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Olmsted on Autism: Worst Person in the World

Irony UPDATE: Keith did the right thing last night in response to the outcry, putting Brian Deer on his Worst Person in the World list for both bringing the complaint against Wakefield and writing about it in the London Times. And he noted, as we did, that King of Bias Rupert Murdoch owns The Times.

By Dan Olmsted

Yesterday morning I warned that things could go against us big-time in the next few months -- see Steel Thyself. So Keith Olbermann of MSNBC calling Andy Wakefield "The Worst Person in the World" last night didn't exactly shock me. In this case, you have to laugh (a little) because the first and second runners-up for Worst Person of the World were Olbermann's Permanent Nemesis Bill O'Reilly and someone else from, as Olbermann puts it, "Fix News." That's Fox, of course. Owner: Rupert Murdoch. And where is Olbermann getting his information about Wakefield? From the Times of London. Owner: Rupert Murdoch. C'mon Keith, show a little consistency here, will ya?

Meanwhile, check out this superb look at current issues in the vaccine-autism debate written by Andy, with our own Mark Blaxill as a co-author (HERE.)

And be sure to visit the Child Health Safety blog post: Sunday Times Made Up Wakefield MMR Data Fixing Allegation. 

You can email Keith Olbermann at countdown@msnbc.com.

Dan Olmsted is Editor of Age of Autism.

Comments

Nick

I believe James Murdoch, Rupert's son, would be a more likely to be countenancing the attack on Wakefield. If I have understood correctly he would have more direct influence at the London Times than Rupert. James Murdoch and Brian Deere seem to share a lot of the same ideology. As far as James Murdoch's interest in vaccine interests....
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/644f5db4-f13c-11dd-8790-0000779fd2ac.html
I don't know if what I have just written and the fact he is associated with GlaxoSmithKline and the Times is indicative of a vested interest on James Murdoch's part, but some of you who know more about the ties, if there are any, might be able to comment on this. But, Olbermann would have done better to simply retract his attack and say the facts were not in. As it stands it looks like he has to have a villian.

Sakura

Dr. Wakefield, if you are reading this, please know that there are many parents out there who don't believe the media hype. In fact, we see through the obfuscation.

You are a true hero.

K Fuller Yuba city

Someone needs to get together with Matt Lauer. I can feel his curiosity about this whole issue. I think he would read everything but I don't know if he would risk his job if his kids are not affected.
Nancy Snyderman has obviously never met a family with a child who developed normally and then regressed into Autism. Shame on her for her know it all stance.

Deb O.

Keith corrected himself last night. Now if we only could silence Dr. Snyderman on the today show. This morning was a class example as they did a segment on medical myths.

So now Autism is a myth?

AutisticLiving.com

Wow, I never expected that from Keith. I mean I always thought the guy was a douche bag, but he seemed to have his head in the right place on enough issues. He has also always struck me as someone who is a bit more inquisitive than that. Not shocking, but a little surprising.

Oh well, I'll just add him to my list of people I'd like to see get sucked ass first through an airplane toilet at 30,000 feet. :/ (I need more paper)

Kathy Blanco

If Wakefield was the "worse" person in the world, well then, we are all going to hell for sure.

He is the epitomy of descency, honor, and valour.

My kids/family will hold him up in heaven as their hero...and guess where Wakefield is really going heh? All these naysayers and liars...are going to a very firey hell for what they have done to our children.

I caught something on the radio, very interesting today...and it applies to us families. The raid on the peanut factory...the FBI gets in there, and are going to ask the president, why he sent products that were contaminated, knowing they were to the american public. The first thing they will ask the president of the company to do, is to partake in his own products....gee...if we only thought of the same strategy...imagine where we would be now? This time, not only the presidents of those companies, but also their family members...do you think they would call it safe then?

Josh Day

Twyla, that was a wonderful letter you sent.

Can't say I'm surprised that this spewed out of Olbermann. While I don't find this guy as repulsive as the "journalists" on the channel he hates so much, I think he does shoot from the hip and his show is largely trite and self-indulgent. That could be said about any mainstream news presentation now, sadly.

