Complete Bollocks / Pseudoscience / Science Education / Vaccines and Vaccination

Jeni Barnett – pandering to her own ego, by deceit through censorship. Previously posted as… Please Mr. Agent, can Jeni come out to play again?

First Posted – 18/02/2009

mmr_safe_effective_freeIt appears that Jeni Barnett has begun posting on her blog again, but given how honestly she has reflected criticisms of her MMR vaccination ignorance in the past, she probably won’t address any of the questions I posed in a post to the above blog this afternoon (Jeni – you might feel it necessary to ask your agent’s permission before you write a reply, but really, you’re a big girl now and should be able to stand or fall by what you say… although, you’ve not done so well up until now I suppose).

Nevertheless, my post and the questions I’ve posed, appears below. If she responds, I’ll be reporting it here, in all it’s unedited glory (which is more than you can say about anything that’s posted over at Jeni’s blog – I wonder if she writes it all herself?)…

Given your complete and abject failure to acknowledge your dangerous ignorance in terms of the misinformation you presented to the public with regard to MMR vaccination. Will you now, publicly, acknowledge your reckless foolishness in this matter? Retract the ridiculous statements you made on air earlier this year? And apologise to the NHS nurse you (completely unfoundedly) branded “vicious”?

In addition, how do you answer the complaints to OFCOM and to LBC which allege that you have failed in your responsibilities under paragraph 2(1) of Part II of Schedule 2 to the Broadcasting Act 1990, paragraphs 9 and 10 of Schedule 1 to the Human Rights Act 1998, and paragraph 15 of Schedule 14 to the Communications Act 2003, which state that Broadcasting Act licensees should not:

> practise or advocate illegal behaviour;

> practise or advocate behaviour which is injurious to the health or morals of participants or others;

> practise or advocate behaviour which infringes the rights and freedoms of participants or others;

> pose a threat to public safety;

> pose a threat to national security or territorial integrity;

> or threaten the authority and impartiality of the judiciary.

In particular, how would you address the complaint that your broadcast of January this year could prove “injurious to the health” of some listeners and/or their children? And certainly poses a “threat to public safety”?

Do you intend to withdraw from your position as a patron of The Grove Park School in Crowborough, East Sussex which focuses on (amongst others), autistic pupils? Given that you have so blatantly betrayed such a responsibility?

Please answer my questions in a public forum, instead of ignoring and/or removing these criticisms from the record of the discussion.

The Milligan – 18/02/2009

Update 19/02/2009

At last, despite posting my original questions / criticisms on Jeni Barnett’s blog more than 24-hours earlier, the “professional broadcaster” has at last published my post (as detailed above), numbered and time-stamped as follows…

1. At February 19, 2009 4:40 PM Terence Milligan

No reply as yet.

Developments will be posted here.

Update 20/02/2009

No comment on Jeni’s blog this morning, certainly no responses to my post, so, a little nudge is in order.

Posted at 10:20 this morning, maybe it’ll be published, maybe it won’t…

Nobody wants you to stop blogging Jeni and genuine criticism of misinformation is not bullying – free-speech and the chance to debate is what brought your little share of the media’s “MMR Vaccine Hoax” to the notice of so many. E.g., when LBC’s lawyers behaved so stupidly with Ben Goldacre, then the particularly crazy idea by your agent to remove those postings from your blog – he really doesn’t understand modern communications.

I can imagine that neither decision was yours, that doesn’t fit well with what I’ve read about your points of view on this blog.

However, you have been heavily criticised about the views you expressed during that January “MMR” broadcast. Not least by myself. The criticisms I have made have been very specific. The evidence supporting those criticisms has been conclusive.

Surely you know more about the facts now than when you started.

How do you answer the overwhelming weight of objective scientific evidence, and legal conclusions, from the UK and US, that completely contradict everything you based your position on?

Scientists have long decried the poor methodology of Andrew Wakefield’s studies. Scandalous weaknesses in his methodology were evident from his work published in scientific journals. Unfortunately, these journals are not commonly open to the public, who generally lack the training to identify a weak clinical study anyway.

