Why SafeMinds Declined Interview with Dr. Nancy Snyderman of MSNBC
Brian Deer Interviewed by Matt Lauer on Dateline NBC Dr. Wakefield Program

NBC's Matt Lauer To Air Program on Dr. Andrew Wakefield and Thoughtful House

Matt_lauer Managing Editor's Note:  From Thoughtful House treatment center for autism:

August 25, 2009

Dear Friends,
 
As some of you may have already heard, the NBC television network is producing a special on Thoughtful House and Dr. Andrew Wakefield.  We are sending along this note to make you aware of the extent of coverage on various programs and the scheduled broadcast date.  First, though, we thought it was important to help everyone understand our decision to cooperate with the reporter, Matt Lauer, and his producer, Ami Schmitz.
 
In our estimation, there has not yet been any fair coverage in the mainstream media of Dr. Wakefield or the work of Thoughtful House.  While we have a large community of supporters that know Dr. Wakefield’s credibility and the accomplishments of Thoughtful House and our excellent physicians and clinicians, including Dr. Bryan Jepson, Dr. Arthur Krigsman, and Kelly Barnhill, CN, CCN,  many of us in the Autism Advocacy Community spend most of our time communicating with people in similar situations.  Our challenge has always been to reach out to a greater population that might not know or understand what is happening with regard to the autism epidemic and the lack of government research into potential causes, which includes looking at vaccine safety.  We thought that if we ever were able to communicate with a fair-minded journalist working at a media outlet with both credibility and reach then it was likely to be worth the risk trying to tell our story.

To read more click HERE.

 

Comments

bensmyson

GE brings good things to life....now, vaccine propaganda

You wonder why Matt Lauer would want to mislead the public about vaccine safety in his Dateline report last Sunday. Well welcome to a new era in vaccine development, brought to you by GE Healthcare, I mean NBC News

**

Novavax, which announced its successful creation of an N1H1 vaccine earlier this month, says it has tested the vaccine in ferrets and it works.

The company’s stock rose as much as 12 percent in Tuesday trading.

The study, conducted with scientists from both Novavax and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, showed the virus successfully protected ferrets, even at low doses.

Ferrets are widely used for testing influenza vaccines.

Novavax made its virus-like particle vaccine, one that mimics a virus but cannot replicate, in just 11 weeks, significantly faster than traditional vaccine production.

Novavax stock (NASDAQ: NVAX) was up 45 cents to $4.94 in afternoon trading. Its shares have risen nearly ten-fold since trading at a low of 52 cents per share in April.


**


Novavax was down to $5 million in cash. It was $35 million in debt and was burning cash at a rate of $2 million a month, running its operation near Philadelphia.

‘‘Luckily,” Singhvi said, the board had analyzed the vaccine business ‘‘a little bit.”


Singhvi had previously worked in the vaccine manufacturing side of Merck. As he was brought in to lead Novavax, national interest reached near hysteria with almost daily media warnings of the threat of pandemic flu.


Novavax is on schedule to open a pilot-demonstration plant in a few weeks, making vaccines with its patented virus-like particle technology. The company recently moved its headquarters to Rockville and now has 86 employees, ‘‘adequate capital and a big-time partner” in GE Healthcare, announced in December, to explore building similar plants in other nations, Singhvi said.


Singhvi deserves much of the credit for turning around the company, says Ken Trbovich, a biotech analyst with RBC Capital Markets.

‘‘He came in when it was headed for bankruptcy. He was able to finance during a difficult financial time. Now it is coming to a more mature stage,” Trbovich said.


The HHS grants require the companies to produce pandemic flu vaccine domestically. Sanofi is in the final stages of building its egg-based plant in Pennsylvania at a cost of $150 million. It will produce 100 million does per year and handle 600,000 eggs a day. Novartis is starting to build a $200 million plant to produce 50 million doses annually; that cost does not include site preparation and validation costs for federal approvals. Robinson said Jacob Engineering, which designed both, has told him that a plant to produce 75 million doses of Novavax vaccines would cost $40 million and would take one-third the space.


Novavax and GE Healthcare have teamed to study the interest of governments that might want such a plant.


‘‘Why would GE Healthcare, one of the biggest companies in the world want to work with us?” Singhvi asked. The companies said in a joint statement that if a flu pandemic starts, Novavax could develop and produce a vaccine within 12 weeks, instead of six months through the egg method.


The Novavax-GE collaboration ‘‘makes for very interesting partnering,” he said. ‘‘From the GE end, they were looking for ways to go to governments and go with a full answer for making the argument that they should go into vaccine production at a scale appropriate for their populations. I think this will work but it will take a while.”

http://www.gazette.net/stories/032808/businew202056_32374.shtml

Craig Willoughby

Last Wednesday, I wrote this:
"Be prepared for a campaign from the Oraccolytes to try to stop this from being aired. And then, if it is truly objective, the inevitable cries of "it was unbalanced. The media gave them too much credit!" We all know that the religious zeal of the Oraccolytes has convinced them that Dr. Wakefield is guilty (even though he has not been found guilty of anything by the GMC), and nothing will change their minds. So having him openly defend himself in front of the entire world will turn people away from the Holy Vaccine somehow (rolling my eyes)."

Looking at the moron's site this morning, I see I was spot on, 100%. These quacks are entirely too predictible.

Theresa

What really bugs me about "reporting" like this from NBC is what lousy journalism it is. I know Paul Offit is readily available to anyone who wants to talk about autism or vaccines, but he is not an expert on autism. He is a vaccine researcher. He doesn't study autism, and he doesn't treat children with autism. The media consistently gets it wrong when it comes to appropriate counterpoints for people who believe that vaccines can cause autism. The only discussion for which Offit is a counterpoint to Wakefield is to discuss the question, "Have you done anything to help any children with autism?" The point would be Wakefield, saying, "Yes," and the counterpoint would be Offit, saying, "No."

Kristain King

NBC is not playing it’s in a well manner and too biased to other topics. Their ratings are not depending upon catastrophic and advertising dollars that are scarce. I feel that they would piss off one of their biggest sources of revenue by presenting in such not supporting manner.

Benedetta Stilwell

I emailed them yesterday

Dateline@nbcuni.com

See if that still works?

sarah sanchez

"Your bet...what better affective eugenics tool, than to have chilren who don't get social relations and never marry or have children?"

Really? That's not a helpful comment and certainly doesn't dispel the "crazy parents" meme. If there was some mass conspiracy of eugenics, it wouldn't be given at higher rates to white middle class kids, would it?

Marni

I went to NBC Dateline page to see of there were any forums etc. and it wouldn't let my email register.

So, please, how can we contact these people and call them out on bias?

HELP?

David

This show met my every expectation of being completely one sided and unfair. I wish the Thoughtful House would not have done this as I think the show hurt our kids. Lauer made sure all the Pharma shills like Offit, AAP, CDC, Deere, Lancet editor, London Times, etc got their say with virtually no rebuttal(quick blurb from Healy). Lauer showed all the flawed studies with no rebuttal.

