"The Daily Show": Anti-vaxxers are the climate-denying "nutjobs" of the left

Correspondent Samantha Bee explores the outbreak of misinformation in "wealthy white liberal enclaves"

Published June 3, 2014 2:19PM (EDT)

Jenny McCarthy                (AP/Richard Shotwell)
Jenny McCarthy (AP/Richard Shotwell)

With measles making a scary comeback in the U.S., "The Daily Show" reminds us that anti-science attitudes aren't just a right-wing phenomenon: There's some dangerous science denialism happening on the left, too, in the form of anti-vaxxers.

Monday night, correspondent Samantha Bee delved into the "outbreak of f*cking misinformation” taking place in the "wealthy white liberal enclaves" where vaccine-preventable infectious diseases like measles, mumps and whooping cough are on the rise, drawing an uncomfortable parallel between people who refuse to vaccinate and the "right-wing nutjobs" who refuse to admit that climate change is happening.

After speaking with Vaccine Education Center director Paul Offit, Bee illustrated her case with Sarah Pope, who heads up a blog that, among other things, encourages parents not to vaccinate their kids. Pope denies that there's a scientific consensus for the effectiveness of vaccinations, suggesting that the decline in epidemics occurred for "other reasons."

"You could line up the doctors from here to down the block refuting me," Pope promised, "but I'm not gonna change my mind."

“What does ‘consensus’ really mean, anyway?” Bee quipped. “It’s just a really fancy word for ‘overwhelming agreement.’”

Sound familiar?

By Lindsay Abrams

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