Presenting ‘Both Sides’ Of Vaccine Debate Gets Tricky During KCBS Interview With ‘Age Of Autism’ Author
KCBS Morning Anchor Stan Bunger offers this commentary on an interview Thursday morning with a vaccine skeptic:
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After weeks of listening to people revile the parents who don’t get their kids vaccinated, I thought it would be a good idea to ask the people who question the childhood vaccination program why they think the way they do.
So we put one of them on the air for an interview. Dan Olmsted edits the website “Age of Autism” and believes vaccines are a significant part of what he calls the “autism epidemic.”
It may have come as a shock to those who assume these folks foam at the mouth, but Olmsted speaks in a calm voice and doesn’t rant or rave. He DOES, however, toss off lines that, well, aren’t quite true.
It’s a clever tactic: calmly suggest that the flu vaccine we all know and love might be dangerous, too. And it puts us in the position of having to play the “heavy,” which of course only plays into the belief of many that the “mainstream media” are part of the problem. And on it goes.
Reaction to the interview? At least one colleague thought I came off sounding like I hated the guy. We got tweets praising our diligence and others accusing us, in the words of one, of giving a “group of fools a platform from which to espouse their idiocy.”