If this crap had come from Rachel Maddow, however, I would have been shocked and really disheartened.

Media Scholar

Fortunately, Dr. Offit's raging liberal pal has a viewing audience of about twelve. We know different about Andrew Wakefield, but it was comical to see once again a completely maudlin vaccine shill like Olbermann do his very hackneyed fussy wussy drama queen rampage act.

He probably pulls the same act when he has to stand in line at Blockbuster.

Sylvia

Dr. Wakefield The Worst Person In The World????

As Sponge Bob would say "Ony if it's Opposite Day!"

Any chance Keith Olbermann attended the Sponge Bob School of Journalism?

kathleen

Wow, I didn't think to post here waht I wrote. Good job guys, these are great emails to send. My disappointment is huge. Keith did exactly what he called the "worse" person out for doing. I am so utterly disappointed.

Lisa

How incredibly sad. What a terrible example of journalism. (I am so tired of these!)

Dr Wakefield is a hero.

Twyla

Here is my letter:

Dear Keith:

I am a big fan of your show – a loyal viewer. But tonight you really made a big mistake. You based your choice of "Worst Person" on a stupid article written by an unqualified person.

Dr. Andrew Wakefield did not create the vaccine scare. He responded to concerns raised by parents.

Dr. Wakefield is like the tip of an iceberg. He is more visible in the news than the thousands of parents reporting vaccine injuries and the developing science supporting a vaccine-autism link.

As the mom of a 16-year-old with autism, I know a lot of parents who report that their kids have serious digestive issues including inflammatory bowel disease. And a lot of parents report seeing their children’s adverse reactions to vaccines followed by regression into autism with accompanying health issues.

There is a growing body of scientific evidence indicating that inflammation plays a major role in autism. Studies published in respected peer-reviewed journals have found in people with autism:

· inflammation in autopsied brains

· inflammatory cytokines in the spinal fluid

· auto-antibodies to the myelin basic protein that covers nerves

· imbalance between various components of the immune system such as Th-1 & Th-2 cells.

We have an autism epidemic. The huge increase during the past 20 years was recently confirmed in a study at UC Davis. This increase cannot be the result of genes alone. This increase has paralleled the huge increase in the number of vaccines received by babies and children during the same time period.

We also have increased rates of severe allergies, asthma, and auto-immune disorders in today’s children. What could be causing this? We are giving an unprecedented number of vaccines – two dozen vaccines by the age of 2, and another dozen before school starts – containing multiple live viruses, aluminum, mercury, and a number of other ingredients. This is unprecedented in human history! The purpose of aluminum in vaccines is as an "adjuvant" to provoke a stronger response from the immune system. Are we over-provoking infants’ developing immune systems? Some kids seem able to tolerate this aggressive vaccine schedule, but others are not.

My daughter, a healthy toddler, had a seizure after receiving the MMR at the same time as the varicela vaccine. After that she had high fevers for about a month, and then always developed a high fever whenever she got sick. Nobody else in our family has ever had a seizure, and she never had a seizure before or since. But she was fortunate. She recovered.

Many many intelligent educated parents are reporting vaccine injuries in their babies and children. These adverse reactions are summarily dismissed as "coincidental" and not studied by the government agencies and medical organizations who should be working hard to understand, prevent, and treat vaccine reactions.

Can you imagine if the salmonella outbreak was greeted with comments such as, "Just a coincidence! Don’t confuse coincidence with causation! Studies show that there has always been diarrhea and stomach cramps and vomiting – no reason to blame the peanuts! People who blame peanuts are anti-food! They don’t remember what it’s like to have famines! Food is a victim of its own success!"

And are those who work to decrease car and/or airplane accidents called "anti-car" or "anti-airplane"?

I have never seen so much censorship of an issue. We are constantly told that vaccine problems should not be discussed because diseases are dangerous.

I am not anti-vaccine. I understand the value of vaccines. But I question the wisdom of, for example, giving the Hepatitis B vaccine on the date of birth to all babies, most of whom are not even at risk for this disease. Do we really know how well a newborn baby can tolerate this vaccine? My son turned blue and had to be revived by the hospital staff.

