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Quoth antivaxxers: “Big pharma got Tucker Carlson!”

Tucker Carlson was fired on Monday. Antivaxxers are blaming big pharma because he had aired a segment attacking Pfizer and its COVID-19 vaccine.

I haven’t written about Tucker Carlson much on this blog, mainly because this blog is not about politics, at least not primarily. That isn’t to say that Carlson hasn’t, however, managed to come to my attention in a blog-relevant manner a number of times. After all, how could Orac resist a target as big and fat as Carlson lamenting the supposedly falling testosterone levels in men and feature, among a number of quack “solutions,” a testicular tanning device along with “bromeopathy”? (It’s hard to believe that it’s been over a year since that particular piece aired!) Of course, when Tucker Carlson was mainly about dishing out white supremacist and fascist talking points for his Fox News audience, I had less to say, but as he became more and more antivaccine after the pandemic hit, I did mention him more, such as when he repeated the lie that COVID-19 vaccines don’t prevent transmission at all and mischaracterized the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) as “mandating” COVID-19 vaccines for children before they could attend school (hint: ACIP doesn’t have that power), I did feel obliged to comment.

Unsurprisingly, given the increasing affinity between antivaxxers and fascists for each other, I was not completely oblivious to Carlson’s other right wing propaganda. I will admit, however, that I was quite surprised—as were most people—to learn on Monday morning that Fox News had fired Tucker Carlson. Sure, the press release described it as a “mutual” parting of the ways, but it was obvious that Carlson had been abruptly fired. The firing was cold, too. Carlson had signed off from his Friday night show fully expecting to be back Monday night, and Fox News didn’t even allow him the courtesy of a farewell show, as often happens when cable news networks let go the host of a show.

Tucker Carlson as Kenny
“Oh my God, big pharma killed Carlson!”

Naturally, since the axe fell, there has been rampant speculation in the press and on social media about why Carlson had been let go. For my purposes, the actual why isn’t really that important, except for how different it likely is from what I’m about to discuss in this post. I also can’t help but think that the network’s having been forced to settle for nearly $780 million—a huge financial hit for any network, even Fox News—in a defamation suit, largely because of the regular lying about the “stolen” 2020 election on Carlson’s show, might have had something to do with it. So might the revelations of the offensive texts about his bosses that had become public during the discovery phase of the lawsuit (although it truly strains credulity to see claims that the firing was for calling a female Fox News executive the C-word in a text, particularly given how the network had put up with Carlson’s racist conspiracy mongering on the air for so long). In any case, there are a number of speculative theories about Carlson was fired that are way more plausible than what the COVID-19 minimizing antivax “think tank” known as the Brownstone Institute.

According to the Brownstone Institute, never mind the Dominion lawsuit, Carlson’s open insubordination, or Rupert Murdoch’s increasing annoyance with him! None of that matters, because it was big pharma. that finally took down Tucker Carlson, as the Brownstone Institute claimed the day after the firing in an uncredited piece entitled, hilariously, The Tucker Carlson Departure From Fox and the Power of Big Pharma. I don’t know if this was the first instance of this antivax conspiracy theory that was published, but it was the first one that I saw, a mere day after the firing On the other hand, mere hours after the firing antivax “icon” and Presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. Tweeted this:

So maybe RFK Jr. gave Brownstone the idea, but Brownstone and others sure ran with it.

So what is the claim? Why would antivax conspiracy mongers like RFK Jr. come to think that Tucker Carlson had been fired because big pharma had gotten sick of him, rather than a host of many other far more plausible reasons? Brownstone lines up potential other reasons for the firing, only to knock them down in favor of coming to the conclusion that big pharma had claimed Carlson in retribution for his having Spoken The Truth About Big Pharma:

Why would Fox News fire its most popular host? On average, one million additional people tuned into Tucker Carlson every night than to the Fox programs before and after his show. He drew four times as many viewers as the 8PM show on CNN, Anderson Cooper 360°. He was the leading draw on Fox’s streaming service, and there is no rising star at the network expected to take his seat. 

It wasn’t a lack of success that pushed out Carlson, so we are left to speculate why Fox fired their lead anchor. It could have been a battle of egos between Carlson and the Murdochs. Carlson may have threatened to run programming that they disfavored regarding the tapes from January 6, the recent settlement with Dominion, or the coverage of Donald Trump. 

Any of these explanations would indicate that ego triumphed over financial sense in the boardroom. Carlson is a revenue driver, and the company’s stock tanked after the announcement on Monday. 

But what if there was a rational economic explanation for his firing? What if the people who own Fox have far more interest in neutering criticism of their other economic holdings than they do in the success of Fox’s television department?

I’ll give you three guesses what that “rational economic explanation” and Fox’s “other economic holdings” might be. Actually, I’ll give you just one, as that is all you’ll need. Obviously, according to the propagandists at Brownstone, it must have been a segment aired by Carlson last week that criticized big pharma:

Last Wednesday, Carlson opened his show with an attack on the pharmaceutical industry’s manipulation of the news media.

“Sometimes you wonder just how filthy and dishonest our news media are,” Carlson started. “Ask yourself, is any news organization you know of so corrupt that it’s willing to hurt you on behalf of its biggest advertisers?”

Carlson then attacked the news media for taking “hundreds of millions of dollars from Big Pharma companies” and promoting “their sketchy products on the air and as they did that, they maligned anyone who was skeptical of those products.” 

Five days later, Carlson was fired. Perhaps, his stardom was not large enough to overcome the issue that he described. 

The segment was, of course, about Pfizer and its COVID-19 vaccine, with the allegations of malfeasance coming from one of the least credible and reliable sources on the planet, Project Veritas. Carlson’s segment featured footage of Jordon Trishton Walker, described by Project Veritas as “Pfizer Director of Research and Development – Strategic Operations and mRNA Scientific Planning,” answering questions from an unidentified interviewer. (Project Veritas also posted what is claimed to be a screenshot of his internal Pfizer Microsoft Teams profile.) Interestingly, others have tried to determine if there is actually a Pfizer executive named Jordon Trishton Walker, who is in charge of mRNA scientific planning at Pfizer and failed, noting:

Can you say for sure that this Project Veritas video is fake or staged and that “Jordon Trishton Walker” is actually a crisis actor and that Triston doesn’t really have the softest hair in the world? No, not 100% at this moment. Walker may really be that person’s name and that stated Pfizer title may or may not be his real title. But one has to wonder why it’s so difficult to find and confirm his identity with verifiable sources. In this case, the emphasis is on the word “verifiable” versus some screen shot or photo that could have been easily made up or doctored.

I remain agnostic on whether this “Jordon Triton Walker” is actually a high ranking Pfizer executive, although I do wonder why it is so difficult to verify this, even as I note that Pfizer’s press release responding to the original video—which was published in January—doesn’t actually deny that he works for Pfizer. In fact, it doesn’t mention him at all. It does, however, counter this statement on the Project Veritas video:

You know how the virus keeps mutating? Well, one of the things we’re exploring is, like, why don’t we just mutate it ourselves so we could focus on, so we could create… develop new vaccines, right? So, we have to do that. If we’re going to do that, though, there’s a risk of, like, as you could imagine, no one wants to be having a pharma company mutating f——- viruses. So, we’re like, do we want to do this? So, that’s, like, one of the things we’re considering for, like, the future, like, maybe we’re going to create new versions of the vaccine and things like that.  


In the ongoing development of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, Pfizer has not conducted gain of function or directed evolution research.  Working with collaborators, we have conducted research where the original SARS-CoV-2 virus has been used to express the spike protein from new variants of concern. This work is undertaken once a new variant of concern has been identified by public health authorities. This research provides a way for us to rapidly assess the ability of an existing vaccine to induce antibodies that neutralize a newly identified variant of concern. We then make this data available through peer reviewed scientific journals and use it as one of the steps to determine whether a vaccine update is required.   

