This week in PLoS: Manufactroversies, RFK Jr.’s revival, and the definition of a Mnooklear Attack

May 15th, 2011 → 8:53 pm @

Among the news I wrote about this week was a press conference in Washington DC ginning up the latest manufactroversy over vaccines and autism. (Perhaps not surprisingly, Fox News was one of the few news organizations to take the bait.) There are also highlights from a recent review on Blogcritics and a shout-out in the New York Post from Sarah Vowell. I also noted that Rolling Stone revived the error-filled Robert F. Kennedy Jr. story about thimerosal that the magazine ran in 2005 and disappeared sometime last year.

The most amusing post (for my money, anyway), was titled “In which my Seussian name is drafted in service of an Orwellian conspiracy,” and it deserves reprinting in full:

Back in late 2002, when I was a Newsweek media columnist covering the implosion of The New York Times, Mickey Kaus married my name with my employer’s and came up with Mnoosweek. It wasn’t quite a nonce usage — Kaus used it once more in Slate the following spring and Daniel Drezner referenced a Mnoosweek piece that summer — but that was pretty much it. It’s hard enough to spell Mnookin, never mind needing to turn it into a witty aphorism.

But! I needn’t have worried: It turns out I’ve recently been conferred the status of my very own eponymous neologism: the Mnooklear attack, which, according to Urban Dictionary, is:

The type of desperate attack in which public health officials and drug companies engage when trying to hide their causal roles in the the autism epidemic. Usually involves hiring drug addicts. The main goals of Mnooklear Attacks are to protect shareholders and to keep CDC staff out of jail. Ex: Did you see the Mnooklear Attack on universally respected journalist Robert MacNeil?

Occam’s Razor it ain’t…but hey, with a name like mine, I’ll take what I can get.

Post Categories: Blog post & PLoS & sillyisms