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Threats Prove Cartoonist Right About Vaccine McCarthyism

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Editor’s Note: After two years, The Epoch Times’ blog section is now closed as the site is undergoing a redesign. All Epoch Blogs from Autism Investigated are still archived. There is exciting news to come about The Epoch Times pertaining to Autism Investigated.

By Jake Crosby

Above is a cartoon originally published on DailyKos by Keith Knight, author of the K Chronicles. Knight drew the above cartoon to bring attention to what he called the “New McCarthyism” – the hypocrisy and double-standard surrounding discussions about vaccines.

As anyone could have predicted, the thread was soon awash in nasty comments including threats so bad he eventually caved and removed the whole cartoon – proving Knight right about Vaccine McCarthyism.

“I took it down myself. A few comments crossed the line with me, so I took it down,” he reportedly said of the cartoon. “I can take the personal threats…but once it goes beyond that — ”

Making clear how inflammatory the vaccine issue was even when compared to other inflammatory subjects, he said:

“I may do a follow-up at some point, but for now I’ll stick to less inflammatory subjects like abortion, Israel/Palestine, and gun control.”

Abortion clinics have been bombed, a member of Israeli parliament has been called a “war criminal” at an academic panel discussion, and the National Rifle Association’s famous slogan is “I’ll give you my gun when you pry it from my cold, dead hands. Yet in Knight’s own experience, the vaccine issue is even more inflammatory than these other inflammatory issues.

The Daily Cartoonist weighed in on the situation with the following commentary:

“Expressing unpopular opinion is not for everyone. Side affects vary but may include pissing off people who think of themselves as tolerant, inflaming internet comment sections or receiving unwanted threats to oneself or family.”

Such threats were apparently fair game to one blogger who deeply despised Knight’s cartoon:

“The only heartening bit is how most of the commenters contribute to giving Knight a new sphincter.”

Direct those same kinds of threats at that very blogger, and watch the incitement turn to self-pity.

While the DailyKos took no apparent action against the trolls making the threats before the entire post was taken down, it has its own unique style of censorship like those of other left-wing, big government sites. The Huffington Post enforces censorship by removing articles without any explanation or warning. “Throwing a writer to the wolves” is what Salon did by retracting Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s “Deadly Immunity” article, according to the site’s own founder. But the preferred method of censorship at DailyKos is banning any commenter who argues vaccines cause autism.

If DailyKos was not directly involved in the removal of the post or even in the incitement of trolls (both of which I have a hard time believing), the site certainly created the perfect environment for the New McCarthyism Knight denounced to take root by banning people who would otherwise support him in the comment thread. Unlike at DailyKos, expressing different views will not get anyone banned from commenting at Autism Investigated; making threats will get a commenter banned.

So the cartoon is now posted here, and is here to stay.

Addendum: After one commenter’s reported experience with having comments censored at DailyKos, a decision has been made to not allow any comments that link to that site. If DailyKos will shut down discussion about topics routinely discussed here, then there is no reason to link any readers to that site only to be banned from commenting. Unless DailyKos overturns its policy of censorship, any submitted comment that links to DailyKos will be deleted. No exceptions.