The entire show irks me as its just a Wakefield show anyway and it didnt address all the other aspects of this huge epidemic. The show brought nothing new to the table and probably only gave (pr)offit and his shills more credibility.

The autism community needs to avoid the 'media filter' and take the message straight to the public. Full Page Ads, Online Ads, infomercials, internet, billboards....and more guerrilla marketing type stuff. Putting more doubt out there will force the issue to be dealt with. 1 in 100 with autism and millions with other unexplained developmental issues must be dealt with.

I am sick of all of this.

sharon earles

IM a mom a severly autistic boy. I believe with all my heart that DR. wakefield is right about the vaccines cause autism. I have never met Dr. WAKEFIELD,but what he said is true. My son was doing normal things until he got his mmr shot. I had to demand a referral from his regular dr. I saw signs of autism and it took my husband and me 1 to 2 years for that referral.THE government isnt gonna say its true because they want us parents to believe that they cant make a big mistake like that. WE as parents know our kids more than a person that just sees them 30 minutes now than then. WE see more things than they ever will.

Pamela

NBC ran a teaser this morning (Sunday) on tonight's show. I did not see it but it came up in a conversation at church with a member who holds a doctorate in educational psychology.

It was great to get her take on it. She spoke of Dr. Wakefield in a very respectful tone. She said the short segment was very fair and gave examples of Dr. Wakefield's response to some of Lauer's tough questions and said that he seemed very reasonable and that she looked forward to seeing the show tonight.

She spoke of how easy it is to believe that a subset of children might be vaccine injured in the way Wakefield described and said t would be easy to believe that the gov;t and pharma would not want to look closer, scientifically, at the issue (in terms of going beyond epidemiology) because they know full well what they might find.

This makes me very hopeful that no matter what the producers or Lauer does with the show, thinking people are going to see how plausible Dr. Wakefield's assertions are.

bek

You just gotta LOVE how Matt sticks it to Dr. Nancy Snyderman with the title:
Dose of CONTROVERSY!

That said, I'm not too optimistic about how Wakefield and parents of vaccine injured children will be portrayed tonight (still I'm glad it's airing, you never know how many people will take a closer look at vaccines the more they see anything on the subject...)

kn

Of course NBC is going to be biased. Their ratings are nothing short of disastrous and advertising dollars are scarce. Do you really think they would piss off one of their biggest sources of revenue?

How Brian Deer is connected to Freud

Regarding Brian Deer's Credentials... I posted this awhile back.....
Brian Deer's boss is James Murdoch. You know... Rupert's son. Rupert is the global media mogul who owns FOX and other TV, radio, and newspapers round the world. Rupert's daughter (James Murdoch's Sister) is married to Matthew Freud, a grandson to Sigmund. Matthew is head of Freud Communications, an international public relations firm in the UK. Matthew is also the nephew to Ed Bernays who is the "father of public relations".. also known as “the father of spin” .....the first guy to attempt to manipulate public opinion using the subconscious. He did this by combining crowd control ideas from LeBon and Trotter and the psychoanalitical ideas of his Uncle Sigmund... He was also into Pavlov's dog theories. Bernays and friends make for very interesting reading in all their "public relations work" that include a wide spectrum from helping the tobacco companies to overthrowing governments to help corporations control natural resources and pollute native lands. In Propaganda (1928), his most important book, Bernays argued that the manipulation of
public opinion was a necessary part of democracy:
"The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the
masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country..."

I keep overhearing conversations and reading about these public relations connections in world politics. Wherever there is a scandal or coup, these public relation and media firms are deeply rooted. I've heard on more than one occasion that these people were related to the drug companies too. And now....we can see one such connection in that James Murdoch, Brian Deer's boss, is now working for Glaxosmith...

It is easy to see that Brian Deer is happy to "play his part" to arouse "the crowd" and thus "control" them and do his best to make them look silly and desperate in the public eye. My friends would say that Brian is not the puppet. He is instead an arm of the puppet master. The crowd are the ones that are really on the strings dancing. Perhaps parents should be aware of these connections and tactics so they can ponder the best approach to helping the children.

Melissa Sullivan

We were not allowed to see the Wakefield/Lauer interview on the Today show yesterday--it was conveniently censored in my neck of the woods in CT. hoping that the local network does not do that for the Dateline interview as well!

Moose Mom

What I will be sharing with friends prior viewing...

What NBC will not tell you about our opponents :

Dr. Paul Offit, self-proclaimed vaccine safety expert, is a patent holder to the Rota-virus (Rotashield) vaccine, that he made millions of profit from, and which was recalled around 1999 and reformulated (RotaTeq) in 2006 due to significant numbers of deaths and telescoping colons. He is a Merck pharmaceutical employee, and also a member of the CDC’s vaccine advisory board which votes to add mandated vaccines to the schedule including his own. He was reprimanded in 2000 by Congress for his blatant conflict of interests. He published a book, “The False Prophets of Autism,” which attempts to persuade readers that vaccines are not linked to autism. Merck distributed his book free of charge to nearly every pediatrician in the country. Reformulated RotaTeq has had more adverse injuries and deaths than the recalled Rotashield. For more info: read http://www.ageofautism.com/2008/05/dr-paul-offit-q.html

Robert Deer poses as an unbiased freelance journalist, but in reality has a personal agenda against Dr. Andrew Wakefield, the British gastroenterologist who found the connection between the MMR and autism in 1998. Robert Deer filed the original charges in 2004 against Wakefield that he manipulated data in his MMR-autism research to the General Medical Committee (GMC). To date, the GMC has not found any of these accusations against Wakefield or the twelve other co-researchers to be valid. The investigation is the longest in UK history, starting in 2004 and not scheduled to conclude until 2010. As of 2009, the Press Complaints Commission ordered the “Sunday Times” to remove Robert Deer’s stories on Dr. Wakefield from its website due to Deer’s conflict of interest and lack of facts. Read more at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-kirby/uk-autism-doctor-launches_b_174711.html

Dr. Andrew Wakefield, British Gastroenterologist, found in biopsies that 12 children with regressive autism had measles causing bowel disease. None of these children has been exposed to measles, and the measles strain matched the strain from the MMR. Dr. Wakefield’s alleged controversy is that he concluded that the MMR vaccine needs further study in its relation to autism and bowel disease, and that it might be safer to administer the MMR is three separate doses spread out over time. The MMR is unique in that it is a triple dose, triple live viruses. Both the US the UK had a corresponding spike in regressive autism since the MMR’s introduction in 1978 and 1988 respectively. Dr. Wakefield et al’s measles in autism study has been replicated. (See Research links below.) Furthermore, three American medical journals have reported high prevalence of a unique bowel disease in children with autism.

