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Simon Jenkins, (lapsed?) AIDS denialist…

with 2 comments

In “Don’t Get Fooled Again” I highlight the campaign by Sunday Times journalist Neville Hodgkinson during the early 1990s to deny the link between HIV and AIDS.

What I wasn’t aware of until recently (credit to Gimpy for the tip-off), was that loud-mouthed columnist Simon Jenkins (latterly of the Guardian) was also a participant, announcing in the Times in December 1993 that “no causal chain has been proved” from HIV to AIDS, citing the work of discredited virologist Peter Duesberg, and attacking the journal nature for allegedly engaging in a “propaganda war” around the disease.

Whereas Neville Hodgkinson has since largely been exiled to the journalistic wilderness, Jenkins (like Hodgkinson’s editor and champion, Andrew Neil) appears to have walked away more or less unscathed from his romantic entanglement with one of the world’s deadliest ideologies.

Today, Jenkins continues to share his unique brand of lay expertise on topics as diverse as the folly of prosecuting war criminals (“it is always better for a nation to seek atonement within itself”) to the tyranny of smoking bans (“Next the anti-smoking Guardianistas will be coming for dogs and cats”)…

Written by Richard Wilson

July 23, 2009 at 1:37 pm

2 Responses

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  1. What is your lay expertise on prosecuting war criminals?


    August 6, 2009 at 3:59 pm

    • None whatsoever – I just don’t buy the argument that politicians and soldiers belong in a special category such that prosecuting them for torture, mass-murder etc. is morally inappropriate/cultural imperialism/a threat to world peace (delete as appropriate). If you’re interested, Human Rights Watch did a big report on these sorts of arguments quite recently here. I rate HRW and the mighty Alison Des Forges over Simon Jenkins any day. Obviously I’m biased, though, but that’s allowed…

      Richard Wilson

      August 6, 2009 at 4:46 pm

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