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Katie Wright: First Woman to use the "V" Word on Oprah on Newsweek Dreck

Newsweek oprah By Katie Wright

I expected more of “Newsweek” than that tabloid style hack job of Oprah. It was a meaningless and mean spirited piece of journalism.

I was a guest on “Oprah” 2 years ago. The show was framed as an “autism 101” piece. Just prior to the live taping I was informed that no vaccine discussion would be allowed. I was disappointed but accepted the conditions.

As I told my story, Oprah listened carefully and asked probing and detailed questions. Afterwards Oprah turned to a doctor in the audience and asked her what was causing this explosion of autism cases, was it vaccines? The doctor said any vaccine connections “has been refuted.” OK, now I was mad. Why was the doctor allowed to talk about vaccines but the parents were not?

During the next break I darted over to Oprah asked if I could respond to the doctor’s assertions. Oprah asked what I had to say. I told her that my son had a horrible reaction to multiple vaccines, became chronically sick and autistic soon afterwards. Oprah looked me in the eye and said, “I will give you the opportunity to say what you need to say.” A few people around Oprah heard our exchange and cautioned Oprah about allowing me to speak. Oprah said that the show allowed the doctor to give her opinion and that I have a right to give mine. Oprah said Moms have a right to talk about their experience.

A few minutes later, on live TV, Oprah looked at me and said, “Say what you want to say.” I said that my son had terrible vaccine reactions was now chronically ill and that appropriate safety testing of  the effects of multiple vaccines on babies has never been done. Then Oprah read a statement from the CDC saying that all vaccines are safe. I thought that was fair enough, all sides were heard from.

Larry King asked Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carey if they feel responsible for the public’s lack of confidence in vaccine safety. Jim Carey answered, “Larry, the problem is the problem. Talking about the problem isn’t the problem.” The fact is what Jenny McCarthy says resonates profoundly with millions of parents. I have seen Jenny amongst families. She cannot walk 2 feet without dozens of  Moms and Dads coming up to her saying, “thank you for telling my child’s story”, “what happened to Evan happened to my son as well”, “thank you for bringing attention to all the sick kids with autism”…. I could go on forever. Parents want to hear what Jenny has to say because she is making more sense than the doctors who have been telling parents what they know to be true is wrong, what they saw in front of their eyes didn’t happen, that they do not know what happened to their children, when they in fact they do and that there is no hope, when there actually is.

Oprah gave me the opportunity to speak freely, for which I am tremendously grateful, but at NO time did she endorse my opinion. Oprah carefully listened to all sides of the debate. Somehow “Newsweek” interprets episodes like these as promoting “crazy talk.” Since when is a free an open exchange of ideas so frightening?  When did asking questions and telling our children’s stories become subversive?  Why is talking about vaccine safety and conflicts of interest forbidden? Why does this concern the CDC and “Newsweek” more than the fact that 1 in 100 American boys have autism?  Instead “Newsweek” quoted doctors and CDC officials who expounded on the real and terrible dangers of “celebrities”, “the internet”, free speech and talk shows! Now that sounds like crazy talk to me.

Katie Wright has two young boys. Her oldest son, Christian, is severely affected by autism. He developed normally; smiling, talking, walking; only to lose every skill and every word by the age of 2 and a half. Upon the advice of medical professionals Katie and her husband were advised to pursue only high quality behavioral therapy, speech and OT for Christian. It had no meaningful impact on Christian until his parents sought help from DAN! doctors who treated the underlying causes of Christian's descent into autism. Christian has improved but still has far to go. He has Inflammatory Bowel Disease, the measles virus in his gut and an immune system akin to a late stage AIDS patient. Christian does not have a psychiatric disorder. Before autism, Katie Wright was the Clinical Director of Sexual Assault Crisis Center in Stamford Connecticut. Katie is proud to serve on the Boards of NAA and SafeMinds.



There is a thread on Oprah's forum about Gardasil. Many moms had posted about their daughters' problems and were crying for help. I posted about how aluminium might be causing the neurological problems, and added a link to DAN doctors. My post was deleted.

Erica in Alabama

For some reason, doctors (and whomever else) believe that all of the sudden mothers have lost their ability to decipher what is wrong with our children or what might have been the cause of an illness. I must have read in a million baby books (when I was pregnant with my first child) not to worry. When the baby cries YOU WILL KNOW what the baby wants or needs. You will learn the baby's cry and know if your baby is hungry, if your baby needs his/her diaper changed or if your baby just needs some extra hugs. And I am happy to report that YES I was able to decipher what was wrong with my crying baby, then what was wrong with my crying toddler and all the way up to my crying pre pre-teen. Now all of the sudden doctors, scientist and people who have no idea what the hell they are talking about have decided that I am grasping at straws and trying to place blame on something. Um ok. My son has autism but with him I can't think clearly and have no idea what is making him well and no idea what might have caused Autism. Again, um ok. With the same brain (and heart)I am able to guess that my pre-teen daughter hates anyone and anything on any given day but needs hugs and love but only when she wants and if she is unusually cranky one day, please don't ask her if she wants to talk about it because that will give you the drama filled stomp off to the bedroom and the ceremonious(sp?) slamming of the door, right after telling me that I don't understand anything. Immediately I knew it was because of some boy. Yep. I've still got it, no matter what I read in newspapers and on the internet. I know my children and I can still decipher what they need by their cries.
I listen to my gut everytime and it hasn't failed me yet.

