I admit I'm a teeny bit reticent to add skeptical celebrities to the Asshole Skeptic Honour Roll. I'd generally prefer to give unknown skeptics the thumbs up.
But Orac kinda put this one out of the park as far as I'm concerned.
Bill Maher is taking LOT of flak these days for his anti-vax position. I fully embrace the pro-vax agenda... if you haven't grokked that yet. But Maher is someone who I really want to respect. It actually annoys the living shit out of me that he is failing me (all of us - I'm simply taking this personally) on the alt-med front. I believe there is a good person in there... and I really want to believe that he might start seeing the light of reality... but so far the reality of that is painfully non-present. Maher has done a lot of good. I respect that he lost Politically Incorrect over speaking up about 9/11 politically (not to be confused with skeptically) before the dust of 9/11 had settled. I think that Religulous was a good effort if a bit flaccid in it's impact. He has a lot to offer... but damn if he ain't fucking it all up with his anti-vax/pro-alt-med stance.
Anyhow... Orac has nailed Maher on this front. Hard. And he has regularly demonstrated a particularly non-scientist-like propensity for speaking with the vehemence that such topics usually are absent of.
Hear me scientists?!? (And doctors - which is more accurately what Orac is.)
It seems to fall to me and other laymen to speak forcefully, and that lacks a certain level of authority - so where the hell are the rest of you?
To be fair - there are others than Orac who speak out forcefully, but they are rare. There are far more scientists than there are people who know what they are talking about who are willing to speak out.
So come on, scientists - be like Orac and stand up. Quit leaving it to people like me - I'm a fucking film maker with a big mouth. Should I really be anything beyond an authority on how to disseminate our position? Gah!
Go read Respectful (though not very, thank FSM) Insolence.
Oh and, apologies to Orac for implicitly calling him an asshole.