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« Comments On Wakefield GMA Appearance Call Out George S. "Interview" Style | Main | From The Editor »

GMA's Stephanopoulos Walks Over Dr. Andrew Wakefield

Kool-aid-reebok-grape-6 By Anne Dachel

Monday, January 17, Dr. Andrew Wakefield appeared on Good Morning America with host George Stephanopoulos. HERE  It was a major event for parents in the autism community who hoped that Dr. Wakefield would be allowed to present a defense against the charges made by Brian Deer and the British Medical Journal.  Sadly, that was not to be. 

(See transcript of the interview:HERE)

It was clear from the beginning that Stephanopoulos had his own agenda and it didn’t involve equal time for Dr. Wakefield.  This is something we’re used to in the autism community, but it was especially obvious in the GMA interview.

As Dr. Wakefield told me:

"Stephanopoulos had the American people believe that he had read Callous Disregard, and that he had done so cover-to-cover. One only has to read yesterday's MedScape article to confirm this. His questions and his demeanor lead me to believe that, in fact, this was not the case. I suspect that as the truth behind this issue emerges, as it will, he and others may come to regret being part of the witch hunt. Their attention should be on the real problems of autism and lack of evidence for vaccine safety."

Stephanopoulos made sure we all understood how ABC felt; we were informed at the start that Dr. Wakefield's work has been discredited and that the British Medical Journal found his claims to be fraudulent based on the word of Brian Deer.  As expected, Seth Mnookin, Brian Deer, Richard Besser, and Paul Offit were in opposition to Dr. Wakefield.  Offit was cited only as the author of "Deadly Choices," without any mention of the millions of dollars he's personally made with his rotavirus vaccine. 

It also wasn't surprising to hear from parents who'd been worried about a link to autism and who didn't vaccinate with Hib because of it.  (It should be pointed out that Hib is a vaccine that Dr. Wakefield has never mentioned.)  The father gave his reaction to the news about the BMJ charges: "It's been a fraud and it's a conscious effort to mislead people." 

Actually, after watching the video clips put out by ABC News, the fact is that its reporting on this issue is just that, "a conscious effort to mislead people." 

Dr. Wakefield tried time after time to get Stephanopoulos to understand that as a gastroenterologist, his focus was on the bowel disease that he was finding in children who'd regressed after the MMR.  These were healthy kids who become physically sick.  They developed chronic diarrhea, constipation, food allergies, and encephalitis.  They regressed into autism.  Are we to believe that it's all one huge coincidence that normal kids suddenly lose learned skills, become autistic, and develop bowel disease all at the same time?  

Several things emerged as the interview progressed.  First of all, it was never acknowledged that Dr. Wakefield is a gastroenterologist.  He was described merely as a "British researcher.”

In the ABC story online, there was only one reference to bowel problems. ONE.   

“Authors of the editorial published nearly two weeks ago in the British Medical Journal confirmed previous suggestions that Wakefield skewed patients' medical records to support his hypothesis that the widely-used measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) combination vaccine was causing autism and irritable bowel disease.”

This was ABC's very conscious effort to mislead people.  We didn’t get to hear from anyone who backed Dr. Wakefield.  Stephanopoulos seemed intent only on accusing Wakefield of falsely linking vaccines and autism and he showed no interest in the health histories of his patients.  

To make this fair and balanced, why didn’t GMA interview Dr. Jon Poling, father of Hannah Poling?  Health and Human Services conceded the claim that the nine vaccinations she received in a single doctor’s visit caused her regression into autism.  Why wasn’t Dr. Bernadine Healy, former head of the National Institutes of Health, included?   She could have said that she doesn’t believe the studies have been done that would disprove a link.

Why didn’t Stephanopoulos have even one of the 12 Lancet parents on the show?  This is really critical.  The whole issue here swirls around the medical histories of these children and the charge that Dr. Wakefield falsified records

What would have happened if George Stephanopoulos had included one of the Lancet parents from this video?   http://www.viddler.com/explore/ziggy/videos/1/

During the course of the interview on GMA, Stephanopoulos said to Dr. Wakefield, “I read your book.”  In truth, as he repeated everything that Brian Deer wrote about in the BMJ, it became glaringly evident he couldn’t have read Callous Disregard.  (Or if he did, he blatantly disregarded everything Andrew Wakefield wrote about.) 

