Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Matthew Mientka, Medical Daily, takes the prize for Daily Mail necromancing

and the piss poorest, most irresponsible and non-researched reporting I have seen in a decade and I have seen a lot. His latest piece in the Medical Daily's "Healthy Living" section is headed:

In his write up, Mr Mientka essentially recycles a Daily Mail article - this one:

which reports on a paper from Dr Vijendra Singh which finds inappropriate antibodies in autistic children vaccinated with MMR. If that sounds both familiar and old, it is not surprising. That article is 11 years old! Granted, as previously blogged by Liz Ditz and jdc325, the Daily Fail does not often provide date stamps on their articles, but the page info clearly has 2002-08-09 as a publication date. JDC did write to the Daily Mail in 2011, but it seems they did not add a date. However, the fact that the "current" measles cases in the Daily Mail article are compared to "the last quarter of 2001" should have given Mr Mientka a hint. Or if he misread that, seeing Andrew Wakefield being referred to as "a British expert", who "found fragments of the measles virus from the MMR jab in the guts of autistic children"..."earlier this year" should have made him suspicious.  Or that the article is "no longer" accepting comments? At the very least, a quick check with the National Autistic Society in the UK would have shown them NOT to call for suspending the MMR and Jonathan Harris has not worked for NAS since 2008 anyway is the Birmingham contact for Jabs. It is one thing for an anti-vaccine cureby or granola-mummy page to fall for such an obviously outdated article, but a journalist, one would think, should be a bit more careful. At the time of me writing this, the article had been tweeted 18 times.

Todd W. was fast to ask Mr Mientka for his sources - the answer was a bit vague:

This one, a few minutes later, is a bit more promising:

Yes, please! In all likelihood, everyone will still be playing "whack a geriatric mole" for weeks, thanks to one person's shoddy research.

Edited to correct that Mr Harris is actually working for Jabs, a UK anti-vaccine organisation. This is a mistake that Mr Mientka took from the Daily Mail web site, but the BBC had it right in 2002.


  1. Thank you for that, Vaccine Mom. Have a good day.

    1. So what has Vijendra K. Singh been up to lately? He is no longer at any real research organization.

    2. I'm afraid your gratitude is a bit cryptic Mr. Mientka but the juvenile delivery is pretty obvious. You are a sloppy, pathetic journalist and your "work" deserves every bit of criticism it's getting.

      Grow up.

    3. Matthew said that his editors do not allow him to withdraw the article, so after his initial sloppiness (so much to write, so little time), this hogwash gets preserved in Quackery Daily for all time.

    4. By the way, even though they won't let you delete that silly credulous article, surely there is no reason you cannot write another explaining your errors.

      You might also explain clearly how you were misled by the Daily Mail not providing proper timestamps.

  2. If he is in touch with the JABS parents whose children were part of Wakefield's "study", perhaps he could pose a question to them.

    Why didn't any of those parents, who now claim they support Wakefield, testify on his behalf at the GMC hearing which resulted in the loss of Wakefield's medical license?

    I keep asking John Stone that same question and I've had a dialogue with some of those JABS parents. No one answers my question. Why is that?