Anderson Cooper 360 Writer/Producer Fails to Disclose Conflicts
Addendum: Five months before Dr. Wakefield's interview on AC360, Thomson Reuters announced that BMJ Group had selected Thomson Reuters' product, ScholarOne Manuscripts, as the peer review workflow management system for all of its journals. The company press release put out by Thomson Reuters quotes the BMJ Group's publishing director, Peter Ashman, as saying “We are excited to expand our partnership with one of the world’s leading publishers...By serving all of the journals published by BMJ Group, our customizable and flexible ScholarOne Manuscripts will standardize the organization's review process, adding to its effectiveness and efficiency in journal administration.” This is a direct partnership between the Merck/GSK-funded BMJ Group and the Merck-managed employer of an AC360 writer/producer's husband. The reason for Anderson Cooper leading the US media to support the BMJ's sham allegations of fraud against Dr. Wakefield within hours of their publication should now be crystal clear.
The following is a letter I sent to CNN after the January 5th televised abuse of Dr. Andrew Wakefield by the network’s mascot, “Silver Fox” Anderson Cooper, whose pale face regularly haunts the channel. I didn’t receive a response.
With the BMJ’s prime example of Wakefield’s alleged misconduct proven false followed by the collapse of the BMJ's fraud claim, it is especially timely that we revisit this abhorrent example of coverage by the media in light of its deafening silence. Whatever happened to “keeping them honest”? You know, “challenging authority and exposing corruption”?
Dear Anderson Cooper 360,
I am writing about your show on January 5th of this year in which Dr. Wakefield was repeatedly cut off, interrupted, berated and called a "liar" while Brian Deer was allowed free reign to bluff his way through his interview the next day.
I hope you will understand that the conflicts of interest below thoroughly compromised your show's credibility, especially in light of the fact that Anderson Cooper was evidently not willing to read Dr. Wakefield's book. I hope he will be more willing to watch a lecture Dr. Wakefield gave at Brandeis University in which he spent the first 20 minutes addressing fraud allegations and thoroughly exposing what turned out to be Brian Deer's fraud. Every statement Dr. Wakefield makes is documented and verifiable. You owe it to your viewers to watch this video.
The conflicts of interest on the January 5th show were especially serious in light of that fact that they were not disclosed on your program.
First, the BMJ - which alleges Dr. Wakefield committed fraud - is in partnership with Merck and GlaxoSmithKline - manufacturers of the MMR vaccine. Its editor-in-chief Fiona Godlee admitted the BMJ failed to disclose these connections even though they should have.(1)
Secondly, Brian Deer is a freelance reporter; he is not employed by The Sunday Times as he claimed in a related interview on your network . He was put on this story by an editor named Paul Nuki whose father George Nuki knowingly approved a dangerous vaccine in 1988 that caused meningitis. Brian Deer was assisted by MedicoLegal Investigations - a front group of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry - and was the original complainant in the GMC hearing against Dr. Wakefield yet was allowed to continue to write about the story Deer created.(2)
Finally, to add to the litany of failures to disclose COIs on your program, a writer/producer for your show named Cate Vojdik is married to a medical reporter named Dr. Ivan Oransky.(3)
Dr. Oransky is executive editor of Reuters Health - Thomson Reuters' CEO Thomas Glocer - Oransky's boss - is on the board of directors of Merck.(4) Oransky is also a longtime and major contributor to The Lancet, which retracted Dr. Wakefield's paper.(5) Dr. Oransky's father was a pediatrician who was personally responsible for vaccinating many children born between the years of 1972 and 1998.(6) The latest national prevalence estimates by the CDC show that children born in 1998 have an autism prevalence of 1 in 110.(7)
Below is a link to the recent video of Dr. Wakefield's lecture at Brandeis University. Later in the lecture, Dr. Wakefield also shows that there is still evidence linking vaccines and autism - including from a CDC study claiming to show the exact opposite of all things.
Dr. Andrew Wakefield at Brandeis University
I hope you will view this video of Dr. Wakefield's Brandeis lecture.
