Washington Post's Wonkblog: Liberal Anti-Vaxxers 'Ruining Things for Everyone'

January 28th, 2015 2:54 PM

Only days before USA Today reported that the recent measles outbreak had reached a "critical point," The Washington Post declared that opponents of vaccination were "ruining things for everyone."

Following the recent outbreak of measles at Disneyland, Jason Millman, a reporter for The Washington Post's Wonkblog, called out "the anti-vaccination movement" in a January 22 post, describing them as "over-privileged group of rich people" who "overwhelmingly" voted for Obama. Millman repeated the observation "that you only had to go visit a Whole Foods to find anti-vaxxers."

According to Millman, anti-vaccination parents have refused to fully vaccinate their children because "it's trendy to be all-natural or they don't understand or accept the science of vaccinations."

Contrary to the opinions of "anti-vaxxers," a study by Centers for Disease Control (CDC) found that childhood vaccines and autism were "not related." However, the dangers of skipping vaccinations include "outbreaks of severe, sometimes deadly, illnesses," according to Dr. Tanya Altmann of Mattel Children's Hospital at UCLA.

Anti-vaccine views remain prevalent in certain liberal parts of the country, despite evidence to the contrary. "The communities where anti-vaxxers cluster are also among the most liberal," Millman added, notably in the "most privileged parts of the Bay Area" of California that "overwhelmingly" voted for Obama.

For years, these views about vaccines were "propelled further" by the activism of liberal celebrities, "like Jenny McCarthy, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and actress Mayim Bialik, who is also a neuroscientist and even plays one on TV," Millman said.

These celebrities acted with the assistance of the media, which helped spread fear of vaccination several years ago. In 2005, Kennedy's scary claims about vaccines were reported on ABC, CBS, in Time magazine and in other media outlets as well.

Just last year, The Washington Post Magazine sympathetically profiled "The Messenger" Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., in the cover-page story of the publication's July 20, 2014, issue. Freelance journalist Keith Kloor explored the political consequences of Kennedy's anti-vaccination crusade in an eight-page story.

Eventually, the media seemed to have had a change of heart. In 2008, CBS did an about-face on the issue, reporting a California study that showed even when thimerosal was eliminated from vaccines, autism rates continued to rise.

In 2012, Time.com had an article highly critical of McCarthy’s vaccination scare tactics. Even the liberal Slate Magazine singled out McCarthy as the "face of the anti-vax movement," who had "mainstreamed the incredibly dangerous claims of the anti-vaxxers" in an article February 4, 2013.

On Comedy Central's "The Daily Show" June 2, 2014, correspondent Samantha Bee said it was not "right-wing nutjobs" who were causing "outbreaks of preventable diseases," but actually "left-leaning idiocy." Bee called out liberals' hypocrisy when she said, "Progressives may love to sh*t on climate change denialists, but terrifyingly the anti-vaccination community displays the same symptoms."