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« Prof Steven Salzberg and the Congressional Autism Hearing: Why Can’t He Answer or Correct | Main | Autism and AutoImmunity »

Dachel Media Update:

Online newsTwo Sides to Salon.com

I’m constantly amazed when the media covers autism.  They happily give health officials and mainstream medicine the last word and show no real interest in a disorder that has can strike any child—even one who was born healthy and is thriving as a toddler.  Most of all, there’s never any suspicion about all the denials. No one notes that self-protection is a huge factor in the controversy swirling around vaccines and autism.  The press doesn’t ever consider that many people’s jobs and reputations are at stake here.   December 5, 2012, Salon.com published the story, Obamacare architect heads to Big Pharma--Liz Fowler again exemplifies the blurred lines between the healthcare industry and Washington, by Natasha Lennard.

This was a strong critique of revolving door between government and industry.  

Liz Fowler, well known as the architect of President Obama’sAffordable Care Act, never really left the healthcare industry.

 Before and after working as chief health policy counsel for Sen. Max Baucus (the position from which she drafted Obamacare), Fowler worked for the nation’s largest health insurance provider Well Point. She was then appointed by Obama to oversee the implementation of her Obamacare legislation and now, as Glenn Greenwald flagged Wednesday, will be taking up a senior position with Johnson & Johnson.

As Greenwald noted:

The pharmaceutical giant that just hired Fowler actively supported the passage of Obamacare through its membership  in the Pharmaceutical Researchers and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) lobby. Indeed, PhRMA was one of the most aggressive supporters – and most lavish beneficiaries – of the health care bill drafted by Fowler. Mother Jones’ James Ridgeway proclaimed“Big Pharma” the “big winner” in the health care bill. And now, Fowler will receive ample rewards from that same industry as she peddles her influence in government and exploits her experience with its inner workings to work on that industry’s behalf, all of which has been made perfectly legal by the same insular, Versailles-like Washington culture that so lavishly benefits from all of this.

Notice the references to “Big Pharma” and to how government employees can personally benefit when the drug industry profits from their actions.  We don’t see a lot of reporting like this.  I also found a Salon.com from Jan, 2012 that brought up former CDC head Julie Gerberding’s move to Merck where she’s head of the vaccine division.

Of course, the revolving door between government/Big Pharma lobbying has a distinguished tradition from Louisiana representative-turned-lobbyist, Billy Tauzin, who presided over the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) until 2010, to former CDC Director Julie Gerberding, who presided over the 2009 H1N1 flu outbreak and turned up as — anybody? — head of Merck vaccines when she left the government.  

This was in a story that exposed how the FDA fails to really regulate the meat industry, The rise of Big Meat-bred super bugs--Despite the public health risk of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, the lobbyist-swayed FDA keeps easing regulations.

“And last month, the FDA scrapped its three-decade-long effort to regulate the use of the popular human antibiotics penicillin and tetracycline in livestock. While the FDA says in the announcement that it “remains concerned about the issue of antimicrobial resistance,” it also says “contested, formal withdrawal proceedings” consume too much of its time and money. For example, withdrawing nitrofurans from livestock use took 20 years, DES (diethylstilbestrol) took seven years and enrofloxacin took five years and cost $3.3 million, says the agency. Hey, we’re just the government that makes the laws and enforces them. They’re Big Meat!

On their site, Salon.com describes itself as being “a leader in online media since the dawn of the digital age.”  We remember Salon for their publication of Robert Kennedy Jr’s Deadly Immunity in 2005.    This was the story about how an unregulated vaccine schedule is damaging children.  Kennedy wrote about the unpublicized meeting of pharmaceutical reps and government officials at the secluded Methodist retreat center in Norcross GA called Simpsonwood.  There they discussed the rise in neurological disorders in children that coincided with the steady increase in mercury-containing vaccines in the childhood schedule.  Kennedy went on to explain how toxic mercury came to be in vaccines and how experts and officials continue to defend its use. 

This was impressive coverage, something never seen from news outlets the New York Times or CNN and it was extremely controversial.  Then last Jan Salon.com pulled the story and explained their actions in a piece called, Correcting our record-- We've removed an explosive 2005 report by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. about autism and vaccines. Here's why, by Kerry Lauerman, Salon’s editor in chief.

The piece was co-published with Rolling Stone magazine — they fact-checked it and published it in print; we posted it online. In the days after running “Deadly Immunity,” we amended the story with five corrections (which can still be found logged here) that went far in undermining Kennedy’s exposé. At the time, we felt that correcting the piece — and keeping it on the site, in the spirit of transparency — was the best way to operate. But subsequent critics, including most recently, Seth Mnookin in his book “The Panic Virus,” further eroded any faith we had in the story’s value. We’ve grown to believe the best reader service is to delete the piece entirely.

