Sunrise's Seasonal Series of Stupification – Springing into Denialism

Last Saturday Channel 7’s Sunrise program kicked off its latest ratings grab by featuring an anti-vaccination liar, portrayed as an “expert”, up against a real expert. This was in the midst of a Measles outbreak. Here is the biography for Professor Peter McIntyre, the real expert, from the NCIRS site:

Peter McIntyre is the Director of NCIRS. He trained as a paediatrician and infectious disease physician, completing the FRACP in 1986, and became a Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health Medicine in 1992. His PhD in the epidemiology of invasive Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) disease with the School of Public Health, University of Sydney, was completed in 1995. His current research interests include surveillance and prevention by vaccination of invasive Hib and pneumococcal disease and pertussis, and the use of routinely collected data including the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register (ACIR). He has extensive experience in vaccine trials.

Professor McIntyre has a clinical appointment at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead as a Senior Staff Specialist in Infectious Diseases and a conjoint academic appointment as Professor in the Discipline of Paediatrics and Child Health and the School of Public Health, University of Sydney.

Here is the correlate biography for Meryl Dorey:

Impressive

Impressive

Here is how they were portrayed together, on our god damned televisions:

Dorey McIntyre Sunrise October 19 2013

Experts weigh in on what’s best for our kids”.

They really said that.

Sunrise has featured in one of my earlier posts, regarding grieving parents who were targeted by anti-vaccination liars:  “I never have and never will harass or hurt a grieving parent” – Meryl Dorey. This should probably be enough to give Sunrise pause for thought at their actions. And, it’s not the first time Sunrise has had a real expert up against an anti-vaccination liar. Remember Professor Robert Booy up against vocal neighbourhood person, Wendy Lydall? Lydall actually laughed about Chicken Pox deaths in that one. She laughed. About kids dying from Chicken Pox. On Sunrise.

So, I tuned into Sunrise again today, as I was expecting the denialism series to continue. Surely they want to continue, for the ratings? The shareholders must be thrilled.

Today was meant to be David Irving’s turn, denying that the Holocaust ever happened:

IrvingThe following Saturday Sunrise has scheduled Christine Maggiore, who believed that HIV does not cause AIDS. Maggiore’s daughter, unfortunately, had no choice in what to believe. Maggiore makes a strong case:

Coffin

If Maggiore is unavailable to present the HIV/AIDS denialist position, then, Meryl Dorey is ready and willing to go as a back-up; as is Greg Beattie:

The two people in charge of the Australian Vaccination Network are HIV/AIDS denialists.

The two people in charge of the Australian Vaccination Network are HIV/AIDS denialists.

Because taste is paramount at Sunrise, the following Saturday they have scheduled renowned Facebook person, Jock Doubleday, to dispel several outrageous myths: that the Sandy Hook school massacre was not a government plot; that 9/11 was not a government plot; that the Boston Marathon bombing was not a government plot. He will be joined by his Australia-based expert, Liz Hempel, who will attest to the fact that the Port Arthur massacre was a government plot, just like the Colorado theatre shootings:

Doubleday HempelAnd the following Saturday Sunrise will be crossing live to South Australia, to No Fluoride Australia Guy, who will demonstrate that fluoride is a government plot to destroy the brains and precious bodily fluids of our precious children. He’ll also be giving a workshop on photoshop, and apparel for the discerning denialist:

NFA 26 shirtThere is such a stellar line-up that they can’t all be included here. Maybe we can all contact  @sunriseon7 and tell them which facts you want overturned by their barrel of experts. There is no bottom to their barrel.

Here is a tip to real immunisation experts, contemplating media appearances; as already stated by a friend (and a real expert in his own field). Repeat this line:

If AVN appears, I don’t.

And don’t mention the lizards.

Update 27 October 2013

I forgot to include the Sunrise expert on chemtrails and, well, everything: the Deranged Californian™ chiropractor, Billy DeMoss. DeMoss is a welcome friend of the Chiropractors’ Association of Australia, the Australian Spinal Research Foundation, and the New Zealand College of Chiropractic. Luckily DeMoss reminded me to include him with this morning’s post:

DeMoss 47 Sunrise chemtrails expertAnd forgive me for forgetting the world’s greatest climate change expert, Mr Chris Monckton, who claims that other experts are Nazis. It’s obvious when you think about it:

Monckton Sunrise expert

 

About reasonable hank

I’m reasonable, mostly.

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0 Responses to Sunrise's Seasonal Series of Stupification – Springing into Denialism

  1. Stephen says:

    Outrageous they called M.D. an expert.
    Any point in writing letters of complaint?
    (Nice biographies mate.)

    • I doubt any complaint would be worthwhile. Sunrise covered their arse enough by having Dorey on against Professor McIntyre. This would deflect any complaints about having unrebutted nonsense on their show. They knew exactly what they were doing. Ratings matter more than ethics, and empathy for Dorey’s victims.

  2. Andy says:

    I borrowed some money off one of my kids a few weeks back. Now I’m a certified Sunrise Finance Expert. I’ll be up against Kochie in January, I believe.

    Yesterday, the indicators stopped working on my car. I thumped the steering column plastic thing and now they work. Sunrise Automotive Expert.

    I have a Tandy TRS80 computer that still works. Sunrise Technology Expert.

    And, I’ve owned a goldfish for two months and it hasn’t died. Official Sunrise Vet.

