By Anne Dachel
Oct 10, 2014, AofA Contributing Editor and Thinking Moms' Revolution's Lisa Joyce Goes was interviewed by Ronan Farrow on MSNBC. The title of the report was Debunking the anti-vaccine movement.
Farrow didn't hide the fact that he's a strong supporter of vaccines. On MSNBC he cited the World Health Organization saying that vaccines save two to three million lives a year around the world. In his view, vaccines only do good and there is no truth to the claim that they're also causing neurological damage in children.
Farrow's coverage implied that only PARENTS link vaccines to autism and other damage in children. That's absolutely false and a real newsman would know that. If he wanted to cover this issue legitimately, he'd have talked to any the host of independent doctors and scientists whose work does support a link. In his brand of news reporting, they simply don't exist. He eagerly gives the last word to health officials promoting their studies. "The Centers for Disease Control reviewed existing literature and 'there is not a causal relationship between certain vaccine types and autism.'
"Some parents aren't convinced and they continue to stay away from vaccines for their kids."
Enter autism mom Lisa Goes
Farrow asked Lisa about what happened to her son when he was vaccinated..
Lisa: "We noticed physical ailments, illnesses. Right after his six month vaccinations, he became incredibly ill, had a 104 degree temperature, he developed all over body eczema, he developed a bowel condition that unfortunately led to over twenty diarrhea-filled diapers a day. So our journey began with physical illness and ultimately manifested in behavioral issues."
Farrow responded by ignoring everything Lisa had just said and instead quoted Dr. Peter Hotez, "By the time a baby is born, autism has happened. That's the major reason we wouldn't expect a vaccine to cause major changes in the brain leading to autism." The message was clear, what happened to Lisa's son and thousands of other children just like him was just a coincidence.
Farrow went on to again cite the claims of the CDC: "It's been shown in multiple studies there is no link between the use of vaccines and autism. Large epidemiological studies have been conducted by the CDC and others."
He seemed puzzled that Lisa wasn't convinced by all the science against her claim. He said, "Do you concede that a majority of the scientific evidence does suggest there is no link?"
Lisa urged everyone to pay attention to the CDC whistleblower story. She challenged the credibility of officials who say there is no link. She added, "I can tell you my personal experience watching my son fall into severe, chronic auto-inflammatory neurological illness, that we have problems that we need to address."
Lisa then turned to how pervasive this is. "Over fifty percent of parents at this juncture are questioning vaccines, and with very good reason. There is one of me in every neighborhood. I just got a call from a friend who is an educator and of 18 children, six have neurological anomalies."
Farrow wasn't interested in what she said. His only response was "The science does say over and over that there is no link and this idea that there is this whistleblower has been debunked."
Moving on from Lisa's vaccine injury claim, Farrow talked about the large percentages of non-vaccinating parents and how this threatened everyone. "The Hollywood Reporter looked at a bunch of wealthy schools in LA and found out they had lower vaccination rates than South Sudan." He blamed parents like these for outbreaks of whooping cough and measles. He had this pointed question for Lisa: "Why put other children at risk who depend on your children's immunity."
Lisa's answer echoed what I was also thinking. "What is it that these affluent women who are married or are scientists or doctors themselves, what is it that they know that they are not sharing with everyone else?"
(An excellent question. I'm still waiting for some reporter to actually talk to any of the non-vaccinating parents whose kids go to those schools in LA.)
Lisa's next statement said it all: "It's time to look at both sides of this issue." She continued, "Chronic illness as a result of vaccines is very real. It's happening to children all over this country and all over this world. Now is the time to act on it. Now is the time for parents to take the accurate science to their doctors."
The rest of the conversation was on the 2004 CDC study and Farrow seemed confused about who the authors were. He said, "The study at issue is something that the original authors went back and looked at again and they say they don't stand by those findings."
Does he mean that the CDC has rejected their own study? Does he think Brian Hooker worked for the CDC?
Lisa summarized things very well: "Our children have been harmed. They are repeatedly being harmed. Our pediatricians are not educated and are not aware from an autoimmune perspective, what's happening to the mitochondria of these children."
Farrow wasn't interested. He cut her off saying, "Lisa Goes, I do have so much sensitivity for your situation. As I've said, I've dealt with some of these conditions in my own family, but the fact is, the science says we are not losing people to vaccines, but we are hurting people when people don't vaccinate. I appreciate you taking the time--"
Lisa challenged him: "That's absolutely inaccurate, absolutely inaccurate."