“I regret we didn’t move on this more quickly, as evidence continued to emerge debunking the vaccines and autism link,” says former Salon editor in chief Joan Walsh, now editor at large. “But continued revelations of the flaws and even fraud tainting the science behind the connection make taking down the story the right thing to do.” The story’s original URL now links to our autism topics page, which we believe now offers a strong record of clear thinking and skeptical coverage we’re proud of — including the critical pursuit of others who continue to propagate the debunked, and dangerous, autism-vaccine link.

Salon was convinced that all the science is in and there is no link between vaccines and autism.  Their mission now was to go after anyone else who dared to “propagate the debunked, and dangerous, autism-vaccine link.”  No one at Salon was troubled by the lack of vaccine oversight, the conflicts of interest waivers that are rampant at the CDC, the drug industry funded vaccine safety studies, or the explosion in neurologically impaired children that no official can reasonably explain.

Salon.com may criticize Julie Gerberding and Liz Fowler’s pharma ties, but if the subject is vaccines, then a corporate insider like Dr. Paul Offit gets a free pass.  Sept 22, 2008, Rahul K. Parikh, MD had a piece in Salon attacking Andrew Wakefield, David Kirby, and Dan Burton for daring to talk about the vaccine-autism link.  In Inside the vaccine-and-autism scare,Inside the vaccine-and -autism scare  http://www.salon.com/2008/09/22/autism_2/, Parikh promoted Paul Offit’s “Autism’s False Prophets: Bad Science, Risky Medicine, and the Search for a Cure.  Offit was portrayed as the persecuted crusading doctor up against the dangerous anti-vaccine element. 

A pediatrician traces the rise of the anti-vaccine movement that falsely linked thimerosal with autism and turned parents away from the most lifesaving medicine in history

Early in Dr. Paul A. Offit’s new book, he describes a threatening letter he received from a man in Seattle. “I will hang you by you neck until you are dead!” it read. The FBI deemed the threat credible, assigning Offit a protective officer who, for the next few months, followed him “to and from lunch, a gun hanging at his side.” He then recalls a suspicious phone call from a man who recited the names of Offit’s two children and where they went to school: “His implication was clear. He knew where my children went to school. Then he hung up.” These days, the hospital he works in regularly screens his mail for suspicious packages.

Parikh and Salon weren’t troubled by the fact that Offit has personally made millions dollars from his own vaccine.

Offit, it turns out, has been targeted by them because he helped to develop a vaccine that prevents rotavirus, a serious gastrointestinal infection in children, and because he has been staunchly pro-vaccine in a time when there are many doubts about their safety.

It didn’t seem to occur to anyone at Salon that there might be more to the story than the one-sided propaganda piece by another doctor.  Evidently no one thought to check on the validity of Parikh’s claims that Wakefield said the MMR causes autism, that Dan Burton’s grand-daughter was vaccine injured, all thimerosal was removed in 2001, and that no science has ever shown a link to vaccines.  

Earlier in 2008, Salon found that the Hannah Poling case didn’t really mean vaccines cause autism.

Also by Dr. Parikh What the Poling autism case means--The widely publicized court victory for the family who claimed vaccines caused autism in their daughter does not prove a link.   This is the double standard at Salon.  They may expose the truth about the FDA’s failure to regulate the meat industry and certain government officials may come under fire for taking industry jobs, but under no circumstance will Salon honestly scrutinize the controversy over vaccine safety.  The consequences are too massive to consider.  Parents would not be so willing to allow their children to receive seven or eight vaccines during a single doctor’s visit.  There would be demands for accountability.  People would want to know who should be held responsible for all the damage from an unchecked, unsafe vaccination schedule.   This is an unprecedented situation and one Salon isn’t willing to tackle.  Instead, they’ll give a pass to the FDA and the CDC’s pathetic record of vaccine oversight.  They’ll ask no questions and demand no answers.

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I've noted a trend in media to portray persons with autism as magic savants. Several months ago a major TV network even attempted to launch a dramatic series about a marvelous, mystical autistic boy with, of course, outlandish powers to observe obscure numeric properties in his environment. "Autistics: Everyone should have one," seems to be the order of the day. Oh for a series that depicts parents ripped from stem to stern as they fight to make a workable life for their anguished, damaged children. Autism is the least "romantic" of all disorders. It ruins lives, crushes families, and drains educational, medical and financial resources. Treasure our autistic children and struggle to empower them by all means. But lets not pretend this is anything but a preventable international tragedy.

