Oh Brother, John Stossel Also Has Pharma Ties
Earlier this year, I wrote about New York Times journalist Gardiner Harris - the conflicted reporter who did not disclose his ties to the pharmaceutical industry, thereby violating the “Ethics in Journalism” policy of The Times. Unfortunately, Harris is not the only reporter in mainstream media to have undisclosed ties through a brother to the pharmaceutical industry.
John Stossel is a reporter for Fox Business Network, with his own syndicated talk show Stossel where he portrays himself as a skeptic looking out for consumers. Unfortunately when it comes to autism, the only thing he is looking out for is the pharmaceutical industry.
While Fox News has done some excellent investigative reporting lately, particularly the folks at Fox and Friends, John Stossel serves as a dire warning that not everybody at FOX is our friend.
He recently wrote on his Fox Business Blog, to promote this week’s episode of his show Stossel:
“When people see a pattern, they attach meaning to it …even when “chance” is the most likely explanation. That's a reason why 27% of Americans believe in ghosts, 25% in astrology, 26% in psychics, 33% that the government planned 9/11, and 25% of parents believe vaccines cause autism.”
Read more: HERE
Why would a national reporter resort to such blatant manipulation?
Perhaps the answer best lies with the details surrounding his older brother, Dr. Thomas P. Stossel, a hematologist and professor at Harvard Medical School with direct ties to the pharmaceutical industry, which Dr. Stossel has heavily supported in controversies where it has been on the receiving end of well-deserved criticism.
When a courageous group of Harvard medical students started a campaign to lessen the influence of the pharmaceutical industry on their professional education, The New York Times reported:
“A smaller rival faction among Harvard’s 750 medical students has circulated a petition signed by about 100 people that calls for ‘continued interaction between medicine and industry at Harvard Medical School.’”
“Encouraging them is Dr. Thomas P. Stossel, a Harvard Medical professor who has served on advisory boards for Merck, Biogen Idec and Dyax, and has written widely on academic-industry ties. ‘I think if you look at it with intellectual honesty, you see industry interaction has produced far more good than harm,’ Dr. Stossel said. ‘Harvard absolutely could get more from industry but I think they’re very skittish. There’s a huge opportunity we ought to mine.’” (HERE)
“ACSH has no credibility since it is primarily, as critics charge, a front for industry. I have seen it directly.”
Martin also called ACSH’s president and co-founder Elizabeth Whelan, “the junk food queen.”
ACSH emerged in the seventies from a project Whelan was assigned to by Pfizer to critique laws banning carcinogens in food, drugs and cosmetics. Since then, the group has sided with industry religiously on everything from the mercury in your fillings to the asbestos in your house, right down to decrying Michelle Obama’s organic garden for not using pesticides.
Another co-founder, the now-deceased Dr. Frederick Stare, heavily supported tobacco industry spokesman, Carl Seltzer, by petitioning that he receive funding and academic credentials to support his “research” and boost his perceived credibility with the public.
ACSH’s medical/executive director Dr. Gilbert Ross had his medical license revoked in New York for professional misconduct. He has even served jail time for his involvement in a scheme that defrauded Medicaid out of $6 million. Upholding decisions by the DHHS to ban Ross from Medicare and Medicaid programs for a decade, a judge called him a “highly untrustworthy individual” who committed “medically indefensible” practices.
In spite of all this, the ACSH hired Ross as a staff assistant and eventually promoted him to medical/executive director – a position he has held since 1999.
This is just a summary of Dr. Ross’ incriminating past. (HERE)
On the ACSH’s board of trustees, listed above Dr. Stossel on the members’ list is none other than millionaire vaccine industrialist and spokesman Dr. Paul Offit. He even thanked John Stossel in the acknowledgements of his upcoming book among a list of journalists we’ve come to know but not love “for their willingness to stand up for the science of vaccine safety independent of the cost.” (HERE)
In fact, John Stossel has been an enthusiastic supporter of the ACSH, which honored him at its 25th anniversary dinner the same day a column he wrote lauding the ACSH was published in The New York Post, entitled “The Anti-Junk Scientists.”
Yet just this past Thursday on the Fox Business Network, John Stossel interviewed Michael Shermer: professional cyclist, executive director of the Skeptics Society, editor of Skeptic Magazine and scientific advisor to the ACSH.
Perhaps it might be relevant for viewers to know that the industry front group Shermer is a scientific advisor for is the same front group that John Stossel’s brother is a trustee of, and that John Stossel himself resolutely supports. But none of this was disclosed.
The Michael Shermer whom Stossel interviewed is the same Michael Shermer who in his 1998 book, “Why People Believe Weird Things: Pseudoscience, Superstition, and Other Confusions of Our Time” (referenced by Paul Offit in “Autism’s False Prophets”) disputed a study showing breast milk was better than infant formula, despite widespread acknowledgement in public health that it is.
