The Parasites Thank You, Amanda Peet

Monkeys_assBy J.B. Handley

July 18, 2008
If Every Child By Two and Paul Offit were hoping to get a Hollywood spokesperson who was the anti-Jenny, they got their wish and more. Where Jenny evokes immediate sympathy from millions for her story of a beautiful son who literally died in her arms, descended into autism, and then climbed from the abyss to resume life as the beautiful, articulate, loving child he was meant to be, Ms. Peet's public debut was a PR disaster that ended yesterday in her public apology to the hundreds of thousands of parents she outraged by calling them "parasites" for their decision to shun vaccination for fear they may cause their children neurological harm.

If her debut weren't good enough news for those of us interested in truth, Ms. Peet's explicit affection for Dr. Paul Offit, whom she characterizes as a mentor and guide, raised his profile to heights never before seen, and to a microscope that he has never before been subjected. As the famous Polynesian saying goes, "the higher up a tree a monkey climbs, the more of his ass you see." Truer words were never spoken.

Paul Offit defending vaccines is like Charles Manson arguing the merits of religious cults, and reporters and gossip columnists across the country are Googling away and learning about the extreme conflicts, Congressional reprimands, vaccine patents, paid spokesperson gigs, and underhanded book deals that characterize Offit's dealings.

Ms. Peet's "apology" began innocently enough:

"I wanted to address my COMMENT in Cookie magazine that "parents who don't vaccinate their children are parasites." I believe in my heart that my use of the word "parasites" was mean and divisive; I completely understand why it offended some parents, and in particular, parents of children with autism who feel that vaccines caused their illness. For this I am truly sorry. Since my mom has Parkinson's Disease, I know what it feels like to want a concrete cause, and a concrete cure, as soon as possible."

As I read the last sentence of her first paragraph above, I thought to myself, "here it comes." That patronizing tone we have all grown so tired of was settling in, and Ms. Peet didn't disappoint. Turns out her apology was actually a non-apology after all, and she used this opportunity to parrot the party line of Paul Offit and the AAP. If Offit and his cronies didn't ghostwrite the rest of her statement themselves, they at least hovered over Ms. Peet's keyboard and moved her hands to type the proper letters.

Ms. Peet writes:

"Fourteen studies have been conducted (both here in the US and abroad), and these tests are reproducible; no matter where they are administered, or who is funding them, the conclusion is the same: there is no association between autism and vaccines."

Paul Offit, in the Boston Globe wrote:

"Certainly there is plenty of evidence to refute the notion that vaccines cause autism. Fourteen epidemiological studies have shown that the risk of autism is the same whether children received the MMR vaccine or not, and five have shown that thimerosal-containing vaccines also do not cause autism."

Ms. Peet writes:

"In fact, although there are many more vaccine doses given today, the entire vaccine schedule contains far fewer antigens components of viruses or bacteria�than vaccines of the past. (In other words, it's more shots, but less vaccine.) Why doesn't anyone talk about this?"

Renee Jenkins, President of the AAP, wrote last month:

"The fact is, today's vaccines are safer than any in history. Current vaccines are more refined than older versions, so children receive fewer immune-challenging antigens overall even though they get a larger number of immunizations."

And, finally, to ensure a place in every parent's Hall of Shame, Ms. Peet writes:

"The real question is why the media and journalists are still presenting vaccine safety as a controversy. There are a few fringe medical groups and parent advocacy groups who claim that vaccines cause autism, or that they have too many "toxins," or "viral challenges" for our tiny babies' bodies to handle. Hopefully children do not have to die before people start to realize the cost of withholding vaccines."

Ms. Peet does us all a favor. Her insensitive language, her parroting of party-lines crafted by the Vaccine Industry's henchmen, her lack of any legitimate dog in the fight, they all serve as a microcosm for the battle we are all fighting today: hundreds of thousands of parents, emboldened by truth and steadfast in honoring their fallen children, fighting the Pharma whores, slick lawyers, and bureaucrats trying to save their own skin. Our mission is truth, our goals are clear, and our message is unwavering.

Ms. Peet, you are a worthy spokesperson for their side, welcome to our fight.

J.B. Handley is co-founder of Generation Rescue and Editor at Large for Age of Autism.