All the best,
Age of Autism
After sending the above letter, I learned more troubling information about Oransky, who dropped out of the medical profession to become a reporter. In addition to being married to a writer/producer for Anderson Cooper 360, he also happens to be a college buddy of the vaccine industry’s newest spokesman Seth Mnookin, who appeared in the same AC360 episode as Andrew Wakefield. The Oransky-Mnookin friendship was disclosed on Oransky’s own blog, Retraction Watch:
Full disclosure: Ivan and Seth are friends from college, and they’ll be talking about his book [Panic Virus] on a Reuters webcast on Tuesday, Jan. 18.
Oransky also wrote a puff piece about millionaire vaccine industrialist Paul Offit for The Lancet six years ago (which Offit links to from his personal website). Oransky wrote:
Offit's connections to that industry—he's quick to note that he shares a patent on a rotavirus vaccine that has just been submitted by Merck to the FDA for licensure, but has never received any salary or consulting fees from the company—have made him a target of the loud US anti-vaccine lobby.
In 2003, Oransky wrote the Lancet’s flattering obituary for a colleague who, with Stephen Barrett, coauthored the book The Vitamin Pushers. Notorious for the questionable practices of his pharma front group Quackwatch, Barrett is currently campaigning against the practices of two doctors who are helping children with autism. Despite the fact that Barrett has not passed his board certification exams, Oransky freely quoted him in the Lancet article.
Oransky continues to maintain his ties to prominent spokespeople in the vaccine industry. At the annual “Health Journalism” conference, where the Chicago Tribune bought its award with CDC’s help (which was attended this year by Alison Singer and Amy Wallace), Oransky moderated a two-person panel on medical fraud. One of those panelists was Brian Deer, who wrote of Cooper’s coverage:
Nailed: Upon publication of Deer's first report in the BMJ series "Secrets of the MMR scare", on 5 January 2011, CNN's Anderson Cooper leads the US media in the biggest-ever story about the vaccine.
Despite more developments clearing Dr. Wakefield, Anderson Cooper isn’t paying any unexpected visits to confront Brian Deer as he gave the keynote address at a pharmaceutical conference on immunization policy housed in the luxury villa of Les Pensières of the Fondation Mérieux on the banks of Lake Annecy in the French alps.
Anderson Cooper 360 will continue to spin.
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.
Barry-I grew up in the 40's and 50's and stories of polio were all over the news. At the movie theaters, frightening newsreels of kids in iron lungs on crutches and in leg braces scared the daylights out of kids and parents alike. The March of Dimes displays were everywhere and we kids filled booklets with our dimes in school. When we finally got TV, the same pictures of suffering kids came into our living rooms. In the summer, many of us were not allowed to swim during the Dog Days of Summer. All of that changed after the polio vaccine became available and parents breathed a sigh of relief. Did I ever hear of anyone I knew who had polio? No. Did anyone in the area where I grew up in PA? I don't think so. That said, I now know a few adults who are 15 or so years older than me who had polio, recovered, and walk with a slight limp. What is the truth about this epidemic? I don't know. Did the media inflate our fears? Probably. Could DDT have played a role ? Probably. I remember playing outside when the trucks came around to spray, and running home because it hurt my eyes and my nose and I couldn't breathe. Many of us were exposed to this powerful chemical in this way. As I look back to it , it seems to me that a lot of terrible illness began to crop up in my town in the late 50's. Suddenly, I knew people who were diagnosed with leukemia, MS, seizures, severe neurological disorders, muscular dystrophy, etc. I suspect that the polio vaccines as well as DDT exposure played a role in this. I didn't mention smallpox vaccine, which we all got before attending school, but I wouldn't give it a pass on our declining health.
Posted by: ct teacher | December 02, 2011 at 08:47 AM
Better have a look at the British Council.
This British subversive group has all the makes of a spy ring.
Posted by: Media Scholar | December 01, 2011 at 10:32 AM
Main steam media has little to do with going after the real story; in fact I'm starting to wonder if it ever really did.
I watched Anderson Cooper when he interviewed Andrew Wakefield, and it was so blatantly scripted that it actually made me nauseous. I haven’t watched Anderson Copper or CNN since, since I now know that they are intentionally abetting such an awful crime.
