Petula Dvorak’s Symphony of Pharmaceutical Lies
My Great-Grandmother Dvorak liked to say we’re related to the Czech composer Antonin Dvorak, but I seriously hope I am not related to the pharma-influenced Petula Dvorak, who writes a column for The Washington Post. She recently wrote a very unoriginal piece bashing Dr. Andrew Wakefield and alleging the reason people support him is because they are won over by Jenny McCarthy’s sexiness:
“That woman. With the swinging blond hair and spray tan. People listened to her. They still listen to her,”
Actually, they listened to the former chief science advisor for the UK’s Department of Health, Dr. Peter Fletcher, who said:
"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."
People also listen to the US Government, which compensated many cases of children who developed autism as a result of their vaccinations. People listened to the previously suppressed CDC data showing mercury in vaccines multiplied the risk of autism. People listened to the studies showing vaccine-strain measles in the guts, blood and cerebrospinal fluid of children with autism. People listened to the scandal in Denmark where the team led by indicted fraudster Poul Thorsen used fudged statistics to argue that autism continued to rise after thimerosal was removed when just the opposite was the case. People listened to the fact that most of the tobacco science Dvorak invokes but probably only knows about through oft-repeated talking points actually found relationships between vaccines and autism but those findings were suppressed. People also listen to the side effects listed on vaccine package inserts. And finally, people listened to the increasing number of parents who reported eerily similar stories of their children regressing into autism following their vaccinations. Petula Dvorak didn’t listen to any of this; I guess she doesn’t have a very good ear.
She is a metro reporter who specializes in parenting issues and has also won praise from Lisa Belkin – the former writer of the “motherlode” blog for the ethically bankrupt and pharma-directed newspaper called The New York Times.
Belkin once loaned her blog out to a member of Alison Singer's pharma front group that pretends to be an autism charity, resulting in another long, bitter and obsessive screed against Jenny McCarthy, similar to Dvorak’s recent piece.
Belkin is also colleagues with a reporter named Susan Dominus - who added to the chorus of lies about Dr. Andrew Wakefield by writing a similar story for The New York Times Magazine earlier this year suggesting he wins support by engaging in some covert form of mind control. Dominus’ article was moderated by Belkin’s blog, which censored many critical comments (I’ve never seen a comment of mine successfully uploaded to The New York Times website – and I don’t think I ever will). Susan Dominus previously wrote a puff piece for Seth Mnookin's Uncle Bob.
Dvorak’s column appears to be in perfect harmony with Belkin’s blog and Dominus’ article. The former attacked Jenny McCarthy while the latter targeted Dr. Andrew Wakefield.
Dvorak’s piece is rife with contradictions:
Ordinarily, their kids would have to be immunized to attend school, that petri dish of boogers, drool and various germs that children produce.
She’s afraid of boogers and drool, but has no problem with mercury-based thimerosal:
The embrace of everything eco- and bio- and whole and organic also drove the rejection of stuff manufactured in a lab that is injected into your babies.
In an attempt to be clever, Dvorak suggests a “CDC Barbie” marketing strategy:
Barbie could put on a tiny labcoat and little white high heels to go with her pro-immunization message. That’s not a far-fetched idea, given the overwhelming data being ignored by parents.
Sorry Petula, but Saturday Night Live had a much better spoof.
Lack of original thinking seems to be a common theme at The Washington Post, which I fear will pollute my local newsstands for as long as I live here. The Gates Foundation continues to enjoy a powerful position on the newspaper’s board of directors. This is despite the chair of the Gates Foundation’s global development advisory panel, Rajat Gupta, being busted for insider trading. Gupta was Ian Davis's predecessor as Worldwide Managing Director of the global management consulting firm McKinsey, which recently threw millionaire vaccine industrialist and congressionally reprimanded former policymaker Paul Offit's book launch party.
The Gates Foundation’s founder, Bill Gates, relies on the vaccine industry to boost his philanthropic image. Last February Gates piled on the attacks against Dr. Wakefield, citing Brian Deer's fabricated allegations of fraud while invoking the vaccine industry’s tobacco science – taken fresh out of the playbook of Paul Offit.