I hate to say it, but when assessing the claims of Project Veritas versus the rebuttal of Pfizer, I find Pfizer far more credible. I hasten to add that my assessment is not based on any belief that Pfizer is such an upstanding corporate citizen; rather it’s far more a reflection on what a bunch of deceptive, lying propagandists are behind Project Veritas, coupled with a knowledge of molecular biology in particular and science in general. Also, it sounds far more plausible that Pfizer uses the tools of molecular biology to make variants of concern as soon as they are identified in order to test whether its vaccine still works against them than it is that Pfizer is just making up gain-of-function variants willy-nilly in order to be ahead in the race to make new COVID-19 vaccines. Corporations tend to be very risk-averse, and doing such research would be very risky for Pfizer—and unlikely to end well, either through negative publicity or for other reasons. Also, as a molecular biologist myself, what I got from Walker’s statements is that they might be introducing structural changes through directed evolution in order to determine which changes might make the protein more potent, not that they’re doing gain-of-function research on the virus. There is a difference.

In any event, you get the idea. Carlson aired excerpts from this Project Veritas video, taking particular pleasure in the part where James O’Keefe (of Project Veritas) let Walker know that he had been recorded, leading Walker to call the police on him. Of course, whenever Carlson goes after big pharma over COVID-19 vaccines and treatments, I can’t help but note that he never seems to say anything about big pharma’s real depredations and malfeasance. Of course, these generally don’t involve vaccines, much less COVID-19 vaccines; so Carlson is perfectly content to let them slide uncommented upon and continue to collect his paycheck that is supposedly coming largely from all the pharma sponsors and companies that have a stake in Fox News; that is, except when it is ideologically useful not to, as Carlson also did when he fear mongered about a nonexistent link between antidepressants and mass shootings, a favorite theme of the Second Amendment fundamentalist absolutist right.

This brings us back to Brownstone:

Beyond MyPillow, Fox News’ largest advertisers include GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Novartis, and BlackRock. ​​

Vanguard is the largest institutional owner of Fox Corporation, holding a 6.9 percent stake in the company. BlackRock owns an additional 4.7 percent. 

Vanguard and BlackRock are the two largest owners of Pfizer. Combined, they own over 15 percent of the company.

Vanguard and BlackRock are the two largest owners of Johnson & Johnson. Combined, they own over 14 percent of the company. 

Vanguard and BlackRock are the second and third largest owners of Moderna. Combined, they own over 13 percent of the company. 

Perhaps, you may be noticing a trend. 

Vanguard and BlackRock’s holdings in Fox amount to less than $750 million. Theirinvestments in Johnson & Johnson, Eli Lilly, Pfizer, and Merck amount to over $225 billion.

Yes, I’m noticing a trend among conspiracy theorists like those at Brownstone to ignore the elephants in the room (all the other plausible reasons why Fox might have finally decided to get rid of Tucker Carlson, you know, ($)787.5 million reasons) in order to aim their laser focus on a single segment of the show the week before Carlson was fired as being The One True Cause of his show’s demise, because, you know, big pharma. Certainly, RFK Jr.’s fans had been putting together the pieces and crediting their hero as well:

A day later, RFK Jr. was on Twitter saying basically the same thing as Brownstone, but invoking the “Twitter files,” in a true example of crank magnetism and recursive conspiracy theories that all collapse into each other:

What I find particularly amusing about the Tweet above is that RFK Jr. was hastening to point out that he had not meant the investment firm when he had called out “Vanguard” for “censorship,” even including screenshots of Vanguard-25 for good measure.

The same thing is going on over at Children’s Health Defense, the antivax propaganda organ of RFK Jr.’s disinformation-industrial complex empire, except that, egotistical conspiracy monger that he is, RFK Jr. had his minion imply—without directly stating it, although running the article a mere two days after the firing did a lot to imply a connection—that Carlson’s interview with RFK Jr. a week and a half before his firing might have had something to do with it:

Last week, before he left Fox News, Tucker Carlson delivered a commentary on corrupt media, corrupt politicians and “truth-telling.”

According to Carlson, the question to ask when assessing public figures isn’t, “Who is corrupt?” — because there are “too many to count.”

“The question is, Who is telling the truth?” Carlson said. “There are not many of those.”

Carlson singled out Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Children Health Defense’s chairman-on-leave who is seeking the Democratic nomination for U.S. president, as one of the few truth-telling public figures.

“It’s nice to have a truth-teller around,” Carlson said. “It’s helpful because suddenly the stakes are very high.”


Carlson — who later on his show interviewed Kennedy — said mainstream media channels other than Fox News “maligned” Kennedy for his skepticism of the COVID-19 products.

“The other channels took hundreds of millions of dollars from Big Pharma companies and then they shilled for their sketchy products on the air — and as they did that, they maligned anyone who was skeptical of those products,” he said.

Carlson pointed out that Kennedy and his father, Robert F. Kennedy — who sought the U.S. presidency 55 years ago — said things “you weren’t supposed to say” and were “hated” by some for their honesty.

One can’t help but note that, unlike RFK, Jr., John F. Kennedy and the rest of the Kennedy clan are provaccine, to the point that the year before the pandemic his family published an op-ed calling out RFK, Jr. for spreading antivaccine misinformation.

Then, over on that wretched hive of antivax scum and villainy, Substack, a pseudonymous “midwestern doctor” whom I recently discovered, is spinning the same conspiracy theory, that “big pharma” got Carlson because Carlson had been exposing their quest to corrupt all news. After saying that he normally doesn’t write on anything that others are covering about which he feels that he doesn’t have much to add, A Midwestern Doctor (AMD) basically goes “Aha!” and finds his “medical” angle:

Tucker Carlson was abruptly dismissed from Fox News sometime between Saturday, 4-22-23, and Monday, 4-24-23 (likely closer to Monday). Many believe the ten-minute segment he made (on 4-19-23) caused Fox News to cancel the most popular news host on national television despite it significantly damaged the network’s financial revenue.

I love the “many believe” part. You know what many also believe? They believe that ghosts exist, that evolution isn’t real, that COVID-19 isn’t deadly, and that vaccines are killing millions of people. Just because “many believe” something does not make it true—or even plausible or credible. He also likens RFK Jr.’s “truth telling” about vaccines to RFK Jr.’s father’s “truth telling” about Vietnam during his 1968 Presidential campaign:

Another important example of this was shared by RFK Jr. in his recent presidential announcement speech. His father, Robert F. Kennedy (JFK’s brother) in 1968, decided to run for the Democratic Presidency. At the time, his candidacy was a long shot, but RFK felt compelled to do it because of the state the country was in and focused on bringing up politically unpopular subjects no one was supposed to discuss since he felt he needed to get those messages out. 

Instead of dooming his candidacy, it garnered massive popularity with the public, he became the leading candidate in the Democratic primary and was loved throughout the country, or to quote RFK Jr.—” He had succeeded in uniting America and building a bridge just by telling people the truth.” Sadly, before RFK could clinch the nomination, like his brother, he was assassinated. 

I suppose that in this analogy, Tucker Carlson is like RFK Jr. who is like RFK, who was assassinated for “telling people the truth.” After all, isn’t being fired as the host of a highly paid popular daily pundit show the same thing as being gunned down at a campaign event? He then quotes at length a speech by Tucker Carlson given a week ago, before he was fired and at a time when he thought he’d just be doing his show again Monday night as he usually did:

If there’s a single person in this room who hasn’t seen that through George Floyd and COVID and the Ukraine War, raise your hand. Oh, nobody? Right. You all know what I’m talking about.


The herd Instinct is very strong impulse. And you’re so disappointed in people. You are. And you realize that the herd instinct is maybe the strongest instinct. I mean, it may be stronger than the hunger and sex instincts, actually. The instinct, which again, is inherent to be like everybody else and not to be cast out of the group, not to be shunned.