Re: Post by Carolyn Kylesmom

I have the same positive hopes and prayers that Carolyn is expressing, but on the other hand, the reality of corruption and greed keep fighting the truth, so I just hope that we are all still alive to see it and rejoice when the "shit finally hits the fan"!!!

Obviously Salon retracted this article by Robert Kennedy for the reason that he exposed the truth about the vaccines, and the industry applied whatever pressure and influence to make it disappear. I also found this article at Robert Kennedy's website years ago, so it should be there hopefully, and then we can still keep referring people to read it. How could anyone not be extremely concerned after reading THAT???!! It was this article that finally convinced my mother of what is really going on.

As for the media, it is amazing how they keep the blinders on and present their autism stories through rose colored glasses. I just read a heartwarming story about a 10 year old autistic boy who saved his teachers life, with the Heimlich Manuever that he learned in cub scouts. However, here is the closing statement:..."this is proof that children with autism can do anything others can do and that they should never think otherwise." They should have clarified this by finishing this sentence with: "IF they are high functioning, which unfortunately the majority are NOT."

Autistic Boy Saves His Teacher's Life

Article and News Video Here:
http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/story?section=news/local&id=7065148

What happened to my children regarding vaccine injuries is not likely ever going to find an answer because when my children were born we didn't have the benefit of the internet. But researching backwards, I can say that my most severely affected son Erik had many signs of congenital rubella syndrome. I was given a single shot of rubella vaccine in 1969. The vaccine was new at the time, and it was recommended to me by my obstetrician. Erik had all other vaccinations on schedule and I know that he got three or four vaccines on the same day. Of course I didn't know anything at that time.

Through the years Erik's ears were checked, his eyes were checked, his intestines were checked, his bones were checked. No reason was ever given why these these bodyparts were tested. The birth defects guy at Stanford, Dr. Luzatti, dropped Erik as a patient when he couldn't find the metabolic disease he was looking for.

But if anyone had really looked at all the signs, they would have connected them with that. Rubella vaccine was alright to give in 1969. It is not now given to pregnant women. Nobody ever said anything about that to me. It was not reported in newspapers.

The media certainly were silent. They were also silent on acrodynia when it happened in the late '40s , early '50s. And nobody reported that Mercurochrome and Merthiolate (another word for Thimerosal), still very popular in the '70s, were taken off the drugstore shelves because several newborn babies died at a hospital after the sores where the navel cords had been cut had been doused with merthiolate: http://www.vce.org/mercury/autone/Haly.pdf

The reason why I bring all this up is because Salon.com reports what doesn't cause their money to dry up. During the time before the internet you never heard about things the media withheld. Nobody could tell what was honest and what not. Now you can at least check.

“I regret we didn’t move on this more quickly, as evidence continued to emerge debunking the vaccines and autism link,” says former Salon editor in chief Joan Walsh, now editor at large. “But continued revelations of the flaws and even fraud tainting the science behind the connection make taking down the story the right thing to do.”

This is, of course, the same grovelling rubbish that we got from Ian Hislop at Private Eye at the Leveson Inquiry.

http://www.ageofautism.com/2012/01/in-memoriam-paul-foot-private-eye-in-an-ethical-tangle-over-mmr.html

Finally, the Eye's report of the Walker-Smith hearing is one of the most sickenining pieces of reporting I have ever seen. Some of the mainstream journalists who reported on it may have lacked background, the Eye's journalists did not.

Shame, shame, shame

My family has experienced 6 serious instances of vaccine-induced damage. NONE was reported to public health authorities. That's how I know that whatever "PROOF" the pro-vaccine lobby trots out whenever they circle their wagons to justify their barbaric, unscientific practices, ARE BASED ON DELIBERATELY FAULTY, INCOMPLETE, BIASED AND MISSING DATA.

All this about Salon's flip-flop, yet not a single hyperlink back to my article from earlier this year on why they yanked Kennedy's piece:
http://www.ageofautism.com/2012/03/was-robert-f-kennedy-jrs-deadly-immunity-retracted-from-salon-by-arthur-allens-wife-and-her-brother.html#sfmsg_-7890*sfxd*0*sfxd*0@@

Because Arthur Allen's BROTHER-IN-LAW, David Talbot, runs the site! That's more than a minor detail to miss.

The site pulled the piece on the pretense of a false rumor started by Seth Mnookin in his book that Rolling Stone had secretly retracted the story. Allen was Mnookin's manuscript reviewer. Lauerman was probably bribed with the position of editor-in-chief if he promised to pull the article. Walsh was demoted from her position and probably forced to flip-flop if she wanted to keep any career at Salon whatsoever, while acting like her demotion was necessary by saying she was going to write a book.

