Monday, May 5, 2014

Wakefraud: A New Internet Meme is Born

Last week, Andrew Jeremy Wakefield did not like a blogpost on Forbes by Emily Willingham and penned a whiny threat of legal action against her.  His threat appeared on the autism crank blog Age of Autism whose readership consists mainly of rabid anti-vaxx parents of autistic children who hate Emily Willingham with a white-hot passion.  It was a most calculated move by Wakefield as Penumbrage opines:
So why is he doing it? My best guess is that he has issued this threat and published it on Age of Autism to rally the troops and revitalize his flagging support. And why is he doing it to Ms Willingham? Perhaps he thinks she is more vulnerable than CNN or Time Magazine. Maybe he hoped that Forbes would take the corporate view and silence her to fend off a potential troublesome lawsuit. Not for the first time he has been proven wrong. Ms Willingham is an eminent scientist, an educator and an accomplished journalist. Forbes recognize her talent and show no signs of surrendering to Wakefield’s bluster.
Today, Harpocrates Speaks published a hilarious post describing the "Wakefraud".
The sun set long ago, and outside, the world sleeps. Only the occasional passing car breaks the tranquility of the night. Inside, a lone figure sits before a laptop. The lamp on the desk sheds a soft, if weak, light, nearly drowned out itself by the cold illumination of the monitor. The figure's fingers tap out a few final strokes, then move to the mouse. She drags the cursor across the screen and clicks "Publish". A sudden flash of lightning and thunder, then the room goes dark.

A low, quiet chuckle filters out of the laptop as the screen fitfully flickers back to life. On the screen, four words shed an ominous, baleful glow:

The Wakefraud had struck.
Read both Penumbrage and Harpocrates Speaks for more excellent commentary about the Wakefraud.  Wakefield wanted some publicity and attention, well he's got it.


  1. Wakefield certainly has gotten publicity...just not the type he would want. His faux indignation and that threatening-a-lawsuit-letter which was posted on Age of Autism, gave a slew of science bloggers material to post about his fraudulent study and the clown blog.

    Pure, unadulterated, comedy gold.

    1. not many people watching though from what I hear ;)

  2. Yeah, I want the ring seat when Deer, Goddlee et al end up in court

  3. It'll be a very short trial:

    At this point, just waiting for the Appeals Court to uphold the original ruling & throw Wakefield and company out on their asses.....