Gates was summed up perfectly by the late Steve Jobs:
Bill is basically unimaginative and has never invented anything, which is why I think he's more comfortable now in philanthropy than technology. He just shamelessly ripped off other people's ideas.
Jobs could have just as easily said the last sentence about Petula Dvorak, who’s playing the same old song.
Jake Crosby has Asperger Syndrome and is a contributing editor to Age of Autism. He is a 2011 graduate of Brandeis University with a BA in both History and Health: Science, Society and Policy. He currently attends The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services where he is studying for an MPH in epidemiology.
Dominus' article sometimes veers off into the absurd:
"But one charge that Deer argues convincingly is that several children in the Lancet paper had records showing concerns about developmental delays before getting the M.M.R. shot. Deer points out that another child, whose record was more ambiguous, was seen by a doctor before receiving the M.M.R. vaccine, because his mother was concerned that his hearing was imperfect, 'which might sound like a hallmark presentation of classical autism,' Deer wrote.
In Wakefield’s presentation at the church in Tomball, he seized upon this detail as evidence of Deer’s overreaching. He pointed out that Deer neglected to mention that the mother also reported to that same doctor that there was discharge from the child’s ear. 'What does that suggest to you?' he asked the audience. Some parents called out with confidence, 'Ear infection,' which — those parents were very likely to know — can impair a child’s hearing. With that one example, Wakefield did what he does so skillfully: empowered parents as medical experts as he tried to undermine the credibility of his accusers, just enough to convince those who already support him that they are justified in doing so."
Come, come, Ms. Dominus. Empowering parents as medical experts? How about Brian Deer trying to pull the wool over everybody's eyes?
And while we're on the topic of fraud, why is it that no media have followed up on the Sun-Sentinal story about James Randi and his longtime companion "Jose Alvarez"? Here's an excerpt:
"The judge was satisfied only after hearing Pena [aka Alvarez] and Randi testify under oath. Randi told the judge he had seen Pena's Venezuelan passport years ago. Pena said he used the fraudulent U.S. passport to travel Europe."
Mind you, Pena STOLE THE IDENTITY twenty-four years ago of a Jose Alvarez who lives in New York. Apparently Randi knew about it. Now there's a story. How about it, girls? Gonna write it up? No? Well, at least we can read about it from a real reporter: http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2011-10-21/news/fl-amazing-randi-jose-alvarez-identity-20111021_1_mystery-artist-identity-passport
Posted by: Carol | October 31, 2011 at 02:33 PM
Jenny, a mom who healed her kid, how many white coats can say that about an autistic patient? Seriously..
Posted by: kathy blanco | October 30, 2011 at 11:41 PM
“That woman. With the swinging blond hair and spray tan. People listened to her. They still listen to her."
Sexism against women is always ugliest when it comes from a woman. Has anyone ever coined the term "self-loathing female?"
So, you can be "a" woman, but "that" woman is the devil, you can tell by her swinging blond hair. Now, if the blond hair had been cut to a respectable level, like Missus Dvorak's, and if her tan were real, rather than spray on, then would could listen to Jenny McCarthy.
There are not enough shrinks in Washington to heal the bitter hatred this woman has for other women.
Posted by: Wilson x3 | October 30, 2011 at 10:29 AM
Jen wrote "... Later Dr. PrOffit chimes in with how it's a good time to be a vaccine maker because "there is to some extent protection from liability in childrens' vaccines. No wonder the link is down!
I'm not one bit surprised that Dr Dum Dum's focus would be on liability protection. As Jake pointed out in an article this past June, while Dr. Dum Dum was developing his own rotavirus vaccine, he was simultaneously sitting on the Advisory Council on Immunization Practices, and he voted “YES” three times in a row to add RotaShield to the recommended vaccine schedule.
Now, apart from the fact that RotaSheild stood to open up the rotavirus vaccine market for vaccines like the one Dr Dum Dum was developing.... his three "YES" votes help facilitate the delivery of the RotaSheild vaccines to defenseless children.
For anyone unfamiliar with the RotaSheild vaccine, it was recommended for all infants in 1998, and promptly pulled off the the U.S. market in 1999, after it was suspected of causing an excruciating contortion where a child's large intestine folds over the small one. The CDC's public database also contains 664 total reports possibly caused by the vaccine, including 288 emergency room visits, 63 life-threatening reactions, 232 hospitalizations, 10 disabilities and 8 deaths.