That’s a very strong impulse in all of us from birth. And it takes over, unfortunately, in moments like this, and it’s harnessed, in fact, by bad people in moments like this to produce uniformity. And you see people going along with this, and you lose respect for them. And that’s certainly happened to me at scale over the past three years.

I’m not mad at people; I’m just sad. I’m disappointed. How could you go along with this? You know it’s not true, but you’re saying it anyway

To cement his idea of Carlson (and himself) as not a sheep following the herd, AMD includes this famous 1936 photo of one German man at a Nazi rally refusing to salute:

Nazi refuses to salute
The man is believed to have been August Landmesser, and his wife was Jewish. Landmesser was later imprisoned in a concentration camp by the Nazis, and, upon his release, conscripted into the German Army where he was killed in action. AMD clearly thinks that Tucker Carlson (and he) are the reincarnation of August Landmesser. They’re not.

After laying down a whole lot of the usual COVID-19 and vaccine conspiracy theories, AMD also praises Carlson for allowing civil “debate” about controversial topics:

I do not agree with many of the viewpoints Tucker holds—rather, I agree with the fact he will allow both sides of an issue to be debated and his willingness to touch topics of national importance everyone else in the mainstream media shouts down and censors instead of providing a dialog for. This is really sad because, previously, Tucker’s conduct was the expected standard in journalism (I have family members who used to be journalists for premier organizations who are in disbelief with what has become of their profession). Instead, what we have now is simply an exercise in forcing you to hear a specific viewpoint everywhere you go until you submit to the social pressure of agreeing with them.

Remember, the purpose of “debates” like the ones that Tucker Carlson airs (or that antivaxxers like Del Bigtree hold) is not to illuminate the truth (or even just try to determine what is supported by evidence). It’s propaganda. Its purpose is to make unsupportable beliefs and claims seem at least plausible by forcing or enticing an actual expert to refute them or by having a debater supporting what is supportable by evidence be forced to refute the misinformation and conspiracy theories promoted by, for example, antivaxxers. Debates in this context are nothing more than a tool to move the Overton window towards the belief system of the conspiracy mongers or, failing that, to allow cranks to portray refusals to “debate” as cowardice or evidence that “They” are afraid.

As for Tucker Carlson, I have no idea what the true reason for his firing was. No one other than those doing the firing knows. What I do know is that it was fairly predictable that his followers would soon make him a martyr for speaking “The Truth.” Had I paid attention to Carlson’s show at all the week before (which I did not), after the news of his firing broke I probably would have been able to predict the emergence of this very conspiracy theory.

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.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

108 replies on “Quoth antivaxxers: “Big pharma got Tucker Carlson!””

So Tucker suffered a vaccine injury they say?

It was the vaccine, its always the vaccine.

They really are one trick ponies aren’t they.

the company’s stock tanked after the announcement on Monday

Brownstone is reaching — a 5.4% drop is not “tanking,” and the (Class B) stock is up 7.63% year-to-date.

I did a quick peek at the stock price history. It had slipped a bit in the week after the Dominion settlement, then took a sharper drop on M-W after the firing announcement. But it recovered on Thursday and will probably be close to “normal” at closing today.

Also, thanks for the note about the Overton Window. I had seen elsewhere the idea that people seek these debates about controversial topics as a way to shoehorn their outlandish ideas into the window of acceptable political discourse.

Maybe RFK Junior is upset because his most slavish forum to reach a million cult followers got abruptly canceled. He’s as much of a “Democrat” as Lyndon LaRouche was (as in, not even remotely close). I’m a Kennedy Democrat – as in the original. I deeply respect JFK’s efforts at the end of his aborted Presidency to call off the Cold War, but not a fan of the sequel (Junior). (I am registered independent, for many reasons.).

Supposedly, Steve Bannon spent months encouraging Junior to run, which shows tremendous bad faith to be polite. He’ll be an annoyance to the Democratic Party but hopefully not a substantial disruption. An inspiration to Q-anon-sense followers, perhaps that explains his association with Roger Stone and General Michael Flynn.

A real Covid conspiracy is the flood of nonsense to immunize the former President from accountability for his intentional criminal negligence in his administration’s response, especially when the outbreak was mostly confined to liberal Democratic cities with international airports. (Jared Kushner told his father in law to ignore the problem as best as possible since they hated NYC and vice versa.). When it spread further, it was too late to admit making a mistake and the calculation was apparently that the deaths would be a tolerable percentage.

The only other politico I can think of who is notorious for his siblings campaigning against him is Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ), who is racist and mean.

If you call citing clinical trials that say the exact opposite of what they actually say,

If you call purposely making up lies about Ukraine and its government to favor Russia, then yes, I guess by that definition Tucker is brave, by “saying what you are not supposed to say” and “being hated for it”!

I refer to Tucker’s segment in which he had Marty Makary on which they cited a clinical trial about myocarditis in young people, warning about myocarditis after Covid vaccines supposedly suppressed.
When in fact that clinical trial discussed the importance of covid vaccines for young
People because myocarditis in youth is much worse after Covid.

Also, Tucker lying about Zelenskyy supposedly closing down churches. When in fact the churches that were run by and infiltrated by Russian intelligence agencies were being placed under the jurisdiction of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

I could go on and on, but like I said if blatant lies make a person brave, then by that standard Tucker is brave indeed!

I think Putin had been cultivating support within the Russian Orthodox Church for a long time. The Communists had demonized the church and tried to limit their influence. But Stalin had to make some concessions to garner support during World War II.
But the Russian church’s strong support for the war against Ukraine was a sufficient reason to let the Ukrainian church take over the individual churches.

Is there anyone else at Fox News besides Tucker? Asking for a friend who does not watch Fox News.

Seriously, all this talk about Fox News “firing” Tucker ignores the fact that Tucker has his own brand and audience and he will do very well outside of Fox News.

The real question is how will Fox News do without Tucker?

Possibly no one contributed more than Tucker to saving Americans from the Covid vaccine.

The 81% number is a lie from the CDC. They overstate the number of vaccinated people (and understate the number of unvaccinated people) in order to show false “vaccine effectiveness”.

The true number is between 60% and 70%.

However, the US vaccination rate is much lower than in other countries, thanks to our beautiful First and Second amendments providing us with human rights. (the idea to do door-to-door vaccination was junked thanks to the Second Amendment concerns)

The unvaccinated people are very happy to be unvaccinated!

We are the ones laughing right now

“The unvaccinated people are very happy to be unvaccinated!”

“We are the ones laughing right now”

We could hear the laughter better if so many of you weren’t deep underground.

Yes come to my door with a vaccine and you will be greeted with the second amendment.

I wish vaccines came to my door. Sadly, I have to travel to get immunized (like nearly everyone else).

This is the mindset that is killing people who accidentally knock on the wrong door (or even ask someone for help or canvass them). Shoot first and don’t ask questions later. Insane is a polite description.

Second amendment? Are you really that stupid? I’d love to see you and your other untrained, inexperienced “commandos” with your stamped Wal-Mart ARs take on an Apache. You really are delusional.

Besides, after your glorious anti-government “uprising” the same thing would happen to you that has happened to every other delusional blowhard – death at the hands of an FBI HRT team or similar.

BTW-thanks for being another jackaloon who makes us responsible gun owners look bad.

Also: “Beautiful” amendments. Are you an AI trained to talk like stupid-ass Trump?

I’d love to see you and your other untrained, inexperienced “commandos” with your stamped Wal-Mart ARs take on an Apache. You really are delusional.

Two years or so ago I had a class that had two former military — Army and Air Force. One of the igor-level stupid kids in class popped off about something [it started before I got to the room] and said “That’s why my folks and I have guns: to protect ourselves when the government sends the military in.”

The guy who had been in the Army: “&(&2, if your fat asses were considered a threat Seals or Delta would kill you before you knew they were there.”

The Air Force veteran said: “Heck, we’d just call Al in Kansas and have him send a drone over.”

The people who think they and other locals could hold off a modern military are massively stupid — like igor.

