Lion of the Blogosphere has a good post up about the media’s double standard when it comes to calling out presidential candidates (and their families) for promoting pseudoscience. Perhaps there was no more glaring an example of this hypocrisy than the recent controversy over presidential candidates giving credence to the discredited alleged link between vaccines and autism. When Republican candidates like Governor Christie and Rand Paul expressed ambivalence about vaccines they were derided as anti-science loons and a menace to public health, but when far more influential Democratic candidates did the same thing, liberal elites were either silent, or claimed they were taken out of context.
For example in 2008 Hillary Clinton stated in a written response to the issue:
I am committed to make investments to find the causes of autism, including possible environmental causes like vaccines
One of the few liberal publications that was honest enough to admit that candidates on both sides of the political spectrum have waffled on the vaccine issue is Ezra Klein’s Vox, which noted that in 2008, Barack Obama said the following:
We’ve seen just a skyrocketing autism rate. Some people are suspicious that it’s connected to the vaccines. This person included (gesturing to an audience member). The science right now is inconclusive, but we have to research it.
So how did liberals react when they learned that their God Obama waffled on this all important issue. Similar to how they reacted to the news that their other God, Charles Darwin expressed pro-HBD views. By either outright denial blaming Vox for misrepresenting Obama, or my favorite, claiming Obama was taken out of context: “What he really meant was….”
Apparently, when Obama said “the science right now is inconclusive”, he only meant the science of what causes autism. He couldn’t possibly have meant the science of autism and vaccines, because suggesting a link between vaccines and autism would have made Obama as ignorant or as evil as a Republican, and that’s just not possible because he’s an elegant svelte Democrat who went to Harvard (and half-black to boot!), not an overweight prole Republican like Chris Christie or an uneducated playboy model like Jenny McCarthy. Only the latter two could genuinely be evil or ignorant enough to promote the pseudoscientific anti-vaccine movement, Democrats tell themselves, ignoring the fact that elite liberal regions of America are the most afflicted with anti-vaxxers.
But it should be obvious to any honest liberal that part of Obama’s genius is he’s able to make statements that are ambiguous enough that he can pander to one group at one time, but have plausible deniability if and when his liberal defenders need to cover for him.