Trey Parker and Matt Stone are the creators of South Park, a cartoon show on Comedy Central described as “the breathtakingly irreverent and ruthlessly funny misadventures of four foul-mouthed, troublemaking young boys in a small town nestled in the Colorado Rockies.” The website tells us that it’s been “praised” as ‘COMEDY CENTRAL's notoriously rude, undeniably fearless lampoon of all that is self-important and hypocritical in American life, regardless of race, creed, color or celebrity status.’
I guess that’s true since on their season premiere just out they mocked people with Asperger’s and slammed those who believe that vaccines have damaging side effects, namely autism/Asperger’s Syndrome. The entertainment news site, Gather , had this to say about South Park. “South Park poked fun at those with Asperger's syndrome and lumped it in with the current fuss surrounding HPV vaccines.
“It's apparent that this season premiere of the hit Comedy Central show will upset those who have Asperger's as well as those who represent these individuals. But what did you expect? Trey Parker and Matt Stone are famous for making relentless fun of anyone and everyone, so why would someone with this autism spectrum disorder be excluded? It's insensitive, but to some it's quite funny.”
For a disorder that has no official cause and affects an epidemic number of children to be a topic for a cartoon show is about as insensitive as one can imagine. I suppose the comedy team of Parker and Stone could work with Asperger’s but it would definitely be a task if they used a young boy with full-blown autism, non-verbal, and in diapers. Hard to make anyone laugh with that scenario. One has to wonder if Parker and Stone will next use their talents to make us laugh at a kids with Down Syndrome.
As objectionable as the South Park episode was, I was surprised to see that CBS News reported (here) on it. On Oct 6, 2011, they published the story, Asperger's syndrome in spotlight as South Park spoofs vaccine fears by Ryan Jaslow. Laughing at people with Asperger’s on South Park was a “spoof” according to CBS:
“Fourth-grader Kyle, one of the main characters in the quartet, breaks down the controversy for his friends, explaining that some people believe vaccines can cause autism or Asperger's. That hubbub picks up when another character, Stan, visits the school's guidance counselor in a sullen mood, which the counselor mistakes for symptoms of a developmental disorder. The counselor then calls the school nurses and and asks, ‘Did we vaccinate Stan Marsh for the flu last year? I think he's got Asperger's.’
“People with Asperger's display symptoms including repetitive rituals, odd speech, and socially and emotionally inappropriate behavior.
“Stan's story gets national attention as the first confirmed case of Asperger's caused by a vaccine and the President even signs a bill, ‘Stan's Bill,’ to ban mandatory vaccinations. The oft-controversial quartet member, Eric Cartman, then joins the brouhaha by shoving hamburgers down his pants, claiming the vaccine caused him to develop Asperger's as well.”
CBS story then linked South Park’s episode to the real world controversy over vaccines and autism. Michelle Bachmann’s name came up, along with the latest IOM findings of no link and a mention of Andrew Wakefield’s “study.” CBS included two doctors from prestigious institutions to once again deny that vaccines are harming kids.
And in their original South Park report, CBS also said, “One in every 110 children are born with an autism spectrum disorder.” I noticed that on their site it now reads, “Approximately 1 in 110 children have an autism spectrum disorder.” “Born with” is a neat way of saying that nothing changed these kids, they were born that way.
I left this comment on the online story:
“I’m amazed that CBS would report on a demeaning cartoon episode as backup to their claim that there’s no link between vaccines and autism. What about the years of stories raising serious concerns about vaccine safety done by Sharyl Attkisson?
“CBS seemed to make up their own science in this piece telling us that one in very 110 children is “born with an autism spectrum disorder” each year. No one has ever shown us children born with autism. Tens of thousands of parents report that their children were born healthy and were developing normally until they received certain routine vaccinations. Suddenly they got sick with things like seizures, bowel disease, and sleep disorders. Many stopped talking and lost learned skills, ending up with an autism diagnosis. Doctors say autism has no known cause. The only thing they’re sure of is that their ever-expanding vaccine schedule isn’t to blame and they have lots of pharma-funded studies to prove it.
“One percent of children now have autism, including almost two percent of boys. No official knows why and they have no idea how you can prevent your child too from ending up on the autism spectrum. These facts should wake everyone up.”
So what’s happening at CBS?
CBS reporter Sharyl Attkisson has been one of the real media heroes for the autism community. She’s given us years of phenomenal investigative reporting on the autism-vaccine controversy. Now it seems CBS is competing with CNN and ABC News to be at the bottom of the barrel when it comes to legitimate coverage of our issue. Ryan Jaslow seriously needs to look at Attkisson’s work. Her past coverage challenges everything he included in his one-sided piece.
