Smug, deceptive, and utterly reprehensible

Write your complaint to 9am at Channel 10 here.

Write your complaint to the Victorian Health Services Commissioner here.

Many of you won’t know who Issac Golden is. Indeed, I hadn’t heard of him until he came up at a talk by Peter Bowditch, named as a minor player in the Australian Anti-​​vaccination movement. I was planning on doing an article on him eventually, imagining that it would be more of profile of a loon than anything substantial.

All of that changed ten minutes ago when I decided to check my email one last time before going to bed. Sitting inconspicuously in my inbox was a link to the following YouTube video:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQvJZpXrYYg[/youtube]

(Note: Channel 10 complained to YouTube to have the clip taken down… download it here… and watch the Streisand effect take hold)

Needless to say, after watching that segment my opinion of Issac Golden changed considerably. This man is not, as I had thought, a minor player in the anti-​​vaccination movement — or if he was he isn’t anymore. Issac Golden managed to score himself a place on a prominent morning program, spreading ideas that are as crazy as they are criminally dangerous. With this, he has promoted himself from ‘kook’ to ‘clear and present public health risk’.

Naturally, he is not the only one deserving of a solid intellectual thrashing on this occasion — Channel Ten, in allowing him this platform to spread his insane ideas, have done a massive disservice to the public and potentially damaged the good work of those involved in the production of the Swine Flu vaccine. I rarely like to ascribe malicious intentions where good old fashioned incompetence will do, but good intentions will matter very little to anyone harmed directly or indirectly by Ten in the name of ‘presenting both sides’. Ten minutes worth of fact checking would have been all that was required to know that letting a homeopath speak on matters of public health is like letting Hannibal Lecter host a cooking show; presumably the producers of 9am with David and Kim thought that time would be better spend deciding whether Golden should wear a beret or a fez.

But for all the way Channel Ten cocked this one up, they didn’t do anything half as sickening and dishonest as Issac Golden. Safe in the knowledge that the majority of his audience would have a rudimentary knowledge in matters of public health and vaccination, if any, his carefully phrased lies, half-​​truths and evasions gave the impression of a well-​​educated man discussing an under-​​appreciated scientific discipline; criticism of the utter nonsense spewing forth was notable in its absence.

Confidently, Issac Golden stated that homeopathy was safer and more effective than vaccination; that a government program of homeopathic ‘vaccination’ could be rolled out faster and cheaper than the actual vaccination; and that there are two centuries of scientific studies and data that support homeopathic vaccination. All out and out lies that went unchallenged on a nation wide program, watched primarily by the demographics least likely to distinguish them as such. The worst, most sickening lie in the video occurs at 4.10 with this exchange:

David: Is there a homeopathic treatment for Swine Flu?

Issac: Yes.

David: What is it? What’s the components of it?

Issac: Well, now we need to talk about how you make immunisation for homeopathics, or from homeopathics. There’s a number of different options — because homeopathy works of the law of similars, provided we have something that produces similar symptoms, this will be…enable a degree of cover. Now we actually have the Swine…what we call the Swine Flu nosode…

[…]

Issac: [The Finlay Institute] have prepared a Swine Flu nosode. They could immunise this whole country within a month, and probably at a cost of a few million dollars as opposed to hundreds of millions of dollars.

In just over a minute, I count two of the most potentially damaging lies I have ever encountered on Australian television — first the blanket assertion that homeopathy can treat Swine Flu, and later the assertion that Australia could be immunised homeopathically within a month. Between them is a wall of evasion — rhetoric made to appear meaningful through little more than confidence and unjustified assertion; you will note that nowhere in that ramble does he ever actually tell us what the components of this homeopathic treatment is.

We cannot take the nationwide dissemination of dangerous lies lying down. This page has all the information we need to lodge a complaint with Channel Ten for allowing this dangerous nonsense to pollute the airwaves; this page is Issac Golden’s portal page, containing links to a barrel load of unjustified bollocks; and this page is the contact page for Swinburne University — the public relations department of which I doubt would be happy to know that Issac is using the Swinburne logo on a site denigrating flu vaccinations and recommending people take unproven and ineffective homeopathic prophylaxis instead.

You all know what needs to be done here. Let’s go do it