.B. He never, ever, passes up an opportunity to shoot himself in his foot. His first article concerning Mr. McNeil was on December 15, 2008, and, true to form, J.B could not resist providing his other foot with another wound on December 17, 2008.

J.B. must hate his feet. No sooner than Orac posting his excellent article, J.B. posts more of his bleatings and brayings in a comment to Orac's article. Once again, J.B. attacks his feet and is promptly disemboweled by Orac and his commenters.

That is three times J.B. has shot himself in his foot (The Handley Hat-trick) over just one teensy-weensy article THAT HAS YET TO BE PUBLISHED in the New York Times. But is it a teensy-weensy article?

I submit that it is not. It gives Dr. Offit's book continuing coverage in THE publication that is synonymous with book reviews and BEST SELLERS. Make no mistake, J.B. is deeply concerned that AFP will get a good review and become more generally available. He even mentions the sales ranking on

J.B. is, of course, using a logical fallacy to prove that AFP is not worth reading. If AoA ever uses logic, it is fallacious logic. I doubt J.B. has read it. If so, he did not understand it. He has never demonstrated an ability to understand science.

I just checked our library system on line catalog. All of the editions of EOH are on the shelves, and none of editions of AFP are available. Some libraries have waiting list, or restrict access to community members.

And now we know why J.B. has such a rotten disposition. He is suffering from the Agony of The Feet.

Special note: Recently, I was told that I was being too hard on Mr. Kirby and I should respect his "experience", etc. I do. However, his background pales in the light of Mr. McNeil's. I trust that this blogger will have an article posted forthwith criticizing J.B. for his attack on Mr. McNeil.


  1. McNeil is a journalist.

    Kirby may have been one at one time, but he certainly isn't now.

  2. As to J.B. Handley: this is an amazing example of why people should carefully consider what they write on the web. Those blog posts--and the comments that follow--are truly amazing in how bad they are and how poorly they reflect on Generation Rescue.

    He's "shot himself in the foot" on many occasions, but to make himself look so bad *before* the article comes out is a new standard.

  3. A pre-emptive stupid is a new standard. I have yet to see one before.

    Perhaps there should be a special award for actions like this, in the vein of the Darwin Awards?

  4. When you're as big a heel as Handley, there's little to shoot but the foot.