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Sharyl Attkisson - Stonewalled

StonewalledBy Anne Dachel

Sharyl's book is being advertised in a number of places on the Internet and hopefully she'll get lots of interviews about it.  (Despite the fact that she's criticizing the very people she'll be talking to.)

For me, it's great timing for my book, The Big Autism Cover Up--How and Why the Media is  Lying to the American Public.   While I will quickly concede that Sharyl Attkisson is a real life reporter and I'm not, and that she's got way more experience and insight into this whole thing than I do, her book supports what many of us in the autism community have been saying for years: the coverage of autism, especially the vaccine controversy, can best be described as corruption, collusion and cover-up. 

Several months ago I wrote this article about Sharyl and the coverage she's given to our issues.

And just so everyone clearly understands this, I have it on good authority that her stories on the vaccine controversy are talked about in her book.

Recently, Sharyl made this promotional video about Stonewalled. 

I'm Sharyl Attkisson, I'm an investigative journalist, I've been in the business for over 30 years.  The book is called Stonewalled.  It's coming out from Harper Collins and it's a look at the increasing attempts by special interests and corporations to manipulate the images that the public sees in the news and in the rest of the media. 

I've never seen a tougher clampdown on freedom of the press and I think it's important that someone stand and say these things and speak out about them. 

There are many great reporters and great stories out there, but I think the public needs to learn to watch the news much like you do a TV commercial. 

You need to start thinking, why is that story airing?  Who pushed it? What special interest might be behind it and am I getting the full story? 

I was at home working on questions for yet another story that the Obama Administration was unhappy with related to the Benghazi terrorist attacks.  And as I was typing and working on questions for a Benghazi related story, the data started wiping kind of at hyper speed being deleted, as if my computer had been hijacked and I had no control over it.  I had a phone next to me so I was able to get a sort of tilted picture of a little bit of the data being deleted.  I knew, because I had so many anomalies over the past  year and a half, two years, that somebody was interfering with the computer.

It was described to me by the computer experts I consulted with afterwards, that that was purely an attempt to let me know they could do that and they were watching, that they were in my computer.

So in general, I think that I'm just one of the reporters, top on the list of those that they watch and that they disagree with, and that they fight.

Currently, there are a number of stories on Google news about someone hacking into Sharyl's computer, Washington Post, New York Post, National Post, Fox News, Daily Mail.

In case anyone worries that Sharyl won't be speaking on vaccines, watch this coverage from CNN Reliable Sources, April 20, 2014.

CNN reporter Brian Stelter: "The loudest criticisms I've heard about your reporting have been about a series that you did years ago. It was about childhood vaccinations and whether those are linked to a rise in autism. You portrayed it at different times as a debate that was continuing to happen in the scientific community. "Do you regret those stories now, years later."

Sharyl Attkisson: "No, I think those were some of the most important stories I've done and I would like to continue along those lines, at some point. It continues to be a very important debate."

Stelter: "You hear doctors say framing that as a debate has hurt people, has damaged people's understanding of medical issues by encouraging them not to get vaccinated."

Attkisson: "Well, you can believe that. I'm not here to fight doctors. I'm just saying that factually I'm not here to advocate for one side or the other. I'm just saying that factually, there are many peer-reviewed published studies that do make an association and the government itself has acknowledged a link. And again, people can do their own research. They certainly don't have to believe me or one doctor over another. I think they have to dig deep and look for themselves."

She ended the interview saying, "There are sophisticated efforts to manipulate the images and the information you see everyday in ways that you won't recognize. I think we could all be more savvy about that."

UPDATE: Oct 27, 2014, New York Post: CBS ignores ex-reporter’s claims it killed anti-Obama stories


...Attkisson’s publicist said she won’t be giving any interviews until next week, although she’s staying busy on Twitter going off on the dangers of vaccinations.

“One of the most instructive things at the time, for me, was when govt researchers told me that even though all the studies showed flu shots didn’t work in the elderly, they figured the STUDIES were wrong because they “knew” flu shots worked!’’ Attkisson tweeted.

“Kind of reminds me of today’s CDC that looks at all the scientific links between vaccines and autism but ‘knows’ it can’t be so, so it changes the study data or finds other explanations for why the data says what it says,” she wrote.


