By Anne Dachel
It seems that the Chicago Tribune can't say enough about the dangerous and far-reaching effect of those in the autism community trying to sound an alarm over the horrific toll this disorder is taking on families everywhere. Doctors using biomedical treatments and diet were repeatedly slammed along with the Autism One Conference held in Chicago last week. SEE: 'Miracle drug' called junk science (HERE) Chicago Tribune and from the Los Angeles Times (HERE).
Jenny McCarthy is a specific target in the sights of the Tribune right now. They had to tell us twice on both May 27 and a few hours later on May 28 on Google News that Oprah is crossing the line in letting McCarthy air her views on TV.
The two pieces are both by Maureen Ryan, THE WATCHER.
Oprah's influence is vast and enters a controversial realm Chicago Tribune May 27
Far-reaching 'Oprah Effect' examined in documentary Chicago Tribune May 28
They're almost identical, except that the first one on the 27th had these two paragraphs at the end:
But Oprah is, after all, one of the most influential people in America, and the mere fact that she has given McCarthy a bigger platform, including a blog on Oprah.com, has some observers concerned. An "open letter" posted May 11 by science graduate student Shirley Wu asking that Winfrey reconsider the McCarthy connection got hundreds of comments, thanks to its wide circulation online. On the Internet, the topic of vaccines and autism seems to function as an invective magnet, but Wu's essay is remarkably gentle and temperate.
"Oprah, I hope you take my letter, and the well-intentioned if sometimes harsh criticisms from many others in the blogosphere, to heart," Wu wrote. "Because even though I still don't watch your show, others do, and they listen to you."
You won't find those paragraphs in the second posting.
I don't know how others may feel, but what the Chicago Tribune is saying here sounds a lot like advocating for censorship. The Trib tells us that some observers are "concerned" because Oprah is giving McCarthy "a bigger platform." I thought that was called freedom of speech and for a national news outlet like the Chicago Tribune to warn us that certain Americans shouldn't be heard because some people don't like their message should have lots of people very concerned.
Anne Dachel is Media Editor for Age of Autism.