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Calling all Air America fans, calling all Air America fans!

Crank alert!

Age of Autism has announced that David Kirby and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. will be on the David Bender Show at 1:15 PM today.

It would be nice if, to counter the antivaccine activists, reality-based listeners would call in, although I am very pessimistic that Bender would give them a fair shake, given that he has said this about Deepak Chopra:

I had the pleasure of interviewing a man whose work I’ve admired for many years, but had never met–Dr. Deepak Chopra.

Any man who admires Deepak Chopra’s work has a serious problem with reality. I’ve never listened to Bender’s show before, but perusing his website does not give me any confidence that he is any more science-based than, say, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, or Mark Levin, for example. Here’s a hint: Embracing Deepak Chopra just because he has written a screed against Rush Limbaugh is not a good idea if you want to lay claim to the mantle of being part of the “reality-based” community.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

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12 replies on “Calling all Air America fans, calling all Air America fans!”

It’s on right now. I can’t find the phone number to call in — from the sound of it, they may not be taking callers this segment.

Benders pre show trailer;

In the second hour, David welcomes AAR comrade Bobby Kennedy and, a bit later, author and journalist David Kirby. Both have been weighing in on recent controversy regarding the connections between childhood vaccines and autism. Check out their joint pieces at the Huffington Post here.

Recent controversy? Where the hell has he been? Bender seems like a really investigative sherlock Holmes.

I suppose you couldn’t get people to watch if you introduced it as; “Don’t miss this show where we talk about stuff that I have never heard of before on vaccines and Autism”

As they say in show business “Just read the cue cards”

P.S. I found it interesting that the current president has said that contrary to the previous administration they will evaluate the research (stem cell) based on science and not ideology.
Obama Most likely found GI Joe’s and super balls in GW’s oval office desk drawer….

An enjoyable post taken from Age of Autism;

“Warning to all my friends here; the King Idiot (spell my name backwards) has issued a call to all of his vaccine zombies to call in on this program. Expect bullying, antagonism, and a general lack of respect for parents of vaccine injured children. Hopefully, someone can contact David Bender and warn him in advance.”

1. Describe your major detractor as “The King Idiot” to warn others of bullying antagonism and general lack of respect.

2. Why would you warn a host of a discussion forum that others (representing the widely held scientific perspective) may be calling in to “evidence base” debate the perspectives of your controversial guests?

3. The anti-vac AoA group must conjure up “friends” however the opposing group seems represented by a mutual understanding of the scientific process and who may not necessarily be friends.

general lack of respect for parents of vaccine injured children.

That should be general lack of respect for parents who claim to have vaccine injured children. It’s highly improbable that a significant fraction of them actually have vaccine injured children.

I expect nothing less from this tragic clusterf&%k of a “network”. Remember, Jeanine Garofalo passionately defending $cientology’s Purification Rundown a year or so ago? The right has Rush, Jeebus and the apocalypse, the left has Harkin, Chopra and the peakoilalypse.

Kennedy, unconcerned with his family’s reputation, has repeatedly quote mined and lied about vaccines and studies on them. Kirby is even worse. And worse yet, these two charlatans take up the mantle of the Outraged Defender of Children ™. Convenient armor, this. It makes any criticism seem mean spirited and evil.

I wasn’t aware that “Air America” was still in business. From the sound of this show, it can’t be much of a going concern. Maybe it would be better to just let it die a quiet, dignified death.

As for “…recent controversy regarding the connections between childhood vaccines and autism…”, I guess they’ll soon be having a show on the “…recent controversy regarding the connections between demonic possession and Black Death…”

Whom the gods would destroy, they first make irrelevant.


I saw Dawkins’ interview with Deepak Chopra a while back. Chopra talked about a lot of stuff, but the thing that sticks out in my mind is that he thinks scientists are arrogant.

The reason it sticks out in my mind so well is because in all of the stuff he was talking about, that’s the only thing he said that had any substance whatsoever. All the other things he said were pure gibberish. He talked a lot but didn’t say a damn thing! Amazing…

And in other news, Scott Reuben reveals the risks of pharma sponsored research. Ouch.


Air America was a good idea at the time. The problem is that liberals, as a general rule, don’t tend to enjoy having their opinions spoon-fed to them, so the ratings have never been great; some dirty dealing by the original owners didn’t help either.

Usually the show is pretty good. They’re skeptical enough about things not involving vaccines and energy fields, and those don’t come up much. The same applies to Bobby Kennedy Jr. He spoke at my university last week and, aside from including autism in the list of problems caused by mercury contamination by coal plants, was very good at encouraging a science-based approach to sustainability.

Unfortunately, a lot of laypeople have selective skepticism. Tell a conservative that they need to have their aura rebalanced and they’ll probably dismiss you, but they’ll jump at the chance to shred Darwin. Liberals will idolize Depak Chopra because he’s in favor of things like peace and interconnectedness, but are generally quick to dismiss racist pseudoscience.

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