Newsweek’s Newspeak: Pharma’s Weapon Against Oprah
On the cover of last week’s Newsweek issue was a photo of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, with a huge scowl on his face. On his forehead were the words, “EVERYTHING YOU THINK YOU KNOW ABOUT IRAN IS WRONG.”
Ahmadinejad received considerable attention for denying the Holocaust. He held a convention inviting well-known Holocaust deniers including former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, and launched a Holocaust denial cartoon contest. And yet, Oprah Winfrey was not portrayed any better on the cover of Newsweek’s latest issue, showing an outrageous photo of her, the title over her face reading, “CRAZY TALK.”
Newsweek will portray a prominent TV show host as horribly as it did a Holocaust denier, but will take the rather bizarre views of a neurodiversity proponent little known outside the autism community seriously. Two issues ago, the magazine gave coverage to the ND Ari Ne’eman, ignoring requests of other autistics including myself for an interview. I wrote a letter to Newsweek in anticipation of Ari’s’s article asking the magazine to give equal time to a non-ND autistic person, receiving nothing more than an automated response. I then submitted what I sent to the magazine as an open letter to Age of Autism thinking that might pressure Newsweek to at least publicly acknowledge the counterpoint to neurodiversity among autistic people. No such thing happened. Then the Ari Ne’eman piece ran online a week later and then in the May 25th issue, where he professed his anti-cure views while expressing an unfounded fear of the unproven idea that autism can be prevented through eugenics. (HERE)
Now Newsweek’s June 8th issue has solidified my worst fear: that my open letter to them had been written in vain. The cover article was a 9-page hit piece on Oprah Winfrey, of all people. (HERE) I read in Newsweek’s issue prior to the one where the Ari Ne’eman article ran that the magazine is operating in the red. (HERE) Now why would a faltering magazine write a smear issue of a celebrity who owns a net worth of several billion dollars and whose TV show is among the highest ranked in history? A big hint can be found in the subtitle, “Wacky Cures & You.”
Since Oprah has given Jenny McCarthy her own show, I can guess what one of those “Wacky Cures” would be. Sure enough, under the overblown title of the story that is even larger than the one on the cover, was the “wacky cure” I expected: “Eradicate Autism!” Strange the magazine would call this “wacky” after publishing an article two issues ago interviewing Ari, who not only fears an eradication of autism but that it will be done by eugenics, as if that’s anywhere close to being a possibility. And yet, the authors in the latest issue think it is “wacky” that Oprah interviews Jenny McCarthy who says she cured her son of autism with widely used treatments. Perhaps Newsweek takes the neurodiversity line that “autism is not a medical mystery that needs solving.” That would explain this discrepancy, though I tend to doubt it.
More likely, the explanation is that 10 of the 31 pages of ads are for pharma, 5 of them for Wyeth, including an inside-cover triple-page ad. Naturally, a failing magazine is going to want to receive more ad dollars by running more articles pleasing to sponsors. It seems practical and makes sense, though unethical, dishonest, defamatory and morally reprehensible all at the same time.
The first portion of the article slams Oprah for inviting Suzanne Somers on the show for promoting her own “natural” hormone replacement therapy. It involves hormones synthesized from plants rather than the typical horse urine, saying what Somers uses is not actually natural nor FDA-approved. Fair enough, I don’t have an opinion on the benefits or problems with HRT, but perhaps Newsweek can also run an article on the 5000 lawsuits Wyeth is facing for the damages attributed to its own, admittedly unnatural, FDA-approved version. If they did, it would help their case of proving Ms. Somers’ alleged belief wrong, that “the media” is “in the pocket of the pharmaceutical industry.” But I guess that’s about as likely as Newsweek interviewing me to balance out their coverage given to Ari Ne’eman.
After criticizing Oprah for interviewing Suzanne Somers came the expected criticism of her interviews with Jenny McCarthy. The very first thing the article makes clear is that she is a former Playboy model, as if having large breasts has to do with anything. I think a J&J manufactured, FDA-approved autism drug, Risperdal, growing milk-producing breasts on boys is more relevant, but that’s just me.
