By Anne Dachel
January 3, 2016, Los Angeles Times: It's not just politics: 2016 was an epidemic year for fake news in science, too
One of the watchwords of politics in 2016 was the epidemic of “fake news” — a catch-all term encompassing propaganda, misinformation, disinformation and hoaxing — impinging on the presidential campaign. But let’s not overlook its spread in the spheres of science and medicine….
Oransky and Marcus cite several dubious findings that were published in scientific journals that purport to engage in peer review, but may not always be as reputable as they seem. These included a conspiracy-mongering claim that the vapor trails behind jet planes contain toxic materials, not merely ice crystals; another hugely questionable study linking vaccines to autism, a long-debunked connection; and a “whopper” asserting that HIV doesn’t cause AIDS. All were eventually retracted by their publishers, but that only raises the question of how they got published to begin with….
Common in the popular press are medical claims made by celebrities, typically associated with their own personal experiences or promoted by companies selling the nostrums, or both. Patient advocates and other promoters recognized early on that “using celebrities to endorse scientific or health claims gives the claims the veneer of authority,” Marcus says.
I’d like to ask Michael Miltzik what we should call news reports that are merely the parroting of official denials about vaccines and autism that endlessly come from agencies and medical groups controlled by the pharmaceutical industry, i.e. the vaccine makers themselves.
Reporters like Miltzik have absolutely no interest in the blatant conflicts that permeate our Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
What better term than “fake news” is there for the “propaganda, misinformation, disinformation and hoaxing” the media resorts to in convincing the public that vaccines are safe for every child in America?
What else would Miltzik call pharma-funded studies and falsified research findings from our health care agencies?
How does Miltzik explain the charges against William Thompson and Poul Thorsen?
Miltzik needs to tell us why we should trust the vaccine safety claims of the CDC when the same agency that approves, recommends, and promotes the vaccine schedule is also in charge of vaccine safety.
Miltzik needs to account for the dozens of cases (83) of federal compensation for vaccine-induced autism in the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, in addition to the concession by HHS in the case of Hannah Poling.
Miltzik also needs to look at the number of people who don’t believe his pronouncement about no link between vaccines and autism.
In a Dec 28, 2016 piece in the New York Magazine Adam Raymond wrote, "Despite broad disagreements on politically relevant conspiracy theories, Democrats and Republicans did find an issue to unite them — vaccines and autism. The poll found that 28 percent of Democrats believe 'vaccines have been shown to cause autism' and 29 percent of Republicans do, too."
Add those numbers up and it’s a whole lot of Americans—this despite two decades of the press constantly telling us that there is no link. And those numbers will only grow because the truth is getting out, despite everything the Los Angeles Times and the rest of the mainstream press does to protect the vaccine makers.
This story from the LA Times is the FAKEST NEWS OF ALL!
Anne Dachel is Media Editor for Age of Autism.