Research. Dr. Offit will cite two European studies that support his view. These studies were conducted by pharmaceutical companies, and did not include American children who follow a more robust vaccine schedule. To read the abstracts, pharmaceutical conflicts, or the studies in full go to: http://fourteenstudies.org/studies.html To read the independent studies that show links to vaccines, go to http://fourteenstudies.org/ourstudies.html To read an overview of all of these vaccine studies related to autism: http://www.ageofautism.com/2009/07/an-overview-of-the-fourteen-vaccine-studies.html

Parents. The parents in this broadcast will be portrayed as angry, emotional, and desperate to believe any doctor offering a cure. That condescending treatment in the media does not objectively consider the conflicts of interest involved in the vaccine program, the independent research that supports vaccine-induced autism, and the scientific approach and effectiveness of biomedical treatment for autism. The pioneering doctors at the Thoughtful House, Dr. Wakefield, Dr. Krigsman, and Dr. Jepson, have helped recover hundreds of kids from all over the world.

NBC Producer for “Dose of Controversy,” Ami Schmitz-Levine worked for McNeil Pharmaceuticals.

NBC News Chief Medical Editor, Dr. Nancy Snyderman, has stated on NBC that vaccines do not cause autism and has demonized parents who question vaccine safety. Furthermore, she said in one segment that getting eight vaccines in one day cannot cause autism (neurological injury), then in contrast said in another segment that Michael Jackson’s multiple drug interaction caused his death. Regarding swine flu vaccine safety, she said on air: "This is one time, forget the conspiracies. Listen to our government agencies. These guys are telling the truth. You know there's no conspiracy here folks, just get your damn vaccine!" Objective? Sounds angry, emotional, and desperate.

bensmyson

Actually the email address for Dateline is

Dateline@nbcuni.com


http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3303518/

dugmaze

I just now watched the short clip from this morning. I feel betrayed. I used to like Matt Lauer, not anymore. This was HIS story. He allowed it to go down the way it did.
They used Matt to get their propaganda out there. But it is still HIS story.
Did anyone know Snyderman was an insider? What a low life. I am so sick of America and it's greed.
I will not support NBC and GE anymore. I hope others join me.
The only way corporations will listen is by jeopardizing their money. We did it with Glenn Beck and we can do it with GE. If people truly stick together, we can do whatever we want.

Theresa Cedillo

maggie - that's a domain for sale website??

Rob S.

Are there any lawyers out there that would like to take my son,s case to civil court?????IT'S ONLY BEEN 8 YEARS since he has been in the "Government program". Aren't we all a bit tired? My son's getting older with very little hope of getting much better besides the treatment his DAN doctor is giving him at an astrononmical cost.
I know for a fact my son, and your son, and your daughter, have all been injuried by these toxic-laden vaccinations.

Angela S.

Background on Matt's producer Ami Schmitz

Produced three-part Good Morning America series, "Autism: Unlocking the Mystery," reported by ABCNEWS' Dr. Tim Johnson and produced by Ami Schmitz, Morgan Zalkin and Anna Robertson.
http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/DrJohnson/Story?id=125414&page=3

Produced documentary about Meningitis and the vaccine http://www.pinedaleonline.com/news/2006/05/McKenzieMeningitisFo.htm


Ami Schmitz-Levine
(1997) an Emmy-winning graduate who
worked for ABC News and Johnson and
Johnson talked about strategies for dealing with the media. http://www.tufts.edu/med/docs/phpd/newsletters/NewsletterF04.pdf


Worked for McNeil Pharm
http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ArchiveRecalls/2004/ucm111595.htm

"Ami Schmitz, Today Show medical producer, recently gave birth with the assistance of a DONA-certified birth doula and wants to sing the praises of doulas and DONA International. She, along with Dr. Nancy Snyderman, NBC News Chief Medical Editor, will present this segment. http://blog.syracuse.com/healthfitness/2008/11/tune_in_to_today_for_story_abo.html

Spoke at IRTS Foundation
Q&A Seminar
“Doctors On TV: Medical Editors & Correspondents” www.irts.org/events/qas/doc/Flyer(docs on tv)-100708.doc

maggie

dateline@uninbc.com

email them the talking points.. Let them hear us.

Theresa Cedillo

Tim, Laura and Thomas,

You are all heroes, with such great courage for opening up your lives for the benefit of all of our children. No matter what else happens, don't look at it any other way.

God Bless - Theresa

kathleen

Julie, If I remember correctly Dr For Profit actually said there were over a million kids in the Denmark study. That does count as a lie...the little weasel.

CJ, mother of Lily

Before watching this segment this morning, I was worried that this would turn into one big infomercial for Big Pharma and vaccines. From what I've seen so far, it looks like it is a distinct possibility. I will be curious to see who advertisers are during Sunday night's one hour long segment.

Yes...I am one of those "emotional and angry parents" that felt the need to find out why my perfectly developing baby started slipping away right before my eyes..When did being emotional become a bad connotation. Yes, I understand that they refer to us that way to prove our lack of objective on the issue.

We have been on this biomedical journey for almost 2 years and I can tell you that you will never meet a more intellectual, thoughtful and objective group of parents that have done our research. What choice did we have? Our pediatricians certainly weren't giving us any guidance. You see, this emotion is what drives us to be objective because our childrens'well being is at stake.

If the intent of this broadcast is to quiet people's fears about vaccines and prove that parents that "claim: there is a vaccine/autism link are just crazy, it's too late and I view this as grasping for straws on their part. The best way for them to quiet people's fears it to prove what is causing the autism epidemic if it isn't over vaccination. Well...they can't do that.

Pandora's box has been opened and won't be closed until the powers that be mandate a vaccinated vs. unvaccinated study.

Unfortunately, I think this segment on Sunday will prove what we already know, Big Pharma has the big bucks and will stop at nothing to quiet autism/vaccine debate. I also know they don't have any idea who they are dealing with! I won't quit educating people on the truth and I imagine my "emotional and angry" peers won't either.

maggie

I just called the Today Show again....
"Matt, Stop calling parents of autistics desperate. We are practicing common sense. If on Tuesday your normal child gets a shot, and from then on they are never the same, it is COMMON SENSE to question the vaccine. Desperation has nothing to do with it. Common sense has everything to do with it." Matt's castle needs to be stormed with knowledge. If things don't get better on Sunday, I will be worried for his soul and assume he is just another bought puppet.

Melissa D

Tim,
First, you and your wife deserve a medal (or at the least a nice dinner!) for putting yourselves out there. Just going to the DAN Dr. is stress enough – the drive, the waiting, the IVs, the new supplements, the thought of paying for it all… I can’t even imagine doing an interview in the midst of it all. Bravo to the two of you no matter how it comes across Sunday night. Please know that many of us will be eternally grateful for you sharing your lives with the public, so that they might better understand what our children go through – it can’t have been easy to do. THANK YOU!

Julie,
Nice talking points - thanks! Your knowledge and insight are really impressive. I would love to see you debate Offit - you'd mop the floor with him!

bensmyson

I suggest those of you that live in small areas of the Country, contact your local NBC affiliate offering your comments following up the upcoming Dateline debate on Sunday. Sunday and Monday are typically slow news days and they would welcome a chance to tie into a primetime program.


Search your affiliate's website and look for contact information. You want to pitch it to the station's news director.

