It remains remarkable that Paul Offit, a multimillionaire due to a patent he cashed in on for a vaccine (HERE), remains the primary media spokesperson for disputing the vaccine-autism link. As AoA readers know, Paul Offit is also an inveterate liar, and will say just about anything to quell parent’s fears that vaccines are causing all this autism. As you may recall, Offit lied in one of his books about me. I sued him, and Offit was forced to correct his book, write me a letter of apology and acknowledgement, and donate money to Jenny McCarthy’s second-favorite (behind GR!) charity at UCLA.
As a side note, Offit is also a charter member of the dwindling number of doctors and scientists willing to contend that the rise in autism prevalence is “false”, simply the sign of changing and better diagnosis, and that autism has always been here. I think history will reserve a special dungeon for these “epidemic deniers” who are impeding the ability of parents to save the next generation of kids from the same fate as their children.
As many of you know, Sharyl Attkisson is one of the more remarkable mainstream journalists in that she seems perfectly willing, time and again, to tell the truth about what is going on with our kids. That Pharma has not been able to get her fired is a testimony to Sharyl’s courage, and the spine of someone else at CBS who must care more about the kids than the ad dollars Viagra provides them with.
Several years ago (2008), Sharyl did a great piece about Paul Offit, the AAP, and their sources of funding, providing an accurate picture of how tied in all these vaccine defenders were to vaccine makers and their profit machine. The OC Register, in their irresponsible haste, produced a letter from Paul Offit responding to Sharyl Attkisson with what was vintage Offit in that it was filled with ad hominem attacks, innuendo, and, of course, plain old lies.
Wasting no time in sharing the truth, the OC Register has bewilderingly issued a retraction and correction to Offit’s letter, nearly three years late. Below, please find the correction in its entirety, and a link to it HERE.
Correction for April 18
An OC Register article dated Aug. 4, 2008 entitled “Dr. Paul Offit Responds” contained several disparaging statements that Dr. Offit of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia made about CBS News Investigative Correspondent Sharyl Attkisson and her report. Upon further review, it appears that a number of Dr. Offit’s statements, as quoted in the OC Register article, were unsubstantiated and/or false. Attkisson had previously reported on the vaccine industry ties of Dr. Offit and others in a CBS Evening News report “How Independent Are Vaccine Defenders?” July 25, 2008.
Unsubstantiated statements include: Offit’s claim that Attkisson “lied”; and Offit’s claim that CBS News sent a “mean spirited and vituperative” email “over the signature of Sharyl Attkisson” stating “You’re clearly hiding something.” In fact, the OC Register has no evidence to support those claims. Further, Offit told the OC Register that he provided CBS News “the details of his relationship, and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s relationship, with pharmaceutical company Merck.” However, documents provided by CBS News indicate Offit did not disclose his financial relationships with Merck, including a $1.5 million Hilleman chair he sits in that is co-sponsored by Merck. According to the CBS News’ documentation recently reviewed by the OC Register, the network requested (but Offit did not disclose) the entire profile of his professional financial relationships with pharmaceutical companies including: The amount of compensation he’d received from which companies in speaking fees; and pharmaceutical consulting relationships and fees. The CBS News documentation indicates Offit also did not disclose his share of past and future royalties for the Merck vaccine he co-invented. To the extent that unsubstantiated and/or false claims appeared in the OC Register and have been repeated by other organizations and individuals, the OC Register wishes to express this clarification for their reference and for the record.
Is it just me, or does it feel like the bad guys are unraveling a bit? Perhaps the combination of Robert MacNeil’s courage and Poul Thorsen’s indictment are causing some journalists to reconsider this issue? Bravo, OC Register, better late than never!
J.B. Handley is co-founder of Generation Rescue and a Contributor to Age of Autism.