As a result, the general public, yourself included are only exposed to usual, rather shabby, reporting of scientific evidence in mainstream media. Then, when a report which contradicts that which has gone before finally surfaces (e.g. the recent Times article criticising Wakefield), it’s rather easy to portray the situation as “a lone, maverick voice, being silenced by the establishment and big pharmaceutical company money”.

This is not the case here. Independent experts, as well as solid, working scientists, throughout the world have identified Wakefield’s work as extremely poor science, if not downright deceitful. We do NOT have an axe to grind, we do NOT have a bias.

I have children, if the evidence showed that the MMR vaccine caused autism – even in a minority of cases – I would not think twice about paying for single jabs. But the evidence does not. It really is conclusive that solid facts point elsewhere.

At one point you said something akin to “why can’t those with science-based opinions allow others to have a different opinion?”

Well, the answer to that is, in cases of this kind, a different opinion can kill people.

Take a look at this web site…

http://www.whatstheharm.net/vaccinedenial.html

where case studies of those that have been killed or injured through “vaccine denial” have been collected.

This is not a matter of “opinion”. In my “opinion” the square root of 9.8696 is approximately equal to Pi. In this case, you can do the calculation necessary to check my opinion quite simply, on a calculator. You can make an independent assessment of it’s accuracy – but not without some training in mathematics. Without some higher level of scientific training, it’s not very likely that you can make a sound judgement of a number of clinical studies… and that is what is needed to form a consensus of opinion in science. Not just one study from a “lone maverick” – that simply is not good enough to make decisions upon which will affect people’s lives.

Somebody in a position, of even a little social influence, could prevent a number of children from being vaccinated in the best way possible. This could kill innocents and nothing is more important than that. As a result, you and anybody else that reaches a large audience, must be held to a standard of truth and fact.

You must, at least, get your facts right. You know, and have admitted as much, that you failed to reach that standard.

PLEASE, engage the debate. Look carefully at the facts, not the rumour – address your critics in a public forum. Address the facts.

The Milligan – 20/02/2009

 Update 22/02/2009

Well now, the case of the mysterious vanishing blog posts continues. On Thursday 19th February 2009, Jeni Barnett’s blog page…

http://www.jenibarnett.com/2009/02/brits_and_me.php

Had the following first posting…

1. At February 19, 2009 4:40 PM Terence Milligan wrote:

Followed by my posting detailed above on the 18th February.

Now it appears the “The Agent Gremlins” have been attacking again.

The Milligan’s posting has vanished! Shock! Horror!! Oh the deceitfulness!!

After all, it’s not as if the old girl has a track record of this sort of dishonesty is it?

Judge for yourselves people. Was my post hurtful, or a personal attack in any way? Nevertheless, it’s gone.

Uncomfortable truths that she doesn’t want to deal with.

My posting has been replaced by a bit of simpering “Jeni we love you”…

1. At February 19, 2009 8:57 PM judi4 wrote:

I wonder if she typed it herself or got her agent to do it.

This plumbs new depths even for Barnett.

But Lo!!! Not content with censoring honest debate from The Milligan, she deletes a posting from a character by the name of “Buggy”, who originally appeared as posting number 12 on the following thread…

http://www.jenibarnett.com/2009/02/neigh_neigh_thrice_neigh.php

Buggy helpfully pointed Barnett in the direction of all those other missing posts that the “Agent Gremlins” had eradicated, but no, we can’t have anything eluding to the fact that the Barnett may have critics. Instead we now have posting number 12, as below…

12. At February 22, 2009 12:17 AM Mo wrote:

@ Buggy, comment 12, give it a rest will you! Can’t speak for other regular readers of Jeni’s blog but I’m not interested in your nonsense.

It’s great to see you back blogging Jeni, I missed you!

Now, because this post “gives the game away” slightly, by revealing that there was really another “No.12” before this one, I thought I’d include a screenshot this time…

jb-blog-01Which doesn’t really make sense any more does it? But what the heck, it’s a bit more simpering crap to pander to the old girl’s ego. So now, even Barnett’s regular bloggers can see the level of deceitfulness which is routinely being practiced (and they’re not pleased).