Adrienne


I find it almost irrelevant to say that autism parents are "emotional" regarding their children. I, for one, would like to be introduced to the parent who can keep their emotions out of child rearing - whether or not they have autism or any other pervasive disorder or disease. It's not possible. That being said, I would guess that most parents who've gone against the grain and taken the biomedical journey are those who made the decision after much thought, deliberation, changes of mind, arguments with spouses, family members, friends, therapists, etc. For me, it was not an easy decision. And for that reason, I've always gotten second and third opinions because I wanted OBJECTIVITY where I knew I couldn't provide it as these boys' MOTHER.

My other issue - Dr. Wakefield and colleagues providing 'us' the comfort and voice we need? No, the biomedical doctors recovering our children don't "provide the voice or answer to our questions" regarding what happened. They are providing our children a way back, another shot possibly in the same ballpark for the dreams we all had about what kind of lives our babies should have. I'll take it. Anyone would take it. 'Cause it's working. That's not emotional. It's reality.

The very simple explanation tends to be the right one. If none of these children were getting better, these doctors would be out of patients, wouldn't they? Or the flip-side, I suppose...If all those handing out autism diagnoses were proven wrong later on, wouldn't they be out of patients? Something just doesn't add up.

Tim Kasemodel

Julie,

Thanks for putting togehter these points, especially #8.

We were interviewed by Ami Schmitz at the clinic while Thomas' procedure was taking place - immediately after 1-1/2 hrs of all-out tantrum in the waiting rooms.

I am quite certain if we are included in the show, we will appear "emotional". One regret is that due to that stress we missed many points we normally would have rattled off like a favorite cookie recipe.

BTW, I was referring to Ami Schmitz when I wrote for AoA:

Thimerosal and Autism Rates: A Minnesota Perspective.

http://www.ageofautism.com/2009/07/thimerosal-and-autism-rates-a-minnesota-perspective.html

I encourage you all to read it again - to give you a little insight into the information we did give to Ami (The article is basically the exact letter we sent to her).

I want to thank the other un-named families who participated, and also say I can understand anyone who turned this down. We may be heroes to some of you, but we knew all along the possibility we could be treated like this.

Laura and I decided that supporting Dr. Wakefield and Dr. Krigsman in any way we could was more important that any criticism we might recieve.

Julie Obradovic

I'm starting a list, hoping others will help me. Facts and mistakes (won't be so bold to call them "lies") in the show. I caught these doozies from this morning's segment.

1. Autism now affects 1 in 150 children. Um, no, that's now 1 in 100, maybe 1 in 58.

2. No disclosure of Paul Offit's "qualifications". Vaccine patent holder who has made millions from it, has never treated a child for Autism, and has dedicated his life to eradicating infectious disease via vaccination, which is what we are accusing of damaging our children. Hmmmm....maybe not the most objective "expert". He doesn't know what causes Autism, he just knows for damn sure its not him or his colleagues.

3. Failed to mention Andy's study on a mere "12 children" was a study that actually BIOPSIED the guts of the sick children versus the Finnish study and others that looked at statistics only. Or that yes, a 2008 study done here in the US (Hornig, 2008) that did look at kids guts DID replicate his findings.

4. Offit stating there are hundreds of thousands of kids who have been studied that received the MMR versus those who did not and there's no difference in rates? Huh? Where's that study? Equal sample sizes of hundreds of thousands of kids who didn't get the MMR? What the hell is he talking about? Nuh-uh. Doesn't exist. Total manipulation of what the studies do say, what they were looking at, and a total misinterpretation of the MMR hypothesis.

5. Failure to disclose the actual question the Finnish study they highlighted asked which is "Are neurological disorders associated with MMR based on the likelihood of being hospitalized for Autism within 3 months of receiving MMR between the years of 1982 and 1986...in Finland?" I'm not kidding. That's the study.

Here's what it says:

METHODS: A retrospective study based on linkage of individual MMR vaccination data with a hospital discharge register was conducted among 535,544 1 to 7 year old children who were vaccinated between November 1982 and June 1986 in Finland. For encephalitis and aspetic meningitis, the numbers of events observed within a 3 month risk interval after vaccination were compared with the expected numbers estimated on the basis occurrence of encephalitis and aseptic meningitis during the subsequent 3 month intervals. Changes in the overall number of hospitalizations for autism after vaccination throughout the study period were searched for. In addition, hospitalizations because of inflammatory bowel diseases were checked for the children with Autism.

RESULTS: Of the 535,544 children who were vaccinated, 199 were hospitalized for encephalitis, 161 for aspetic meningitis, and 352 for autistic disorders. In 9 children with encephalitis and 10 with meningitis, the disease developed within 3 months of vaccination, revealing no increased occurrence within this designated risk period. We detected no clustering of hospitalizations for autism after vaccination. None of the autistic children made hospital visits for inflammatory bowel disease.

6. Failure to divulge the MMR hypothesis accurately (or at all), and that it is highly unusual for a child to get not just the MMR at their visit but the DTP and Polio and sometimes chicken pox and flu as well.

7. Failure to mention that 4 of the 8 MMR studies were completed by men who are government witnesses for MMR litigation.

8. The attempt to portray parents of children with Autism as "desperate and emotional, looking for someone to blame", thereby implying we can't think clearly, without balancing that accusation by clearly stating that the medical community is perhaps much MORE emotional and desperate to exonerate themselves from perhaps the biggest medical disaster in human history.

9. Failure to mention vaccination rates are at a HIGH according to the CDC.

Obviously the entire episode may clear this up. I will be watching to see. Really, really watching.

maggie

I emailed and called Lauer already... I know someone said to wait, but I'm not waiting. I asked why he didn't report on the conflicts of interest with Paul Offit and the big Pharma research studies and money used to sponsor them. We need to be like Karl Rove on this. Someone needs to compose talking points, and then we need to voice them together. It always amazes me how republicans all have the same talking points in everyday conversation. No matter what I or you think about republicans, they are united in their communication. This is infromation that needs to be POUNDED into the hearts and minds of the nation. Someone compose the talking points, and post them daily to combat the nonsense.

Kristen

I thought the whole thing was mostly unfavorable. If I was on the other side of this debate I would have laughed at the desperate moms putting their hands to their chest and saying "you're my hero" and Wakefield saying he feels like the queen. Of course, all of this was out of context- he IS a hero. It painted all of us as whack-jobs.

Kathy Blanco

For some stupid reasons, the public at large still feel vaccines are important, safe and innocuous. But I get a different picture, EVEN IF, the child doesn't ascend into autism. I have taught health classes at my church, and oft times the moms will come up to me and say, there child was different for a month after, had more ear infections, more gut problems...so goes the saying, the host system can either TAKE IT, or NOT...and to me, we are playing russian roullette these days in kids with low VIT D and other essential vitamins and nutrients, and chock full of MSG in their brains...it's just a matter a time, until we have a child on every street with autism, or know someone who has one, or, the NORM is to have an autistic child...is this what they want? Your bet...what better affective eugenics tool, than to have chilren who don't get social relations and never marry or have children?

julie

I am going to reserve judgment until I see the complete show. I was a bit disgusted when Matt started chanting the "science has spoken" party line, but Dr Wakefield emphatically stated, no, the science is not in. For Andrew Wakefield, who is the devil himself to the Pharma worshipers, to be on the Today Show is a huge step, and there will be many who will be outraged that he is being given a chance to speak at all.