Similarly, when Shermer disputed an autism-vaccine connection in Skeptic Magazine almost ten years later, he wrote:
“Despite the lack of scientific evidence for a connection, however, do not expect this controversy to disappear, as the power of anecdotal thinking cannot be dismissed. Remember always that we are pattern-seeking primates who are especially adept at finding patterns with emotional meaning — in this case, the parents of autistic children are understandably seeking a causal link that provides them with an opportunity to right a wrong, in this case fixing the problem through changing the body’s chemistry, diet, nutrition, toxin load, etc. Sadly, it appears at this point that the causal vector(s) probably lie elsewhere.”
A few months later, David Kirby broke the Hannah Poling story and vaccine court’s concession that she developed autism as a result of her immunizations back in 2000. She received 50 mcg of mercury at once, twice the amount given at any one time during the 1980s. And yet, on the show, Michael Shermer said “The bottom line is this: the mercury was taken out of the vaccines in 2000. Ever since then rates of autism have been going up.” And yet, vaccines preserved in thimerosal are recommended for everyone from pregnant women, to infants, to geriatric patients.
There is also no source which supports his contention that autism rates are continuing to rise – California’s reporting system (the “gold standard” among administrative autism databases) which studied very young children was overhauled nearly three years ago and its data is likely skewed by earlier diagnoses as I wrote in March. Yet it was still in the process of leveling off. (HERE)
The latest CDC national prevalence statistics do not include children born any later than 1998. There is also now evidence to suggest the IDEA autism prevalence data is starting to level off, too. Allison Singer’s pharma front group - the Autism “Science” Foundation - is already trying to come up with excuses for why that may be.
Then Shermer took a swipe at Jim Carrey and Jenny McCarthy when he was reminded that 25% of parents believe vaccines cause autism: “Are we to believe that all medical breakthroughs like this are announced by actors and ex-playboy bunnies on television?”
John Stossel ranted that the reason Jenny McCarthy is successful at allegedly getting 25% of Americans to believe in a vaccine-autism link is because Shermer is “less sexy” than she is and “in a suit” – yielding some snickers from the audience. Stossel never even bothered to mention that McCarthy’s son was diagnosed with autism and has a seizure disorder, which almost ended his life and did not exist before his MMR vaccine, nor did his autism.
For John Stossel and Michael Shermer, her posing for Playboy was more relevant. Apparently, a business reporter and a bicycle rider both think they are more qualified to speak on autism-related topics than someone in the autism community itself.
Autism, however, was only a small portion of the program, sandwiched between conspiracy theories that the Bush Administration caused 9/11 and claims that evil spirits were causing men’s penises to shrink.
Even though autism was not talked about for most of the show, its entire premise seemed to rest entirely on obfuscation of the autism issue. A hugely critical question about whether the fastest growing life-long neurological disorder is linked to shots every pediatrician gives is treated with the same level of importance as psychics, ghosts, astrologers and magic bracelets.
Experts did come on during the show to debate some of the other issues discussed – an economist, a business news reporter, a priest and a magician. Michael Shermer, while debating the priest over the existence of God, was even booed by the audience after saying Nazi Germany under Hitler was Catholic (Actually, Hitler was staunchly anti-clerical).
However, no one in the autism community, involved in autism research or autism reporting was invited to give the counterpoint. “Avoiding false balance,” the pharmaceutical industry’s standard lie to justify censorship, was clearly invoked for the show.
When Stossel was debating the other FOX reporter who was arguing in favor of managed stocks, John Stossel did say, “Let me reveal my conflict of interest,” and then stated for the second time that the economist he invited onto the show was his former professor.
John Stossel believes sympathizing with the views of a professor he has not had for over 40 years is a “conflict of interest” worthy of disclosure. Yet, when he was ranting with Michael Shermer about autism, he never mentioned that his own brother was on an advisory board of Merck – a vaccine maker, is on the board of trustees for industry front ACSH, that Shermer serves under Dr. Stossel on the ACSH’s scientific advisory board, or that John Stossel himself is a major supporter of the ACSH. Not only is John Stossel guilty of violating journalism ethics for not disclosing such a blatant conflict of interest, but also by perpetrating a double standard evident throughout his show.
Perhaps this double standard was perpetuated the most at the end of the show when John Stossel told his audience the one thing they needed to be skeptical of the most:
“Whether you believe in God — or psychics, or global warming — that’s your business. I may think you’re stupid, but if you waste your money on, say, a ‘strength’ bracelet, you only harm yourself.
But being gullible about government hurts everyone. Government is force. When it sells us bunk, we have to pay even if we don’t believe in or want it. If we don’t pay up, men with guns will make sure we do.