Well done Jeni, as an actress – a professional faker by your own admission…

“Acting is all about honesty, if you can fake that you can fake anything.”

Jeni Barnett

jb-blog-02… you are doing your profession proud.

I’m sure there’ll be more to come – keep checking here.

Update – 22/02/2009 23:05

I know I said that there’d be more, but I really didn’t expect it to come so soon. It seems that someone with a sense of humour got a sneaky post on the Barmy Barnett’s latest blog thread – “Bulbs a Plenty”…

1. At February 22, 2009 1:13 PM PaulG wrote:

Hello Jeni,

Great to see you posting again… I thought this would be of interest to you, click here.

I have to admit to a sneaking amusement here, take a look at where the hyperlink actually points, and just in case the old faker decides to pull her usual trick and kill the post, here’s a screenshot for posterity…

jb-blog-03

Update – 25/02/2009 08:20

Sadly, still no reply from the woman who claims to be an advocate of debate. I shall of course, continue to submit posts to the old faker’s blog, in an attempt to glean some sort of response… a proper one that is, you know, as opposed to the ones that are written IN BLOCK CAP’S and have little thought behind them.

You won’t see the posts I submit to JB’s blog of course, the woman who wants the debate won’t allow them to be published, but trust me, they’ll be just the same as the one I sent on the 20/02/2009 (above).

And lastly, just because I’m chilidsh and can’t resist it – Hey, Mo…

jb-blog-01Where’s Buggy gone?

Update – 25/02/2009 14:30

Cross-posted at http://www.jenibarnett.com/2009/02/snow_bound.php

Well now, I’ve been keeping  a “bit of an eye” on Jeni Barnett’s blog – as I’m sure you can see – and this afternoon I notice that something like one of my old posts has surfaced on the Snow bound thread, as post number 9. Before it’s deleted again, here’s a screenshot…

jb-blog-04

OK – she’s posted at last, but this isn’t quite what I wrote is it Jeni? I have provided details of all my submissions to Barnett’s blog (as can be seen above).

I’ve been open here, publishing whatever comments have come my way and editing none. If there is some sort of stipulation in place with regard to not commenting on, for example, on-going OFCOM complaints, would it not be possible, even advisable to issue a statement with regard to status?

I’m willing to give the benefit of the doubt here, but I’m sceptical.

All I’m after is a sensible reply, one based on evidence, not rumour and “mother’s intuition”.  Given the current evidence and the status of medical research, this could only result in a retraction of Barnett’s opinion piece during her January 2009 broadcast.

She also owes every healthcare worker in the country an apology, but I’d settle for just one – to the nurse that she lied about when she branded her “vicious”.

But I’ll tell you what, and this is the nature of science, if the evidence ever points to Jeni Barnett being right, my opinion will change completely.

I go with the evidence and I’ll acknowledge it from the highest rooftops and grovellingly apologise in any and every forum the woman cares to name.

I have no ego invested in this, just an opinion – based on rigorous, properly analysed, peer-reviewed, replicable, scientific evidence – on a topic that is as important as life and death.

Where’s your evidence Jeni?

No sign of anything yet.

Watch this space (but don’t hold your breath).

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12 thoughts on “Jeni Barnett – pandering to her own ego, by deceit through censorship. Previously posted as… Please Mr. Agent, can Jeni come out to play again?

  1. Do you not think your hounding of this woman has gone far enough? Its clear she is not going to take up your challenge. The reasons for this seem obvious to me. Legal advice against it. Jeni’s blog has always been a bit of light hearted banter. It is not the forum for you to air your rantings. Surely there must be some other cause you can focus your interest and spare time on???? Move on!!!!!!

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  2. Jeni Barnett herself stated that she “wanted a debate”. She has since, steadfastly refused to enter into one.

    She cannot debate this topic – not because of legal advice, but because she is simply wrong. Established facts, and a history of objective evidence, are entirely against her position.

    She has promoted publicly, with an audience of thousands, a course of action which is not only dangerously ignorant, but could possibly be viewed as criminal under the Acts of Parliament detailed in previous posts above.