Yes, I am disgusted that they played up the "desperate crazy parents" angle, and there seems to be a law that Paul Offit must appear on all vaccine related media and shriek that we're all going to die of whooping cough.

Julie Obradovic pointed out that 5 years ago this was a taboo subject in the mainstream media, so even if the Dateline show is superficial and biased getting the story out there is what's important. Because the other side just wants us to fall in a hole and disappear.

The only thing that makes me really mad is that they probably won't disclose Offit's enormous financial stake in vaccines. That puts everything into perspective.

Benedetta Stilwell

Dr. Wakefield is such a thoughtful and intelligent man, and always comes off as such.
They did not delete out his words that "There is scientific evidence!" Gasp!

Adrienne

Well, it doesn't seem as though Matt Lauer has presented a fair and balanced story thus far. I get the distinct feeling he is on the 'mainstream' side of things. Hopefully he will have the courage to point out Offit's very considerable conflict of interest. Dr. Wakefield, as usual, seems calm, under control, and confident, not like the raging maniac opposing him. The most important point, however, was when Dr. Wakefield mentioned the numbers of doctors now treating children the same way. A huge point, in my opinion. The biggest impact will be the numbers of viewers this weekend; and, of course, for those who don't know treatment is possible. Recovery is possible.

kathleen

The segments of Dr Wakefield were more fair than I have seen until now. And I agree with Melissa in that a public disclosure of Proffit's financial connections to the vaccine industry should be brought to light on Sunday if there is true fairness to Denmarks study!!!!!!!! The easiest study to pull apart for inaccurate info and it is touted as Gospel.UGH!!!!!

Melissa D

Yep, a little disappointed in Matt and the TODAY show. There was more Offit in the segment than Wakefield! Do you think during "Dateline" NBC will have the guts to disclose how much Offit makes from vaccines if they are going to use him as their "expert"? Cause golly there's no conflict of interest there...

Pauline Shofner

I just watched Matt Lauer's interview w/Dr. Wakefield. I can only hope and pray, as I have for the last 8 years, that the truth will be told for those of us who have painfully watched our grandchildren try to receive care and belief from the medical society.

I continue to be amazed how unkindly Dr. Wakefield has been treated. Why is the doctor from the Philadelphia Hospital so defensive? Obviously, this man doesn't have a family member w/autism. Dr. Wakefield, if I heard him correctly, suggested that the vaccine be separated. My granddaughter had the honor of being seen by Dr. Wakefield and my daughter said that he was a very kind and humble man.

On Sunday night I hope that the truth will be told and that it will be shown what the families truly go through.

Please, NO NANCY SNYDERMAN!

Benedetta Stilwell

I just now saw the TODAY show. Yes, it was good! Dr. Wakefield as always is some one that comes off as thoughtful and intelligent. The news segment also pointed out that Dr. Wakefield did not say no vaccination but to be careful with these vaccines! Which as you all know here all doctors think of vaccines as no more than candy or a drink of water.

Kristen

Ugh. Just watched the Today Show piece. Not good.

kathleen

There is an autism segment about to show on the Today show this AM. I think it was a clip of Dr Wakefield that I saw...it went by very quickly, now I am waiting for the segment

Paige Wentworth

I sent good wishes to the staff at Thoughtful House and received the following response. Thought you all would be interested:

There is high anticipation regarding this Sunday’s broadcast on Dateline, involving Thoughtful House, Dr. Wakefield, and the question of vaccine safety. We engaged with NBC TV because, after careful consideration, we could see we had an opportunity that was worth some risk; the issues affecting our community rarely get attention from the mainstream media, and this was the first time we were approached by a journalist we believed had the potential to treat our story fairly and objectively. Throughout the course of our cooperation with Matt Lauer’s producer, Ami Schmitz, we felt we were dealt with professionally by a journalist who appears dedicated to telling both sides. Their questions have been detailed and thoughtful, and we hope the network will allow a fair presentation of our perspective on relevant questions surrounding autism.

There are, of course, risks. But some risks simply must be taken. One of the risks is that forces that overreach a desire for objective reporting work on NBC and the Dateline producers. As we all are aware, the country verges on a huge vaccination program for H1N1 flu, and there are those who will accuse NBC of irresponsibility for raising the general question of vaccine safety at this hour. But we view this as the most appropriate time of all to have this broadcast and this discussion. Many of the social matters connected to H1N1 flu vaccines are the very ones our community has been confronting for years. We hope that NBC will continue to honor its commitment to a detailed and thorough report on autism, and that no commercial interests impact the broadcast.

The story you will see on Dateline is not only about Thoughtful House. Of course, the camera crews spent a great deal of time at our facility, interviewing many of our staff and some of our client families. Dr. Wakefield was flown to New York for a one-on-one interview with Today Show host Matt Lauer. Crews also traveled to Atlanta to film a Defeat Autism Now conference, and they went to London to gather information and conduct interviews on the Lancet controversy involving Dr. Wakefield. No journalist has yet devoted this amount of resources or time to trying to cover the full story. Nonetheless, it is important to understand that the Dateline program is not just about Thoughtful House. The show is thematically centered on the question of vaccine safety, and Dr. Wakefield’s situation will be the story used to engage the viewers on this point. Yes, we believe much of the hour will be spent on Thoughtful House and our people and Dr. Wakefield’s challenges dealing with the General Medical Council’s hearing in London, but bottom line, this is about vaccines. You will hear from some of the usual people, like Dr. Paul Offit, who is certain to make charges against Dr. Wakefield, and there are going to be comments from a UK journalist who crusades against Wakefield. However, this will also be the first time that Dr. Wakefield and others of us in the autism research and treatment community will be able to respond directly to those claims before a national audience. This is an important moment.

Expect to be made uncomfortable. And plan on being made angry. But we are fairly hopeful that when the program is over, we will have been heard for the first time. That is why we took this risk.

Sincerely,

Anissa J. Ryland, Director of Operations
Thoughtful House Center for Children

kathleen

Could there be hope for a fair show?? They just played a preview commercial:

"He said there MAY be a link between A vaccine and autism. Now this controversial doctor speaks out. A new Dateline Sunday."

Soft tone for commercial.
But honestly, I remember waiting to see David Kirby on Imus, adn he was via telephone supposedly for fear for his safety. If that is true...and I believe that easily someone could have their life threatened to keep the dirty little secret,then how will the truth ever come out?

Moose Mom

Let us learn from the past election, what a cheap and effective weapon the internet can be to the underdog. If we want to promote our biomed doctors, let us not sit back and watch the August 30 NBC interviews, and then defend our views when our audience has left. Let us go on the offense, and prepare beforehand. Arm our allies with counter information that they can cut and paste while online chatting during the broadcast. AoA would be of good service to post a "What NBC might not mention about Offit and Deer." Only we can provide that virtual subscreen ticker with rebuttal, conflicts of interest, websites for independent research. During the broadcast, I will be chatting on facebook, answering questions and fact checking for everyone in my social network. If we say nothing, they how do we expect to be heard?