    Actually, the more I think about it, the more qualified I seem to be. I never realised how easy expertise really was. Thank you Sunrise.

  3. jagman48 says:

    Total bullshit is Sunrise. Dorey looked an idiot not a expert. Yeah and who mentioned lizards. Yucky.

  4. Tal says:

    Hank, whilst normally I think you’re spot on in what you write, I think you’re a touch wide of the mark this time around.

    Unfortunately Dorey would show up to the interview regardless of whether or not a real expert shows up to shoot her nonsense down. Consider the scenario if your advice of “If AVN appears, I don’t.” had been followed in the Sunrise instance.

    Sunrise host: “And now we turn to the issue of immunisations, a topic that has divided many in the community. We contacted the director of NCIRS Peter McIntyre for his organisations thoughts on the matter, but he declined to be interviewed. We do, however, have Meryl Dorey with us from the Australian Vaccination Network. Meryl, good morning, what can you tell us about this topic?”.

    See where it’s headed? Unfortunately, as demoralising as it seems, holding the moral high ground is not effective in this scenario. Like vaccinations themselves, you’ve got to keep pumping in the juice until the disease is completely eradicated. Every time AVN pops up somewhere, it needs someone rational to pop up alongside, point at them and say “these guys are full of crap, and here’s why”. It’d be nice if you didn’t have to, but you do.

    Whilst Sunrise was dumb to label Dorey an expert in the text, they didn’t do that when introducing her. It would’ve been great if they hadn’t given her any airtime at all, but unfortunately they did. Peter McIntyre did a great job of both getting the story on (correct) message, and exposing AVN’s nonsense arguments. With the assistance of a sympathetic host McIntyre reduced Dorey’s ‘rebuttal’ to thanking him for doing a study which was taking place anyway. She was effectively neutered by the end of the piece.

    Bottom line: Shows like Sunrise are for the masses. They use a broad brush and punchy, ill-thought out words in order to drag in as many watchers as possible. That’s how you end up with ‘expert’ titles for people that don’t deserve them. It would be more correct to caption with “enthusiastic nutter leading an illegitimate organisation” but you and I both know that wont pull ratings. Likewise, the ‘right’ thing to do would be to not dignify AVN types with a reply, but again that won’t get the masses to tune in to the message that you want them to see. You have to be there. Every time.

    • By legitimising Dorey’s appearances on shows like this, experts also remove any regulatory action which would otherwise be faced by these shows had they allowed Dorey to lie unrebutted.

      It is also the case that allowing false balance like this – opposing “experts” – creates greater vaccine hesitancy in the community than having a wingnut lie solo.

      • talosphere says:

        Hank,

        Your first point is a grey area. I’m not sure that an appearance would totally nullify any potential regulatory action. I think that I’ll leave that one to be answered by greater legal minds than mine, except to say that thought has to be given as to what would be the most effective way of silencing these guys. Are we better off staying mum, putting our faith in regulatory bodies that too often are rather toothless when it comes to doing their job (remind me again what the AVN has already been instructed to do by them), or in using effective PR alongside legal avenues?

        This leads to your second point. I get it. I completely see where you’re coming from. The study you reference only addresses a very specific issue though. Whilst the Sunrise thing was about measles, with the inferred link to the whole MMR autism thing, the point of McIntyre’s appearance wasn’t to specifically present ‘balancing expert evidence’ as studied by your referenced research. McIntyres point was to shoot down the AVN’s credibility as a whole. Sure, he talked specifically about measles for a little while, but he also talked about how AVN material in general was ill founded garbage, and he gave reasons for not listening to their message. Any good PR campaign is all about making sure a message is consistent and prolific. Have a look at the recent federal election campaigns for evidence of this. If you don’t show, nobody listens. You have to show up.

        • I can only speak on successes and failures of past complaints where Dorey has appeared solo, as opposed to in a ‘debate’ setting. When Dorey’s awful claims are not addressed a complaint is usually successful. When Dorey has an adversary to rebut her claims (not always successfully), the complaint usually fails. The broadcaster covers their bases in this way.

      • Andy says:

        I’d feel more comfortable with these “debates” if the experts were willing to state more-categorically that the AVN is a bunch of unqualified anti-vax conspiracy theorists. No one ever seems to mention their total lack of qualification in these “debates”. Indeed, as we see here again, the media strongly imply Dorey is more-than qualified – she’s an expert.

        But it’s difficult because a section of the audience will then complain that the real expert only attacked the anti-vaxxer and provided no useful vaccine information.

        As for regulation – is there such a thing? Really?

  5. Doug says:

    New rhyming slang: “meryl dorey” = untrue story.
    Suggested example application in a sentence:

    “That story on Sunrise was a complete meryl!”

  6. Paul Jones says:

    Doug – that is just perfect. I am going to use that, in daily conversation.

  7. @advodiaboli says:

    September 2011 Sunrise had Prof. Booy and Viera Scheibner together in the studio. The look on the good professor’s face at times says it all.
    http://youtu.be/Fs-E4-XL62w

  8. Tyson Adams says:

    I’ve emailed Sunrise and Today on various occasions to point out their false balance or painfully biased, wrong and plain crap “debates” and interviews. Some of the stuff they have done makes you wonder how they remain on TV.

  9. BobM says:

    Dara O’B on ‘balance’. Funny.

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