Benedetta Stilwell

Sorry Alison about your health problem, ONLY source of vit B12 is red meat - I did not know that.

I did not see Oprah - because I gave up, and I would even run to turn the station because frustratingly vaccines were never mentioned in any program along with autism! I had no idea that all speakers were being muzzled!!!! So much for an open society! Then a friend called me and told me. I watched the clip that NVIC put on their website.

Everything is eventually found out - it is just toooo bad so many have to be hurt in the meantime.

The medical society has more than this to answer for. Let us not forget that in the name of science they feed radon in cereal to the mental disabled children in the 50's

We know the exact doses of radiation = the exact symptoms, from research by the medical people in Cinn., Ohio hospitals. They gave near fatal to fatal doses of radiation to unsupecting, terminal ill cancer patients form the southeast and south central Kentucky. It gives you a lot to think on, don't it?



The medical commnity is in massive denial about this issue.. if they admit/ ackowledge there a connection between vaccines and autism then fallout would be tremendous. The stakes are huge, so they stonewall.

I work with a woman who's daughter is an epidemiologist. She told me that none of her daughters friends who are in the health profession use the CDC vaccine schedule on their kids. It's okay for the rest of though. Talk about infuriating.

I appreciate Oprah giving parents a voice.. I think she's always tries to be fair and stand for the truth. She's up against a nine headed hydra on this issue though.


I'm a physician, as well as an autism parent, and the medical disconnect on this issue continues to astound me. When I take my son to the neurologist for seizure management, I meet all these parents in the waiting room and we talk about the vaccines. Even the parents who don't deal with autism get the connection. But when I got back to the exam room, the walls go up, there is no understanding or discussion about the elephant in the room, despite my repeated bringing this up. The truth is in the waiting room, and only the parents get the irony.


I was so glad that I happened to be home that day and was able to catch this episode of Oprah. What a huge moment it was! It was so frustrating when the pediatrician said that vaccines do not cause autism -- the same old party line! Then after the commercial break Oprah said that this mother had something she reallly wanted to say, and you (Katie) said so simply and clearly -- yet with much emotion in your voice -- that you believed your son's autism was caused by vaccines.

That should not have been such a significant and heroic moment. It would have been a common conversation in the news, were it not for the widespread suppression of public discourse about the vaccines-autism link.

Thank you so much for your insistence at that moment, which truly was heroic and historic. You opened a door through which others are now walking as well!

And no doubt the parents who had been writing to Oprah for years (and felt their emails were being ignored) played a role in laying the groundwork for this moment.

We are forever grateful to Oprah too, and hope and believe that she has sufficient backbone, strength, popularity, and power to not cave in to pharma interests! So far she shows no sign of caving!

BTW, I was in a mainstream doctor's office the other day and "O" was one of the magazines in the waiting room.

Christina Schmidt

This immoral desruction of human life has to stop, my child struggles ever minute of every day and is a constant reminder of that horrible day I took her for her immunizations, her pupils seem to dialate off and on about 40 minutes after her 3 shots at 14 months old, and she constantly paced in her walker through the house looking confused and frightened, I took her back to the pediatrician and told her of her symptoms and she left the room and came back in and handed me papers for ECI and Sante Rehabilitation for children! I was so confused, I felt angry and at that time didn't know there was an autism epidemic or a vaccine/autism theory. My daughter's health slowly got worse and her G.I.problems also. She was sick almost every month! Something has to be done!!!!!

florence fasciano

I'll read the article for myself,as I've learned that not even a Dr. can depend on an "abstract" to tell the complete facts. What I won't do, is buy the magazine. I'll read it at the library . I'll boycott products advertised in it.,and I'll buy this months OPRAH. (think Margaret Mead) florence,(Chicago,Il)

Paul's Mom

I lost faith in Oprah 20 years ago. I sent her a letter asking her to do a show about autism & her written response was something to the effect that the topic wasn't popular enough. I was really struggling back then & to get that response was really disappointing. I wish I'd saved that letter.

Wendy Frye

Thank you, Katie. I have faith that Oprah is as big of a girl as we are as Mothers (and Fathers)to our children. She gets it, she has too - and beyond all of the supposed politics we have to believe that this is just another baby step in this long marathon towards voicing our message -recovery for our children.