If we could rally affected parents to become online activists during this broadcast, then this could be our Alamo. We may not win the battle on Aug. 30, but the minds and hearts of a nation could be forever changed.

Twyla

From the Thoughtful House's write-up, it sounds like there is reason to hope that this will be a balanced presentation. Of course, we don't know -- it could be like that Chris Mooney article in May for which David Kirby was interviewed, or worse yet like that NYT "Parents vs. Science" article a few years ago.

But, as others have said, it is progress that these topics would even be discussed on TV -- there used to be a total news blackout. And Matt Lauer does have a reputation as a balanced journalist, and he did have that disagreement with Nancy Snyderman. And Dr. Wakefield is so articulate and smart and personable that no matter how they edit his comments, he's not going to look like a clown.

In any case, no matter how good or bad this show turns out, somebody involved in the research had a chance to see what is really going on. Somebody will read commentary on blogs and learn something new. Drop by drop, all our combined emails and letters and talking to friends and families and teachers combined with the work of a few giants like DK and Dr. Bernadine Healy -- it all adds up to a grass roots movement that is spreading -- unfortunately fueled also by more injured children.

I thank everyone such as Tim who participated in this show! I hope it turns out well. I think it has a chance of turning out well. But if it doesn't, there is still tremendous value in continuing to tell your stories in every way you can.

Ayden's Mommy

Speaking of Nancy Snyderman....

I find it quite interesting that Nancy Snyderman goes on TV and says getting 8 vaccinations in 1 day is SAFE. In fact, she gets PO'd when questioned about us "crazy" parents who feel our children regressed into Autism after those 8+ vaccinations. YET....yesterday (8/25/09) during her interview on the death of Michael Jackson - she infers that mixing drugs in such a short timeframe is very unsafe and could cause damage, including DEATH!!

HYPOCRISY at it's finest.....wouldn't you say???!!!

a matt fan... I hope he does the right thing

I just wrote to Matt Lauer to sort of root him on...
"I really hope that Matt and his producers are fair to the 1 in 100 children who are affected by Autism this weekend. Matt...Make it good.... YOu can change history with this piece...... Or you can help commit thousands of kids to a lifetime of pain and hell. This is your biggest story ever... What will your legacy be? A hero or ..................... wow,,,, What would God think of a smear job on this story... Wow...
I really think this is the biggest moment in your life........ Wow... Be the hero."

its gotta break!

Is it possible that NBC...which is GE will do right by the piece??? Isn't Katie Wright's Dad a part of GE? I know there was some sort of issues with AS in the past, but seeing that some of the idiots have moved on, perhaps there could be some decent humans left on a corperate board someplace... Oh I hope so! If not, then 1 in 100 families need to boycott everything that GE owns, and Matt Lauer will no longer be one of our nation's sexiest. Surely the bubble has to break open. Thank you Tim and your family. I hope Krigsman has been able to help you all.

Kristen

I'm trying to decide if I should email people to ask them to watch or not! I have very many doctor friends who could use more than a little education on the matter. What do you think?

Kevin

Faith and prayer. I have lost hope in mankind, ethics and morals.

I honestly don't believe that this will turn out any differently than Larry King's shows. Especially in light of all the HUGE amounts of press over the Swine Flu hysteria.

Faith and prayer.
"Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming..." Dory, Finding Nemo.

Moose Mom

Maybe I am naively optimistic of the viewers' ability to discern propaganda, but I am proactively telling everyone I know to watch, with a little insider info on the background of the opposing views.

Let's tell our network of friends and family that our heroic doctors at the Thoughtful House who enabled my non-verbal child to speak again and recover from IBD will be maligned by a "vaccine safety expert" who is a vaccine patent holder, whose book is distributed by Merck, and who works for the CDC. And tell your friends that this is the usual setup in the media on the vaccine-autism debate.

Stats show that people are more skeptical than ever, and vaccination rates are dropping. Exemptions are increasing.

This show is not about winning the debate, it's about standing firm...until we are heard. We must stay and fight in the public arena.

...let us do everything we can to stand, and then stand...

jen

I am so praying for you guys that this goes down fairly. And crossing my fingers and so on... I am a little nervous about the 8-10 minute segment on the Today Show that is only a "portion" of Matt's interview with Dr. Wakefield. I hope that "portion" is balanced. I think the weekend segment has a better shot at objectivity but I do think it's the right thing to risk getting the word out that many, many children are recovering from all this environmental (vaccine) damage. Gid, I wonder if that Nancy Snyderman will be called in to comment on anything for the Today Show segment. I hope not. I cannot stand her. She is SO close minded about the issue, obviously pharma-sponsored and not well-read.

Garbo

Maybe pharma and the network are gearing up for the GMC hearing results to come down? When is that supposed to happen, anyway?

Teresa  Conrick

Glad you jumped in Tim (& Laura) so that I can thank you again for doing this show and all the research you guys do up north from me!

One possible way this may go is to give the facts and let people decide. How many people listening to Titanic survivors (there's none anymore), reading the facts and evidence, don't have compassion and total fear for those on that fateful ship and utter contempt for White Star Line who called it "unsinkable" though never did long term testing?

One does not have to go through a tragedy to "get it". If there were more Titanics lined up the next day for future passengers, you better believe that there would be a big deal about safety, lifeboats, liability, and compensation.

With vaccines, the Titanic is running daily and that is hopefully how people will see this. Hope Thomas continues to feel better-

best

Teresa

Carol

It seems to me that the vaccine manufacturers have recently mounted a big PR campaign in the print media. (They practically own the LA Times.) They're not going to get pushed around by Matt Lauer.

Joe Scarborough of MSNBC has a kid with Asperger's and expressed his opinion in 2005 that thimerosal causes autism. Now I don't hear a peep out of him on _Morning Joe_. Even when Dr. Nancy said that it was just a bunch of Hollywood loudmouths who make a connection between vaccines and autism, he sat there.

Theresa Cedillo

I hope Lauer divulges Offits conflicts of interest.

Theresa

Theresa Cedillo

Dear Tim,

I'll bet you have been anxious! That's a long time to wait. Thank you for being so courageous and for opening up your personal lives for the world to see. Regardless of the tone of the piece on Sunday, your son's pain and illness will speak loud and clear. And it speaks the truth. Our children's suffering has been ignored or hidden for too long. God Bless you all. Praying for a fair report.

Theresa Cedillo

dugmaze

Thanks Tim for putting your family in the spotlight. It's tough enough to deal with autism let alone taking the chance of having your family exploited.

If NBC doesn't portray an honest version of autsim and it's difficulties then we need to stick together and get our voices heard.

Jen

"I am predicting the Thoughtful House will be sorry they ever did this. I hope I am wrong but this could do just as much damage as it could do good."

We were one of the families TH asked to interview for Dateline. We declined for the reasons some of you are fearing. (My son's scope with Dr. Krigsman ended up being rescheduled, so it became a non-issue anyway.)

