Earlier this year, I wrote about New York Times journalist Gardiner Harris - the conflicted reporter who did not disclose his ties to the pharmaceutical industry, thereby violating the “Ethics in Journalism” policy of The Times. Unfortunately, Harris is not the only reporter in mainstream media to have undisclosed ties through a brother to the pharmaceutical industry.
John Stossel is a reporter for Fox Business Network, with his own syndicated talk show Stossel where he portrays himself as a skeptic looking out for consumers. Unfortunately when it comes to autism, the only thing he is looking out for is the pharmaceutical industry.
While Fox News has done some excellent investigative reporting lately, particularly the folks at Fox and Friends, John Stossel serves as a dire warning that not everybody at FOX is our friend.
He recently wrote on his Fox Business Blog, to promote this week’s episode of his show Stossel:
“When people see a pattern, they attach meaning to it …even when “chance” is the most likely explanation. That's a reason why 27% of Americans believe in ghosts, 25% in astrology, 26% in psychics, 33% that the government planned 9/11, and 25% of parents believe vaccines cause autism.”
Read more: HERE
Why would a national reporter resort to such blatant manipulation?
Perhaps the answer best lies with the details surrounding his older brother, Dr. Thomas P. Stossel, a hematologist and professor at Harvard Medical School with direct ties to the pharmaceutical industry, which Dr. Stossel has heavily supported in controversies where it has been on the receiving end of well-deserved criticism.
When a courageous group of Harvard medical students started a campaign to lessen the influence of the pharmaceutical industry on their professional education, The New York Times reported:
“A smaller rival faction among Harvard’s 750 medical students has circulated a petition signed by about 100 people that calls for ‘continued interaction between medicine and industry at Harvard Medical School.’”
“Encouraging them is Dr. Thomas P. Stossel, a Harvard Medical professor who has served on advisory boards for Merck, Biogen Idec and Dyax, and has written widely on academic-industry ties. ‘I think if you look at it with intellectual honesty, you see industry interaction has produced far more good than harm,’ Dr. Stossel said. ‘Harvard absolutely could get more from industry but I think they’re very skittish. There’s a huge opportunity we ought to mine.’” (HERE)