I didn’t live through the polio epidemic of the 50’s, but I have several relatives who did. When I ask them about it, they all speak of a terrible time when people everywhere were being stricken by polio. They all recount horrible images of the dreaded iron lung, and a wonderful sense of relief when science came to the rescue with the polio vaccine.
However, when I ask them how many people they knew who had ACTUALLY contracted polio, neither could come up with a single name. But ALL of them were confident that there MUST have been many that they simply weren't aware of.... since the media at that time was literally so saturated with accounts of that dreadful disease.
Posted by: Barry | December 01, 2011 at 07:28 AM
Interesting parental 'live' poll results, which seem to indicate that Dr Nancy and her pharmaceutical shill cohorts are being ignored by parents.
Perhaps Dr Nancy should reflect on the possibility of her shrill denigration of parents, rightly concerned about vaccinating their children, actually having a NEGATIVE effect on child vaccination rates.
GMT time 07.30 hours UK
Do you think it's OK for parents to opt out of vaccines for their kids?
Yes, parents should decide what's best for their children.
No, they're putting their own children and others at risk.
VoteTotal Votes: 23363
Do you vaccinate your children?
Yes, according to schedule.
Yes, but we do selective or delayed vaccinations.
No, not at all.
VoteTotal Votes: 16504
Posted by: Jenny Allan | December 01, 2011 at 03:22 AM
Right now the only story in the media being told is about why parents don't want to vaccinate their children, and how, if it were not for Dr. Wakefield, everything would be fine. For propaganda purposes science has been corrupted by greed and pharmaceutical interests. Right now, I am afraid, the media (i. e. Rupert Murdoch) are only bringing the news that is paid well. I presume eventually the whole truth will come out, and then it will be treated as if, through perseverance, Anderson Cooper uncovered the shady dealings by Brian Deere. Surely I am not just dreaming.
Posted by: Birgit Calhoun | November 30, 2011 at 05:18 PM
I missed the whole Nancy thing yesterday, so wait a minute. You mean Matt Lauer actually brought up the whole vaccine thing but didn't mention the fact that the Dr. Wakefield story has changed significantly???!! What a joke that show/network is.
Posted by: Jen | November 30, 2011 at 02:05 PM
Dr. Nancy Snyderman just cracks me up. She opines that the young parents are too young to remember the epidemics of yesteryear. Im nearly 65 but I guess Im too young also. Im sorry that Dr. Snyderman, like many doctors is too young to recall the days when children were healthy! She is, in fact, clearly part of our brave new world in which everyone gets to have at least one medical disorder to talk about.In her imaginary family, grandma has breast cancer, a sister, rheumatoid arthritis and one child has asthma and each and everyone of those individuals lives on the brink of death from microbes. Im convinced that in her spare time Dr. Nancy is a screenwriter for Dr. House. Please check that out for me, Jake.
Posted by: Cherry Sperlin Misra | November 30, 2011 at 12:52 PM
Having a degree in Journalism myself, I find that I don't think that it's so much as cronyism but more "going after a story."
It used to be that reporters would try to balance stories that they reported. Now, there is so much competition for viewers, I believe that reporters strive to attract viewers in any way possible.
For example, the entirely one-sided Today show where Matt Lauer interviewed Dr. Nancy Synderman yesterday. It made me so sick that I changed the channel. Once again, Matt stated that the vaccine controversy has been "asked and answered" crap. Synderwhitch only backed it up and touted the "herd immunity" crap. I'm really pissed at the whole thing.
Posted by: Kevin | November 30, 2011 at 11:29 AM
Thank you so much for keeping a light on this subject. I dislike watching Anderson Cooper since his biased reporting on Wakefield.
Posted by: Lisa | November 30, 2011 at 08:55 AM
in the Cooper Wakefield interview Cooper asks a question and then does not give Wakefield sufficient time to answer the questions , but in the Deer interview he gave Deer much time to answer his questions very sad not at all professional
Posted by: Debra | November 30, 2011 at 07:48 AM
"...The usual "mainstream media scare format" is used, a parent verses the ivy league Dr. white coats.... who STILL have no damn clue after 20 years WHAT is causing the AUTISM EPIDEMIC that is nearly 30 times more common than POLIO..."