This is the comment that Sharyl Attkisson gave me to use on my book, The Big Autism Cover Up: 

Perhaps with the best of intentions there has been, nonetheless, longstanding misreporting and misunderstanding of the documented facts regarding vaccine side effects, including the autism links. When history eventually tells the whole story, it will undoubtedly rank as one of the biggest health and news media scandals of our time. The inaccurate information, nothing more than false propaganda, is driven with a cult-like fervor by well-financed and powerful interests that permeate corporate and charitable America, government and media. The campaign includes mislabeling watchdog journalism, research scientists and parents as "anti-vaccine" if they factually report or rely upon information that conflicts with the narrative. The propagandists' goal is not to make sure all sides are told, but to censor the many facts that disprove the dominant storyline. Instead of serving the nation's vaccine program, the misguided effort damages it. If the news media has been convinced to look the other way through ignorance of the facts or government and corporate pressure, ordinary Americans are left to find the evidence on their own. Fortunately, there are places where it can be found.

Lee Silsby logo 09 The Dachel Media Update is sponsored by Lee Silsby Compounding Pharmacy and their OurKidsASD brand.  Lee Silsby Compounding Pharmacy is one of the largest and most respected compounding pharmacies in the country. They use only the finest quality chemicals and equipment to prepare our patients’ compounded medications and nutritional supplements. Customizing medication and nutritional supplements for our customers allows them to achieve their unique health goals.

Anne Dachel Book CoverAnne Dachel is Media Editor for Age of Autism and author of  The Big Autism Cover-Up: How and Why the Media Is Lying to the American Public, which goes on sale this Fall from Skyhorse Publishing.



I just read _Stonewalled_ and liked it. I'll now pay closer attention to Fast and Furious and Benghazi. Maybe. Truthfully, I'll probably still find those stories sleep-making. (Our government actively arms south-of-the-border thugs and lie about it? Who knew?)

But the part about her reaction to the Killian memos, now that I found interesting. You remember: right-wing bloggers spent hours and hours and hours analyzing memos full of fax-induced smegma and pronounced the memos forgeries. Eventually I saw a reproduction of one of those memos in the appendix of Mary Mapes' _Truth and Duty_, the bloggers' version reproduced on the facing page. Not much resemblance.

What Attkisson was shown was something like the first, smegma-free one. Her reaction "after no more than thirty seconds" was that the memo looked too good and was obviously made on a word processor. She was able to conclude this because she was a devoted student of a secretarial typing class at Brookside Junior High School. OK. I was myself in the 70s typing vast amounts of balderdash and I have very little recollection what it looked like, but I'll take her word for it that she does.

So, the bloggers sort of said it looked too bad and she says it looked too good. Interesting. I happen to have a copy of _Truth and Duty_. I looked in the appendix and she had a point--it looked pretty good. But then I went to Google Books and it's kind of a different story. If you magnify that memo, it doesn't look particularly good: the "F" seems like it's leaning drunkenly on the "l" in "Flight" and what's up with that "l" in "physical"? Scroll up to the text of the book and see if you think they're of a similar degree of perfection. The typefaces are different, of course: http://books.google.com/books?id=3wUa7FZOAfAC&printsec=frontcover&dq=%22Truth+and+Duty%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=qFeGVK6GPMbroASqoYCoCg&ved=0CCMQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=Appendix&f=false

Attkisson also says that the documents were ultimately exposed as fakes. I don't think they were. The internal CBS review didn't actually conclude that. But I'll let Mapes and Attkisson slug it out.

Anyway, good book.


So ironic that her story is being characterized as a Republican or conservative effort to smear the left in general and the president in particular when Attkisson herself says she leans left and Democratic ideologically.

Difference is that she is interested in being an actual journalist rather than an ideological tool. I can't wait to read her book!


If the title of Sharyl Attkisson's book mentioned the Bush administration instead of Obama, it would be called outdated information -- not current enough.

If it mentioned both Bush and Obama, people would complain that the title was too long.

Point being that the government incursions on civil rights and privacy that people associate with conservative big business have only gotten worse with this liberal administration.