And I question the wisdom of giving so many vaccines at once. Little Hannah Poling was a bright, sociable, typically developing toddler until she received 8 vaccines at once and was never the same again. Her parents, a neurologist and a nurse/attorney, filed a claim with the vaccine court and their case was conceded by the government. Google Hannah Poling for more info.

Good things can have unintended consequences. Good medicines can have risk of overdose.

Please please read these books:

"Evidence of Harm" – By David Kirby

"Changing The Course Of Autism - A Scientific Approach for Parents and Physicians" – by Bryan Jepson, M.D. with Jane Johnson; foreword by Katie Wright (daughter of the founders of Autism Speaks)

"Unraveling the Mystery of Autism and Pervasive Development Disorder" – By Karyn Seroussi

Please read Dr. Wakefield’s rebuttal to Brian Deer’s moronic article at http://www.rescuepost.com/files/deer-response.pdf . None of the parents of the kids with autism have complained against Dr. Wakefield. On the contrary, they say that he is one of the only doctors who listened to them and helped their kids.

Also see www.cryshame.co.uk for coverage of Dr. Wakefield's case before the GMC.

Often parents with autism and IBD take their kids to gastroenterologists only to be told, "sorry, nothing I can do – he’s autistic. It’s genetic." Dr. Wakefield is one of a handful of gastroenterologists who respond appropriately to these patients’ very real health problems.

Where are the investigative reporters on the issue of vaccine safety?? We really really need you to learn more about this. Are you being influenced by the pharma companies who put so many ads on your show?

Thank you so so much for reading with an open mind and applying your fine intelligence to these extremely important issues.

Gatogorra

Made me think of Steve Carell as Brick Tamland from "Anchorman"...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KakinPNRiDc

Ride that furry tractor, Keith. Ride on.

Marni

Here is what I just sent to Keith Olbermann at:
countdown@msnbc.com

Excuse the lighter tone of the email, I tried to word it in a manner that lends itself to a "sound bite" format that would also have entertainment value.....maybe more likely for him to read it that way - not sure. He's a bit sarcastic for those that aren't familiar with him and his show.


Keith,

Prior to your appointment of Dr. Andrew Wakefield "The Worst Person in the World", I was a happily brainwashed follower of the Cult of Keith! I thought you did your research and wouldn't get pushed around by the co-evil twins of Big Pharma and Public Health. Apparently I was wrong. Keith, either you or I need to be de-programmed from the brainwashing to which we have succumbed. Please let it be you because I dig your hair!

Seriously, read the Age of Autism Blog and do more research into this topic. I know you're a reasonable and intelligent person so I don't doubt that you will be able to re-examine your position and come to a view that is consistent with your usual analysis.

Dr. Wakefield has been the target of a witch hunt by the vaccine-pushing profiteers. My son had an obvious global regression in his cognitive abilities within days of receiving a set of vaccines at the age of 1 year. I don't have the answers, nobody does, but I know what I saw with my own eyes, and I want the proper research to be done, with no stone unturned. It's along story but it comes down to this: see Dr. Bernadine Healy's CBS news interview here: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/05/12/cbsnews_investigates/main4086809.shtml

Dr. Healy is the former head of the NIH National Institutes of Health and the American Red Cross. If you watch this interview it will be the best 5 minutes you spend this month - well, the most informative anyway.

We don't have the answers and there has been an intentional avoidance of doing the research that would yield some answers (according to Dr. Healy). There should be no sacred cows (vaccines!) in determining the cause or causes of autism. I hope you hear from a lot of us on this topic. I know you can come around.

Dr, Wakefield may have had a small conflict-of-interest in the work he did at one point, but don't you think the wrong of the mass failure to act to protect children such as mine and the other 1 in 94 boys (1 in 150 in general) who develop autism, mass negligence, is actually more of a crime?

I thought you were on of the good guys!