Then Newsweek makes the statement that “researchers” have not found a link between vaccines and autism. This, however, is hardly surprising, especially since Wyeth, a company that gave Newsweek ad money to run this piece was the same company to give grant money to the scientist-for-hire that led the most recent sham study obfuscating the vaccine-autism link published in Pediatrics earlier this year. Presumably, only the researchers who’ve received money from the same source as this magazine count. Hypocritically, the article then lamented that McCarthy’s views went “virtually unchallenged.” Leaving one-sided views “unchallenged” is precisely the problem with this magazine.
The hypocrisy doesn’t end as Newsweek then accused Oprah of doing to CDC officials exactly what it did to me in anticipation of its article for Ari Ne’eman: not inviting someone representing the counterpoint for equal coverage. Only in my case, I requested equal time and was ignored. It is true that Oprah read a CDC statement to offer an alternate viewpoint instead of having a guest from the agency appearing on her show, but blaming her for that is blatantly absurd and ignorant.
Anyone following this controversy long enough, no matter what opinion they have, knows the CDC has a track record for silence. Even Peter Hotez, quoted in Paul Offit’s book and head of the Sabin Vaccine Institute that receives millions in annual funding from Merck, Wyeth, Sanofi-Pasteur and GlaxoSmithKline, knows this. He is a vocal denier of any kind of link between autism and vaccines, but complained of how silent the CDC was on this controversy. If blatant ignorance could not explain Newsweek’s mischaracterization of the CDC as willing to participate in interviews, then dishonesty will.
On Gardasil, the HPV vaccine linked to at least 32 reported deaths, and thousands of adverse events including seizures and paralysis, Newsweek is no better. The magazine once again criticized Oprah for inviting a medical professional, Christiane Northrup, onto the show to express her concern over the safety of Gardasil, using the CDC and the FDA’s party line to say the deaths are unrelated. Yet, when compared to a control vaccine for meningitis, Gardasil had 3 times as many emergency room hospitalizations and 30 times the number of side effects. Newsweek didn’t report this fact, or what the CDC and FDA had to say about it. Though if it did, they would surely decline an interview. Instead, the magazine attempted to discredit the Gardasil skeptic by mentioning her superstitions involving “tarot cards.”
Yet Newsweek strangely had nothing to say of the person serving as CDC director who presided over the childhood vaccine program when I was born, James Ostermann Mason. He is currently a member of the board of trustees for religious group: “Evergreen International.” Its mission is to help homosexuals “diminish same-sex attractions and overcome homosexual behavior,” by the faith of Jesus. Ultimately, it attempts to cure homosexuality, and not with vitamins, chelation, or even hormone treatment, but with religion. But like Ari’s eugenics fear, it did not make Newsweek’s category of “wacky cures,” I wonder why…
In a classic case of double standards, the role of Newsweek quickly changes from prophet to tabloid the instant subjects change from the CDC to Oprah. One gimmick no good tabloid reporting can go without is the use of paparazzi photography to smear the targeted celebrity. The front cover says it all, with a huge close up of Oprah revealing tears in her eyes, then another photo of her in red curlers, followed by another in which her hair dominates the image, as if to say she is all hair and no brains.
I could only imagine the number of photos there are of Oprah, and the kind Newsweek has chosen are the kind that would fit perfectly well in the National Enquirer, a tabloid. With Newsweek losing money as conceded in the May 18th article entitled, “Reinventing Newsweek,” this is apparently what the magazine is reinventing itself into.
Newsweek not only takes on the role of a tabloid in its targeting of a particular celebrity, but also in its promoting information of the same level of absurdity as they accuse Oprah of publicizing: neurodiversity, eugenics fears, FDA-approval for drugs such as the apparently still dangerous HRT and Risperdal that grows milk-producing breasts on young boys, as well as the stance of a public health division that was once directed by a man who now devotes his life to “curing” homosexuality with the help of Jesus. One can therefore argue this magazine has been doing plenty of “Crazy Talk.” Of course, what is taken seriously versus what is dubbed “wacky” by this news-turned-tabloid magazine has no bearing on what actually is wacky versus what isn’t.
