by Marco Cáceres
The biased, vicious, and personal attacks against vaccine safety advocates by the mainstream media continue and seem to show no signs of abating.
Coming on the heels of a column published on May 8, 2017 by the editorial staff of the Boston Heraldcalling for those concerned about the safety of vaccines to be hung,1 2 and an opinion piece on March 3, 2017 in Scientific American by Peter Hotez, MD saying that steps should be taken to “snuff” out the antivaccine movement,2 3 senior health writer Maggie Fox of NBC Newshas now written an article describing vaccine skeptics as “notorious.”
Fox’s piece, “Vaccine Debate Vexes Vermont Ski Resort Town,”4 opens:
A planned symposium featuring notorious vaccine skeptics has set off a testy but polite debate in the Vermont ski resort town of Stowe.4
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the word notorious as: “well-known or famous especially for something bad.”5 Examples of the word’s usage include: “a notorious gangster” or “a notorious mastermind of terrorist activities.”6
So, Fox is characterizing as notorious anyone who has concerns about the safety of vaccines and believes it is their right to decide when or if they should vaccinate themselves and their children? She is likening to gangsters or terrorists Americans who maintain doubts and questions about this medical intervention and wish to exercise their informed consent right to refuse or delay the procedure?
This is an irresponsible and chilling use of a word at the outset of a news article by an experienced journalist for a major news organization. It directly plays into the narrative being crafted by the Boston Herald and other media outlets that people who hold dissenting views on vaccines and vaccination policy should be executed. After all, what should you do with gangsters and terrorists, right?