TBF, people are shooting visitors for showing up at the wrong house. How they would treat public-health officials might not be much better.

Idw56old that’s ignorant. The reason to have guns is not to fight the us military, but precisely to get rid of the overzealous health officials and deter them from the tyranny they desire. The military going door to door is a bad look after all. Something reminiscent of other political parties who liked to force experimental medicine…

@john labarge. If you start shooting people visiting you, police will visit you, I am sure

Idw56old that’s ignorant. The reason to have guns is not to fight the us military, but precisely to get rid of the overzealous health officials and deter them from the tyranny they desire.

So shooting at health officials isn’t ignorant? And again, you use of the word “tyranny” only demonstrates that you have no idea what tyranny really is. Sad.

“but precisely to get rid of the overzealous health officials and deter them from the tyranny they desire”

Unarmed nurses and volunteers knocking on your door, handing out pamphlets and offering vaccination in your own home? In the UK we use the phrase “I’m not interested thanks” rather than “eat lead commie scum”.

Labarge is another armchair Rambo how shocking. Anyone who WANTS to be in a firefight on purpose has NEVER been in one or is dangerously mentally ill.

Your guys’ dumbass fantasy about “shooting” health workers coming around is the lamest rewriting of the Turner Diaries in history. Did your mental and emotional growth get stunted at age 14?

@NumberWang: in this upside-down world, LaBarge could well be a Trumper trained to type by Russian AIs. :p I think it’s more than ever, sadly, the case that gun owners on average are more likely to hurt themselves and their families in accidents, suicides, and crime-of-passion murders than anyone else (never mind the jackbooted government-public health conformity agents or common burglars they fantasize about shooting). But, you know, people don’t think it can happen to them. I always felt like a weirdo for thinking “it can happen to me” about everyday risks even most left-wingers don’t worry that much about when it comes to themselves, like premature metabolic disease due to overeating, unplanned pregnancy in spite of regular use of the pill, and bitter divorce. (Of course, they do want good options if these things do happen to them.)

space_upstairs_cluttered said

I think it’s more than ever, sadly, the case that gun owners on average are more likely to hurt themselves and their families in accidents, suicides, and crime-of-passion murders than anyone else

Yup, that’s what studies show. But many of them still believe Lott’s “more guns mean safer communities” lines from several years ago despite the fact that his “research” was shown to be completely bogus. It’s a good bet labarge falls under the umbrella of that belief even if he hasn’t read lott’s crap.

Yep. It’s not even controversial among public health researchers that more guns in a community strongly correlate with a massively increased risk of firearm-related homicides, suicides, and accidental deaths.

81% is people who got at least one shot. If you would understand even basic arithmetic, you would notice that overstating vaccination rate will give lesser VE.

==> If you would understand even basic arithmetic, you would notice that overstating vaccination rate will give lesser VE

You are wrong – think again and let us know when you have considered this more carefully

“think again and let us know when you have considered this more carefully”

So….you don’t know then.

@Igor Chudov It is number of cases per number of vaccinated, If number of vaccinated goes up, VE goes down. Simple,is ir not ?

It likely never gets to a point where you come close to shooting the health official. Or the cancel the whole plan in advance.

*They cancel the whole plan in advance. Thus the deterrent effect. Why risk it if people are armed, you don’t know for sure they won’t defend themselves against what amounts to battery by a health official with lethal force. That doesn’t mean ‘shoot first ask questions later’ that means, fella I’m armed and am not taking that vaccine. Move along.

@john labarge I am sure government wobd enforce its regardless of some nuts. There have never been one.

“defend themselves against what amounts to battery by a health official with lethal force”

Does that mean I could shoot Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses for what amounts to an attempt at forced religious conversion on my doorstep?

defend themselves against what amounts to battery by a health official with lethal force

I assume you meant

defend themselves with lethal force against what amounts to battery by a health official

because if anyone attempts battery against you, with lethal force or not, you have the right to defend yourself.

Have you never seen the writing guide

That’s a naked man playing a cello with an erection

No, watch your modifiers. You mean

That’s a naked man with an erection playing a cello

Picky of me? Stupid objection on my part? Certainly, but john’s notion that health officials coming to your door means they are threat is, IMO, far more stupid.

Speaking of defending yourself with lethal force, apparently Ron DeSantis wants Florida history classes to include discussion of the election day riots in Ocoee, Florida in 1920. That will certainly merit inclusion although I want to see what the final product actually looks like.
But in that case black citizens had worked to register to vote and were attacked and driven away. They tried to barricade themselves in their home(s) and protect themselves with guns. You can read how that worked out.,of%20the%20U.S.%20presidential%20election.

We need a real democratic government that protects the rights of all citizens.

It’s very funny that the US vaccine takeup numbers quoted by both Answers and Igor are correct (for slightly different meanings of “vaccinated”), and the number that Igor posts is completely consistent with the CDC’s own value for that meaning of “vaccinated”.

The CDC estimates that 81.3% of people in the USA have had at least one dose of a COVID vaccine, and that 69.4% have completed the recommended primary series (two doses for most COVID vaccines).

In Australia, where I live, the corresponding numbers are 87.1% and 84.5% (the AU numbers are about 9 months old, so the actual values are probably a bit higher). And it has nothing to do with the fact that our constitution fails to give us the right to arm bears.

I would think that Fox could find a ‘suitable’ replacement, as they have numerous times in the past. How hard can it be to find someone willing to lie to his audience on a daily basis?

Not to mention racism, homophobia, transphobia, Russian propaganda, toxic masculinity and, of course, ball tanning.

What a guy!

Fox will be looking for another serial liar and conspiracy monger Igor, someone with no integrity, who is anti-Semitic, anti-democracy, extremely right wing, homophobic, anti-rights for women and minorities, and willing to spread the most egregious bullshit in exchange for good pay. Those things are right up your alley. Are you going to apply?

Smarter than you Igor. Infinitely more honest and ethical. Remember, I’m not the one peddling lies about covid, the vaccines, conspiracies about covid being developed and released from a lab, and so on: all of that bullshit comes from you and the other folks who can spell science but have no clue about any scientific topic.

Can you provide some evidence of your intelligence? Can you show me well written posts, scientific articles, or any other fruits of your towering intellect?

All I see coming from you is cheap insults and low level nastiness, packaged in short and worthless replies.

Igor, do you have any examples of “well written posts, scientific articles, or any other fruits of your towering intellect” that you can show us?

“Seriously, all this talk about Fox News “firing” Tucker ignores the fact that Tucker has his own brand and audience and he will do very well outside of Fox News.”

Yeah, like Glen Beck or Bill O’Riley, or Meghan Kelly. Where are they now?

You beat me to it. They were all thought to be untouchable, and, sure, they’re doing more than OK financially now, but they’ve never come close to having the influence and platform that they had when they were still at Fox.

Rogan’s just another actor. Hint: don’t take medical advice from people who’ve injected lots of toxic ink into their skin. “Think before you ink.”

“I hope this [Covid] wakes people up to the value of vaccines too. There’s so many wackos out there that think that vaccines are a scam, or they’re dangerous. There are so many people out there that won’t vaccinate their children.”
– Joe Rogan, March 10, 2020, interview with Dr. Michael Osterholm, pro-vaccine before Spotify corporation gave him $100 million, now he is anti-vaccine

“The demagogue is one who preaches doctrines he knows to be untrue to men he knows to be idiots.”
– H.L. Mencken

You guys are pretty funny if it weren’t such a sad commentary on how group think and conditioning work from an early age and continue into elite institutions to the point of absurdity. To you all you’re either ‘pro vax’ or anti-vax’. No considerations that one may be skeptical of the grand mRNA experiment without being completely ‘antivax’. And everyone that doesn’t agree with your ‘science’ – representations by financially interested Pharma companies or ‘tuned’ climate models that got that sweet international grant money- is a denier. Part of your cult conditioning is your ‘other’ labels that allow you to avoid thinking and continue to follow the group: Anti-vax xer, denier, conspiracy theorist.