It’s good to be skeptical. It’s really good to be skeptical about government.”
Say that again?
“But being gullible about government hurts everyone.”
Being gullible about government hurts everyone? Good to know you admit to hurting everyone, John.
“Government is force. When it sells us bunk, we have to pay even if we don’t believe in or want it. If we don’t pay up, men with guns will make sure we do.”
This is a feeling the autism community certainly knows all too well. This bunk includes tobacco science and also worthless genetic studies that repeatedly look in the general population for the magic causes of autism and turn up cold, yet continue to receive the majority of the funding for autism research. Then there are the eye gazing studies, not to mention the studies that say autistic children miss social clues, those that say autism mothers have high anxiety, and that autism fathers have no preference for curvy women over skinny and fat women. These are studies that tell us what we already know at best, and are conflicted junk science or just downright ridiculous at worst. Thanks for reminding us, John!
“It’s good to be skeptical. It’s really good to be skeptical about government.”
Hey John, we couldn’t have said it better ourselves. The previous director of the CDC is now president of the Vaccine Division for the very company your brother advised, Merck. How ironic that on your blog two months ago you cited the government-chartered IOM Immunization Safety Review:
“No good studies show that vaccines cause autism and the National Academy of Sciences has reviewed the evidence and ruled out causal links.”
Read more: HERE
You must not have done your homework as an investigative reporter, John. According to leaked transcripts of a meeting of IOM reviewers in January 2001, including those by the Review Committee Chairwoman Marie McCormick and Study Director Kathleen Stratton before any evidence was submitted to them:
Dr. McCormick: ...[CDC] wants us to declare, well, these things are pretty safe on a population basis (p. 33).
Dr. Stratton: ...The point of no return, the line we will not cross in public policy is pull the vaccine, change the schedule. We could say it is time to revisit this, but we would never recommend that level. Even recommending research is recommendations for policy. We wouldn't say compensate, we wouldn't say pull the vaccine, we wouldn't say stop the program. (p. 74).
Dr. McCormick: ...we are not ever going to come down that [autism] is a true side effect...(p. 97) (HERE)
Two months later, Stratton stated in another meeting:
“And is there a benefit to putting [the debate] to rest no matter what (p. 120-121).” (HERE)
That should give you some reasons to feel skeptical of the government-sponsored report you cited, John.
If you want evidence that the case for the vaccine-autism link is far from closed, you can click below and scroll down to my letter to Clark Hoyt, public editor of The New York Times: HERE
If Fox Business Network cared one iota for its credibility as a news source, it would block John Stossel from spewing more misinformation about autism issues on both television and the web. We should encourage them to do so.
To contact Fox Business Network, send your e-mail to this address email@example.com.
Jake Crosby is a college student with Asperger Syndrome at Brandeis University majoring in History and Health: Science, Society and Policy and contributing editor to Age of Autism.
I know that John Stossel did a investigative report on MCS and Social Security and he took 70 random patients who where trying to apply for Social Security because of their MCS and found out that the clinic that Social Security sent them to for medical reviews was Run by a Dr. Ronald Gots and that out of all 70 not one was given a good review to get Social Security. HE even showed that they where already diagnosed for years with MCS.
Well Dr. Gots the head of this Clinic was part of American Council on Science and Health and he and Stephen Barrett wrote the book "Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Syndrome" which no legit medical journal would publish because it was considered by them to be Junk Science. Turns out that Got's clinic was a hatch job to deny Social Security to all applicants which is why they where referred to it in the first place. Stossel brought this scam out in the open on the TV Nationally and that means he actually attacked ACSH because Barrett writes there views on MCS and Got's is or was one of their Scientific Adviser's also. But to be honest most of Stossel's stuff was junk itself. He also called MCS Junk Science. Which is going along with ACSH views.
Stephen Barrett is the one who started Quackwatchers and Quackbusters.com. Barrett was thrown out of San Francisco Court when he attacked Dr. Hulda Clark across the country and tried to claim to be a expert witness. The court said otherwise. He lost.
Also one of the most threatening doctors to go against people injured by chemicals is Dr. Black and now they have a new doctor, Dr. Baratz, that is being used against injured people and most of these defense doctors have ties to ACSH such as on the West Coast and Hawaii and Alaska they are using a Dr. Thomas Allem's and his team of defense doctors who also was on the ACSH scientific board of advisers. ACSH is a scam and should be shut down. I will be shocked if this is approved by this moderator here also. It seems most comments are not these days when they have the truth in them.
Most defense doctors these days are hired guns for the large chemical industries and employers and insurance companies. The whole judicial system is corrupted and the victims are labeled liars and thrown to the way side.