I do hope it turns out well, and that the issue will be presented fairly, but I am very skeptical. I hope that I am wrong, and that a new understanding of what our kids are going through will be accurately portrayed.

Pamela

I certainly hope that, in fairness, they expose Dr. Offit's conflicts of interest.

Between being reprimanded by congress over his conflict while on the CDC committee and the millions he earned on the rotavirus vaccine it would be very unfair to look at the accusations made against Dr. Wakefield and not look at Dr. Offit in the same way. Especially given Dr. Offits conflicts are a matter of congressional record and plain as day.

Julie Obradovic

Tim,

You are a hero for being a part of this show, no matter how it comes across. The point you make about seeing the pain your child is in is exactly what needs to get across to the world.

I, like you and almost everyone else as far as I can tell, can't help but feel like we're being set up to be punched in the gut, but I will reserve my judgement until after the show.

And even if it is a sucker punch, I will take sweet relief in remembering this: 4 years ago when NBC first addressed Autism on the Today Show for a week long segment, they didn't even MENTION the word "vaccine".

Almost 3 years ago it was finally mentioned aloud on Oprah. And then a year later on the same show, Jenny actually got to talk about it!

Just speaking about vaccines and Autism was impossible until then!

And now an hour long special is being dedicated to a very controversial portion of why that is. Regardless of the outcome, we must all take comfort in the tremendous progress we have made.

Here's to wishing for the best outcome possible...

Anne  Dachel

Tim,
Thank you for allowing Thomas to be in this. I know first-hand what loving and devoted parents you and Laura are. He will show us the face of autism we never see.
Love to you all!
Anne D.

Amy in Idaho

Tim (and every other family that participated in this piece) - I can feel your anxiety from here. My son and family were highlighted in our state's largest newspaper regarding Medicaid cuts and it's nerve-wracking to put yourself out there. We are all fiercly protective of our children and allowing the media in to see our plight is a double-edged sword.

My advice, don't read ANY OF THE COMMENTS that are left on the NBC news sites. There is nothing to gain from reading them and there will be very nasty, very negative remarks from those that for whatever reason feel the need to be nasty and hurtful (all anonomously of course!). There will also be positive remarks as well but it always seems like the negative ones stick. Advise your families not to read them either!

Thank you for having the courage to tell your story and I'm hoping (praying) for an objective story!

d t


to terri lewis:
regarding your message below, those are not my comments, I just copy-pasted what was on the dateline website for info here. They are the ones announced 1 in 150.
I certainly know about the change in the rate of autism!!!!!
you could add your comment to the dateline website to correct their outdated info.
-------
d t:

You refer to autism as a disorder that affects 1 in 150 American children.

The current (official) figure, according to the CDC, is now 1 in every 100 children.

The actual figure, of course, is considerably higher.

In our local primary school, the figure is 1 in every 33 for the current crop of second-grade students.

Posted by: Terri Lewis | August 26, 2009 at 03:02 PM

Bob Moffitt

I found the following troubling sentence in "Insideside.dateline.msnbc" on Matt Lauer upcoming interview of Dr. Wakefield:

"Now, Dr. Wakefield reacts to his harshest critics on the controversy he's created over the past decade."

Dr. Wakefield did not "create...this controversy over the past decade".

The "controversy" was created because England's public health agencies refused to acknowledge the professional work of others who found Wakefield's "theory" scientifically plausible...and...for the most part, ignored Wakefield's legitimate request that further research on the potential link between MMR and chronic gastro-intestinal problems of autistic children be done.

In my humble opinion, Matt Lauer should be holding Brian Deer, another scheduled "guest" on DATELINE...personally responsible for launching a vicious, personal attack on the professional reputation of Dr. Wakefield.

After all, without Brian Deer...the controversy would not have continued, unresolved, a full decade after Dr. Wakefield's call for more research.


Jack R.

Good luck Tim and thank you for putting your family out there for the rest of us. I hope they treat you fairly.

ElizaCassandra

From "across the pond":- To Tim Kasemodel and others

Some years ago I took part in a television quiz. At one point in the female host's inquisition, I managed to top one of her nastier comments to the appreciative laughter of the other contestants. On transmission I waited in vain for my little triumph - it had been edited.

Unless it's literally "live television" then all television programmes, even documentaries, will suffer from the editing decisions made by the editor/director/producer and whoever is up the food chain from them. I very much hope you'll be happy with those decisions but, if I were you, I'd be examining the end credits of any previous documentaries to find out who bears ultimate responsibility for editing.

Jack's Dad

NBC concerns me too, but I'm sure many of you witnessed Matt Lauer go toe-to-toe with Nancy Snyderman (who insisted that there was no autism-vaccine controersy). I wouldn't be surprised if Matt has a close relative or family member with autism and is starting to see the light. He's also tight with his co-host Viera, who's husband has severe MS. Many MS sufferers are suspicious of vaccines too, including my mom who is convinced she was injured by a flu shot in the late 60s and got her first symptoms soon after.

Speaking of Snyderman, she was hawking over-vaccination this morning on her segment about school preparedness. "lots of new vaccines coming out," she said. "Pneumonia...the common flu....swine flu...actually you need two for swine flu...get 'em all...vaccinate, vaccinate, vaccinate!!"

Terri Lewis

d t:

You refer to autism as a disorder that affects 1 in 150 American children.

The current (official) figure, according to the CDC, is now 1 in every 100 children.

The actual figure, of course, is considerably higher.

In our local primary school, the figure is 1 in every 33 for the current crop of second-grade students.

Gatogorra

If this were a presidential campaign, between Wakefield, Deer and Offit (imagining they were all the same nationality), who would win? My guess is that the press usually ignores Dr. Wakefield because their pharma sponsors know perfectly well the guy is bullet-proof. Charming, eloquent, humble, among the best in his field even prior to the Lancet paper; handsome, a rugby player, good marriage, wonderful children, brave cause.

Tim Kasemodel

You want to talk about being anxious?

Our family is one of those interviewed.

We have been "anxious" since April.

I had a AoA post all written to explain our decision to participate but our computor back-up crashed. I may try to write it again, I may not.

I have hope that it will be a positive for our community. Of course there will be strong views on both sides, but I am expecting that one thing will be made very clear:

These are some very sick kids.

When we arrived at the clinic in Austin for the procedure, the NBC film crew was in the waiting room. They saw firsthand what gut pain looked like. As our son tore apart the waiting room, removed all his clothes, hit, pinched and kicked us, the reporter asked "Is there anything that you are not comfortable with us filming"? I simply said "film it all - I am sick of America seeing autism represented by the basketball player, the concert pianist, or the kid cooperating happily across the table from a teacher - America needs to see the 12 year old in diapers shouting because his tummy hurts."

Our biggest message to them was that it sucked that we could not get the docs in Minnesota to do this for us, that we had to drive 19 hours to find someone who cared enough to really look into what caused his pain.