In any case, give the latest episode of Rogan a whirl. One more credentialed doctor throwing shade at the dogma and getting fired for doing actual science, a perfect illustration of why thinking people are skeptical of what your cult is peddling.

That you’re recommending Joe Rogan as some sort of purveyor of “truth” and accurate science tells me all I need to know about you. When I wrote about quack and antivaxxer Kelly Brogan back in 2017, I included as an addendum some videos deconstructing her appearance on Joe Rogan’s podcast. This was two years before the pandemic. Let’s just say that Rogan was quite credulous and let this quack quack.

You yourself do not accept any evidence that runs against your unmutable opinion and the party line.
I noticed that you now mention elites. Are ExxonMoil executives part of elite ?

Joe Rogan invites a wide variety of guests to his show. Many he has disagreements with. A recent guest from CNN got a mouthful due to CNNs mischaracterization of Ivermectin as ‘horse medicine’. He’s had pro/anti-vax doctors on his show and stopped short of getting the vax when his friend was injured by it. Since that time or before he’s been trying to get to the bottom of the apparent COVID narratives through his guests. Definitely more reliable than any mainstream source that is sponsored and controlled by Big Pharma.

I listen to JRE sometimes I just don’t take everything the guests say as gospel. Rogan, himself, constantly states he doesn’t know or agree with everything.

That said, I wished he’d have me on with Koury. I would rip. Him. To. Shreds. Lying sack of shit that he is. Rogan did have a doc on who disagreed with Koury but that guy had NO frontline experience.

With all due respect, you probably wouldn’t, for all the reasons I’ve been blogging about regarding why it’s generally a bad idea for legitimate scientists and physicians to debate cranks and conspiracy theorists, especially on a platform like Joe Rogan’s podcast.

Ivermectin actually is horse medicine. Human one, too, for parasiic infections.

Everyone understands this. CNN tried to sell it as nonhuman medicine.

And everyone that doesn’t agree with your ‘science’ – representations by financially interested Pharma companies or ‘tuned’ climate models that got that sweet international grant money- is a denier.

Oh, c’mon, LaBilge – shouldn’t you be carping about the Standard Model or ΛCDM cosmology?

I listen to JRE sometimes I just don’t take everything the guests say as gospel.

G-d, I was staying with a high-school friend a couple of years ago, and that imbecile was on the TV day in and day out while my friend simultaneously played video games.I grew quite weary of doling out just enough “sure, however” to prevent him from railing about “contrarians” or, worse, resorting to physical violence (which only happened once, which is one time too many).

Then again, at least he wasn’t a sniveling shit of the LaBilge school.

…‘tuned’ climate models…

You really don’t know anything about the work that goes into developing statistical models at all do you?

“group think and conditioning work from an early age”

Yes, we can see that in every statement you make.

Rogan helped peel back the curtain.

You misspelled “flesh on your head.”

Fox paid 780 million because Tucker lied about Dominion voting machines and get caught, by putting his real thinking in email, there is more to come.
Fox noticed that lying and getting caugh is an expensive strategy. Someone hiring Tucker may have same problem.
One wonders what Tucker actually think abouProject Veritas.t

This is incorrect. Tucker was the only one at Fox to push back on Sydney Powell’s claims and had a show where he specifically stated he had no evidence of her accusations against dominion.

This is what get Fox in trouble. This happened in private emails

Does anyone else wonder what’s in Carlson’s portfolio? Surely not pharma stock, right?

I’m guessing that there’s probably a lot of pharma stock in his portfolio, as a number of pharma companies are very profitable and thus their stocks are good ones to have in any portfolio. Heck, I bet that Carlson probably has some Pfizer stock in his portfolio.😂

Carlson said a year ago that he had not been vaccinated against Covid-19.

Fox News has had a Covid vaccination requirement for its NYC-based staffers. Don’t know if Tucker was ever considered NYC-based, but he owns a Florida mansion with “ample foliage”. 🙂

Nova vax tanked when the FDA dragged its feet on their approval. I’m sure it’s all coincidence though.

Lots of people had already been vaccinated with other COVID-19 vaccines before Novavax arrived. Most of those who were not going to get vaccinated were unlikely to choose Novavax.

In Australia for example there have been 44 million doses of Comirnaty, 6 million doses of Spikevax, 14 million doses of Vaxzevria (now discontinued) and 245,000 doses of Nuvaxovid given.

Nuvaxovid has slightly higher rate of myocarditis following vaccination compared to Comirnaty, but lower than Spikevax. The rate of pericarditis following Nuvaxovid is about 5 times higher than for the mRNA vaccines.

There seems little value in switching to Novavax

Tucker Carlson has been aptly described as a “trust fund punk”, and the one other notable right-wing figure who displays the same arrogant smarm IMHO that I consider Tucker’s spiritual separated-at-birth bro is indeed none other than James O’Keefe. Carlson’s venality was likely fueled by a history of life not meeting his extreme sense of entitlement. Unlike O’Keefe, he wasn’t born into money, his father re-married into the Swanson TV fortune. In the posh circles of Tucker’s middle-school years he probably got dissed for that a lot. He was sent off to an exclusive prep school, but wound up at Trinity College in Hartford, best known in the area as a back-up school for kids who don’t get into Yale (and not necessarily the first choice there either). It’s actually a pretty good school, of course, that had a really good cinemateque during my years in CT… not that any of that matters for status seeking strivers who, rightly but sadly IMHO, are all about alumni networking. And as most MSM coverage of Carlson’s firing noted, he had already been fired by the two other cable news networks, his departure from CNN fueled in part by Jon Stewart savaging him in a Crossfire debate. He started his own ‘conservative’ media venture, The Daily Caller, which he supposedly wanted to be seen as a legitimate journalistic enterprise, but which soon drifted away from his control into fringe nuttery.

He then landed at Fox News in a modest position and as anything but a ‘star’. But he was in the right (puns intended) place at the right time when Bill O’Reilly got canned for sexual harassment, and rode his fill-in role to eventually become the most-watched show on cable. He did this by developing a formula. Where other Fox hosts pandered shamelessly to the MAGA base, Tucker figured out a way to be one step ahead of them. He did this by filling his producer ranks with far-right-wing extremists recruited from The Daily Caller and allied fringe websites. His great contribution was to find an on-air tone that differed just enough from the shouting in the openly fascistic forums to make the topics and takes provided by the wingnuts go over more easily — a combo of the ‘just asking questions’ instead of overt authoritative proclamations, and the hate masked with a knowing smirk so the viewers could feel they were all part of some clever clique, not-foaming-at-the-mouth zealots like the Charlottesville mob.

And one of the things that bubbled up from the internet underbelly into Carlson’s show, where he was absolutely out front of every other significant right-wing figure, was COVID anti-vax. Remember, when Tucker started going there, the Trump propagandists were still lauding him for ‘creating’ Operation Warp Speed. The one other notable media figure with a COVID anti-vax take was podcaster Joe Rogan, but he did not have the audience or influence or overall framing context to push this outlier position toward orthodoxy among the MAGAs. By then, though Tucker had all three. My opinion, well considered if still humble, is that COVID anti-vax could not have become what it became without Tucker Carlson. His role in this is probably the main reason I get annoyed with Orac’s repetition of “nothing is new in antivax, I’ve seen it all before”, because Orac only really concerns himself with the claims being made by antivaxers, the affronts to science. When he does reflect on the politics, I don’t think he grasps how the “same-old, same-old” content can operate in a very different way, become a different thing altogether, when iterated by a different speaker to a different audience, in a different context, including different ideological “articulations”.*