What matters is if Newsweek’s articles fit its agenda. In a magazine filled with pharma ads, accused in 2001 by five consumer groups of breaching journalism ethics by working with the lobby group PhRMA, having a special advertising relationship with pharmaceutical corporations and allowing its publication to be used by pharma lobbyists for public relations purposes, Newsweek’s agenda is no secret. One consumer advocate described Newsweek as “an infomercial masquerading as medical news” and “an example of corruption in journalism. Newsweek has surrendered its professional credentials by shamelessly engaging in disease mongering aimed at increasing profits for the mental health industry.”
Newsweek doesn’t report medical facts, it attempts to define them, even accusing others of the same bias and absurdity it perpetrates. It considers the help Jenny McCarthy gave her son “wacky,” but takes Ari Ne’eman’s fear of eugenics seriously. Similarly, Newsweek baselessly accuses Oprah of not inviting anyone from the CDC on her show to debate Jenny, but had no problem ignoring my request for an interview to balance out the coverage it gave Ari. This will no doubt add to the media-distorted public perception of how autistic people view their condition, not that Newsweek cares. Newsweek has become Newspeak.
Jake Crosby is a history student at Brandeis University, and a Contributing Editor of Age of Autism.
You're giving him bio-identical hormones?
Posted by: Jake Crosby | October 09, 2009 at 01:56 PM
Love your article. My 7-year-old son has Aspergers Syndrome (high functioning autism) and as I, in my 40's, have begun looking into bio-identical hormones, I'm finding that the symptoms of autism come from a high-testosterone mother. Balancing one's hormones, naturally, may be a way to prevent autism. My son, like the commentor above, is dramatically improving with detox and diet. I applaud both McCarthy and Sommers, not to mention Oprah!
Posted by: Jennifer Oliviera | October 08, 2009 at 08:45 PM
Oprah and Jenny McCarthy have done so much for our autistic children, we owe them. I will never in my life spend another dime on anything Newsweek publishes, what a disgrace they are.
Posted by: Carol Brannaka | June 22, 2009 at 09:34 PM
Why should Newsweek attack Oprah Winfrey?
Oprah's TV show advocates Natural Medicine and Bioidentical Hormones in direct competition to the interests of the Pharmaceutical Industry. Newsweek is merely an attack dog for the drug industry. A typical issue of Newsweek magazine contains $2 million in pharma ads.
Oprah is depicted as a voodoo witch on the Newsweek cover in a desparate attempt to please the drug company sponsors of a failing magazine.
To read more:
Newsweek Attacks Oprah Winfrey and BioIdentical Hormones
Posted by: jeffrey dach md | June 14, 2009 at 09:26 AM
Thank you all for your support, the information you have provided has been very helpful.
Posted by: Jake Crosby | June 10, 2009 at 10:11 PM
Posted by: AoA supporter | June 10, 2009 at 08:30 PM
My dad has been reading Newsweek for decades. No longer. Here's his letter to them:
Here’s the letter I wrote a few minutes ago to cancel my subscription to what was once a decent weekly news magazine:
To Whom It May Concern:
The new Newsweek is totally unreadable, and I want to cancel my subscription immediately. I also want my money refunded for the remaining years on the subscription.
I NEVER in a lifetime would have signed up for more than an additional year had I known that Newsweek was going to commit editorial and journalistic suicide.
Last week it was pages and pages of bullshit about Oprah. This week we have a television comedian as “guest editor” of what was once a publication worth reading.
I can see why someone who mourns the death of the real Newsweek the way I do, someone still employed (but probably not for long) in the design department covered half the masthead with Cobert’s head because the old Newsweek is indeed gone for good.
I’ve subscribed and/or read Newsweek for the better part of more than 40 years, but not anymore.
I leave it now to the gossip and celebrity “journalists” who wouldn’t know an interesting, insightful, and hard news story if it bit ‘em on the ass.