Injured people are not faking for the most part. I live with pain everyday thanks to chemicals I worked with for over 16,000 hours with no protection. I have a environmental caused MS and it hurts all the time all over. Mine was found to have normal DNA so it is not genetic.
Even the Worker's Comp Judge (VALERIE CHAPPLA) was bought and paid for somehow because she manipulated my case to not allow my witnesses to be heard the day she set up to hear them (June 3rd or 4th 2002 day before the actual trial) which would have proved gross negligence and voided their claim to Statute of Limitations. I had the medical to prove my case. I had ex-managment witnesses. Two quit my employer on good terms and one was set up and fired (Dennis Washington) by a Warehouse Manager (Dennis Voss) whom it turned out was cheating with his wife in the warehouse racks and stealing Leather Sofa Sets himself. The girl Voss was having the affair with was who told me he was stealing leather sets. I reported it to the main branch in a speak up letter writing in my left hand instead of the right. I would not of had he not set up Washington and fired him the way he did because Washington told him he was not covering for him with his wife the next time she came in looking for him. Voss threatened him then and he carried it out a week later. Washington did not believe me when I warned him that he would do it.
I worked with spray can chemicals all day long and now I am injured and useless. Like I really want to live this way? Try living on just Social Security Disability Insurance? It is next to impossible and I was in the process of starting our own business when these chemicals wiped me out health wise. I was planning on retiring by now from the profits I made with my own business. Now I hardly do anything and never have money for anything. I am just here. That is what MCS and MS and all the other organs that where damaged did for me not to mention my low back giving out while I was weakened by chemicals. I did not know how dangerous chemicals really are until this happened to me. No where does the cans say you will get a MS like disease from working with them or you will become sensitive to all kinds of other chemicals because of them? When I first started they only said "May be harmful if breathed". Then when I asked my supervisor if they where he said no because they removed Benzene before I started working there. My employer (Levitz Furniture) and supervisor (Jim Squier) never even told me to use a respirator or how to for that matter and he never used one himself. My supervisor did not know himself how dangerous those chemicals are. None of the lower management did? Levitz kept everyone in the dark even though they had been fighting chemical related injuries and MCS before I even worked there. ACSH is one of the reasons it is shot down and etc. They are criminal in my book. Dr. Alems also used AAAAI ( American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology) on MCS in which is quoted Barrett as one of their sources concerning MCS. They said on the same article on MCS that Dr. Allems presented in court that the whole article was sponsored by Shering and Key the makers of Claratin Allergy Medicine.
Now they are calling it "Idiopathic Environmental Intolerance" or IEI and it also used to be called EI or "Environmental Intolerance" Even though the majority of research including animal research By people such as Dr Barbara Sorg at Washington State University showed that Formaldehyde alone on Rats caused MCS and those critters only think of a few things (food, shelter, water, reproducing, survival) They are not reasoning so when they are exposed and develop MCS as they did it is not because of psychological reasons.
Like I said the majority of the evidence showed a organic cause to MCS. Now days since about 1992 most the research is funded by the industries that want it debunked and the US Government is also wanting it debunked because of the casualty of it's soldiers to this type of injury. The US Government is the same as employers, they throw you to the way side and they are mistreating these injured people who fought a fake war for them.
ACSH is the first fake biased organization to train these lying doctors to lie to the courts and public and etc.
Another bought and paid for famous Doctor, Dr. Dean O'dell also says that MCS is psychological yet it is not.
I have never in my life worked with chemicals except that job. I was healthy as a ox before working there. Now I am sick as can be and injured and in pain all the time. I have pain switching places. I had it before we figured out what was really happening to me.
That is why I sold my favorite motorcycle. Honda Shadow 1100 back in 2004. That is when my left forearm was having such severe pain in it that I could not even pull the clutch with it. I thought is was permanent in that forearm so I sold my bike. Now the severe pain moves around. At present the worst pain I am having is in my right shoulder. I can hardly use it for much due to pain. Now the defense (Insurance for one and Employers) and government would like to say pain does not affect your ability to work. My answer is bring your balls over here so I can kick them and see how well you work with pain. I was always known for a high pain tolerance but even this pain brings tears to my eyes sometimes. My doctor thinks it is from the MS because it keeps switching shoulders. It moves around and I have more than one place of severe pain. It is attacking my right legs sometimes also. I walk with a cane sometimes. That is how bad it is.
I cannot even afford to fix my vehicle, that is how tight my money is now. Like I said If I could work I would. I am suffering here with this injury and lately but not for many years I have been dealing with depression, mostly when I lost my house of 20 years to the bank a couple years ago. My credit is shot and I can not even afford to rent hardly. I need to move but my whole family is in this State so I am stuck here if I want to see my family. Which I do. The bsnk stole my house while they where pretending to re-write my loan and help me. When I see the stuff people like Stoffel and Dr. Odell have to say it really makes me angry. I lived what chemicals can do and these people are nothing but propaganda mongers for large special interests groups and the government lies and conspiracies to keep on killing and maiming people.