Much of the commentary speculating on ‘the real reason’ Tucker got canned fails to match up with known facts about the idiosyncrasies of Fox News and the Murdochs. Rupert and Lachlan are both obscenely wealthy and powerful, meaning they can afford to be capricious and self-contradictory when it suits them. As Rupert said in his Dominion deposition, for him it’s not about red or blue but green. Translation, ‘I don’t care what politics my pundits express on air, as long as they make me money.” But there’s the caveat, it’s on air. Off air, the Murdochs expect fealty when they do express an opinion on office conduct, which isn’t that often or that outrageous. That authority trumps money. The Murdochs are too full of themselves to let anything like partial co-ownship connections between Fox stock and pharma stock be any kind of motivation. You might think the Brownstoners could still have a point about GSK and Novartis being big advertisers on Fox, but then you wouldn’t know anything about advertising or Fox’s business model. Ad buyers only care about eyeballs, and for the pharmas Fox has more than enough eyeballs to keep the buyers coming. Oh, they might shift their buys off Tucker’s show to avoid some bad publicity, but then they’d just up them on Ingraham or Waters. [And lest anyone imagine the corporate heads of the pharmas would be greatly concerned about anti-vax, I’ll note again that the pharma sector is one of the major contributors to ALEC, which in turn has boosted the political careers of numerous antivax Republicans for their broader “pro-business” stance. Hell, I wouldn’t be surprised if some fair chunk of pharma bucks wound it’s way through all the dark money channels to ‘libertarian’ Hoover Institute and Koch-aligned operations like AIER and the Brownstone Institute.] Of course Rupert would prefer more ad revenue than less, but the bulk of Fox’s profits come from cable carry contracts. This is why advertisers deserting Carlson’s show didn’t faze the Murdochs: his ratings and celebrity have meant they can exact higher fees from Comcast, ATT, Dish, et al.

Ultimately, it’s virtually certain that what got Tucker canned is indeed “a battle of egos between Carlson and the Murdochs”, which is to say if you work for Fox you can project ego out to the audience as much as you like, because the Murdochs consider that theater, but you’d better subvert it in dealings with the Bosses, because that’s their grounded reality. How Tucker got so far on the wrong side of the Murdochs is almost certainly a cumulative thing, and it may not matter what just built the pile, and what became the tipping point. Most of these issues were off-air, because that’s where the Murdochs live. That off-air policy could be wildly divergent from what goes out on air no doubt puzzles people who take issues seriously, but like I said, uber-wealthy people have their bete noires, and consistency is not a hallmark of their exercises of power. For all the blatant sexism and misogyny Carlson was allowed to spew on his show, Lachlan Murdoch is know to have been deeply embarrassed by the sex-harassment cases of Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly. He made quite public vows that Fox would clean up it’s act about that, but Carlson used his stardom to push the envelope of crude sub-frat-boy behavior, sharing disgusting ‘jokes’ with his little coterie of white-supremecist staffers, but then extending that vibe out to others in the organization. So it’s not just that Tucker used the c-word for an executive, but that that was a paradigm for his whole act, the gory details of which are coming out now in Abby Grossberg’s lawsuits. This makes Lachlan look bad – not to the public, as if he cares – but in his own oligarch circles, where insubordination is not to be tolerated.

Exactly what role the Dominion settlement added to the gathering pile of straws, only the Murdochs and their attorneys prepping for lawsuits to come know, but it’s likely less than most imagine, as Tucker barely figured in Dominion’s case — which focused on Dobbs, Bartiromo, and Pirro. What J6 conspiracy he did spread didn’t deal with voting machines much, being even wiggier stuff about the insurrection being a false flag deep state black op, which didn’t involve defaming companies with enough resources to obtain skilled attorneys. But where Tucker’s broadcasts did put the network in clear legal jeopardy is by naming an actual individual – Ray Epps – as part of that anti-Trump conspiracy. IANAL, but parting with Tucker now might be seen as a way to reduce the damages Epps could be awarded.

It’s also a reasonable bet that Fox execs may have asked Tucker to cool it a little on J6 things in the wake of the settlement, and he told them he wasn’t changing anything that made him a star. Too big for his britches, when the word he pooh-poohs comes down from the top.

But back when the straws pile was just beginning to catch a watchful eye, there was one thing Carlson pimped on-air that did rankle Rupert Murdoch. Believe it or not, it was the anti-vax stuff. Rupert didn’t see this as politics, like all the other bilge Tucker floated that he disregarded. He took it personally. He had made a point of being one the first people to get an mRNA jab, he clearly believed the vaccines were a good thing for everybody, and certainly made sure that vaccination was an absolute work requirement at Fox facilities. [N.B.: It’s possible Tucker could have skirted this because he apparently does most of his shows from a home studio in Maine, but I always assumed he was just demonizing the vaccines out of a cynical quest for ratings and power, not any genuine belief that they were harmful.]

In the wake of the Dominion disclosures, Fox is already losing audience share again to the other far-right outlets like OAN and Newsmax that had stolen away viewers after the Fox (actual) News division called Arizona for Biden. That threatens those cable carry fees, so Fox will likely be back chasing the MAGAs with renewed extremism. However, while they may be just as ‘bad’ as they were before, they’re likely to be so in different ways. That is, there’s enough grievance narratives to get a rise out of the base that they can put aside some of the ones that pose more future problems of one sort or another. I’d guess outright anti-vax would be dialed back, but a certain quotient of anti-mandate rhetoric will probably persist. I’ll also guess that whoever replaces Tucker won’t be as out front in leading the mob farther toward the abyss, sticking more to feeding them even more hyped-up spins on the lies they already embrace. The current narrative Fox is hitting the hardest is ‘Democrat run cites are crime filled hellholes!!’ presented with video clips that make NYC and San Francisco look like alternate takes from Escape From New York. This past week Chris Hayes reported on the deception involved in a clip Fox featured repeatedly of a homeless guy attacking a former SF city official will a metal bar — claiming the attack was random and came out of the blue. But it turns out other security footage revealed the homeless guy had been sleeping in an alley when this ex-official snuck up on him and assaulted him with bear spray, likely not for the first time either, which led him to search a dumpster for something to use as a weapon and retaliated. None of which will ever be mentioned on Fox, of course.

As for Tucker… Rupert is confident Fox makes the conservative stars, rather than the stars making Fox, and from Beck to O’Reilly to Kelley and more, we’ve yet to see a post-Fox career that provides counter-evidence. If anyone could break that mold by virtue of having built a functional enough cult-of-personality that could be sustained (ala Limbaugh) outside the Fox imprimatur, it would be Carlson, but I sure wouldn’t bet on it, if only because so many behind-the-scenes business and personal things (does his contract have a non-compete? how does he really get on with Bannon?) would have to fall just right, and there’s no way any of us out here in the public can know what those all are.

The concept of ‘articulation’ as a term for the workings of ideology comes from the late, great Cultural Studies scholar Stuart Hall. Hall saw the word as having three different meanings, all relevant and intertwined in ideology. First, to ‘articulate’ means to speak, to put ideas into words or some other form that works to carry them. Second, ‘articulation’ can refer to a point of connection between two different things, how those different things might work together, or maybe bump into each other awkwardly due to the linkage from time to time, like a three-legged race. And third, ‘articulation’ expresses movement and flexibility at any of these junction points, or even within things we might consider as wholes. Being a Brit, the example Stuart would use to explain the metaphor was “like an articulated lorry!”, which may not help on this side of the pond, so I’d substitute those long busses with the flex joint in the middle. Yes, I had just enough meatspace contact with him to feel OK using his first name, and I have to say in addition to being a very smart guy, and a great teacher, he was just an all-around outstanding human being, so please don’t even think about making any snide remarks about my use of his idea.

What you say about Tucker Carlson’s influence might apply to the 12% who got the first covid shot but not the second or the large number of unboosted people, but I think the 19% who never got their first shot had primary sources other than Fox News. In my family, one case was in the far-right media sphere back in the Rush Limbaugh heyday or not long after and believed every Clinton conspiracy theory back in the 90s. The other case was a small-l libertarian who got most news from international sites and social media, and had not voted for Trump in 2016, but apparently found covid conspiracy theories somewhere and ate them up due to their strong appeal to libertarian sensibilities. (Why close businesses at all? And if you must keep a few open, why does it have to be big ones like hypermarkets?) She never trusted Fox News, but became a far-right populist because of covid conspiracy theories and not the other way around as with the first case.