    I am not “hounding”, I merely want her to justify her position using evidence and fact. If she cannot, then I want a retraction and a public apology to both the healthcare professional she lied about, when she called her “vicious” and to Ben Goldacre.

    Barnett, through her own ignorance and foolishness, has endangered public health to the point of potential fatality, and this should not go unchecked by anyone.

    Why are you defending such dangerous idiocy?

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  3. But you clearly are hounding her. You have repeatedly made your point. Everyone can see that. It is absolutely crystal clear that rightly or wrongly and for whatever reason you are simply not going to get a response. I’m not defending what she said but I am defending her right to now remain silent and remove rantings, reasonably stated arguments, sarcastic comments or whatever regarding the issue from her own personal blog if that is what she chooses to do. That is her right. If that condemns her in the eyes of you and your readers, then so be it. Debate over. Point proved in your favour. Time to move on.

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  4. It’s not really a matter of the debate having been won and moving on. The debate was won by the evidence many months ago. However, a lot of people heard a lot of ignorant drivel from Jeni Barnett during a popular radio show.

    With that drivel, she has dangerously misinformed the public – a number of which illustrated their susceptibility to that kind of ignorance on-air.

    As a result, Barnett needs to issue a retraction – at the very least – publicly and for the record.

    In addition, she owes healthcare workers throughout the UK an apology, and one by the name of Yasmin in particular.

    Thus, I will continue to press for such a retraction, and an apology, for as long as I see fit – and until such time as one is forthcoming, it will not be time to “move on”.

    With regard to removing posts from public access blogs when one is apparently in favour of a public debate, that is simply hypocritical at best, deceitful at worst.

    No matter the text that’s sent here, if it’s legal (and not spam advertising), it will be published, unedited and in full.

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  5. An apology may very well be in order. But the broadcast was made on LBC. To all intents and purposes she was speaking on behalf of LBC. Therefore any apology or retraction should come from LBC or at their instruction. Surely, persuing a personal campaign against Ms Barnett is futile? Continually bombarding her blog with comments and links has achieved nothing, and I strongly suspect will continue to achieve nothing. Have you read her blog? It is light hearted ramblings about journeys to work and life in the country. The few regular readers there dont want your comments. No matter how correct they may be. It simply is not the right forum.

    One final thought before I sign off on this matter for good. Sarcasm never moves any debate forward. I dont believe you are doing your cause any good by the title of this page. ‘please mr agent can jenny come out to play’ strikes me as being a tad childish for such a serious debate.

    Thank you for publishing my thoughts.

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  6. Now you see, if you had read her supposedly private blog, you would have noticed her posting on the 5th February 2009…

    MMR and Me
    Posted by Jeni in | 5 February 2009

    Dear All,

    The reaction to the interview about the MMR jab is growing like a fungus.

    I am not a scientist, I would not claim to be a scientist. When tested on the contents of the MMR vaccine I told the truth. I did not have the facts to hand. Was I ill informed? Yes. As a responsible broadcaster I should have been better prepared as a parent, however, I can fight my corner. I don’t know everything that goes into cigarettes but I do know they are harmful.

    As a professional should I have been better prepared – YES – but the discussion took off in a direction I hadn’t expected when I received a vicious phone call from a Nurse I was utterly thrown. I won’t get thrown again.

    I find it interesting that the vitriol that comes out of the pro MMR lobby is precisely why Allopathic medicine is struggling. Most of us who seek alternatives allow others their position but often the ‘others’ have a real problem allowing us ours.

    Doesn’t change my mind though. The fact that I decided not to have my child jabbed was my decision alone. And it is a lonely decision. To be singled out and held totally responsible for a measles, mumps or rubella ‘epidemic’ is clearly ludicrous.

    Single jabs on demand? Why is that a problem?

    Injecting tiny babies with substances that may compromise their immune system needs to be looked at not shouted down.

    And I do not accept that my position, as a radio broadcaster, is irresponsible if I should choose to share my own personal dilemma. I would like some of my critics to try and run a three hour programme.

    I am interested in the debate not a witch hunt.

    Should anybody from BAD SCIENCE read this I urge you to continue the debate, and if it gets too heated there is always the option of turning me off.