In Callous Disregard, Dr. Wakefield gave detailed descriptions of each of the 12 children who were the subject of the Lancet article.  He made it clear that they became patients at the Royal Free Hospital when parents sought help for their children’s bowel disease.  It was not because they were referred to him by lawyers.

Dr. Wakefield meticulously went over the charges made by the General Medical Council, explaining how they were not true, yet Stephanopoulos never brought up anything from the book.

If he’d truly read Callous Disregard, Stephanopoulos would also have known that Dr. Wakefield never claimed that his paper in the Lancet was about a study proving a link between vaccines and anything.  It was about a novel bowel problem in autistic children, and he thought the medical community would be interested in the questions he was asking.

Dr. Wakefield devoted a whole chapter to Brian Deer and his claims.  He quoted the numerous charges that Deer had made about him and his work in print and explained how each one was false.  He especially addressed the claim that he had fixed data on autism or that he had recruited and treated these children for litigation purposes.

Stephanopoulos never mentioned any of the disturbing things Dr. Wakefield included in his book: 

The British government knowingly licensed an unsafe vaccine. 

They failed to warn parents about possible life-threatening side effects. 

They intentionally had only passive surveillance for adverse events. 

They secretly indemnified the vaccine maker. 

They used false and misleading information to promote the vaccine. 

Corruption, collusion, and cover-up, three things we usually assign to the actions of our Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, are also true for the British government.  Dr. Wakefield wrote, “Children were the experimental marketplace.”  None of this was talked about on GMA and Dr. Wakefield was never allowed the chance to bring any of it up. 

We didn’t hear about the inside source cited in the book (coincidentally named "George") either, yet he's a big part of the story.  He's a doctor and a health official, and for Andrew Wakefield, he was the source for a lot of vital information on the measles vaccine trials.    

Newsmen like Stephanopoulos never acknowledge that the medical community has everything at stake in this.  They pretend that it’s all just about the science and all the science says Dr. Wakefield is wrong. 

Dr. Richard Halvorsen, another British physician, recently pointed this out when he said,

“We have to take a step back and wonder what is really going on here.  To go to such extreme-- and desperate lengths—to annihilate Dr. Wakefield (the person, note, not the science) some people must be very afraid, presumably, that parents might actually believe something that is blatantly obvious: that is that all vaccines can cause serious adverse reactions, including autism. By denying what is not only obvious but also supported by a wealth of scientific evidence these obsessive vaccine protagonists risk losing the trust of all parents and destroying the whole vaccine programme, the very thing that they are trying to prevent happening.”

Halvorsen’s commentary sounds a lot like the words of Dr. Peter Fletcher, former Chief Scientific Officer in the UK.  In 2006, in the Daily Mail, HERE Dr. Fletcher said,

"There are very powerful people in positions of great authority in Britain and elsewhere who have staked their reputations and careers on the safety of MMR and they are willing to do almost anything to protect themselves."

In Callous Disregard, Dr. Wakefield made the comment, “The evidence revealed collusion at the highest levels of the medical establishment.” (p. 49) 

Self-protection is a powerful motivation and this is made clear in the book.  “[I]t was the UK government that was (and presumably still is) liable for SKB’s MMR vaccine damage.” (p. 74)

 Speaking of his work at the Royal Free Hospital, he wrote, “Ultimately, it took a group of gastroenterologists to recognize the significance of these symptoms, not through some preternatural wisdom, but through the diligent application of their training.  A new syndrome was described and the findings replicated around the world.  Erasure from the Medical Register is a small price to pay for the privilege of working with affected families.” (p. 162) 

The sad truth about what has happened is that many people have failed us. Heath officials failed us when they put other priorities ahead of the health and welfare of our children. The medical community failed us when they calmly looked on as a generation of children was lost to autism and pretended it was acceptable.  And finally the press has failed in their responsibility to report the truth.  There has been a massive and conscious effort to mislead people.

--

Anne Dachel is Media Editor of Age of Autism.

 

 

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The American public isn't quite that stupid. The scolding that Dr. Wakefield received from Napoleon was pretty obvious. That was not journalism, not even close. Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity with their deranged rantings against the left are a beacon of objectivity compared to this guy.

Don't sweat it. It's not like Napoleon is all that respected as a journalist to begin with.