That’s enough of that, eh? Please email me regarding the refund of my money. Thank you.
Posted by: Josh Day | June 10, 2009 at 10:20 AM
I detest everything about the Newsweek article, and it is such a hatchet job that I don't understand why everyone can't see it, plus the connections with pharma.
The Newsweek article quotes a woman physician with quite a list of credentials. I looked her up. There is information about Dr. Nanette Santoro here:
Of note in the information are these disclosures:
Grants/Research Support: Ferring Pharmaceuticals Inc., Serono SA.
Consultant/Advisory Board: Ferring Pharmaceuticals Inc., Serono SA,
Wyeth, Pfizer Inc.
Speakers' Bureau: Wyeth, Pfizer Inc., Berlex Inc.
Are we really expected to believe that this doctor can be an unbiased expert when she has such close ties and receives funding from the pharmaceutical industry? I think not!
Posted by: J. A. Niblett | June 10, 2009 at 06:10 AM
Thank you Jake. A great article. My only comments when you (Newsweek in this case) lay with the devil (big Pharma) then you will get burned. If this is the kind of journalism that Newsweek has in mind then they deserve to burn. My father; God rest his soul, would be spinning in his grave if he saw the tabloid journalism that Newsweek; his favorite magazine when he was alive; was producing now.
Posted by: Deborah | June 09, 2009 at 10:34 PM
So the NVAC considers the "feasibility" to study outcomes for vaccinated, unvaccinated, and partially vaccinated children. According to David Kirby's article, they also "recommended that children with "a well-documented family history of autoimmune disorders," be added to the list of potentially vulnerable subpopulations." Then Newsweek comes out with a "Crazy Talk" front pager on Oprah with an inside hit piece on autism-vaccine? And earlier this month Philadelphia Magazine practically canonized Dr. Offit in their ridiculous piece. Timing here is very interesting. I think the media has officially "jumped the shark".
Posted by: PhillyMom | June 09, 2009 at 09:43 PM
Jake, You have written on this subject with great clarity. The part that concerns me, "What if Oprah was a different sort of person and for what ever reason subscribed to the Amanda Peet/Offit view of vaccines/health?" And then gave Amanda her own show. We all should be concerned that what Oprah does, can cut both ways.
I am real cautious when it comes to the media. I hope Jenny McCarthy will use her voice to point people to AoA and their high caliber writers for good solid information. Its about maintaining your integrity, which Newsweek, JAMA, Pediatrics lost a long time ago.
Posted by: michael framson | June 09, 2009 at 11:57 AM
Marvin Lewis please explain more. I am having conspiracy theories dancing in my head as it is this morning. Surely I am insane, if not then everything I once thought is upside down.Things I thought was just over sight, that really wanted the best for us - is really a beast!
Posted by: Benedetta Stilwell | June 09, 2009 at 10:55 AM
Newsweek seems to have adopted the motto: "Eat or be eaten". Obviously the Pharmaceutical Industry and Medical establishment are very threatened by Oprah's involvement in this which is why they are launching a viscious attack against her.
What they don't seem to realize is that by attacking her they are also attacking anyone who opts for alternative healing. They're saying, any one who doesn't subscribe to their beliefs about treatment are crazy... good way to alienate people.
I think this is a bad move for them but good for us. Instead of swaying public opinion, it will only cause public opinion to go against them.
Posted by: Sarah | June 09, 2009 at 09:24 AM
I have no experience with Autism!
I do have experience with government and big corporations. Your naivete' continues to startle me. By this time you should understand is that money talks and BS walks. Unless you are ready and willing to take away every privelege and desire from the big pharma and big insurance, you will not win!
Know thyself and harden your hearts to all else,
or give up
I continue to fight nuclear power, genetically engineered foods, misappropriated funds, credit card fraud, and windmills.
Posted by: Marvin Lewis | June 09, 2009 at 07:27 AM
I just read a book called _Toxic Truth_ by Lydia Denworth about the battle over lead in the United States. (Newsweek took a more progressive stance in that particular fight.)