It is time the real killers and law breaker pay for their crimes and that includes the judges and lawyers who are suppose to be working for you that take whatever they offer to throw your case. One of my own lawyer altered a medical report to leave out the fact that the doctor did not think I knew what I was working around after I finally got a hold of that report after trying for 5 years to get it from my other lawyers who also back stabbed me. You can not tell me these lawyers where not bought off because all of them lied to me and hid evidence from me. They finally won because I do not have $40K to put down to continue my case in Civil Court nor a trustworthy lawyer. Every lawyer I had back stabbed me. The same thing happened to my wife in her own situation. It made her turn paranoid today. She has seizures from certain chemical exposures. She even told her employer when they hired her as did I that she could not be exposed to pesticides and herbicides. They used them in the new building to kill a wasps nest and other insects and did not warn her and she had a double seizure, one after the other. It damaged her neck and hurt her real bad. She also slammed her head. They caught her on the second seizure but the damage was already done on the first one. I do not think she is right in the head anymore from those seizures and the fight she had to do after she recouped somewhat. She has since broke her collar bone lose and it is sticking into her neck and her shoulders are also hurt. The last seizure she had I just happened to walk into her room and check on her and she was having a seizure already. I called a ambulance and they said her blood pressure was through the roof and if she had another seizure then she could have a stoke or heart attack. She was not able to get Social Security Disability even after appeal yet they took her drivers license away due to this disability and they will not give her proper testing to prove what is happening to her so they can deny the claim. She is trying to do her own therapy with a Bowflex but for the most part she is still in pain and injured and only her bottom half works good. She can not bicycle long she can not type long she can not do dishes long or cook long or anything that takes her upper body. She used to make up for my inability to do things but now she also has problems doing things around the house.
So if anyone has a conflict of interest it is ACSH because they are helping and training doctors to work for these special interests and using them to destroy everyone else lives. They are helping other organizations that are developing to follow their biased model. How do you win against money and power when you are broke and injured? You can't. If I could work and be dependable to hold the job down I would rather work. Now I am nothing more than a ornament at my home. If rent keeps going the way it is I will soon be homeless. As it is, my house I lost to the bank due to this chemical related injury and my health and my wife's was set up for me to live in a safe environment with all Ceramic Tile Floors that looked like Travertine rock and Envirocoat Paint from Kelly Moore to seal all toxins from coming out of the walls or being absorbed into the walls. Now I have to live in rentals and they will not use Envirocoat paint and I can not afford it myself.
I would like to own a Earthship home but I can not build it or buy the materials that need to be purchased to build it. I can not even afford the gas in my truck to get the tires to the site if I ever did get some land. On top of that age is taking over now also. I am 55 and have been injured and disabled for 21 years now. To write this takes e a long time. I also got short term memory damage from those chemicals so I may repeat things here accidentally.
Any way I am done in more ways than one.
Posted by: Joe Pat Hawkins | December 20, 2012 at 07:09 PM
Funny but Nicolas Martin's profile says he is still executive director.
I got that when he decided to post some information that could not be validated. Soon after I found his profile.
Posted by: Benjamin | September 09, 2012 at 01:17 AM
"Dr. Thomas P. Stossel, a Harvard Medical professor who has served on advisory boards for Merck"
Well that explains a lot! Just because Stossel the TV commentator, speaks in a tone of clear thinking, logical, school teacher, voice - does not mean that it is still just his opinion.
Posted by: Benedetta | December 22, 2010 at 10:02 AM
"John Stossel broke all these rules."
Yes he did. And thanks to your expose' Jake, he has now been outted as the paid-opinion-espousing talking head that he is.
Great investigative work!
Posted by: Beth | December 21, 2010 at 03:56 PM
I did not say that John Stossel is conflicted because his brother is a doctor. One of the commenters on this thread is a doctor and he completely disagrees with what John Stossel was saying and even reported Stossel's undisclosed COI to FOX.
The reason John Stossel is conflicted is because his brother was an advisor to Merck, is a trustee of the ACSH along with Paul Offit and has led the counter-revolution against restricting the pharmaceutical industry's influence over medicine in opposition to a greater number of MDs and medical students at his school. John Stossel has also been an active supporter of the ACSH, so he is hardly independent of his brother's ties.
While I could not find any ethical policy for journalists to follow at the Fox Business Network, the Society for Professional Journalists states in its code of ethics:
Journalists should be free of obligation to any interest other than the public's right to know.
—Avoid conflicts of interest, real or perceived.
— Remain free of associations and activities that may compromise integrity or damage credibility.
