When Should Journalists Report What Vaccine, Climate Denialists Say?

"Keith Kloor's interesting piece in The Washington Post Magazine on Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s anti-vaccine crusade includes this interesting fact: 'All six of his children--ages 13-29--have been fully vaccinated.'

That's a bit of a surprise in the family of man who is probably second only to the sometime actress Jenny McCarthy in the zeal with which he has attacked vaccines. But it doesn't seem to have dampened Kennedy's anti-vaccine efforts. The issue concerns a mercury-containing preservative called thimerosal, once used in a lot of childhood vaccines but not used only in some flu vaccines, Kloor reports. ...

The story raises an interesting question: Why give Kennedy ink now in the pages of The Washington Post? Why risk attracting more allies to his lone wolf campaign?"

Paul Raeburn reports for Knight Science Journalism Tracker July 21, 2014.


"Don’t Pick Up!" (Columbia Journalism Review)

"Robert F. Kennedy Jr.: Still Fighting the Wrong Fight" (Slate)

"Don’t Feel Sorry for Robert F. Kennedy Jr." (Slate)

"Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s Twisted Anti-Vaxx History" (Daily Beast)

"Washington Post Magazine Revives Anti-Vaccine Hysteria with Sympathetic RFK Jr. Profile" (Newsbusters)

"Robert Kennedy Jr.’s Belief in Autism-Vaccine Connection, And Its Political Peril" (Washington Post Magazine)

"Reactions to the Kennedy Profile" (Discover)

"Is Robert F. Kennedy Jr. The New Jenny McCarthy? RFK Jr To Publish Book About Vaccines And Autism " (International Business Times)