The book is instructive about how industry goes about neutralizing its critics. After Herb Needleman linked lead exposure to cognitive impairment in 1979, he was dogged for years by industry scientists, particularly Claire Ernhart, and PR firms like Hill and Knowlton. They were nothing if not persistent: In 1992 Needleman was accused of scientific misconduct in the 1979 study! Two years later he was cleared by the federal Office of Research Integrity.
Posted by: Carol | June 09, 2009 at 06:50 AM
I am a dokter from Sweden with autistic child.
Remember:E=mc2...the energy of Ophrah and the power of the movement will not get lost.
Newsweek will.....rubish talk...what a waste!
People won't accept this any longer....do not underestimate the power of Ophrah....it is just shooting with empty shelves.....
What a sad and sad politics....behind this.
But the force is getting stronger.....
Thank you for your article Jack.
Posted by: M.R,Jansen | June 09, 2009 at 03:53 AM
I think that I'm going to start TiVo-ing Oprah. I'm never going to have the time or inclination to watch it, but I'm happy to boost her viewership ratings and ad dollars.
Posted by: Garbo | June 09, 2009 at 12:12 AM
Thank You! I have been thinking many of the same things that you covered, ie: Why the hatchet job instead of a proper, professionally written article?, Why the tabloid-style photos and why Newsweek? - As if THEY don't sell sensationalist garbage all the time! Now I get it - Big Pharma - Of Course! What a rag. Not that I agree with Oprah or even watch her but she's preferable to Newsweek for sure.
Posted by: Kate | June 08, 2009 at 10:17 PM
Look for Newsweek to become "thinner and thinner" until it finally becomes
"one less magazine."
Posted by: Curtis J | June 08, 2009 at 10:15 PM
Jake: This is a terrific article! My children are recovered. I found autism to be caused by pathogens and toxins. But the real cause is greed. Greed has caused the medical establishment to not treat those with autism except with psych meds. If they had looked for the cause many years ago, we would not have this epidemic now. I owe my children's recovery to people like you. People who seek the truth and are not afraid to speak out about it.
Posted by: Heidi N | June 08, 2009 at 09:38 PM
newsweek = weak news
Posted by: Deb in IL | June 08, 2009 at 09:33 PM
Excellent blog. I really enjoyed it. I can't help but believe the Newsweek article made people like Oprah more and Newsweek less.
Posted by: Dan, tx | June 08, 2009 at 09:27 PM
I love this article Jake! thanks for writing it. I know we are making an impact when these desperation articles appear in mags like Newsweek. Keep up the good work everybody!
Posted by: Heidi R | June 08, 2009 at 09:08 PM
Imagine for the moment that the true autism numbers, if the CDC ever chose to publish their data from more recent years, are now closer to 1 in 66. Add in the people who have been failed by mainstream medicine and its lax regulators on a variety of fronts. We are reaching a critical mass of people (and their extended social networks) affected. In the face of a general public that knows the truth from personal experience, Newsweek's painfully blatant Orwellian pharma-sponsored message is no longer effective and only serves to make the media look foolish and out of touch. Their bankruptcy is moral as well as financial. No amount of pharma advertising will be able to keep them afloat if the magazine sales don't support the advertising rates. And who would want to buy a "news" magazine that suborns the news to corporate propaganda?
Posted by: Garbo | June 08, 2009 at 08:18 PM
I am appalled many times over reading what the mainstream news sources say and believe about our community to include their lack of acknowledgement of real life recovery stories. Knowing that there are so many children who have lost their voices, it's nice to know that many in this community are silenced no more--warrior parents who stand up and defend their children, doctors who go outside of the box to promote healing and you with your insight and beautiful writing. Thank you for sharing such a great article.
Posted by: Cathy Jameson | June 08, 2009 at 08:12 PM
The June issue of Readers Digest has an article written by Anne Underwood titled "Celebrity Science" It also covers what Oprah had to say about bio-identical hormones, Jenny McCarthy on childhood vaccines, and also covers Elizabeth Hasselbeck on going gluten free, it says gluten free is only for those with Celiac Disease and if you don't have it then don't bother. Kim S pointed out to me awhile back that Readers Digest had become nothing but a shill for Pharma. I don't think it is a coincidence that both of these publications have run almost identical stories. Pharm must be feeling the heat. It is scary that they are fooling so many people.