John, I agree wholeheartedly - The Guardian is no different than any other MSM outlet in regard to their daily news cycle stories. So I wasn't endorsing The Guardian at all. They have given Greenwald a platform, but it's based on his stratospheric page views while at Salon and nothing else. The Greenwald et al sections of the online edition aren't political per se, when compared to the slant of their front page. Greenwald isn't "theirs" iow.

Anyway he has a pretty flawless record on standing up for the underdog and whistle blower, and linking conflicts of interest across the broad spectrum of politics, business, and global policy. I'm not sure how else to put this, but at this point the larger the media outlet the better for a real journalist - especially when we're talking about only a handful of people in total across the globe. He doesn't consult "The Guardian" when writing his columns. Their "comment is free" articles aren't directed from above.

Can we call these people at Salon and ask if they have been threatened, contacted, or bribed with ads so that they would become this blinded?

All I can say is that every year since my son got harmed in 2002, I mention the vax link to strangers if for example they comment on flu shots at a store. I used to get the crazy looks, the "poor deluded woman" looks. Now I get interest, concern, and serious questions. It's changing, one parent at a time.

I just had a pediatrician calling me asking how I helped my son turn around so much so that he could help a newly diagnosed patient.

The truth will out. So very, very sad, that just like the Boy Scouts, the Catholic Church, and Penn State, those that know better, those healthy enough to realize this is wrong and this is terrible, have somehow taken the Cowardly road by convincing themselves that the Greater Good is to protect medicine's reputation, at any and all cost.

When that dam of denial bursts , it will be a tidal wave. Let's pray or send energy that whistleblowers find their voice, in pharma, at the CDC, and the FDA, and in the media.

(And then they will act like we were wrong to have listened to them when anyone could see that we shouldn't have believed them. . okay that's cynical. I will be more hopeful . . )

I truly think that the tide will begin to turn as suddenly as it did on those other groups--the church, the scouts, the school . . . That this will be overnight and suddenly all the victims will come forward and be believed, just as what happened in these abuse cases. When it was just one, the victim was denied and ridiculed and accused of wanting money. When it was a tidal wave of victims, the perpetrators were finally held accountable and so were those who covered up for them.

And then, I hope to God, this will finally be over. And I hope to God medicine, in a giant rush to repair its reputation, starts focusing on safe ways to chelate our children and others harmed by vax . . . on ways to reverse this and make it a thing of the past. On ways to identify which children should not get specific vaccines. I am envisioning thousands of thousands of voices of autistic children who are finally freed from the damage caused by two crimes--first by the vaccines, and then by this coverup which caused research dollars to be wasted on genetics rather than effective reversal methods. I am envisioning the apologies in every family as our relatives and friends explain to us that they couldn't believe it because it was too painful, and the doctors explain that it was just too earth shattering to accept--that if they didn't care so much, they wouldn't have been in such denial---(some of us will be able to forgive those doctors who sincerely didn't believe us, if they are willing to put all their energy toward healing, some of us will not be--I think it is a personal choice and may correlate to how severely our child was harmed) I can't wait to hear the media doing a giant mea culpa, and all of us finally getting a standard of treatment paid for by insurance that reflects the actual cause, and thus WORKS, and Andy Wakefield and Dr Geirs and all the other DAN heroes getting the Nobel Prize--- and our children singing, dancing, and being free of the fog and the pain, and free to fully enjoy their amazing gifts. Still-- despite all these positive visions, I do like the vision of the worst offenders going to Alcatraz. . . the ones who knew and chose to enrich themselves (such as Offit) the ones who knew and chose to disparage us and destroy reputations (such as Brian Deer).

Joy B

I fear that the Guardian is quite as corrupt and rotten as anything.

http://www.ageofautism.com/2012/09/best-of-aofa-whats-behind-ben-goldacre.html

And notably as the biggest media promoters of Leveson.

http://www.ageofautism.com/2012/11/uk-leveson-inquiry-authorises-governmentpharmaceutical-power-grab-over-mmr.html

John

Greenwald is one of the only honest journalists around. Here's a link to his full article:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/dec/05/obamacare-fowler-lobbyist-industry1

He used to have a column at Salon but has since moved to the Guardian. I can see why he'd want to move to a different place, given how Salon cracks under pressure.From what I've read, he's hinted that The Guardian is a more secure site as far as editorial freedom goes.

While he doesn't address the specific issue of vaccine injury(yet~~~), reading him is invaluable for getting the bigger picture of systemic corruption in the US these days.

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