Anyone watching him should think about this. 1. He was a political adviser to the Clintons. Why is he talking about vaccines? 2. As a "journalist", and I use the term loosely, his area of expertise is supposed to be politics. So why is he talking about vaccines?

Because.......... this man's background is based on his ability to sell ideas, i.e. politics. Think about that, and you'll know why he was conducting an interview on vaccines. He didn't discover this story, and decide to do the interview. He was hand picked, more than likely to protect the interests of ABC with regard to their ad dollars. Never bite the hand that feeds you.

*sniff* Yep, that's bullsh*t.

I was wondering if ABC and MR. Stephanopoulos will do an in depth report on the 36 confirmed reports of children having seizures after getting the Fluzone flu shot?
Or are they just going to look the other way.

I'm not sure why anyone is surprised. Major media has long since dismissed being real journalists.

ust curious, but can Dr. Wakefield or someone else sue under such conditions of false allegations and such?
-----------------------------------------------------------
Sherman Anti-Trust provides for injured individuals harmed by large corporations operating in a "combination in restraint of trade". The CDC anti-litigation bloc of autism research is a fine example of a "combination in restraint of trade". The vaccine manufacturing drug companies, their hand-picked governmental committees, their pre-fab charities, college-level ant-litigation research team, corporate publicity outlets, special masters, crooked politicians, and corporate spies are all subject to law enforcement and civil rights.

With so much unfair and inappropriate influence on behalf of vaccine manufacturing drug companies by their compensated proxies a lot of creepy people are due for process.

What's happened to our children is genocide. You can't get away with that.

Great review!!! Stephanopoulos / ABC should stick to entertainment news to go with all the drug commercials they show. ABC has no integrity as a "NEWS" organization. Stephanopoulos sold out long ago; he was embarrassing to watch. Stephanopoulos seems like many... as another individual in terrified denial of what the vaccine schedule may have done to his own children, and he "interviewed" (demonized) Dr. Wakefield like a religious fanatic frantically trying to defend the faith.

Stephanopolous has lost any credibility he had.

Just curious, but can Dr. Wakefield or someone else sue under such conditions of false allegations and such? I would really like to sue if I am in the same boat. Where can I find lawyers or information about this? I have read about libel and slander, but there must be more to this or there would definitely be gobs more lawsuits pertaining to such things.

Most all networks have zero credibility so it makes complete sense that Brian Deer and Paul Offit are go-to guys for ABC News.

Did they really expect Americans to forget ABC's involvement in the fraudulent Swine Flu scamdemic attack? Every ABC News story about pandemic Swine Flu and pandemic Bird Flu is a separate count of consumer fraud.

I guess ABC News can claim they are a bunch of complete idiots and will believe everything the CDC and vaccine manufacturing drug companies tell them is the gospel.

That makes George S. the crown prince of network television news idiots.

CBS News was about the only network to expose the whole-scale fraud, which included write-ups on bogus CDC scamdemic reporting. Not a soul I know has forgotten how the CDC sent out a memo to states which told them to stop examining physical evidence because they were producing overwhelmingly negative Swine Flu slides.

Why ABC News commits fraud every day.

This story concerning public record wasn't too hard to find.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11017/1117925-499.stm

Autistic boy wins round in vaccine case
Monday, January 17, 2011
By Zack Needles, The Legal Intelligencer

Less than a week after another scathing report dismissing the theory that vaccines and autism are linked made international headlines, an en banc state Superior Court panel remanded the products liability case of an 11-year-old autistic boy, directing a Philadelphia trial court to determine whether the design defect claim arose from unavoidable vaccine side effects.

The boy's parents and attorney argue that mercury contained in the vaccines -- manufactured by the pharmaceutical company defendants -- caused their son's autism.

If the trial court ultimately finds that the side effects were unavoidable, the claim will be pre-empted by a federal law governing the liability of pharmaceutical companies for drug vaccines.

If the side effects are found to have been avoidable, however, the claim could proceed.

Whether it would ultimately succeed is less clear.

Asked whether he felt the theory behind his case had been hampered by lack of support from the scientific community, the plaintiff's attorney, Marc P. Weingarten of the Locks Law Firm in Philadelphia, simply said it was a question that would need to be answered at trial.