Katie I have admired you ever since you shared your son's story on the autism video a few years ago. Then I saw you on Oprah and I clearly remember that doctor "refuting" the claim between the autism/vaccine link. I was so angry and then you had your say after the commercial and I was cheering! I also remember Oprah saying "consider the can opened" referring to your opinion about vaccines causing autism and stating it on television for the FIRST time. For me that was historical! Thank you for your courage to allow the truth to be told and thank you for your continued efforts supporting all of our children. You are awesome!


Benedette, red meat also is the only food source of vitamin B12.

Vitamin B12 deficiency has caused me all kinds of neuro problems--headeache, dizziness, tinnitus, and fluctuating hearing loss, which are ALL symptoms of Meniere's disease (which is not a disease, but a syndrome, or collection of symptoms).

During attacks, all I could think was, this must be how an ASD toddler feels--no wonder they can't communicate!

Curits J

Oprah might be one of the few that could take a stand against big pharma and still survive with an advertising base.

Everything that the CDC & big pharma has done since their secret Simpsonwood meetings point toward well organized fraud and corruption, which now seems to be the accepted form of government.

The Vaccine-Autism story could at least be an episode for 60 Minutes, if not an entire movie... I assume someone is already working on a script.


The best way to expose tyranny is to let it act as such.

The New World Order isn't going as planned for our alleged rulers.

Truth always wins out.


Katie, your appearance on Oprah reminded me of the little boy from that oft-told tale announcing to the deluded crowd around him, "The Emperor has no clothes!"

You gave a much-needed jolt of reality to an entire country that has a serious drug problem. That is, a drug company problem -- born of wishful thinking and half-fulfilled promises, blind and deaf and offering few if any consumer protections.

Benedetta Stilwell

Yes, I remember Oprah went down to Texas and talked to them. I can not remember how that finally ended, I think she may have changed her mine???? But going againest red meat was probably a bad thing though. Beef and Lamb has the highest concentration of L-Carnitine. This is very important in the energy cycle in the mitochondia. My poor, little, three, vaccine injuried, and sick family members are low on L-Carnitine. Anybody else?

Joan Campbell

You are doing really well holding your own and speaking out about vaccine damage. Keep strong and know that we are all supporting each other no matter where we live in the world. It is outragious the way our precious children have been treated.

Deb in IL

I haven't read all the comments, but if another Oprah fan remembers this: she stood up against eating red meat and the cattle industry sued her. She had to go to TX to fight it in court. I'm sure Oprah's well aware of how powerful big business is and balances this with every controversial show. I'm sure even Dr. Oz is careful about what he promotes.



I remember that Oprah show like I saw it yesterday. We were new to the autism diagnosis and I had taped the show to watch that evening. At the time I didn't know who you were or who your parents were and I remember the exchange with the doctor sitting in the audience. I remember being so happy for you that you were allowed to speak your mind which you could tell was so importantand Oprah confirmed that in my recollection. I hope word gets back to Oprah as well on your speaking out.


When talking about autism with others, I have found that eyes are focused, ears perked, you can sense the sympathy beginning to ooze out of their hearts, then as the conversation progresses it ultimately leads to causes. I have found that the moment I say the word "vaccine" the lights go off and the bus begins to pull out of the station. Immediately. For a long time I would get upset, withdraw into my own private life, fearful in a way that I was turning into a nut. What was it that turned these people off, some of whom were friends and family.

I realized that the problem that they have with the issues of vaccine safety is because they are ignorant. They haven't had the education. Now I feel that because of Katie, jenny and so many others out there in the public eye, work is taking place, the world will soon know. So I tell them, knowing now that the next time they see someone like Katie on national television, they might not change the channel as quick.

Baby steps in a giant's world.

Ray Gallup

I have never known Newsweek or any major news outlet to be impartial about a link between vaccines and autism.....except for a few independent reporters maybe.

If you see all the drug company ads on TV, listen on radio or see in print, then it is understandable.....our "free" press is bought and paid for by the pharmaceutical industry. It isn't free and it isn't independent or impartial.

The Founding Fathers would turn over in their grave, but we learn to live with it (those of us that have seen this over decades and expect nothing more from these people who have no integrity).

Louis Conte

Newsweek shouldn't be criticizing Oprah and shouldn't be criticizing "Crazy talk" about autism.

They should instead be reporting on the insanity of silence from our nations's institutions in the face of a health care catstrophe that could have been avoided.

Thank you being so courageous.


Katie Wright, as usual, YOU ROCK. I, for one, will NEVER forget that historic day when you sat on Oprah's stage -- we were glued to the television set -- and when you said the word VACCINES we were simultaneously crying and shouting with joy at the same time. I will always remember your TV appearance as one of the first real truths of our battle in the autism-vaccine controversy.


