🎧 The Myth That Fuels the Anti-Vaxx Agenda | On the Media | WNYC Studios

Listened to The Myth That Fuels the Anti-Vaxx Agenda from On the Media | WNYC Studios

Our 2012 conversation with Seth Mnookin, author of The Panic Virus: A True Story of Medicine, Science and Fear.

This Tuesday, lawmakers in Washington heard from an 18-year-old who, against all odds, got his shots. Ethan Lindenberger, who fought with his own mother to get vaccinated, told senators, "for my mother, her love, affection, and care as a parent was used to push an agenda to create a false distress."

That "anti-vaxx" agenda, the dangerous legacy of a thoroughly debunked 1998 study in the British medical journal Lancet, was dealt yet another devastating — though not mortal — blow this week, courtesy of epidemiologists from Denmark’s Staten Serum Institute. Their new study, which included more than 650,000 children, found that the MMR vaccine did not raise the risk of developing autism

And yet, even in the face of study after study, and even as websites like Pinterest have moved to stamp out the spread of anti-vaxx materials on their websites, the debunked vaccine-autism link and its impact on public health live on. In this 2012 interview, Brooke spoke with Seth Mnookin, author of The Panic Virus: A True Story of Medicine, Science and Fear, about why these myths persist.

No responsible journalist should be reporting on studies with N being so small. If they do, then they should be banned from any future science journalism.

🎧 Wake Up, Sheeple! | On the Media | WNYC Studios

Listened to Wake Up, Sheeple! from On the Media | WNYC Studios

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was arrested in London, and now faces prosecution. On this week’s On the Media, a look at what Assange’s arrest may mean for press freedom. Plus, what the new image of a black hole tell us about the power of science in the face of a conspiracy theory minefield. And, a look at a new documentary about former Trump strategist Steve Bannon.

1. Bob [@bobosphere] opines about what Julian Assange's arrest means — and doesn't mean — for the future of press freedom. Listen.

2. Yale astronomy and physics professor Priyamvada Natarajan [@SheerPriya] finally gets a glimpse at what she's spent years theorizing about: a black hole. Listen.

3. New York Magazine's Madison Malone Kircher [@4evrmalone] on how YouTuber Logan Paul stokes the conspiracy flames. Listen.

4. New York Magazine's Max Read [@max_read] on how the Matrix's "red pill" idea has been so foundational for modern-day skeptics. Listen.

5. Alison Klayman [@aliklay], director of "The Brink," a new documentary about Steve Bannon, on what we can learn by looking at Bannon's role in our political and media world. Listen.

🎧 The Daily: The Strange Case of QAnon | New York Times

Listened to The Daily: The Strange Case of QAnon by Michael Barbaro from New York Times

A fringe online movement makes a front-and-center appearance at a televised event for President Trump.

👓 I Wonder Who Wrote That Melania Trump Tweet | Huffington Post

Read I Wonder Who Wrote That Melania Trump Tweet (HuffPost)
Definitely not Donald Trump in a wig, that's for sure.

Certainly crazy, and I don’t even think they mentioned anything about her actual style or the fact that English may be a second language for her? I can’t wait to read conspiracy theories surrounding this. Is he keeping her imprisoned? Poisoning her while he keeps her “alive” on Twitter?

🎧 ‘The Daily’: Putting ‘Fake News’ on Trial | New York Times

Listened to ‘The Daily’: Putting ‘Fake News’ on Trial by Michael Barbaro from nytimes.com

The families of children killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., in 2012 are suing a conspiracy theorist who claims the massacre was a hoax. Their lawsuits are bringing the issue of “fake news” to the courts.

On today’s episode:

• Elizabeth Williamson, a reporter in the Washington bureau of The New York Times.

Background reading:

• The families of eight Sandy Hook victims, as well as an F.B.I. agent who responded to the massacre, are suing the conspiracy theorist Alex Jones for defamation. Relatives of the victims have received death threats from those who embrace the falsehoods Mr. Jones has propagated on his website Infowars, which has an audience of millions.