Friday, December 16, 2005

I'm not confident in Maher's ability to think

On my bloglines account, I found a Skeptico post about Bill Maher, but it seems to have gotten taken down. Here's the transcript he refers to, along with the relevant excerpt:
KING: Worried about Avian flu?

MAHER: Not the least. You know my theory about health.

KING: What?

MAHER: Well, we've talked about it. I'm not into western medicine. That to me is a complete scare tactic. It just shows you, you can...

KING: You mean you don't get a -- you don't get a flu shot?

MAHER: A flu shot is the worst thing you can do.

KING: Why? MAHER: Because it's got -- it's got mercury.

KING: It prevents flu.

MAHER: It doesn't prevent. First of all, that's...

KING: I haven't had the flu in 25 years since I've been taking a flu shot.

MAHER: Well, I hate to tell you, Larry, but if you have a flu shot for more than five years in a row, there's ten times the likelihood that you'll get Alzheimer's disease. I would stop getting your...

KING: What did you say?

MAHER: That went better in rehearsal but it was still good. Absolutely, no the defense against disease is to have a strong immune system. A flu shot just compromises your immune system.

KING: So you don't take any western medicine, don't take an aspirin?

MAHER: Never, an aspirin no. Thousands of people die from aspirin every year.

KING: How do you treat illness?

MAHER: I promise you that if you get a headache the reason for that headache is not aspirin deficiency. The reason...

KING: No, of course not.

MAHER: Right, so you're taking -- so it's not...

KING: Something to take the pain away. Why is that bad?

MAHER: But why don't you find out the real root of that pain?

KING: Well, while you're finding take the aspirin.

MAHER: But that's what we do. We have immediate cures that address the symptom and not the root cause of anything. I have no worries about bird flu whatsoever. First of all, it's not going to happen. Second of all, the fact that it is mutating shows that if you did come up with a vaccine tomorrow, it wouldn't be effective against the disease when the disease comes because the disease is always morphing and mutating. It's just a way to funnel money into the pharmaceutical companies. Follow the money. You'll find out where the bird flu is.

KING: You wouldn't say the Salk vaccine was a bad idea.

MAHER: That's somewhat of a different case, yes.

KING: Polio was eliminated. MAHER: Yes but, you know, there are many books out that will -- that will -- and I'm not well enough versed on it to talk about it that will indicate that there are other reasons why it was.

And a lot of diseases that have been they say, whoa, this was eliminated because of a vaccine, they find out well no actually the country got toilets and that's what happened.
Skeptico links to a refutation of the claim that sanitation put an end to disease, to a previous post of his on Maher, and mentions e-mailing Maher to demand a source for the "10 times the risk of Alzheimer's" statistic. He also provides Maher's e-mail for other people to do this, the reason the post is down may be he decided this was a bad idea. For that reason, I will not provide that link.

In the process of scanning the transcript for relevant bits, I came across something that's really irrelevant, but pretty funny in juxtaposition with Maher's vaccine claims:
MAHER: You know our country has lost its way as far as being able to discern good from evil, right from wrong because we're not -- we're not confident in our own ability to think anymore.
Maher, I think, is a little too confident in his ability to think.


Ahab said...

Maher, he's the guy who voted for Arianna Huffington for Ca. governor, isn't he? :)

Yup, he's got a witty tongue, but he is rather empty-headed. Or maybe it'd be more accurate to say he's just a shallow thinker.

Skeptico said...

The post is back up. Just database problems with TypePad - nothing exciting. Email Maher if you want (I got the address from his website anyway).

Hallq said...

Heh - actually, I e-mailed him before making this post, and only then thought better of it.