Well, Oprah learned the hard way what happens when you question the holy grail that is vaccines (the newsweek article). I'm hoping she can stay strong to her principles (allowing open dialogue) in the face of the pressures of "business" and pharm company giants. Maybe it will even open her eyes even more to how controlled our society is by these interests.

Katie- it was that episode of Oprah that changed by view of autism. My son is severely affected similar to yours. When I saw that video of Christian talking and holding his brother and then saw what happened to him- well, I was forever changed. It is impossible to look at those videos and not believe that *something* damaged your son's brain! I am really sad about that and what has happened to all of our kids. We can keep fighting to get them back and hold on to our hope with biomedical treatments. Thank you for speaking out. I think that video coupled with what you said on Oprah probably saved many children. We can never know how many kids you have saved from the suffering our children have endured.


I wonder if Oprah receiving the negative press and pressure will further open her eyes to how this isn't just about vaccine reaction, it's about the horrific effort to keep all quiet and suffering in private on the matter. Perhaps in a twisted way the Newsweek story will give us a new ally -- Oprah.

Kathy Blanco

The freedom of the press is one of the great bulwarks of liberty, and can never be restrained but by despotic government.” — George Mason (in the Virginia Bill of Rights), 6/12/1776

What our Founding Fathers had in mind regarding freedom of the press was for the press to have reasonable latitude as a watchdog for the people. Unfortunately, the media have become the propaganda arm of government — selectively informing the public in order to promote a socialist agenda. The other agenda is business, and business as usual...you shake my hand, I will shake yours...

Obviously, sponsers frequent Oprah who are of the pharma origin. I am sure they will be more pissed as time goes one, thusly, the Newsweek article. Who, by my estimation are pandering to their sponsers...ever read their magazine without a flip out section of some new wonder drug?


Benedetta Stilwell

I have a letter from the cabinet of health and family services department for public health for Kentucky. It is in response to a letter I sent them telling them that the third member of my family had to finally take disablity from his job as a polymer research chemist this past year. He has five patents under his belt, has traveled the world on his job, now he is home. He has 30 years of experience in his job - 9 years with DOW. If he could have gotten the last year in we all could have kept the company's insurance. Anyway I think all your readers would find it interesting. They would at least know how these people's minds and thinking is working along the lines of vaccines.


Katie, your story illustrates so clearly how all media content is dictated by advertisers. Why did Oprah's producers tell you not to connect vaccines to autism? Fear of angering the Pharma giants. All this power Oprah supposedly has is as nothing compared to the power of the corporations that control our media.

Oprah is not telling parents not to vaccinate. She is not saying outright that vaccines are causing autism. She is simply raising the question. Dr Wakefield asked the same question, and look what happened to him. It will be interesting to see if the smear campaign against Oprah continues.

John Stone


This is of course the same story of censorship that we come across with media again and again - if you say something you will not get invited back. Many good journalists also know that it isn't even worth taking the trouble to file stories. I was quite intrigued last autumn (well we have autumn in the UK) that your parents both gave voice to their concerns in British newspapers, which also would normally maintain a dishonest silence on these issues.

The fact is that the debate has been foreclosed on behalf of very powerful people who have not got a straight story, and would come completely unstuck if they have had to face a few minutes of hostile questioning. We now find Prof Baron-Cohen "speculating" that we have somehow overlooked or lost something like three-quarters of a million disabled adults in the UK. We have powerful evidence of a statistical association between vaccination and autism in Japan, but will the professionals ever be made accountable to the public?

It has to be said the media really need to take a reality check. Of course our governments and the medical profession - not to mention the pharmaceutical industry which is depending on expanding the vaccine sector for its survival - do not want to face the awkward questions, but we are surely facing a situation (as with the banks) that the official facade cannot be maintained indefinitely. What is so awful, and unnecessary, is the escalating damage to everyone's children in the mean time.


Maurine Meleck

I hope Oprah gets a hold of what you have written. She needs to know there are thousands who support her and what she has done. Thanks, katie.
I also hope that Newsweek folds in the near future. Like all those other biased magazines and newspapers, it needs to be buried with the titanic.


Thank you Katie for being the first to talk about vaccines on Oprah. Those of us with older kids had been e-mailing Oprah for years and she refused to acknowledge us and our stories.

I had all but given up hope on her.

Then you came along and broke that barrier.

Now, look at all that has been said on her show since you first eloquently spoke on behalf of all our damaged sick kids.

I will be eternally grateful to you for what you have done and because of that, what has followed and will continue to follow.

And, thank you Oprah for letting people tell their stories. People need to hear them.

The truth is the truth no matter how much the pharmaceutical companies and public health agencies want to deny the truth.

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