Thursday, April 14, 2016

When entertainers speak, some think it's gospel

Who has more visibility to the general public than entertainers and politicians? Not many. Unfortunately when they  speak of things about which they know nothing,  there are many who tend to believe them.

Now we all know politicians are full of it so practically no one believes them but what about people like actors, singers and even to a great extent professional athletes.  When they start making remarks outside of their field of expertise people tend to believe them only because they like them for what they're known for-not for the issue they're addressing.

Of course it's possible for an entertainer to know more than their craft.  George Clooney and Robert Redford come to mind.  They're both involved in outside issues and they're able to speak with great authority on them.  But the vast majority are not in that category. 

Take for example something I saw this morning on the Today show.  Robert DeNiro was being interviewed and he was talking about a variety of topics one of which was immunizations and autism of all things. He made the rather absurd statement that there was a link between the two. 

This theory originated many years ago by an English doctor who published an article in the British medical journal Lancet.  It raised quite a stir.  There was even more of a stir when it was later discovered that the entire thing was a fraud.  But to this day people still insist that their children not be immunized lest they contract autism. 

To neglect to vaccinate children is the height of neglect and irresponsibility.  The overall health benefits of vaccinations far, far outweigh the risks.  Yet here's a great actor like Robert DeNiro making these kinds of outrageously stupid statements and because he is a popular actor people will believe him.  Numerous people from the medical community including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were quick to react but for many it will fall on deaf ears. After all, Robert DeNiro said so! 

Beware. We're surrounded by idiots.  Don't believe what people say just because they're popular in a totally unrelated field.

Thus endth my rant for the day!

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