"That's the main issue on the merits of the case and something we have to still get in front of a judge and jury," he said, adding that the Superior Court's ruling Tuesday had little to do with the merits of the case.

The panel ruled 8-1 in Wright v. Aventis Pasteur to reverse Philadelphia Common Pleas Judge Arnold L. New's ruling granting summary judgment in favor of pharmaceutical defendants Aventis Pasteur Inc., Merck & Co. Inc. and Wyeth with regard to the design defect claim.

Judge New had found that the plaintiff's design defect and failure-to-warn claims were expressly pre-empted by the federal National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act.

While Superior Court did unanimously affirm Judge New's ruling with regard to the failure-to-warn claim, it said Congress did not intend for all vaccination design defect claims to be pre-empted by federal law.

Judge Sallie Updyke Mundy said in a 72-page opinion for the majority that Section 300aa-22(b)(1) of the Vaccine Act "expressly pre-empts all design defect claims that arise from unavoidable vaccine side effects, and before granting summary judgment, the trial court was required to conduct a case-by-case inquiry to determine the nature of the vaccine side effects presented in this case."

Judge Mundy was joined in the majority by President Judge Correale F. Stevens and Judges Kate Ford Elliott, Jack A. Panella, Christine L. Donohue, Cheryl Lynn Allen and Anne E. Lazarus.

Judge Susan Peikes Gantman concurred in the result.

Judge Jacqueline O. Shogan, however, said in her concurring and dissenting opinion that "the statutory language, FDA functions, federal case law and legislative intent support the trial court's conclusions that the Vaccine Act pre-empts the design defect claim and that vaccine defendants were entitled to the presumption of proper warning."

In Wright, Jared Wright, 11, of Texas, was administered five vaccines in the first 18 months of his life that contained thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative once used in vaccines to deter bacterial growth, as well as one other vaccine, according to Judge Mundy. Jared's parents, Howard and Jacqueline Wright, claimed that the mercury in those six vaccines caused their son's autism.

Judge New wrote in his own 2008 opinion that Congress "clearly intended" the Vaccine Act to pre-empt all state design defect claims without a case-by-case assessment of whether the vaccines' side effects were unavoidable because Congress didn't want instability in the vaccine market to be caused by numerous torts over vaccine injuries.

Judge New also noted that other courts' decisions -- including the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania's 2007 ruling in Bruesewitz v. Wyeth, which was argued before the U.S. Supreme Court in October 2010 -- have been similar.

But according to Judge Mundy, while Bruesewitz found that the Vaccine Act is structured in such a way that Section 300aa-22(b)(1) stands as "an outright bar to [at least] some claims," the Superior Court found it could be interpreted the opposite way as well.

Judge Mundy said Subsection 22(e) of the Vaccine Act prevents any state from making a law prohibiting individuals from bringing civil suits against a vaccine manufacturer for a vaccine-related injury or death as long as the Vaccine Act does not pre-empt such a suit. According to Judge Mundy, this implies that the Vaccine Act pre-empts some state tort claims, but also expressly preserves others.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11017/1117925-499.stm#ixzz1BffvwSvs

A week or so back, Matt Lauer had Dr. Nancy on the Today Show in regards to the Deer fraud allegations. Matt introduced Dr. Nancy, and she was not interrupted in her complete five minute line of bullshit...

The "ten minute ABC backstory" before Dr. Wakefield was even on the ABC camera set the stage for what was about to come. Sadly, I am sure Dr. Wakefield is becoming used to the very poor treatment he receives. Let us know the best way to support him.

this has happened before....

About 150 years ago, a Dr. Semmelweis of Austria suggested that doctors wash their hands and change clothes between working on cadavers and assisting in the childbirth rooms of a Vienna hospital.

New mothers at the hospital were dying at a much higher rate than those who gave birth at home.

His writings & efforts were mocked, and it took medicine about an extra 50 years to learn to wash their hands.

http://www.general-anaesthesia.com/images/ignaz-semmelweis.html

It was a ridiculous interview.

George never expressed this degree of this outrage and self righteousness when interviewing dictators, murderers or assorted criminals.

More importantly he did not allow any of Wakefield's patients to speak.