Great response to them Jake, I hope someone hears what you have to say and takes you seriously. I also think you should change your major to journalism. The world needs you.
Posted by: K Fuller Yuba City | June 08, 2009 at 07:12 PM
Great article Jake! I'm happy you mentioned that 1/3 of this issue's ads were Pharma.
Print magazines and newspapers are trying to survive. Naturally, the remaining staff at old media companies would like to keep their jobs. Pharma is one of the few sectors still buying print ads, helping old media survive until the next quarter.
We can expect more coverage like the Oprah/Jenny hit piece.
(December 2008) "Meanwhile, Newsweek is enduring yet another round of layoffs, on the heels of large cutbacks last April. The magazine reportedly will also probably cut some pages out of its weekly print edition. As often noted here, the “newsweeklies” are an endangered species of magazine. (Time and U.S. News also recently announced cuts and reorganizations.)
Publishing weeklies simply cannot compete with news delivered via Cable TV and the Internet. Advertising revenue is way down, as are circulation and newsstand sales. For these outdated products, there simply is no way out."
Posted by: Kevin Barry | June 08, 2009 at 04:11 PM
Have we ever seen one of these magazines without a zillion pharmaceutical ads? Ok, let's just see if they would survive without them, not...it's called hypnotism.
Same goes for your national news, or when PAMPERS/SKIN CARE/DIET ADS are on at the soap opera hours...
We are all just a bunch of pons to them..a community of zoned in bandwagon people, who can't live without pharmaceuticals, products and consumerisms. I for one want to live somewhere where no grids/Tv's radios are, and just live my life in peace.
Time to get off this consumerism mindmeled rollercoaster, EMF grid lies.
Posted by: Kathy Blanco | June 08, 2009 at 12:47 PM
EXCELLENT coverage. Your attention to detail is stellar. How fascinating about Ostermann Mason-- especially considering that Ne'eman was seen strategizing in a chat session on how to create a negative stir by comparing the idea of "curing homosexuality" to "curing autism".
The order of the covers was no accident. The cover featuring Ahmadinejad echoes the title of a famous Wired Magazine article promoting the ND views of Amanda Baggs and Michelle Dawson, entitled alternately as "The Truth About Autism: Everything You Know Is Wrong" or "The Truth About Autism: Scientists Reconsider What They Think They Know". The article was written by David Wolman, who writes for both Newsweek and Wired:
In the actual magazine, which I'm looking at right now, the top edge of the magazine's cover lists the article as "The Truth About Autism: Everything You Know Is Wrong". Look at the top of the cover of 16.03 with the orange burst and the enlarged text reading "Free": http://www.wired.com/wired/coverbrowser/2008
But on the Wired website and the first page of the article, the piece is listed under the less spectacular title: "The Truth About Autism: Scientists Reconsider What They Think They Know".
The Ahmadinejad cover may be what Dan Olmsted might call a "precede" or a teaser for the more-important-to-corporate-media-at-the-momment attack on Oprah for her support of vaccine injury discussions. We should all be impressed that, to industry, defense of vaccines ranks as a higher priority than Iranian nukes.
The string of attacks and pro-ND/vax-injury denial opinion pieces may be part of Newsweeks new, openly stated plan to regroup after slumping sales. The mag is apparently going to be printed on better stock, will charge a higher price and will cater to the views of a smaller but supposedly more stable "elite" (the stockholders who won't mind the increase in pharma ads) readership.
Posted by: Adriana | June 08, 2009 at 12:32 PM
Excellent article, Jake! So glad that you are writing for AoA! So glad that we can link to this article when people start saying all that they will say about these topics.