Problem being that corporatism rules while the silent citizen majority pursues pleasure. This is not the government we deserve, but it's what we've allowed to fester... willingly abetted by mainstream media.

autism uncle

America's major News Organs (TV or print) have become whored to the Pharma $dollars, and to the obscenely funded CDC/NIH agenda of promoting countless toxic drugs and vaccines.

The few journalistic renegades such as Attkisson and AoA's Olmsted who actually think and analyze (and whose reports are trashed by the mainstream) I tip my hat to. Thanks!

Only a grassroots revolution on these immense medical issues can succeed.

Angus Files

Sharyl were just lucky she's on our side ..great,great, woman.


Angus Files

David Taylor

Great article, Anne. Thank you for taking us behind the scenes with a real reporter.

I'm active on Twitter, following and supporting Sharyl closely there. She is always balanced, factual, neutral and polite. The quote she provided for your books sums up exactly what I call the "Offit Response."

Any attempt that I've made to engage a pro-vaccine person on Twitter, even a mom who edits an autism magazine, has been met with the Offit Response, characterized by (1) instant declaration of you being categorically wrong with usually no support offered); (2) name calling ("anti-vaxer nutjob," "fear merchant," "ignorant," "baby killer"); (3) then an absolute refusal to engage in discourse. Finally, the pro-vaxer blocks me and all tweets to them/from them removed. Hand firmly over ears and eyes.

I always source any statement that I make with a link to one or more credible sources. I've come to the conclusion that the science is increasingly and overwhelmingly in support of our warnings about the dangers of over-vaccination and corruption. To me, the vaxtremists know this, too, or at least sense it.

The result is that the propaganda machine grows darker and more threatening. A recent Slate article, among many, calls for criminal penalties against any parent who refuses to vaccinate a child.

Finally, it is so sad to see how victims in dozens of other countries are able to sue vaccine makers for the damage done by these products. Not only are we not allowed to; news of the massive legal judgments and pending judgments against vaccine makers are censored in our news.

I would like to see a round-up article of worldwide criminal actions against vaccine makers here on AOA.

Being a part of all this, I feel like I'm living out the events in Louis Conte's novel, praying for that happy ending.

Finally, I hope everyone buys and shares a copy of yours and Sharyl's books.

BoB Moffitt

Sharyl said:

"There are many great reporters and great stories out there, but I think the public needs to learn to watch the news much like you do a TV commercial."

In my humble opinion .. I do not consider the organizations or the people responsible for presenting the "news" today "journalists" .. a profession that once demanded BOTH sides of controversial issues be presented in a "fair and balanced" way .. proud of their slogans .. "we report, you decide" .. or .. "all the news that's fit to print".

Which is why I believe Sharyl's succinct description of "watching the news much like you do a TV commercial" is right on target.

"Journalism" today is more akin to "marketing" .. where the selling of a particular "product or idea" .. where all opposing views or science must be ignored less the marketer's preferred "product or idea" be challenged and seriously diminished in the only court that matters to a "marketeer" .. the court of public opinion.

Today's "marketeer's of news" simply cannot allow someone with the journalistic integrity of Sharyl .. who dares to challenge their "selling of a product (vaccines)" by simply stating:

"I'm not here to fight doctors. I'm just saying that factually I'm not here to advocate for one side or the other"

What a breath of fresh air in a profession that is ripe with the stench of decaying integrity and relevency.

Louis Conte

Sharyl is top-shelf journalism talent. She is courageous and we should support her by reading her book and speaking out on slow march to state/corporate run media. Sharyl investigated Republican administrations with same energy that she investigated the recent Democratic administration.

John Stone

A feature of the Attkisson story has been the extent to which it has polarised between a Democratic administration and a Republican investigative journalist whereas many of us might feel that the long term story is not between traditional right and left but just between a government bureaucracy (with very often its corporate affiliates) and any form of independent journalism - few would say (and particularly from our perspective) that the era of Bush jnr was particularly distinguished. I guess Sharyl Attkisson could say that she still got to report in it (including on our issues). Nevertheless one might be inclined to think that we are on a general downward spiral irrespective of party.


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