- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 7, 2015

HBO talk show host Bill Maher said Friday that the media’s attitude toward vaccine skeptics reminded him of the “don’t ask any questions” attitude he perceived leading up to the Iraq War.

“I’m not an anti-vaxxer,” Mr. Maher clarified, but added, “The attitude of the media this week kind of pissed me off. It was just a lot of ‘shut the [expletive] up.’ You know, it reminded me of the Iraq war, the first weeks ‘just don’t ask any questions,’” Mediaite reported.

Guest Marianne Williamson, author of “A Year of Miracles,” agreed with Mr. Maher, saying that the implication was that if parents had any doubts over vaccinations they were immediately branded “anti-science” or “kooks.”

“I think there’s a difference between having skepticism about science and having skepticism about the pharmaceutical industry,” Ms. Williamson said.

Ms. Williamson explained that people are distrustful of the government and the pharmaceutical industry because they have been lied to in the past.

“This is what happens when, like I said, we don’t believe our government enough and we don’t believe our medical establishment enough, the answer is not to tell us we’re kooks but for them to get their act together so that they are more trustworthy again,” Ms. Williamson said.

John McCormack, a senior writer for The Weekly Standard, said that the media coverage labeling the issue as a Republican problem was “ridiculous.”

“If you look closely at it, it’s more of a liberal problem. When you look at Hollywood, Berkley, there are communities where fifty percent of the kids are not vaccinated, and when you get to that point I think you really need to look at possibly eliminating or at least narrowing these exemptions,” Mr. McCormack said, referring to state’s laws that allow exemptions for parents that chose not to vaccinate their children for religious or philosophical reasons.

Mr. Maher argued that there is no scientific evidence to prove that people who get vaccinated have as robust an immune system as people who don’t.

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