Posted by: Twyla | June 08, 2009 at 11:38 AM
Thank you for this great article. I was hoping someone at AoA would pick up on this. I read the Newsweek article and I couldn't believe how far the magazine has stooped, complete with a tabloid cover and tabloid, one-sided reporting. I agree--every indication is that Newsweek (or Newspeak!)is failing. I certainly think this approach will backfire in more ways than one.
Posted by: Lynn | June 08, 2009 at 11:32 AM
Hey Jake - fantastic article. Good research, I can see that you have got your citing upto snuff (even though you aren't detailing the cites).
I would post your story here, at this website below. One day I will post mine too, just waiting to be appropriately mad!!
Posted by: Great job | June 08, 2009 at 11:32 AM
Thanks for a great article Jake! This is exactly the reason that Newsweek and their Ilk are in the red to begin with. The American public is becoming far smarter than the media is giving them credit for and as a consequesnce of this, they can't sell their tripe and must rely on ad dollars to pay the saleries of these pathetic wannbe journalists.
Posted by: curt linderman sr | June 08, 2009 at 11:22 AM
Newsweek is written at a 12-year-old's reading level.
Posted by: nhokkanen | June 08, 2009 at 11:16 AM
This was a great article. I saw Newsweek on the stands when I went to the bookstore to take a break from the craziness of my life. It just got me revved up all over again. Thanks for the information about Suzanne Sommers and hormone replacement therapy, as well as Risperadal growing milk-producing breasts on boys! And we're the crazy ones?????
All the best,
Kent Heckenlively, Esq.
Legal Editor, Age of Autism
Posted by: Kent Heckenlively | June 08, 2009 at 09:56 AM
Thank you for this.
I clicked on the link to go and read the Oprah article and something else caught my eye. To the right of the aticle is a box that shows the most viewed articles. The current most viewed article- Growing Up Bipolar: Max's world. So, I read that 7 page article.
From the article:
"The mothers of bipolar kids often say their babies are born screaming. These are children who live at the extremes: so giddy they can't speak in sentences, so low they refuse to speak at all. Unlike bipolar adults, they flit rapidly between emotions; sometimes they seem to feel everything at once. At least 800,000 children in the United States have been diagnosed as bipolar, no doubt some of them wrongly. The disease is hard to pin down. The bipolar brain is miswired, but no one knows why it develops that way. There are many drugs, but it's unclear how they work. Often, they don't work at all, and they may interfere with normal brain growth. There are no studies on their long-term effects in children. Yet untreated bipolar disorder can be disastrous; 10 percent of sufferers commit suicide. Parents must choose between two wrenching options: treat their children and risk a bad outcome, or don't treat and risk a worse one. No matter what they do, they are in for uncertainty and pain."
Almost sounds like autism.
The article was pretty clear. Max has been on multiple psychiatirc drugs and at this time that is pretty much all that is available to deal with bipolar disorder.
The article paints a abysmal picture for a child like Max. But, somehow the families that have these kids just have to find out how to live with it (also sounds like autism).
The answer to autism and bipolar and any other nuerological and behavioral problem is drugs. Genes cause different wiring in these kids and the only way to manage the outcome of different wiring is to medicate.
Back in February after the Vaccine court decided the 3 landmark test cases the very same week I saw this article.
Five Autism Stocks
Clexa (an SSRI) was found recently NOT to be effective in treating the behaviors that are assoicated with autism (OCD etc..). Repackaged Prozac (NPL-2008) in trials was also found no more effective than a placebo. But, interestingly enough after the stocks dropped for the company shortly after then disppointing results were announced- it has over the last 3 months somehow been found it could be an effective treatment and they are moving forward with licensing it. I anticipate in the very near future this drug will be approved and used for the treatment of autism.
Q7 Where and when will NPL-2008 be made available to patients?
Our major SOFIA (Study of Fluoxetine in Autism) study is now underway at 16 centers of excellence in the US. The results of this trial will be included in our new drug application.
The earliest date for a US product launch is anticipated as fourth quarter 2009.
All of our children seem destined to have something wrong with their brains and pharma will have a pill for it.