They know full well that vaccines are causing autism.
That's why Big Pharma's "main stream media" bounces so often between over-drive and under-drive... as their mandate switches from propagating bull**it, to suppressing the truth.
Posted by: Barry | November 29, 2011 at 10:50 PM
This was excellent information. I cannot watch that man Cooper anymore since that interview. I agree with all that you wrote on how he treated Dr Wakefield (I saw Dr Wakefield talk in Irvine earlier this year). Dr Wakefield is a very generous man to take all of this and to keep on purshing for what is right for our kids. NOW I learn all that you found out? I will continue to skip on by CNN and get my news from elsewhere. It is good that Cooper comes from money and never has to worry about his health care......if he ever has kids lets see how it handles all of this?????
Posted by: Trina Aurin | November 29, 2011 at 10:05 PM
"The family's modern legacy includes Vanderbilt University"
home of the omnipresent vax shiller William Schaffner. Wonder if Cooper's family has any lasting attachments to their paterfamilia's namesake university?
Posted by: Apples and Trees | November 29, 2011 at 06:33 PM
Once again Jake connects the dots of cronyism and corruption that have damaged not only an honest doctor's reputation, but physically and mentally devastated a generation of children worldwide.
Posted by: nhokkanen | November 29, 2011 at 04:36 PM
Her comment that unvaccinated children are "walking Typhoid Marys" is beyond absurd - a vaccinated child can contract on infectious disease, even one he's been vaccinated against, and give it to someone else unknowingly. Similarly, a chid may forgo a vaccination because - like grandma - he may have an underlying risk that would make him susceptible to a vaccine adverse reaction. The idea that forcing people to take drugs that could have a profound effect on their health is justified by the vague concept of "herd immunity" is not only ridiculous, but irresponsible, immoral and downright dangerous.
Forcing people to get vaccinated knowing a certain number of them will have adverse reactions is no more justified than Mary Mallon exposing people to Typhoid knowing a certain number of them will get sick.
Posted by: Jake Crosby | November 29, 2011 at 04:31 PM
The charming Dr. Nancy, also a severe critic of Dr. Wakefield.....
now it seems the un-vaccinated children may be giving a "death sentance" to grandma and others as they start new disease pandemics in the US and around the world.
The usual "mainstream media scare format" is used, a parent verses the ivy league Dr. white coats.... who STILL have no damn clue after 20 years WHAT is causing the AUTISM EPIDEMIC that is nearly 30 times more common than POLIO.
Posted by: cmo | November 29, 2011 at 03:15 PM
Well done Jake one day Dr Wakefield shall be held up as the White Night ,dramatic but that is what I believe he is...well done Andy keep up the work sorry for the dramatic terms but when we all deal with terms such as HERD ,.. I maybe excused… Deer will never be excused or the PHAMA gangsters either.
Posted by: Angus Files | November 29, 2011 at 02:45 PM
Don't forget George Stephanopolus. He went after Dr. Wakefield in a nasty, aggressive manner, too. Jake, you do a terrific job of holding their feet to the fire. I think that you and John Stone will crack this story wide open. Now, I wonder why 3 big time personalities at major network news shows all behaved in a similar fashion when interviewing Dr. Wakefield. Who was calling the shots? Why did they all abandon their objectivity?
Posted by: ct teacher | November 29, 2011 at 12:36 PM
oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive comes to mind here. You just can't justify saying what your saying to the masses, when you have your pockets in pharma, journals and those who don't want you to know, the public, the hard cold facts. The same goes for reports the last few days of our "selfish" behavior to not vaccinate our children anymore, or our grandchildren. Well guess what, we aren't selfish, we laid our kids down on the sacrifical table, and did succomb to the known effects of vaccines, and won't do it again, should we ignore the fact our kids were damaged by them and keep going with them? Seriously? Only a fool would do that...only a fool would not see, the ties that bind between pharma, governmental bodies, people with a lot to loose.