Huge Fan With a Bone to Pick,
Marni

John Stone

Mind you, I doubt whether Murdoch was directly to blame:

"The person who commissioned Deer was Paul Nuki, Sunday Times’ sometime Head of Newsroom investigations and “Focus” editor. Paul Nuki is son of Professor George Nuki. Professor George Nuki in 1987 sat on the Committee on Safety of Medicines when the CSM was considering Glaxo company Smith Kline & French Laboratories’ Pluserix MMR vaccine for safety approval. The CSM approved Pluserix MMR but it caused very high levels of adverse reactions and was withdrawn by the manufacturers on very little notice in late 1992 leaving the Department of Health in an embarrassing position."

http://childhealthsafety.wordpress.com/2009/01/13/secret-british-mmr-vaccine-files-forced-open-by-legal-action/

Paul Nuki left the Sunday Times just ahead of the GMC hearing to edit an NHS on-line magazine:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2007/may/03/newmedia.epublic

Anne Dachel

Olberman's comments are on show #2
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3036677#29128976
We see someone oblivious to how autism and GI problems ravage our children. He's ready to attack someone without any understanding of the issue or presenting Dr. Wakefield's response to the charges. He doesn't even pause to ask how Brian Deer obtained confidential hospital records. He's a disgrace to journalism.
Anne Dachel
Media editor

Allison

My e-mail.
Honestly I don't even know what to say or how to begin with your naming a man who has helped countless children with bowel disorders and autism worst person of the day. This was a huge mistake, I wish only that you had gone to Wakefield himself and found out both sides of the story. Brian Deer has years of attacking Wakefield, to go by his word only, is irresponsible journalism.

I am the parent, like many thousands, of a child that regressed into autism after his vaccinations. It started with the MMR. 48 hours later 105 degree temp, 3 days later full body rash. He has been sick since with bowel dysfunction, extreme pain, toxic nonstop stool, major food intolerances where some foods now cause absence seizures, etc. As a lifetime lefty I am exhausted trying to show the "left" that vaccines, known to them as all good with no consequence, do and can cause many consequences, for some. Not everyone can handle every type of medical procedure and to suggest that they can is reckless.

I'm sure many people have forwarded you Wakefield's response but I felt I should as well. Below that is a piece I wrote on Merck no longer letting parents choose to split up the MMR into 3 separate vaccines, another irresponsible/careless move. There is a link to a video on a child who was recently awarded a win in vaccine court that MMR caused his lifelong chronic illness and there are also pieces of the story of my son.
Wakefield's response
http://www.rescuepost.com/files/deer-response.pdf
My MMR piece
http://www.ageofautism.com/2009/01/mmr-its-all-or-nothing-say-goodbye-to-choice.html

I know you are a reasonable person Keith. My friends and I all have watched you over the years. You really need a retraction on this one. My son and thousands of other children deserve that you do, Dr. Andy Wakefield is one of the only people to recognize their physical medical needs and is helping them. You are hurting them by discrediting him.
Sincerely,
Allison Chapman

Caro

That paragon of scum and villiany that is my antithesis (spell my name backwards) is over on his site celebrating the fact that the media is destroying this man's life. All for a grudge.

What I find humorous and ironic is that this particular individual that runs that bigotted site openly mocks the media for allowing the parents of vaccine injured children to have a voice. What, are we in a Communist state? And then, when the media releases something that is riddled with numerous research errors by someone who has an obvious bias, but it supports the position of those spiteful people, then it is ok. Delicious irony.

What they fail to realize is that the British media will not touch this story. This is why Deer had to release this vituperation on the online Times.

This is mudslinging at its worst, and the brainwashed zombies that plague the internet hate sites are eating it up like candy. These people are supposed to be intelligent....

Katie Wright

Olberman was grossly irreponsible. I doubt he knows any about autism other than what he read off the teleprompter last night. Oh, how I wish my son's bowel disease did not exist and was merely a figment of my "paranoia" as he descibes it. Maybe Bill O'Reily is right and Olberman really is an idiot?

Amber

That linked response paper from Wakefield is beautiful!
Andy Wakefield = hero.

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