Newsweek is nothing but a vehicle for pharma to push their pills. Anyone who even talks about addressing what ails you without a pharmaceutical solution is dubbed a whackjob.
Abnormal is the new normal. And pharma has the answer- just read publications like Newsweek the answers are there. In the articles or in the ads- makes no difference.
Posted by: Andrea | June 08, 2009 at 09:44 AM
Great article Jake, thank you!!
I agree with other posters here that this Newsweek article may actually be a good thing in the long run. They are getting really desperate and careless in their attacks, like a wounded beast.
Posted by: Natasa | June 08, 2009 at 09:39 AM
Stem Cells for Autism - An Open Letter to President Obama
Cologne, Germany (PRWEB) June 8, 2009 -- The mother of a Bayport, New York girl reaches out to President Obama to make stem cell therapy available in America after her daughter's successful treatment in Germany at the XCell-Center in January 2009.
Posted by: David Granovsky | June 08, 2009 at 09:15 AM
Wow - We are so lucky you are on our side Jake! A fabulous work once again.
Posted by: Libby | June 08, 2009 at 08:58 AM
Jack writes: Why not post this on the Autism Speaks forum, where people can comment without being edited?
Autism Speaks does edit their comments. I experienced this first hand. I might have been merely commenting on thimerosal in vaccines, or maybe it was about the arrest attempt (as many of you might already know, I was standing outside of a local AS benefit concert a few years ago, handing out information about vaccine safety when I was told, by the benefit organizers, to leave or I'd be arrested) I forget now exactly what the comment was that they refused to post, as it was a number of years ago. At any rate, there was nothing that could legitimately be considered threatening or obscene in what I'd written. Just a straightforward statement of facts, and they refused to post it on their website.
I hope and pray that soon the cable television news programs--also essentially owned by Phrma-- will soon go the way of the print 'news' media.
In the meantime, please everyone keep getting the real news out in whatever way you can. I have ramped up my flyer distribution, and I've been wearing my tee-shirts again much more often. They point people to the information, on the internet, that they haven't been able to find on their TV or in their newspaper.
Jake you're a marvelous writer. Thanks so much for what you're doing.
Posted by: Robin Nemeth | June 08, 2009 at 08:44 AM
I think with 32% of their ad revenue coming from Pharma, the average man on the street can understand why they'd write an article blasting "wacky" cures. It's just our job to point it out to them.
And I'm happy you posted it here.
Posted by: Jack R. | June 08, 2009 at 08:33 AM
You're on fire today Jake! Great article!
Posted by: AnneS | June 08, 2009 at 08:30 AM
Great article, Jake. Again, you see the big pharma influence on the media. However, they may have gone a bridge too far this time. Oprah is on every day with millions of viewers and I'm sure this hit job will only cause her to look into this issue even more.
Posted by: David M. | June 08, 2009 at 07:50 AM
Thank you for a very insightful article and I, too, applaud your courage on behalf of the autism community. Newsweek has choosen a destructive path and it is painfully obvious that they have been greatly compromised by pharma relationship/dictatorship.
You are an inspiration and breath of fresh air!
Posted by: Nonna C | June 08, 2009 at 07:33 AM
Very well written and honest look at Newsweek. Two things come to mind.
First, that attacking Oprah is like condemning apple pie. The big Phrma guys may have actually helped our cause more by making many Oprah fans boycott their products and know her show is giving them honest and unadulterated options. In addition, maybe Oprah will do a show on Phrma and how their power is controlled by we, the people.
The other is that you are a brave and trailblazing warrior yourself. I could tell by the very first comment that the ND are already on the defense and add that to your knocking some mighty big companies, you will most likely get some negative feedback in addition to many encouraging ones.
So I am here to tell you that your early a.m., sticking your neck out for my child and so many others is appreciated. Changing history takes some strong and heroic personalities -- and you are one of them.
Posted by: Teresa Conrick | June 08, 2009 at 07:15 AM
Why not post this on the Autism Speaks forum, where people can comment without being edited?
Posted by: Jack | June 08, 2009 at 06:12 AM