— Refuse gifts, favors, fees, free travel and special treatment, and shun secondary employment, political involvement, public office and service in community organizations if they compromise journalistic integrity.
— Disclose unavoidable conflicts.
— Be vigilant and courageous about holding those with power accountable.
— Deny favored treatment to advertisers and special interests and resist their pressure to influence news coverage."
John Stossel broke all these rules.
Posted by: Jake Crosby | December 21, 2010 at 03:13 PM
You could certainly argue John Stossel's opinions, but he is not violating the "Ethics in Journalism" policy. There is nothing in this article that directly ties John to Pharma. His brother may be associated with Pharma, but most doctors are. Just because John’s brother is a doctor does not mean he is violating the "Ethics in Journalism" policy.
Posted by: Jon | December 21, 2010 at 10:12 AM
Jake thanks! Stossel is a has-been and I was almost sure this would be an article trying to gain back his long gone celebrity status by "shocking "many again, !FAIL!
Thank you Jake!
Posted by: sarah daisey | December 20, 2010 at 11:47 PM
I just sent the E-mail below to FOX News:
I generally had pretty good feelings about John Stossel and thought he appeared to be a fairly honest investigative reporter. I even wondered myself one day if Mr. Stossel knew anything about the autism issue. Perhaps he could do a show with a balanced discussion on both sides of the issue, having as guests some articulate spokespeople for each side. Well, I was sadly disappointed and outraged to read an article today by Jake Crosby titled: “Oh Brother, John Stossel Also Has Pharma Ties” on the Age of Autism website. This article was devastating to the credibility of John Stossel, who I think should lose his job for failing to disclose his massive conflicts of interest concerning the pharmaceutical industry in general and the autism-vaccine link in particular. I am a physician who has carefully researched the issue and have come to the conclusion that indeed the current vaccine schedule has played a major role in the increasing incidence of autism. Fox has been the only station of the major networks that has occasionally exhibited some balance in the autism-vaccine debate; but certainly not from John Stossel. I guess a network whose owner also has massive ties to the pharmaceutical industry cannot be expected to be “honest and balanced” on an issue like the autism-vaccine link.
Michael B Schachter MD, CNS
Posted by: Michael B Schachter MD, CNS | December 20, 2010 at 09:56 PM
Great Work Jake! Stossel and Co. are great at telling half truths. Dr.Jay Wile (University of Rochester Alum) spreads this same type of personal opinion rubbish in his homeschool text books. I guess he wants dumb down the homeschool community as well.
Posted by: Mr T | December 20, 2010 at 08:35 PM
He should be thoroughly ashamed of himself. I remember in the mid eighties he came to my house, filmed and interviewed my mother, while putting together an expose on lawncare. It wasn't many years later when he made a formal statement that the information provided was so wrong he needed to correct it. NOT SO! THEN he decided to do a sting operation on a dear and very educated (Harvard and Hopkins) friend, I can only thank God the tables were turned on him, however, he continues to do best by big pharm and chemical corporations. A shameful despicable person! A true example of selling one's soul.
Posted by: barbaraj | December 20, 2010 at 07:02 PM
Stossel has been a junk tobacco journalist from his days on 20/20. POS would only be the beginning of describing his serious deficiency of anything close to journalistic ethics or integrity.
Just another clown in the denier circus.
Posted by: michael framson | December 20, 2010 at 05:41 PM
A couple of years ago, Stossel did a story debunking the "alleged danger" of DPT. To illustrate how "safe" they are, he interviewed his daughter (who is now an adult) and her pediatrician. He recalled having some concern because she had a febrile reaction (as best I recall) following her vaccine, but was assured by the doctor that it was "normal." He dragged her into the discussion so that she could show the audience how perfectly normal she is, and elicited a heart-felt 'thank you' to her Dad for doing the right thing by sticking to the vaccine schedule. After all, she said, "if you hadn't, I might not be alive."
I wrote a lengthy letter to him afterward, and this was the gist of my comment:
"Unfortunately, your daughter is also now a recorded mouthpiece for some scientifically dubious practices. You’re fortunate to have her grown and healthy, but please recognize that you both might have looked back in horror at the damage done in ignorance. However lovely she is, she is not an expert, and should not be required to shoulder that responsibility, even vicariously. I am a doctor who studied all the same basic texts that your medical ‘authorities’ studied. And I am the mother of a 36 year-old daughter who has never been vaccinated. She has lived a pharmaceutical-free, hospital-free, disease-free life, enjoying robust health. That, alone, does not provide proof of the danger of vaccines any more than your seemingly healthy daughter provides proof of their safety. It’s merely anecdotal. But before I made the decisions regarding her vaccine status, I took the time to thoroughly explore the odds. You will notice the choice I consciously made, despite medical and governmental pressure to do otherwise.