Of course there were other sources of anti-vax influence besides Carlson. Influence doesn’t flow in a single straight line. The meatspace acquaintance or social media commenter who first caught the attention of your small-l family member could have caught it from Tucker, or more likely not credited it firmly until Tucker legitimated it, and so on. And I’m not talking about whether or not people got any of the shots, I’m talking about how making expressions of COVID anti-vax became a central aspect of MAGA orthodoxy, to the point where Trump got booed at a public appearance with Bill O’Reilly when he said he had been vaxed. Without presence on a major television outlet – which is to say in this case without Carlson – there’s just no way COVID antivax reaches that level of ideological dispersion and strength. And without that there’s just no way COVID death discrepancies between red and blue geographies reach the extent they did.

The more solidly-based rumours appear to be that the Abby Grossberg case was the final straw. This case makes FOX look like a terrible place to work and goes against the image Lachlan Murdoch was trying to project.

@ Sadmar,

Your 2,235 word post was interesting and insightful. More than any other, in my opinion, you deserve a guest post request at RI. Thanks.

Oh MJD, you’re so transparent you could be used as a window.

@ Igor Chudov

You write: “==> If you would understand even basic arithmetic, you would notice that overstating vaccination rate will give lesser VE.You are wrong – think again and let us know when you have considered this more carefully.”

Vaccine effectiveness is based on number vaccinated who weren’t hospitalized or died divided by total number vaccinated, so if denominator gets larger and numerator remains the same it will result in lower vaccine effictiveness. So, you don’t even understand the simplest math, etc.


Oops! I just got back from my regular donating of blood. So, really tired. Looking at it again and: So, if number hospitalized or dying remains the same and denominator of those vaccinated increases, then means higher vaccine effectiveness. So, for once Igor you are right. Good for you.

Notice that this isn’t the first time I have admitted being wrong. It is part of believing in science, something you are incapable of

One Last Point. Usually VE uses Number Vaccinated Who Were Not Hospitalized or Died/Total Number Vaccinated, so, probably why together with being tired I got it wrong. Oh well, as opposed to antivaxxers, I accept that I am a mere mortal

Joel, that’s okay. I like you as a person. You are a smart and sincere individual. Once in a while everyone is entitled to make an arithmetic mistake. You write long and thought-out messages, with most of which I disagree but I like the thoughtful effort you are making.

I bought the immune system book you recommended, started reading but did not yet finish.

Back to the CDC, yes they understate the number of UNvaccinated people on purpose, to make up nonexistent vaccine effectiveness. It is not a sincere mistake on their part.

Vaccine efficacy or vaccine effectiveness is the percentage reduction of disease cases in a vaccinated group of people compared to an unvaccinated group
So it is still cases per vaccinated or unvaccinated.
More people in unvaccinated would reduce VE, oo.

==> More people in unvaccinated would reduce VE, oo.

This is exactly why the CDC UNDERstates the number of unvaccinated people – to create a false impression of higher VE.

@Igor Chudov CDC explains how it estimas vaccination rae:
Interesing thing is this:
“There are challenges in linking records when someone receives vaccine doses in different jurisdictions or from different providers. That person could receive different unique person identifiers for different doses. CDC may not be able to link multiple unique person identifiers for different jurisdictions or providers to a single person, and subsequent doses may appear to be a first dose when reported. Thus, CDC’s data may over-estimate first doses and under-estimate subsequent doses.”

@ Igor Chudov

You write: “You write long and thought-out messages, with most of which I disagree but I like the thoughtful effort you are making.”

You “disagree” based on what? Certainly NOT any understanding of immunology, infectious diseases, etc; but just your continued stupidly ignorant antivax bias.

You write: “Back to the CDC, yes they understate the number of UNvaccinated people on purpose, to make up nonexistent vaccine effectiveness. It is not a sincere mistake on their part.”

What do you base this on? Give valid link(s). And you continue to ignore the vast amount of international data from numerous other nations that give stats on vaccinated, unvaccinated, hospitalized, dead, etc.

And “nonexistent vaccine effectiveness”, so I’ll repeat for the umpteenth time, since you don’t understand the immune system, your opinion lacks any validity.

So, you claim you are actually reading the book I suggested, well, we’ll see, if it doesn’t change your mind on vaccines then either you are lying about reading it, too stupid to understand it, or too mentally disturbed to understand it.

And why do you even continue to post given you admit your level of ignorance:

“Dr. Caulfield is a professor of law, with zero education pertaining to virology or vaccinology. His level of expertise in vaccines, virology and vaccinology is on par with my own. In other words, he is an amateur to the field of vaccines and viruses.”

@ Igor Chudov

Addressing ldw56old, you write: “Do you think that you are smart?”

Well, compared to you he is approaching genius level. You even admitted your lack of intelligence; but ignore your own admissions:

Igor Chudov
April 19, 2023 at 6:45 pm
Just like Orac, I find it odd that Dr Bridle wants to debate Covid vaccines with Dr Caulfield, but for a different reason.
Dr. Bridle is a viral immunologist, an expert in vaccinology and virology, and an author of dozens of related scientific studies.
Dr. Caulfield is a professor of law, with zero education pertaining to virology or vaccinology. His level of expertise in vaccines, virology and vaccinology is on par with my own. In other words, he is an amateur to the field of vaccines and viruses.

” His level of expertise in vaccines, virology and vaccinology is on par with my own. In other words, he is an amateur to the field of vaccines and viruses.”


@ John LaBarge

You write: “Nova vax tanked when the FDA dragged its feet on their approval. I’m sure it’s all coincidence though.”

Did you go to FDA website, find page with ALL documents submitted by Nova, including FDA responses. Nope, of course not because pure speculation on your part based on your stupidly ignorant antivax bias is all you can put in a comments.

Here is one FDA website: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: FDA Authorizes Emergency Use of Novavax COVID-19 Vaccine, Adjuvanted at:

Another FDA page: CDC Allows Novavax Monovalent COVID-19 Boosters for Adults Ages 18 and Older

So, are you completely delusional in claiming FDA didn’t approve Novavax???


I think LaBarge is claiming that Novavax’s approval was so much later than the other shots because Pfizer and Moderna were bribing people to try to sink it and keep the market cornered, which resulted in it never reaching the profit margins of Pfizer and Moderna evdn though it was approved.

The official story, though, is that Novavax had trouble (on its own, presumably, not caused by bribes) to even start the FDA approval application process, due to not being able to get the production levels needed to FDA-approval-worthy trials:

No you’re the definition of ignorant. I said they dragged their feet. I didn’t say they were never approved.

You did not say at “dragging their feet” was cause y manufacturing problems.

@ johnlabarge

What you missed was that it wasn’t FDA “dragging its feet” but problems on Nova’s side.

And it is rather hilarious that you imply you wanted Novavax approved sooner given your rabid antivax position.

LaBarge strikes me as rabidly pro-free-market at the expense of sensible consumer and societal protection regulations more than rabidly antivax. (He claims to only be against vaccines made after 1986.) So he might well have approved of an earlier approval of Novavax in the name of healthy competition, but would also have approved of ditching Novavax for HCQ and Ivermectin and being able to sue the makers of any Covid shot for, I don’t know, turning people into tree-hugging Democrats or something. 😉

I’ve been thinking a little more about what might drive a common consumer to defend a rabid pro-free-market, anti-regulation stance. I think it’s a notion that the best consumer protection is consumer choice, because surely the consumer is too smart to make a bad choice, so surely regulations are not only insulting the consumer’s intelligence, they’re tools of the most powerful corporations to squelch legitimate competition from other corporations. I suppose it’s an attractive narrative in a society where branding, niche marketing, and pretense of status among consumers are what make the cash go ’round.
Personally, though, I think deregulation gives too much to worry about. It’s too stressful to try to be expert enough in everything to not make a “bad” choice when too many are available. And flattery has long been looked down upon by wise peopke throughout history as a tactic preferred by people seeking probably undeserved favor.

