Managing Editor's Note: From our friends at Autism Action Network. Take 2 minutes to sign this action alert please: HERE.
Call the special PBS autism hotline to record your message NOW: 202-630-9354
PBS Autism Series Under Attack
The NewsHour on PBS this week has presented a groundbreaking series of reports from Robin MacNeil, former anchor of the NewsHour who is also the grandfather of a child affected with regressive autism. The series has attempted to be scrupulously fair and has provided serious reporting on the physical symptoms of autism, which is probably a first for American national television.
Ari Neeman, and his organization ASAN, has launched a campaign to discredit MacNeil and his reporting. If we want more national media of the caliber we saw this week then we need to support MacNeil.
Please call PBS and let them know how much you appreciate the reports on autism, and please click on the Take Action link to send an email to PBS in support of MacNeil.
Special Hotline to record your message (202) 630-9354
If you read the email below that Neeman has been circulating, it appears that his biggest complaint is that he was not interviewed for the series. None-the-less, a campaign like this may give great support to those at PBS that would have preferred that the series was never broadcast.
Please share this ALERT with friends and family, and please post to Face Book and other social networks. If you support the work of the Autism Action Network please consider making a donation on our website; http://www.autismactionnetwork.org/donate.html. Here is Ari's letter to PBS.
As man (sic) of you are aware, ASAN and others in the Autistic Community have significant concerns about this week's PBS NewsHour series "Autism Today". The series relies on old stereotypes against Autistic people and uses poor quality science to advance the personal agenda of the journalist, Reboert MacNeil, who put it together. Our concerns are as follows:
In interviews leading up to the airing, Robert MacNeil, NewsHour co-founder and reporter, made reference to many crude stereotypes about Autism and Autistic individuals and used rhetoric that dehumanized Autistic people. He stated in his interview, Autistic Americans lack "the most human thing we have, which is our ability to look into each others eyes and feel that other person's existence and what might be going on in their mind, and to empathize with them.";
No input from Autistic-run organizations or groups advancing an acceptance-oriented perspective about autism was sought in this supposedly "Comprehensive" approach to the autism spectrum and the issues surrounding it;
The series relies on disproven and scientifically dubious claims around vaccines and biomedical interventions with no basis in science.
We're providing our allies in the blogging, advocacy and academic communities with contact info for NewsHour below to urge you to express your concerns directly to the program and encourage you to send this information out to your networks through whatever means you deem most appropriate. We ask that you voice your opinion! Let it be known that a conversation about Autism should include Autistic people