The foxes are guarding the hen house. Give ME a break. Don’t help them get fatter at the expense of innocents."
As of today, it all becomes perfectly clear to me. What dirty hands he has
Posted by: Zed | December 20, 2010 at 05:39 PM
"A few months later, David Kirby broke the Hannah Poling story and vaccine court’s concession that she developed autism as a result of her immunizations back in 2000. She received 50 mcg of mercury at once, twice the amount given at any one time during the 1980s. And yet, on the show, Michael Shermer said “The bottom line is this: the mercury was taken out of the vaccines in 2000. Ever since then rates of autism have been going up.” And yet, vaccines preserved in thimerosal are recommended for everyone from pregnant women, to infants, to geriatric patients."
WHAT MICHAEL SHERMER SAYS IS A TOTAL LIE.
In the first place, mercury was never "taken out" of vaccines. In 2001/2002, vaccine manufacturers began to PRODUCE children's vaccines without mercury. That's not the same thing as "taking mercury out."
In addition, the vaccine manufacturers continued to sell and distribute mercury-preserved children's vaccines for as long as the shelf life was good--until at least 2004. AND THE PEDIATRICIANS CONTINUED TO PURCHASE AND USE THE CHEAPER, MERCURY-PRESERVED VACCINES FOR AS LONG AS THEY WERE AVAILABLE.
WE NEED TO MAKE THIS CLEAR EACH AND EVERY TIME SOMEBODY TRIES TO SPREAD THE LIE THAT MERCURY WAS" TAKEN OUT" OF VACCINES IN 2000.
Posted by: Taximom | December 20, 2010 at 05:30 PM
Laughable. But, a sick result of our history. Time to TEACH thinking...
Thanks and fantastic job Jake. You make a huge difference with all you think and write.
MAKE AUTISM STOP
Posted by: STOP AUTISM NOW | December 20, 2010 at 05:20 PM
I tried to leave a comment on stossel's blog. I wanted to provide a link to this article but the "leave a comment" option did not work for me.
Maybe some one else can give it a try. I would hate to think they shut down comments on his "vaccine" post. http://stossel.blogs.foxbusiness.com/2010/10/30/holocaust-of-poison/#
Posted by: Pamela | December 20, 2010 at 05:15 PM
whenever pharma is about to be found out for who they are, they come up with some frontguy, moutpiece to pull all the bullshit together. In truth, this is their motive apperandi. Even today, they are trying to say XMRV is a contaminate lab problem, not the real mccoy. Um, no. contaminants don't make monkeys go crazy when injected with it. Perhaps they are found in monoclonoal antibody medicines, known to be contaminated with retrovirus, now their's the ticket...they want to make sure those medicines (highly expensive to consumers desperate with cancers) that their market won't be smashed against a wall. Always to save the behind, always.
Posted by: kathy blanco | December 20, 2010 at 04:05 PM
Disappointing to say the least. Where are non-conflicted journalists anymore? I will at least like to believe that as a libertarian, Stossel would support personal rights and vaccine choice, which is more than can be said for a lot of other people. Someone should ask him.
Posted by: Kristine | December 20, 2010 at 03:38 PM
I found it very depressing when I found out that Mr. Stossel didn't believe that vaccines caused "autism" because I always liked him. A lot. When he was on 20/20, I always tuned in, and looked forward to his specials on ABC as well.
Since I hope he's reading this article, and possibly the comments, I'd like to tell Mr. Stossel about my son. I do believe it was the vaccines that caused his "autism" (really Hg poisoning) along with my dental amalgams. He was diagnosed "moderate" at 3.5 years old.
What's truly remarkable, for being diagnosed with a permanent disorder, is that he is now nearly recovered from this awful affliction. We have used a low dose chelation protocol to remove the heavy metals from his body and brain. We aren't finished yet, but after 2 years, all his many issues (and they were extensive) save delayed expressive speech) have been resolved.
Please take another look, Mr. Stossel. You're too bright a person to remain with your head in the sand.
And Jake, kudos as always for your brave and insightful reporting!
Posted by: Denice | December 20, 2010 at 03:02 PM
Thanks, Jake, for putting this all together!!
Posted by: Twyla | December 20, 2010 at 01:52 PM
Good work Jake,
The 75% of the American public that "does not think" that vaccines cause Autism have simply not heard any of the rest of the story. ...and the "Pharma/news media" wants to keep it that way. To many, there is nothing more important than "successful fraud."
Dr. Offit will never have any "science" other than his "endless epidemolgy vaccine bullshit." I would guess that he is quite impressed by the recent "Freeways cause Autism" news.
These following clips get the point across, and should be seen by every American. The elite in ancient Rome had running water in lead pipes... the US injects mercury into infants and toddlers.