Like I said, a strong focus on liability protection comes as no surprise from this piece of work.
Posted by: Barry | October 30, 2011 at 10:20 AM
Thanks, Jake, for spotlighting this latest example of coffee klatch cattiness that's supposed to pass for "reporting." In the last decade of journalism, the vaccine/autism issue has separated the wheat from the chaff.
This woman needs to spend a few afternoons with families of kids suffering from GI disorders, PANDAS, autoimmune conditions and so forth. Nothing like reality to reset one's ethical perspective.
Posted by: nhokkanen | October 30, 2011 at 01:39 AM
Good work, Jake. I just had to give out this gem of an article to quote re. the profitability of the vaccine market. It's actually hilarious-talks about "bubbling with excitement" over all the new vaccines and it's from American Medical News. The link is dead but you can find it under: S. landers, "Vaccines Get a Boost. Global Market Increases Profitability of Making Vaccine."
On the Vaccines for Children program (VCP) one doctor notes, that provides "a large and rather assured market." Later Dr. PrOffit chimes in with how it's a good time to be a vaccine maker because "there is to some extent protection from liability in childrens' vaccines. No wonder the link is down!
Posted by: Jen | October 30, 2011 at 12:15 AM
Thanks for yet another brilliant article Jake.
I'm not one bit surprised that the New york Times has blocked you from commenting on their stories. Fortunes are being spent to keep the "Big Lie" going, and a comment or two from you would open far too many eyes to that reality.
Keep up the good work Jake, because I believe you're efforts are scaring the living hell out of them.
Posted by: Barry | October 29, 2011 at 08:54 PM
Thanks Jake, another well informed piece.
Thought everyone might be interested in this article (below) about how our Prime Minister has pledged to give $50 million to Bill Gates to eradicate polio.
Posted by: AussieMum | October 29, 2011 at 08:32 PM
Thank you Garbo,great comment.
Posted by: oneVoice | October 29, 2011 at 08:11 PM
I think the pharmaco-governmental complex and the media who abet them are completely gobsmacked that Wakefield is still standing. They put all their eggs in one concerted prosecutorial propaganda basket and now all they have to show for it is a basket of rotten eggs. I feel kind of sorry for them. They're like a psycho ex-boyfriend who can't get over the fact that the public has broken up with them.
Posted by: Garbo | October 29, 2011 at 04:02 PM
ecellent article...love wakefield his honesty is what people follow..and his integrity to REAL..science...love jenny b/c she has traveled the same road as all of us in the trenches..and she RESEACHED everthing and shared with the world what she learned..candace
Posted by: candace | October 29, 2011 at 02:42 PM
Thanks, Jake, for acquainting me with yet another idiotic journalist spouting patronizing pro-vaccine drivel. Keep up the great work!
Posted by: Janet Levatin | October 29, 2011 at 02:41 PM
Your attention to detail makes your articles fantastic. I love reading your articles. You are concise and to the point with no name calling. Perhaps that is why parents are listening to us? We are civilized and polite. Not so much the other side!
Posted by: Jan Houston | October 29, 2011 at 01:05 PM
Great piece, Jake.
Pharma has clearly handed out talking points. Almost all of the latest vaccine safety bashing articles include Dr. Wakefield and Jenny McCarthy. Probably trying to simplify their message.
Posted by: Max's Mom | October 29, 2011 at 11:24 AM
Brilliant, Jake. I think Petula Dvorak's symphony might sound a little something like this:
Posted by: Donna L. | October 29, 2011 at 09:21 AM
Jake, this is awesome. When I read this story a few days ago, I immediately went to the article to comment. But, wouldn't you know it? No comments were being allowed. Thanks for saying it so well.
Posted by: Julie Obradovic | October 29, 2011 at 07:37 AM
Love the way you tie all the bad guys together Jake. I didn't know about Gupta - it's a stunning lack of character all around in the pro-vax camp.
Posted by: Alison MacNeil | October 29, 2011 at 06:54 AM