Thanks Jake for solidly telling the world how mixed up this whole picture is, that the man behind the curtain should be revealed, and that we are not in Kansas in anymore.
Posted by: kathy blanco | November 29, 2011 at 12:23 PM
I realize in US that freedom of the press is not utilized and that journalists no longer have ethics in bringing us the truth. I believe they are all bought and paid for by big pharma just the same. Perhaps they even believe in vaccinatiions are for greaterr good but those of us who parent the children considered collateral damage know that ourbabies will get justice. If not in this life, I trust God will hold them accountable with same mercy our children receive now..
Posted by: chris wynn | November 29, 2011 at 12:15 PM
Jake,Jake,Jake, what can I say, you did a spectacular job yet again. Anderson Coopers' keeping them honest is a joke, and the subjects he picks are irrelevant, more of a follower mentality. He is the type that is afraid of the truth, so how could he of all people have a segment of keeping them honest?
Posted by: victor pavlovic | November 29, 2011 at 11:02 AM
Yes, Rin Jake's reporting is fabulous. Anderson Cooper could only hope to report like that. But all Anderson Cooper is is a puppet.
Posted by: Jen | November 29, 2011 at 10:53 AM
Anderson Cooper. What a jerk. On his 360 page it says he goes "beyond the headlines to tell a story from many points of view." bullshit. He only goes where the pharmaceutical interests lead him. Interesting that the little twit isn't covering the Deer /Wakefield story with an update, considering how hot and bothered he was about 'nailing' Dr. Wakefield in the biggest MMR story ever about the vaccine. Well they got that right. It was a story. I think I'll write them again, too. Thanks, Jake, for being right on target as usual.
Their silence is deafening.
Posted by: Jen | November 29, 2011 at 10:50 AM
Fabulous reporting! I will continue to follow you on your website!
Posted by: Rin D'Attilio | November 29, 2011 at 09:24 AM
Jake .. thanks for giving me the inspiration to send a similar email to NBC's Matt Lauer .. reminding him that he ALSO has a professional responsibility to closely monitor unfolding events regarding the collapsing allegations against Dr. Wakefield by Brian Deer .. as well as .. the harm done to the reputation of the BMJ.
If I remember Matt Lauer's interview of Dr. Wakefield correctly .. the "questions" Matt hurled at Dr. Wakefield were actually "accusations" instead.
NOW is the time for Matt Lauer to request Brian Deer and Fiona Godlee to appear on his show where he can "accuse" them .. as he once did to Dr. Wakefield.
Posted by: Bob Moffitt | November 29, 2011 at 08:55 AM
I am always impressed by your investigative journalism. I will never support Anderson Cooper, nor CNN for that matter, again!
I do want to question why we don't challenge the media with journalistic integrity. Clearly, this report on behalf of Anderson Cooper and CNN bears a conflict of interest, in light of the personal affiliations that have been exposed. If these affiliations are true, and Mr. Cooper's reporting on this matter was not factual (and how could it be if he fails to research both sides of the argument by refusing to read Dr. Wakefield's book) than it may even be considered libel. A journalist who fails to research, has failed to represent the truth. The autism community that knows and believes that vaccinations have contributed to the increase of autism must stand together and start challenging the media for these gross misrepresentation of facts and unethical journalism.
Posted by: Maria H | November 29, 2011 at 07:18 AM
More on Merieux: If you bring up this link, then link to 'history' on the left hand column:-
History of Fondation Mérieux from 1897 to 2009
1897:Marcel Mérieux, a pupil of Louis Pasteur, sets up the Mérieux Institute to develop and manufacture human and animal vaccines.
Fast forward to UK 1988:-
The MMR vaccine replaces the monovalent measles, rubella and occasional mumps vaccines for children.
Fast forward to 1992:-
“The UK NHS withdrew two of the three MMR vaccines then available (Immravax, made by Merieux UK, and Pluserix, made by SmithKline Beecham)”
So now we KNOW!!
Posted by: Jenny Allan | November 29, 2011 at 06:50 AM