Katie Wright Reports on the IACC Meeting: Common Sense & Compassion in Short Supply
Chantal Sicile Kira: Open Letter to Governor Jerry Brown On Budget Cuts and the Lanterman Act

Brian Deer’s Only Award Based on Faulty Premise

Sine qua non By Jake Crosby

While CNN’s Anderson Cooper was shouting down Dr. Andrew Wakefield when he was responding to Brian Deer’s first charges against him that were published in the British Medical Journal on January 5, 2011, Cooper claimed Deer was an “award-winning journalist.” Such a title has become a sine qua non for any journalist that the establishment wants to promote, but the judges who gave Deer this one award could not have read his reporting, either that, or they were hallucinating.

In 1999, Brian Deer won “Specialist Reporter of the Year” award from the UK’s Press Association for his 1998 articles in The Sunday Times Magazine. News of the award, originally published in the newspaper and which Deer proudly displays on his online shrine briandeer.com, reads:

"Brian Deer, of The Sunday Times, was named Specialist Reporter of the Year in the British Press Awards last week. The judges were impressed by his investigations in the field of medicine, saying he was probably ‘the only journalist in Britain that polices the drug companies.’ Deer’s award-winning articles, in The Sunday Times Magazine, ranged from vaccine-damaged children to the hidden side effects of Viagra."

Except that the whole point of his most noticed article 'Vanishing Victims,' in which he claimed that there were no children who suffered adverse reactions from whooping-cough vaccine, was written in support of Glaxo Wellcome (later to become GSK) vaccine policy and not questioning it. Deer's argument was then as it is now, that the children were not really damaged by the DPT vaccine and should not have been legally compensated. That is not policing the drug companies but the polar opposite.

The vaccine industry attempted to deny DPT vaccine damage in the form of a study by one of their previously awarded researchers that looked at mutations of a particular gene in children who developed epilepsy following the DPT shot. The study simply confirmed the genetic predisposition to adverse events that occur in response to vaccination. A review published in the same journal one month later concluded:

"Is the SCN1A mutation a predisposing factor waiting to be triggered by fever or other stress? Probably so. In fact, as early as 2000, Nieto-Barrera and colleagues12 noted that more than 50% of patients with SMEI had their first seizure after DPT vaccination."

So despite Deer’s anti-scientific story in favor of a major UK drug company which makes the DPT vaccine, it still causes epilepsy in a vulnerable sub-group. Isn’t that what we’ve been saying all along with MMR and autism?

If the basis for which the judges gave Brian Deer his award is faulty, then Brian Deer is clearly undeserving of the press award he won. Was Deer given the award so he can point to it and make himself look objective in later defenses of the drug industry as he did while interviewed by Anderson Cooper on CNN? One is only left to speculate about the true reasons – or special interests – behind giving Brian Deer his award.

Update: It appears Brian Deer has won a second award after all – one he fully deserves – posted on his own website no less. HERE

Jake Crosby is a college student with Asperger Syndrome at Brandeis University majoring in History and Health: Science, Society and Policy, an intern at Northeastern University and contributing editor to Age of Autism.




Deer's website is creepy. I lost count of how many times it says "Brian Deer investigates..."


I wonder if Mr. Deer added a trophy room onto his house for his only award ???

Deer, Offit and Dr. Nancy, what a collection of professional dim-nitwits...

Adam M

BTW WHOO HOO!!!!! Just got my copy of Vaccine Epidemic. Thank You Amazon!!!


Well done also to Jake Crosby for another excellent piece of investigative journalism.

Just looked at Deer's website for the "Asshole of the Year" award and found him advertising this on his website:-

"Autism Breakthrough New Stem Cell Treatment for Autism. We Can Help! Taking Patient Now. Medra.com/Autism".

Does this work?

How much does Brian get for this kind of advertising.

John Stone

In my comment below I left off the link for BMJ award sponsors:



That Asshole award is well deserved.

But, you have to wonder how many "serious" journalists would put something like that on their own website? He clearly enjoys f-ing with parents who are distraught over their ill children. It's like he enjoys the negative attention far too much. Would a truly "professional" journalist act like this? He must find it amusing that so many children are suffering. He could at least act concerned and caring.

The man is disgusting. He's devoid of compassion and character.

He's pitiful.


Like they say, you can't make this stuff up. "Truth is stranger than fiction." Way to tell it like it is, Jake!

John Stone

Interesting to note BMJ award sponsors include GSK 'Research paper of the year', McKinsey & Co 'Clinical leadership', and MSD 'Excellence in Healthcare Education'. Until 2009 the Managing Director of McKinsey was Ian Davis, twin brother of Sir Nigel Davis the judge who upheld Legal Services Commission decision to remove funding from the MMR litigation, and younger brother of Sir Crispin Davis former Lancet boss and GSK director. Or as Brian Deer once so memorably put it:

'The ruling elite remains surprisingly small."


I am sure Brian Deer must be a hot candidate for the research award this year.


Thank you for your digging, Jake!


I love the second award. Very appropriate. The first one? Not so much.

Wade Rankin

I was struck by the intonation Cooper gave to the phrase "award-winning journalist," as if it rendered the title-bearer infallible. I'm not shocked in the least to find out the nature of the award; as I recall Trine Tsouderos of the Chicago tribune won a similar, industry-concocted award a year or so ago.

How can any of us question these media titans? They've won awards!

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)