Robert F. Kennedy Jr., last seen bleating about how right-wing rhetoric is responsible for the Giffords shooting, has some 'splainin to do. It seems that Salon removed and retracted his 2005 story from its website about the link between vaccination and autism because it was based on fraudulent evidence:
In 2005, Salon published online an exclusive story by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. that offered an explosive premise: that the mercury-based thimerosal compound present in vaccines until 2001 was dangerous, and that he was "convinced that the link between thimerosal and the epidemic of childhood neurological disorders is real."The piece was co-published with Rolling Stone magazine -- they fact-checked it and published it in print; we posted it online. In the days after running "Deadly Immunity," we amended the story with five corrections (which can still be found logged here) that went far in undermining Kennedy's exposé. At the time, we felt that correcting the piece -- and keeping it on the site, in the spirit of transparency -- was the best way to operate. But subsequent critics, including most recently, Seth Mnookin in his book "The Panic Virus," further eroded any faith we had in the story's value. We've grown to believe the best reader service is to delete the piece entirely.
The vaccination/autism link has been a pet cause of RFK Jr.'s for years, despite the fact that the scientific evidence had always been dubious. For more on how it was exposed as an outright fraud, see my column from earlier this month.