Ronan Farrow sounded like he was a vaccine company rep or an employee at the CDC. He clearly wasn't being a reporter. He seemed only interested in promoting vaccines as safe and making mothers like Lisa look like they didn't know what they were talking about. He said he sympathized with her and other autism parents, yet he had nothing to say about what happened to her son. His vague comments, "I have autism in my own family" and "I've dealt with some of these conditions in my own family" are irrelevant. Unless he took a perfectly healthy child in for routine vaccinations and then watched that child fall apart, he has no clue what Lisa and many thousands of parents have gone through.
Farrow's agenda was obvious from the headline: "Debunking the Anti-Vaccine Movement." Why was Lisa Goes considered "anti-vaccine" when she had vaccinated her son?
What she really is part of is the growing VACCINE INJURY MOVEMENT. These are the really dangerous people as far as the vaccine promoters are concerned. They witnessed the side effects and they're speaking out.
Who could miss the media assault on Robert Kennedy, Jr. in July BEFORE his book, Thimerosal, Let the Science Speak, even came out. For daring to compile the science showing the clear and present danger of using mercury in vaccines, Kennedy was pronounced "anti-vaccine" by major news outlets. It didn't matter that Kennedy has repeatedly expressed his strong support for vaccinating our children.
July 13, 2014, Slate (Phil Plait): Follow-Up: Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Vaccines
"Saying in one breath that vaccines have done good but then in another attacking them and increasing fears of them based on nonsense puts him squarely in the anti-vax camp."
July 20, 2014, Slate (Laura Helmuth, Health and Science Editor): Robert F. Kennedy Jr. profile in the Washington Post: Anti-vaccine theory and new book
"After Slate's Bad Astronomy blogger, Phil Plait, criticized Kennedy for speaking at an anti-vaccine conference, Kennedy called me to complain, and I wrote about our very one-sided conversation."
"Kennedy, more than most anti-vaxxers, really ought to know better."
July 21, 2014, TIME (Jeffrey Kluger): RFK Jr. Joins the Anti-Vaccine Fringe
"Kennedy, more than most anti-vaxxers, really ought to know better."
July 21, 2014, The Daily Beast (Russell Sanders): Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s Twisted Anti-Vaxx History
"Despite multiple studies showing no link between vaccines and autism, RFK Jr. continues to use his position to spread that lie. What will it take to make him stop?"
July 20, 2014, Forbes (Steven Salzburg): Robert Kennedy's dangerous anti-vaccine rhetori
"He's been embraced by the anti-vaccine movement: he gave a keynote talk at their annual conference, Autism One..."
Farrow, Plait, Kluger, Salzburg et al. need to realize that their phony coverage isn't resonating with the public. Parents are increasingly skeptical about the claims of vaccine safety. They're not buying studies from the agency with everything at stake in this controversy. We're all still waiting for the first INDEPENDENT study showing no link. So far, no one has ever made that claim about any of the dozen officials studies. (And the recent calls for Dr. Thomas Frieden's resignation as CDC head because of the poor management of Ebola should make us all skeptical of their claims about vaccines and autism.)
The media's cover-up coverage only works if you close your eyes to how sick our children are. That's the real tragedy with this kind of reporting. What's happening to our children just doesn't matter to news people.
These reporters and almost everyone else in the media fail us day after day. They can't figure out why this controversy doesn't go away despite all their efforts and all the studies officials produce showing no link between their vaccines and autism. Where are the reporters who are skeptical of the assurances from people at the CDC with endless ties to the vaccine makers? Why doesn't anyone ask, "Who funded the study?" Why don't news people ask officials about a vaccinated/unvaccinated study? Why don't reporters talk to the growing number of doctors who DON'T VACCINATE. (I've interviewed a number of them over the years at Age of Autism.) Do these doctors have soaring rates of autism, diabetes, allergies, asthma, seizures and chronic illnesses in their pediatric patients?
We're all waiting for the press to do their job. Calling mothers who vaccinated and now question the safety of vaccines, anti-vaccine, is like calling someone who is concerned about GMOs, anti-food. It's a red herring meant to change the subject so we don't have to talk about the real issues involved here.
Thank you, Lisa Goes, for speaking out. Great job. And even though Ronan Farrow wasn't listening, I'm sure many mothers were worried when they heard you describe what happened to your son. The natural response is "I don't want that to happen to my child." ...And then they look for the information--in places other than the mainstream news.