I have a medicine I can give you tomorrow that will cause you to lose about 20# in a month. Maybe more.

I could sell it that way and people would kick my door down to get it.

How do I know? This actually happened. It poisons the mitochondria. The FDA had to put a stop to it.

And, why? People hear what they want to hear. They kept buying and taking it after it was widely known it kills. All they heard was the weight loss. Any doctor could have kept giving it to willing patients if the FDA didn’t stop it.

@MedicalYeti: I looked up that weight-loss drug you spoke of, and, holy cow, an explosive weed killer that can cook you to death! Ouch. Sure, very small carefully controlled amounts of rat poison (Warfarin) or other explosives (nitroglycerine) can have legit medical uses to head off cardiovascular crises, but apparently for this crazy stuff, the weight loss and cooking you to death are so closely related and occur at similar enough doses that it doesn’t look like it will work out.

@ johnlabarge

You write: “you’re the definition of ignorant”

Maybe I did misread what you wrote, at worst a trivial error; but you have posted multiple comments that I and others have torn to shreds and you just continue. You are antivax; but can’t support your position with any science, just your stupidly ignorant antivax bias, same with any other positions you have taken.

And, given your rabid antivax position, hilarious you would focus on one COVID vaccine being delayed. So, if it was approved earlier, would you have gotten it? LOL

There have been over the years a number of idiots like you who post comments not backed by science, not backed with any indication they have done a thorough search on the topic, nor have even the minimal actual understanding, currently you, Igor Chudov, and Ginny Stoner. While you and Igor are just idiots who ignore comments that refute clearly your comments, Ginny is a rabid extreme right-winger, Anti-Semite, White Supremacists, and more.

Turns out during the Delta variant I was strongly considering Novavax, but not the mRNA/DNA vaccines. Particularly if my job mandated (thankfully it did not). I ended up getting Omicron before Novavax was approved and decided against any vaccines from there on.

@ johnlabarge

So, you considered one vaccine; but, in your continuous ignorance, not the mRNA vaccines. And you got the Omicron, so no vaccines for you. Well, idiot, the science shows that after actual infection that one is protected by the immune system for a significant time period, perhaps six months or more; but eventually one can become susceptible again, maybe from a more nasty variant that if immune system still full on would be protected from. The science of covid vaccines, science, something you are ignorant about, advices even those who actually suffered a covid infection to get a booster after a minimal determined time period. I don’t feel like looking it up.

Turns out during the Delta variant I was strongly considering Novavax, but not the mRNA/DNA vaccines.

Your ability to present yourself as an utter fool is impressive.

@ John LaBarge

You write: “No considerations that one may be skeptical of the grand mRNA experiment without being completely ‘antivax’”

What “grand mRNA experiment?” Research on mRNA began in 1960s and when I did search of National Library of Medicine’s online database PubMed for “mRNA” papers before 2019, so as not to include anything since COVID pandemic, I found over 500,000 papers. And for research just on mRNA vaccines before 2019 I found 60 going back to 1990s. And they successfully completed animal, phase 1, and phase 2 trials of SARS mRNA vaccine; but couldn’t conduct phase 3 because pandemic died out, so couldn’t compare vaccinated with unvaccinated.

And what you fail, in your immense ignorance, to understand, is that mRNA breaks down after short time, can’t enter genome, and current vaccines designed to produce a modified version of only Spike protein, which projects from surface of cell and is recognized by same immune cells that would recognize Spike protein on intact COVID virus. So, whether immune system recognizes a foreign particle projected from its own cells or invading from abroad, same result. In any case, I repeat, we know a hell of a lot about mRNA and have been research vaccines for 30 years. Only an experiment in your ignorant unscientific mind.

And, for the umpteenth time, we have overwhelming US and international data on the effectiveness of the mRNA COVID vaccines. I have personally received ALL of them, two original, booster, and current bivalent (with Omicron) and booster. Do you really think someone with my level of knowledge of immunology, infectious diseases, epidemiology, etc. would get a vaccine if I thought it was harmful???

As for your Second Amendment rights, would you kill someone coming to your door to simply offer the vaccine? And if it was mandated and you killed them, a Swat squad would finish you off. And by the way, the 2nd Amendment begins with “A well-regulated militia” and for most of American history courts have ruled the reasonable gun control legislation is acceptable and the US, thanks to having so many guns, has among the 20 most advanced democracies, the highest per capita murder rate by far and just this year there have been almost a record number of mass killings. I wonder how you would feel if someone you loved was killed by some nut case with a gun.

And people claim we are the freest people on the planet; yet we have ca. 5% of world’s population with 25% imprisoned and a conservative estimate of 20,000 totally innocent and a criminal injustice system that bends over backwards not to overturn convictions. We also have by far the highest per capita killings by police, including of unarmed people. And have the highest by far number of incarcerated given draconian sentences for trivial offenses; e.g., possession, not selling of a drug. The prohibition of alcohol led to creation of maffias/criminal syndicates, immense increase in police violence, the when prohibition ended, police wanted to continue their brutal power, so we outlawed marijuana, even just possession, and other drugs. The US is NOT among the freest people; but we live in a semi-police state.

@ John LaBarge

Years ago I was more interested in the 2nd Amendment, read and own half dozen books and hundreds of articles. When passed, black powder when damp didn’t work, most weapons were smooth bore, very inaccurate, and slow to reload. There were long rifles with rifling; but they took really long time to reload. Are you sure our Founding Fathers would have passed Amendment, even, despite disagreement if for individual or militia, if they had accurate automatic weapons that could spray 100s of highly penetrating bullets in minutes and super fast to reload. The Amendment was passed in Colonial times with far less technologies. And several of my review papers make strong case it was passed to enable slave owners to put down slave revolts. It was Southern colonies who pushed for it hardest.

And several of my review papers make strong case it was passed to enable slave owners to put down slave revolts.

Joel, I’ve seen those, including the assertion that it was a sop to get Virginia to ratify the Constitution. I don’t think it’s correct (e.g., here).

@ johnlabarge

In previous exchange you write: johnlabargesays:
April 30, 2023 at 10:23 pm
No. I’m basing it on the CDC lying about the vaccine’s ability to stop transmission. That’s just a convenient to play clip.

I couldn’t find CDC claiming vaccine totally stops transmission (please give link to CDC, not what someone else claims); however, there are a number of studies that show it reduces transmission, so that if one is unvaccinated and around a vaccinated person for short periods of time, OK; but if in same house spending large amounts of time in, say, living room, could become infected; but if one is also vaccinated then being infected doesn’t mean becoming sick. We have viruses in our noses, sinuses, etc. all the time; but if our immune systems recognize them, usually we are protected.

Just one more example of your asinine all or none, either prevents transmission or doesn’t. Well, if it reduces, then others at less risk and if others also vaccinated, risk exponentially reduced. While some vaccines actually prevent ALL sickness, COVID vaccines, including mRNA, reduce risk of severe illness, hospitalization, and death exponentially.

Your all or none approach to the real world is pathetically foolish.

johnlabarge: “Yes come to my door with a vaccine and you will be greeted with the second amendment.”

Scroll form or placard?

The idea of shooting gummint workers arriving at one’s home to commit forced injection is like the prospect of serving on a New Nuremberg Tribunal that will sentence pro-immunization advocates to death. It represents a bizarre, sick engagement with revenge fantasies.

Help is available to those who recognize how far they’ve sunk.

As a reminder, Carlson had RFK Jr. on his show spouting anti-vaccine misinformation at least as early as 2017.

Where was big Pharma there? Or in the many segments Tucker had attacking vaccines during the pandemic before this?

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