There was a time when Paul Thacker was part of a progressive commune that all endorsed and supported each other in their 'science is a corporate conspiracy' bubble. They had infested what passed for the Journalism department at NYU, progressive websites such as Grist, and even journals like otherwise reputable PLOS. His work shilling for Natural Resources Defense Council opposing agriculture for their lawyers was applauded.

That is because they were all anti-vaccine, pro-organic, anti-chemical, anti-GMO, you name it, if most on the left were selling alternatives, these pseudo-journalists were against whatever the useful product was.(1)

Then COVID-19 happened. Democrats who had claimed Trump was putting lives at risk by pushing through a vaccine without proper safety testing won the 2020 election and suddenly became pro-vaccine, because it was released during their time in the White House. Yet some refused to back off. Robert F. Kennedy Jr, US Right To Know, Mike Balter, Paul Thacker et al. were no longer protected by the umbrella when the left was suddenly taking credit for being fans of vaccines and started wiping out the first 20 years of their history this century.

Now one of them, Paul Thacker, who is so unhinged even his former journalism teacher disavowed him as "a sadistic troll" long ago, has gone after a progressive M.D. again, and Dr. David Gorski isn't having it.

Paul Thacker. Credit: Deniers For Hire

In this case, Thacker goes after a writer on Science Based Medicine claiming she is not a real physician. Unsurprisingly, he only does this stuff to women whose facts he hates, no men. If you aren't familiar with Thacker, his fact-checking is basically nothing despite his claim that his Substack blog making him $4-a-month has an editor who demands he get quotes from people he attacks. 

Seriously. He puts this fake stuff in writing. There is a good reason a public school teacher who supports science had to get a restraining order against him.

Isn't Spain a socialist country? Mental health care should be what he he can afford: free. 

If I go to law school and get a Juris Doctorate, not only am I a lawyer, I can claim to be a Dr., just like someone with an EdD can claim it. Even if I don't practice law or take the Bar. Someone who gets a Doctor of Medicine degree is a doctor, according to the American Medical Association, even if they are not board-certified in any state.(2)

Would Thacker claim one of the lame-brained "PhD in environmental behavior' types he endorses is not reaaaaaally a doctor? No way, because they don't insult his conspiracy rhetoric the way actual scientists and doctors do.

Thacker has fewer people in science and medicine on his side than ever so he shouldn't be picking new fights with liberals.

Gorski isn't like kooky progressives anyway. In 2008, when most of science blogging was gushing about the election of President Obama and how he was going to 'restore science to its rightful place', I spoke out against Obama bringing in RFK Jr. for a Cabinet position. I spoke out about Obama playing nice with his anti-vax base by claiming maybe vaccines did cause autism. I spoke out about the president-elect stuffing his transition team with UFO believers and a guy who thought girls can't do math.

So did Dr. Gorski. And basically no one else.

The irony of all this is that Dr. Gorski has not changed, nor have I, I bet we couldn't even agree on lunch, but Thacker and his war on science and medicine (COVID is a conspiracy to help Big Pharma!) didn't either, and that has left him out in the cold as everyone outside a few malcontents on the coasts embraced evidence-based thinking.


(1) Thacker was exceptional even among the militant left. Even the activists who run the left-wing Union of Concerned Scientists criticized him for his uninformed hit pieces and using FOIA as a weapon against government-funded scientists he couldn't silence.

(2) The Affordable Care Act banned doctors from 'owning' anything with more capability than a 'clinic', like a hospital, which still causes problems for doctors who want to help the poor today and is why rural communities remain so ill-served, but the Obama administration didn't ban graduating from medical school.