I went back over the stunning stories and video reports from Attkisson over the last few years and I include them here so we can all be reminded that she’s done more than anyone in the press to publicize the truth about what vaccines are doing to children. I didn’t find everything she’s done on this issue I’m sure, but this collection should have everyone’s attention.
June, 2004 (Video) Mercury Link To Autism? HERE
Sharyl Attkisson reported on thimerosal and autism with an interview of Dr. Mady Hornig at Columbia. Hornig described her research on mice and the mercury-based vaccine preservative thimerosal. Autism activist Jim Donelly was featured relating how mercury-containing vaccines damaged his son. Attkisson said that the CDC denies any link but she added this haunting comment: “But if it’s true, hundreds of thousands of American kids could be living with the fallout and the results could be devastating to vaccine makers and federal health officials who have steadfastly defended the use of mercury, a potent neurotoxin, in childhood vaccines.”
Attkisson interviewed the parents of Michelle Cedillo about their upcoming vaccine court case. She showed photos of the damage that Michelle experienced following her MMR vaccine. Attkisson noted that there are 4,800 autism cases pending in vaccine court. The CBS story ended with a chilling view of Michelle lying in her bed.
Dec, 2007 (Video) Vaccine Links To Autism? HERE
Dec, 2007 Autism, Mercury Link Disputed HERE
Attkisson gave us Lyn Redwood saying, ‘The science is still out, the verdict is still out.’
“Some parents argue that children may be born genetically susceptible to autism and some environmental factor, such as thimerosal, triggers it.
“Jennifer Lassiter has a daughter with autism, reports CBS News Correspondent Sharyl Attkisson. Katelyn, a bright 8-year-old, cannot connect with the world.
“Lassiter said Katelyn was a happy normal, babbling baby until getting her shots when she was 15-months-old.
"‘She got her vaccinations, she ran a low grade fever,’ she told Attkisson. ‘She had a little rash and then she stopped talking.’
“Her parents didn't connect the dots until they needed her shot records for preschool. Her doctor had misplaced them, so just gave her another round.
“Afterwards, ‘she was walking in circles, she was lining things up, screeching and flapping,’ Lassiter said.”
Mar, 2008 (Video) Vaccines Linked To Autism Case HERE
Attkisson reported on the Hannah Poling concession describing her regression following nine doses of vaccine in one doctor’s visit. She told us the government “quietly conceded” the case
Mar, 2008 (Video) Eye To Eye: Vaccines & Autism
Here Attkisson interviewed U.S. Rep. Dave Weldon, who is also a physician. Weldon pointed out that so many parents say, "My kid got the shot and then my kid deteriorated. Is there a correlation there?" He was asked about the predisposition some children seem to have to react to vaccinations.
Attkisson asked him about the Hannah Poling case where the government conceded that yes, her vaccines led to her autism. Weldon said, "If it is ever shown scientifically that these kids were getting this terrible condition because of these shots, the government would be liable in court to provide ...for the support of these children for their lifetimes. This is a very huge issue, not just on a humanitarian level, but as well on a financial level."
Attkisson questioned how the government could still say vaccines don't cause autism now that the Poling Case has been conceded. Weldon said, "I wouldn't recommend they say something like that in light of the Poling Case and the admission of the part of the government." He said the government needs to get busy and find answers to the questions. He admitted that the government is spending more money on autism, but they're not getting any answers. He also warned that until we have answers, confidence in the vaccine program will continue to erode.
Weldon expressed his hope that we'd be able to tell which children are prone to vaccine injury. Children like Hannah Poling have measurable indicators in their metabolism. .
May, 2008 The "Open Question" On Vaccines and Autism HERE
Here Attkisson interviewed the late Dr. Bernadine Healy, former head of the National Institutes of Health, who said the science isn't in on vaccines and autism. She warned that we've never studied the kids who were born healthy and were normally developing and who suddenly and dramatically regressed into autism. Healy said that we need to be able to discern which children may be vulnerable to vaccine side effects.
JUL, 2008 (Video) Pediatrician, Vaccine Scrutiny http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_WsUTjtnApQ&NR=1
Attkisson asked, "How independent are the vaccine defenders?" She pointed to the web of financial ties between the vaccine industry and Paul Offit, MD, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and Every Child By Two.