RFK Jr. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dCyEQ3wKQJk&feature=related
Representative Dan Burton, Indiana United States Congress
Dan Burton's grandson became "suddenly Autistic" after receiving 9 vaccines on the same day...
2002 Governmental Reform Investigation-Mercury/Vaccines/Autism
Posted by: cmo | December 20, 2010 at 01:46 PM
Wonderful reporting as usual Jake. I wish we could replace all the Stossels of the world with you.
And on a catty side note: does he know his moustache is ugly?
Posted by: casey | December 20, 2010 at 12:39 PM
Well done, Jake! The conflict here is huge and disgusting. Reading this was fascinating yet simultaneously nauseating. Why would he do this? Is it greed, prestige, or some other factor? How does FOX not know this?
Thank you for another great investigative read!
Posted by: Teresa Conrick | December 20, 2010 at 11:45 AM
Excellent piece, Jake. Thank you for writing it.
It is one thing to allege a conflict of interest for a person who has a brother who is a member of the board of trustees for an industry front group. The conflict may not be genuine. One should not be blamed for the activities of one's brother.
It is an entirely different matter, however, to declare a conflict when the person with the brother writes a supportive article for said industry front group and is honored publicly for that article by the front group. Quite an obvious and undeniable conflict, that one.
Shame on John Stossel. I always knew there was something not quite right about the way he so staunchly defended vaccines and simultaneously so gleefully/vehemently dismissed the claims of thousands of parents that vaccines caused vaccine injury (aka autism) to their children. What a jerk! Thanks for proving what I suspected intuitively.
Posted by: Not an MD | December 20, 2010 at 10:13 AM
Stossel's career, in my mind, peaked in 1985 when he investigated how people feel about "New Coke"...
I agree with John Stone's comment: "This, of course, is the standard "skeptic" debating trick to make analogies between things which are scientifically or historically plausible and things which aren't and pretending they are similar instances. The aim has nothing to do with science or truth but rather to create social embarrassment for anyone arguing the opposite of received opinion."
Posted by: Erik Nanstiel | December 20, 2010 at 09:17 AM
Jake, Your reporting is deep and insightful. I always feel like I'm reading a solved mystery novel when I read your posts. I do hope you find some way to get this to Stossel
so he can be enlightened with his own deception amd greedy hands. BTW, was he fired by ABC?
Posted by: Maurine Meleck | December 20, 2010 at 08:58 AM
And apart from anything else James Murdoch is on the board of GSK with a brief to review the companies public profile. However, I glad to see that Fox is not monolithically on one side at the moment.
Posted by: John Stone | December 20, 2010 at 08:55 AM
"As former administrative director of the American Council on Science and Health (ACSH) Nicolas Martin put it: "ACSH has no credibility since it is primarily, as critics charge, a front for industry. I have seen it directly.”
I don't really care if the ACSH is a "front for industry" .. however .. I am greatly concerned when they are given the opportunity to present their organization, themselves and their views .. as those of "independent scientists .. interested only in presenting the truth" in supposedly independent, main-stream media outlets .. such as .. the NY Post and Foxnews.
What really bothers me is that Rupert Murdoch .. who owns both .. the NY Post and Foxnews .. also owns a global network of main-stream media outlets and I think it reasonable to believe Rupert's media empire may be too heavily reliant upon the lucrative advertising monies provided by the very same corporate industries that finance ACSH.
So .. to me .. it is not the journalistic reach of John Stossel I worry about .. it is Rupert's global reach that bothers me.
Posted by: Bob Moffitt | December 20, 2010 at 08:17 AM
Once I was driving on the freeway and heard a "BLAM." I immediately got off and found my tire flat and a railroad spike sticking out of the sidewall. Because I am of a scientific turn of mind, I said to myself, "Obviously that tire was about to go flat anyway."
Posted by: Carol | December 20, 2010 at 06:59 AM
I recall a Star Trek episode where Bones (the doctor, McCoy) was remembering that in the old days doctors actually cut people open. They all shuddered with the thought. One day, people will look back at the VIDS - vaccine injury deniers - and shudder just the same. "And they used to inject mercury into children and instead of clean water in the 3rd world they used these injections.."
Posted by: Stagmom | December 20, 2010 at 06:32 AM
“When people see a pattern, they attach meaning to it …even when “chance” is the most likely explanation. That's a reason why 27% of Americans believe in ghosts, 25% in astrology, 26% in psychics, 33% that the government planned 9/11, and 25% of parents believe vaccines cause autism.”
This, of course, is the standard "skeptic" debating trick to make analogies between things which are scientifically or historically plausible and things which aren't and pretending they are similar instances. The aim has nothing to do with science or truth but rather to create social embarrassment for anyone arguing the opposite of received opinion.
Posted by: John Stone | December 20, 2010 at 06:15 AM