    In this post she made several further statements that were hardly “light-hearted”, and a completely unfounded attack on a UK health care professional who was simply stating facts – with evidence to support her argument. An argument which Barnett could not possibly refute, so she resorted to an ad hominem attack. I have gone through this ridiculous posting in detail elsewhere in this blog.

    Before anybody else points it out, I have used such remarks in my own blog “LBC Idiot“, “Barmy Barnett” – look up the definitions of both “idiot” and “barmy“. I am prepared to back those remarks with evidence-based argument. Can Barnett do the same with her description of Yasmin as “vicious”? Read the transcript of the broadcast and listen to it again. The links are all on this blog and prove my point for me.

    I also acknowledge your point about the heading of this blog post. I will consider it’s merits and think about such headings more carefully in the future. I’m not promising I will change my approach, but like I say, I will consider it carefully. I certainly stand by the first part of the heading with regard to ego and censorship. I do like to mix some schoolboy sarcasm with the more serious stuff – (probably too much) I like to think of it as a writing style. Maybe others simply consider it juvenile. In any event, I agree with Jeni Barnett here “there is always the option of [not reading]”.

    I am also open to discussion (unlike some), if Jeni Barnett would care to discuss evidence and established fact (e.g., after long-running allegations of the mercury containing chemical Thimerosal, used in some vaccines – never actually in MMR incidentally – causing autism, Thimerosal was removed; autism rates continue to rise), instead of her own brand of “motherly intuition” and other such nonsense, then there would be a start.

    With regard to Barnett being a spokesperson for LBC rather than speaking for herself, listen to the broadcast again, read the transcript and the posting above…

    I do not accept that my position, as a radio broadcaster, is irresponsible if I should choose to share my own personal dilemma.

    This is dangerous nonsense and a retraction, with a full apology, is the least this ignorant woman owes the public.

    Lastly, for the convenience of anybody who wants to check anything that I have said in the above comments and/or posts, the following *.pdf file contains the full transcript of the LBC Idiot’s January 2009 MMR Broadcast, her subsequent posting on her own blog and my reply (which she chose never to publish)…

    Jeni Barnett – MMR Broadcast Transcript.pdf

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  7. WHO GAVE YOU PERMISSION TO REPRODUCE WHAT I HAD WRITTEN ON JENI BARNETT’S BLOG? I CERTAINLY DID NOT AND OBJECT TO YOU POSTING IT HERE ON YOUR PILE OF CRAP!!! I EXPECT YOU TO REMOVE YOUR REPRODUCTION OF MY POSTING ON JENI’S SITE IMMEDIATELY.

    GIVE IT A REST AND GET A LIFE, I’M FED UP READING YOUR VITRIOL.

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  8. The last post illustrates that, at least here, we are all open to criticism and the truth will be published – and of course, that a bit of the truth hurts.

    “I’M FED UP WITH READING” – then don’t.

    Have a nice day.

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  9. I’ve already taken it up with LBC – the Programme Director (Jonathan Richards), simply replies with a pre-written ramble, which doesn’t address anything raised in the complaint, and OFCOM have not replied as yet.

    Jeni Barnett however, voiced a “personal dilemma” as a so-called “professional broadcaster” with no idea of what she was talking about, and no comprehension of the impact her drivel could have.

    If you don’t want to read about it, go elsewhere.

    If you don’t want to read my legitimate criticisms of Jeni, here or on her own public forum, go elsewhere.

    If alternatively, you support the kind of dangerous, ignorant idiocy spouted by the old faker, then enter into the discussion with something useful to add.

    Otherwise, go elsewhere.

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  10. I expect you to remove your reproduction of my posting on Jeni Barnett’s blog from your site.

    It was written for use on Jeni’s site, has nothing to do with this one and I do not believe you have the right to use it. Delete it immediately.

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  11. Go for Barnett with her died Barnett Fair! Her radio programme today is about the Tory Party Conference and, guess what, she announces on LBC that the Conference is being held in Blackpool!!! Can you believe it! What a light-weight faker. She can’t even get that right – the rest of the nation knows where it’s being held, but she has been kept in the dark. They should send her packing to hubby to look after the kids.

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