Feb, 2009 (Video) A Kennedy Fuels Autism Debate HERE
Attkisson interviewed Robert Kennedy Jr about his role in the vaccine-autism debate. She told us that “after researching studies on both sides, Kennedy became a believer.” Kennedy said, “The science is absolutely overwhelming.” Kennedy revealed that when he wrote an op ed piece on vaccines and autism and none of the major newspapers would publish it. Attkisson talked about the Simpsonwood meeting of top health officials and vaccine industry reps where they discussed how the possibility of lawsuits. She brought up Kennedy’s article, Deadly Immunity, published by Salon.com about the government’s cover-up of a link.
Feb, 2009 (Video) Vaccine Case: An Exception Or A Precedent? HERE
Attkisson again covered the federal government’s concession of the Hannah Poling case.
Oct, 2009 (Video) HERE
Here Attkisson interviewed Dr. Andrew Wakefield about what he found in the 12 children with autism and bowel disease that he wrote about in his 1998 paper. He explained how the parents came to him for help for their children. They said that the symptoms of autism and bowel disease followed the MMR vaccine. He had asked for an investigation of a possible link.
Sept, 2010 Family to Receive $1.5M+ in First-Ever Vaccine-Autism Court Award HERE
Attkisson reported, “The first court award in a vaccine-autism claim is a big one. CBS News has learned the family of Hannah Poling will receive more than $1.5 million dollars for her life care; lost earnings; and pain and suffering for the first year alone,
“In addition to the first year, the family will receive more than $500,000 per year to pay for Hannah's care. Those familiar with the case believe the compensation could easily amount to $20 million over the child's lifetime.
“Hannah was described as normal, happy and precocious in her first 18 months.
“Then, in July 2000, she was vaccinated against nine diseases in one doctor's visit: measles, mumps, rubella, polio, varicella, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, and Haemophilus influenzae.
“Afterward, her health declined rapidly. She developed high fevers, stopped eating, didn't respond when spoken to, began showing signs of autism, and began having screaming fits. In 2002, Hannah's parents filed an autism claim in federal vaccine court. Five years later, the government settled the case before trial and had it sealed. It's taken more than two years for both sides to agree on how much Hannah will be compensated for her injuries.”
Mar, 2011 Vaccines and autism: a new scientific review HERE
Attkisson warned, “For all those who've declared the autism-vaccine debate over - a new scientific review begs to differ. It considers a host of peer-reviewed, published theories that show possible connections between vaccines and autism.
“The article in the Journal of Immunotoxicology is entitled ‘Theoretical aspects of autism: Causes--A review.’ The author is Helen Ratajczak, surprisingly herself a former senior scientist at a pharmaceutical firm. Ratajczak did what nobody else apparently has bothered to do: she reviewed the body of published science since autism was first described in 1943. Not just one theory suggested by research such as the role of MMR shots, or the mercury preservative thimerosal; but all of them.
“Ratajczak's article states, in part, that ‘Documented causes of autism include genetic mutations and/or deletions, viral infections, and encephalitis [brain damage] following vaccination [emphasis added]. Therefore, autism is the result of genetic defects and/or inflammation of the brain.’
“The article goes on to discuss many potential vaccine-related culprits, including the increasing number of vaccines given in a short period of time. ‘What I have published is highly concentrated on hypersensitivity,’ Ratajczak told us in an interview, ‘the body's immune system being thrown out of balance.’"
So where was CBS this past May when a report from Pace University Law School showed that investigators had found 83 cases where the federal government compensated individuals for vaccine damage that included autism? Why wasn’t Sharyl Attkisson reporting on it for CBS? Fox News gave this story outstanding coverage on their national network and on local Fox affiliates. But CBS didn’t cover it. Neither did any of the other national networks. Only Fox gave the country the news that what we’ve been told for years isn’t true: the government has long recognized that vaccines can cause autism.
After years of Sharyl Attkisson unearthing every aspect of the vaccine controversy, the story about the Vaccine Court cases should have been right up her alley. CBS however seems to have moved to the reporting style of ABC and CNN when it comes to vaccine safety. Autism is never a problem, vaccines have no bad side effects, and parents who link them to autism are wrong. All the investigative journalism by Attkisson is being swept under the rug at CBS. It seems that the topic is so controversial they can’t give us both sides of the issue. Maybe other concerns at CBS also have a higher priority than honest and thorough reporting. Maybe corporate sponsors warned the network heads at CBS that advertising dollars will dictate the coverage vaccine damage stories get. Let’s hope that Fox News can hold out against the pressure to bend to the will of the vaccine makers.
Anne Dachel is Media Editor of Age of Autism.