Amy Wallace, the editor-at-large for Los Angeles magazine, wrote recently at Wired about the controversy over the safety of vaccines. She frames it as more akin to hysteria on the part of the anti-vaccine voices, writing:
This isn’t a religious dispute, like the debate over creationism and intelligent design. It’s a challenge to traditional science that crosses party, class, and religious lines. It is partly a reaction to Big Pharma’s blunders and PR missteps, from Vioxx to illegal marketing ploys, which have encouraged a distrust of experts. It is also, ironically, a product of the era of instant communication and easy access to information. The doubters and deniers are empowered by the Internet (online, nobody knows you’re not a doctor) and helped by the mainstream media, which has an interest in pumping up bad science to create a “debate” where there should be none.
What's interesting is what happened next. A reporter for 25 years, she has gotten more mail — and endured more nasty personal attacks — than for any other story she has written (including her first-person exploration of L.A.'s worship of female breasts.) She has taken to tweeting serially about the allegations lodged against her, which include a commenter's confident claim that Wallace is "a well-known pharma lobbyist." Wallace tweets today:
I’ve been called stupid, greedy, a whore, a prostitute, and a “fking lib.” I’ve been called the author of “heinous tripe.”...I’ve been told I’ll think differently “if you live to grow up.” I’ve been warned that “this article will haunt you for a long time.”...Just now, I got an email so sexually explicit that I can’t paraphrase it here. Except to say it contained the c-word....and a reference to dead fish."
Aren't people on the Internet so inspiring?
Add Wallace: She has a personal piece about her dealings with convicted murderer Betty Broderick in the November issue of Los Angeles, but it doesn't seem to be online yet.