Jessica

Oh man, just another excuse to throw a shoe at my TV when I see Proffit's mug on there. I am like the rest of you though, why will this change anything? We're all crazy, autism only happens to OTHER kids, etc... It's what *I* thought too, before it didn't happen to OTHER kids, it happened to MY kid.

Same old, same old. Good luck to Andy and Thoughtful House.

Angie

Ohhhh, I was so super excited to see this, then I went onilne to see the 'preview' article on dateline's site...where offit and deer are mentioned.....ARGH! I really HOPE AND PRAY Lauer is our hero FINALLY and asked them the tough questions too!

Jack R.

Well, I couldn't be more anxious about this. Seeing Offit's name didn't help.

But I keep thinking, why would they devote an hour special to tell people we are crazy. That's already the accepted view. That's not news. There would be no point to that. You wouldn't do an hour special to say people who think the earth is flat are wrong, would you?

I'm hopeful but scared.

And if they are going to call us crazy I at least hope they have the common sense not to run Big Pharma ads while they are doing it.

Anne Dachel


It seems that Brian Deer and Paul Offit are lined up against Andrew Wakefield by himself.

Will we get to hear from Dr. Bernadine Healy, former head of the National Institutes of Health, former head of the American Red Cross, current health editor at U.S. News and World Report?

Dr. Healy went on Larry King Live and on CBS News calling for more research into the possibility that vaccines cause autism in certain subgroups of genetically vulnerable kids. She said that proper studies haven't been done.

Will Matt Lauer talk to former Chief Scientific Officer in Britain, Dr. Peter Fletcher? The British press quoted him in 2006 saying that if it is proven that the MMR vaccine causes autism and bowel disease in children, ‘the refusal by governments to evaluate the risks properly will make this one of the greatest scandals in medical history.

'There are very powerful people in positions of great authority in Britain and elsewhere who have staked their reputations and careers on the safety of MMR and they are willing to do almost anything to protect themselves.’

Dr. Fletcher also said that he found ‘this official complacency utterly inexplicable’ in the light of an explosive worldwide increase in regressive autism and inflammatory bowel disease in children, which was first linked to the live measles virus in the MMR jab by clinical researcher Dr Andrew Wakefield in 1998.

Will Lauer cite any of the scientists whose work either replicated or supported Wakefield's link between vaccines and autism and bowel disease?

Will Lauer interview any of the parents of the children Wakefield studied? They have only praise for the ground-breaking work he's done.

The big question is will Matt Lauer make this truly fair and balanced or will he just continue the one-sided journalism we've seen for years. Pretending that science has settled this controversy will only evoke outrage from the autism community both here and in Britain.

Anne Dachel
Media

Few thoughts

"Lauer also talks with Dr. Paul Offit, a pediatrician at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and expert on vaccines who has spoken out on behalf of vaccine safety in the United States."

Whatever for?

Expert on vaccines? Who says so?

Vaccine safety? No vaccine is safe.

Are we going to be treated to the same old mindless shit? Probably.

Sharyl Atkisson, I would hope for something. Matt Lauer, not so much.

A. F.

I hope the death of Senator Kennedy will not postpone this show. I am in suspense!

d t

http://insidedateline.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2009/08/25/2044554.aspx

NBC News' Matt Lauer will take an unprecedented look at the emotional debate surrounding vaccines and the suggested link to autism on Sunday, August 30 at 7 p.m. ET with "Dose of Controversy." In the one-hour Dateline, Lauer speaks exclusively with Dr. Andrew Wakefield, whose 1998 medical study was the first in the world to suggest a possible link between the MMR vaccine and autism. The British doctor has since influenced the lives and stirred the passions of millions of parents worldwide looking to solve the mystery of what causes the complex developmental disorder.

But Dr. Wakefield's theories have also raised serious questions from the media and the medical community. Lauer interviews investigative journalist Brian Deer who wrote a critical report for London's Sunday Times in 2004 detailing what he said were potential conflicts of interest that Dr. Wakefield had never revealed. Lauer also talks with Dr. Paul Offit, a pediatrician at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and expert on vaccines who has spoken out on behalf of vaccine safety in the United States.

Now, Dr. Wakefield reacts to his harshest critics on the controversy he's created over the past decade.

Lauer also reports on Dr. Wakefield's most recent work in the United States and the medical community's continuing search for the cause of autism, including new studies from researchers working to understand the disorder that affects 1 in 150 American children.

Comments
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Teresa Conrick

I'm nervous about this, too but I agree that in order to help children and our cause, the truth has to be told.

I applaud the courageous families, Thoughtful House staff and doctors, and especially Dr. Wakefield. I hope and pray that the honest research and truth about vaccine injuries are shown.

Hold tight as we continue the need to have faith.

David

I am predicting the Thoughtful House will be sorry they ever did this. I hope I am wrong but this could do just as much damage as it could do good. However, If its even close to fair and balanced, it will be a big win for us all.

The autism community seems to have a huge issue in getting our message out. I dont understand why. Our ranks are 1 in 100 now. Those kids have a lot of family and friends. We should be able to pull some political capital together. We should be able to raise money to have our own national add campaign that has full page ads and billboards everywhere. The message should be loud and clear and it should be scaring everyone more than the ridiculous swine flu. I would think that with our numbers we could actually afford to raise money to do our own studies as well. Maybe we are all just too broke and tired from trying to fix our kids. Maybe the autism groups out there are just too fractious amongst each other. Maybe the Pharma industry is just too powerful for our politicians to go against. I dont know but it seems with our numbers we should be getting better than we are.

kathleen

Agreeing with Andrea and Craig...I won't be holding my breath, but I will be praying for a chance for fair media attention, and for the hope that Dr Wakefield gets honest representaion by this network.

Benedetta Stilwell

There have been such news reports before,and they have been favorable. Then nothing happens, and worse nothing changes. The peditricians continue on the schedule that insures immunity to all, making sure even the most stubborn immune system is moved toward reacting while ignoring those whose immune systems are more sensitive.

People will watch the show, will yawn and think to themselves that they have a good doctor when it comes to all that stuff! Just leave it to the doc to look after them and their kids, besides there is something wrong with THOSE people, cause their family never had no trouble like that.

It is people's attitudes that are going to have to be changed. They have to realize that Everybody has a tendency to develop an inflammatory disease at any age under the right conditions! UNTILL THAT HAPPENS, Nothing WILL HAPPEN!

Andrea

Nancy Snyderman's network? Dr. Tim Johnson's former producer? NBC has the worst track record with getting the vaccine autism story right and reporting the truth.

Thoughtful House is going to get slaughtered.

Craig Willoughby

I do hope that this report will be fair and balanced, but I won't hold my breath. Be prepared for a campaign from the Oraccolytes to try to stop this from being aired. And then, if it is truly objective, the inevitable cries of "it was unbalanced. The media gave them too much credit!" We all know that the religious zeal of the Oraccolytes has convinced them that Dr. Wakefield is guilty (even though he has not been found guilty of anything by the GMC), and nothing will change their minds. So having him openly defend himself in front of the entire world will turn people away from the Holy Vaccine somehow (rolling my eyes).

I, for one, will be anticipating this. Too bad I don't have TiVo....

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