One of the things that drives me nuts about this new attack on Wakefield is the complete disregard for the current situation. We all know it's a smokescreen to avoid looking at the dire evidence in front of everyone's noses - the children. I can't imagine how many hundreds upon hundreds of kids Dr. Buie (MGH) has scoped in the 13 years since the Wakefield paper, who have asd and bowel disease, many like my son, with parents who share the same reality as the 12 families Wakefield worked with "GI symptoms began after vaccination with MMR". Krigsman as well. These thousands of children are the data, current data. Yet they are left out of the conversation as neither ped GI steps forward towards the press and says "I see this everyday in my practice". Because this doesn't happen we are left talking about a 12 yr old paper, like it was a moment in time that has passed, like it was 12 children. It's thousands of children and it's most likely a much larger problem today than it was 12 years ago, and it's not about Wakefield. But, this story will remain about Wakefield until other doctors step forward, not just in academic papers but in the media, in sound bytes and talk about the kid they scoped last week.

I'm sure Stephanopoulos opened _Callous Disregard_ and read a sentence or two. But none of Wakefield's rebuttals to the old, old charges informed George's interview. The conversation never moves forward, I've noticed.

And George even brought up the old California whooping cough wheeze. This one doesn't even require reading. According to KPBS, the majority of Californians diagnosed with whooping cough are up to date on their whooping cough vaccinations.

http://www.kpbs.org/news/envision/whoopingcough/

Stephanopoulos is typical of members of the media who have no interest in what Andrew Wakefield has to say in his own defense. They have their talking points.
Wakefield is wrong. He has to be. The possibility of a vaccine-induced epidemic among our children is too horrible to consider.

On CNN http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_RMMQJ4Vn_s
Dr. Gupta said he had studied Brian Deer's BMJ article. He questioned Wakefield about the charges Deer made. He never said he'd read Wakefield’s book.

WebMD's Medscape reporter http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/736054
Deborah Brauser didn't read it. She can quote Brian Deer's charges in the BMJ and other people, but NOTHING FROM WAKEFIELD.

To the ordinary viewer, Wakefield is a fraud. He manipulated patients’ records for his own personal gain. BUT NO ONE CAN CITE ANYTHING ANDY HAS WRITTEN IN HIS BOOK, CALLOUS DISREGARD.

Here’s the exchange between CNN’s Anderson Cooper and Wakefield: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LSAIE_c06HE

Wakefield:” …If you read my book, you will be able to read the truth. Has the BMJ read my book? Have the doctors who apparently looked at all the records, read my book? No, because the truth is in that book. “ (HOLDING UP HIS BOOK)

Cooper: “Sir, I read Brian Deer’s report which is incredibly extensive. Sir, I’m not here to let you pitch your book. I’m here to have you answer questions."
(CHANGING THE SUBJECT COMPETELY)
"Brian Deer has talked to the parents of the patients who were in your original study…"

COOPER THEN ACCUSED WAKEFIELD OF “MISREPRESENTION AND ALTERATION” regarding the Lancet children. Cooper said that the parents said that Wakefield had lied about their children’s records.”

How can any reporter claim he’s interested in the truth when he won’t even allow Wakefield to cite the work that gives his side?

Cooper: “If you’re lying, then your book is also a lie. If your study is a lie, then your book is also a lie.”

Wakefield: “The book is not a lie. The study is not a lie. The findings that we made have been replicated in five countries around the world.”

Cooper: “That is not true. You’re been offered the chance to replicate your study and you’ve not taken anybody up on that. You’ve had plenty of opportunity to replicate the study.”

Wakefield: “You’ve just accused me of giving you a falsehood. I am telling you that this work has been replicated in five countries around the world.”

Cooper: "Then why has it been completely discredited by public health officials around the world?"

Wakefield: "I suggest you do your investigation properly before making such allegations."

All of this is proof that the media is a willing partner in the cover-up.

Anne Dachel
Media

A really good review, Anne. I have no words to describe my outrage at this interview

Will there be any news organization to get it right?

From the transcript:

DR. WAKEFIELD: The findings we made in the original study .. were of a bowel disease in children with autism. Let me make that absolutely clear .. that is what has been replicated. We have replicated it .. when I left the Royal Free .. we'd seen over 174 more patients with the same disorder.

Are doctors at the Royal Free still "seeing" and "treating" bowel disease in children with autism? If so .. how many more "patients with the same disorder" have they treated since Dr. Wakefield left so many years ago?

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