$11,000 bounty for source of Bachmann's HPV story

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Steven Miles, Art Caplan: Skeptical experts.
Michele Bachmann made famous the story of an unknown woman who approached Bachmann after the Tea Party debate and said her daughter was made mentally retarded by the HPV vaccine. Now, that same story might make someone rich.

Two University of Minnesota bioethicists -- one current and one former -- have ponied up some dough, saying that if this woman would come forward and prove that the HPV vaccine caused her daughter's retardation, they'll pay out of their own pockets.

Steven Miles, a U of M professor, started the bidding with $1,000, which was then matched and exceeded by his former boss Art Caplan, now at the University of Pennsylvania, according to the Star Tribune. The professors say such wild accusations, when loosed into the public opinion pool, can have a damning effect when scared parents won't vaccinate their kids.

Bachmann originally edged toward the "vaccines are bad for you" crowd during the debate, when she said the "innocent" little girls subjected to them could have a "negative reaction to this potentially dangerous" vaccine, which is apparently more dangerous than, you know, actual cervical cancer.

The next day, Bachmann fell deeper down the rabbit hole, telling the story of a crying mother who came up to her at the debate's end.

"She told me," Bachmann said, "that her little daughter took that vaccine, that injection, and she suffered from mental retardation thereafter."

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Michele Bachmann told her crazy story from Monday yesterday on "Today."
Later that same day, Bachmann backed-off completely, telling Fox News host Sean Hannity she had "no idea" if the two were linked, but, you know, this one lady told me about it.

Bunk, say the bioethicists, who are pretty curious to meet the woman who told Bachmann this story, which she then repeated on "The Today Show," with its five-plus million viewers. In explaining to the Star Tribune why he threw down the offer originally, Stiles, the University of Minnesota professor, even cast some doubt that the story is real at all.

"These types of messages in this climate have the capacity to do enormous public health harm," Miles told the Star Tribune. "The woman, assuming she exists, put this claim into the public domain and it's an extremely serious claim and it deserves to be analyzed."

So, the chase is on. If anyone can find this Florida mother, and prove that her daughter is the first documented case to become mentally retarded after taking a vaccine that prevents cervical cancer... oh, who are we kidding? You don't make an offer like this if you think this lady's out there and her story's true.

Miles' and Caplan's bank accounts are safe. The same cannot be said for "innocent" little girls whose mothers believe what Michele Bachmann says.

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11 comments
Dan Frye
Dan Frye

Michelle Bachmann was the daughter!! I'll take my reward in cash please.

TruthBtold
TruthBtold

Seems to me that she should resign from office in disgrace over this.

E K
E K

The City Pages wasted a whole summer trying to bring this lady down with their stupid "See, she drives on public roads, and says she's for small government!  Hypocrite!" stories.  You could've just saved the bandwidth for her uber-predictable meltdown which has arrived in full force.

Mn Voter
Mn Voter

Will they wager their jobs and pensions? Couple of sexist white guys with government jobs and pensions casting their vile. Fuck Steven Miles and Art Caplan they both can go to hell. I hope they step off a curb when the senser woman drives to turn herself in. I hope when President Bachmann gets into office she cuts the budget for higher education for any "Bioethicists" and cancels their pensions. Where were they when Obama promised to keep unemployment under 8%. I'm sure they spoke up then, eh?

green23
green23

Mn Voter wrote:"Where were they when Obama promised to keep unemployment under 8%. I'm sure they spoke up then, eh"

Yes, as bioethicists they would naturally feel compelled to call out the President on economic matters.

And Obama didn't "promise" to keep unemployment under 8%. You know that. It was a projection. Kind of like when you projected that gas prices would be over $5 a gallon by now.

Mn Voter wrote:"I hope when President Bachmann gets into office"

Are you "promising" that Bachmann will win the election next November? Or are you projecting that as a likely scenario? Either way, you're wrong. Bachmann is running double digits behind Obama (46/33) on Rasmussen.

Look, if the story isn't completely fabricated, then the mother of a retarded child gets $10k. What's so bad about that? Or are you starting to think that the entire story is a lie?

Zeroisanumber
Zeroisanumber

"Will they wager their jobs and pensions?"

I'll wager my job, salary and pension against yours that they're right.

"Couple of sexist white guys with government jobs and pensions casting their vile. Fuck Steven Miles and Art Caplan they both can go to hell. I hope they step off a curb when the senser woman drives to turn herself in. I hope when President Bachmann gets into office she cuts the budget for higher education for any "Bioethicists" and cancels their pensions."

Oooookaaaay.

"Where were they when Obama promised to keep unemployment under 8%. I'm sure they spoke up then, eh?"

Seeing as Drs. Miles and Caplan are bioethicists, not economists, that's not really their area of expertise. But just because they're bioethicists doesn't mean that you should take them as authoritative experts in their field or anything. I'm sure that their decades of study, research, and practical experience can't compare to that one website your read that one time.

Michelle Bachmann
Michelle Bachmann

Such a phony.  It's not sexism to quote a woman's words back at her and mock her for saying something extra stupid.  City Pages would do the same thing with a man, look at how they treat famously stupid Bradlee Dean.   Sexism is a real problem don't be such a miserable asshole and cheapen that word by throwing it around like an idiot.  

Bilky
Bilky

Very mature response. Don't reproduce.

green23
green23

Too late. Mn Voter has said previously that he has three kids. But, since he also has said that he was a Vietnam vet, I think it's safe to presume that his "kids" are all adults now.

But then, he talks a lot of crap about himself, so it's hard to know what to believe. He says he holds a doctorate and has taught at MIT, but he also says he's unemployed. He says that Amy Klobuchar sets the prices for gas across the country. He also said months ago that he was moving out of Minnesota to avoid the high taxes, but he's still here. He says that he voted for Mark Dayton, and that he donates money to Bachmann (when he's 'unemployed', and supporting three 'kids', remember). He's says that he's stockpiled weapons and ammunition for the war against Sharia law, which is supposed to begin any day now. He's also made a habit of posting under at least a dozen other identities, while remaining too stupid to understand that his profile shows all of them. Even now, if you click on his icon, you will see his current identity as "Mn Gov Dayton".

Greg
Greg

Ms Bachmann should be somehow held responsible for her reckless statements. How many people are are being hurt by her ongoing nonsense?

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