By Anne Dachel
Read Anne's commentary and view the links after the jump. The Dachel Media Update is sponsored by Lee Silsby Compounding Pharmacy and OurKidsASD, an online supplement retailer for patients with special needs.
On July 4, 2015 The New York Times once again demonstrated that they can only give us the pro-industry side of the vaccine controversy and legitimate journalism has no place in their coverage.
See previous articles on The NY Times at AoA.
2014, Lax CDC Culture
2011, Greater Good Review
2008 Ignorant Reporters
As America celebrated Independence Day, Frank Bruni at The Times gave us an op ed piece that championed censorship and end to both open debate and the public's right to know.
It seems that Robert Kennedy, Jr.'s efforts to stop bills that would deny a parent's right to choose when it comes to vaccines and his claim that our current schedule has damaged a generation of children has not won him support at The Times.
In California, Camelot and Vaccines, Bruni went on the attack. He appeared deeply offended that Kennedy would want to share the vaccine science he'd uncovered. Using words like "alarmists," "scaremongering," "irresponsible" and "anti-vaccine agitators," Bruni tried to convince his readers that Kennedy was not to be taken seriously. In fact, he is so sure that Kennedy couldn't possibly have anything credible to say that he is "not about to hop on the phone with him again."
It's frightening to learn that someone from a leading U.S. newspaper is so close-minded that he eagerly tells his readers there's no need to be fair and balanced when covering this heated debate, and that he intends to avoid meeting a leading advocate for one side. Kennedy can't be trusted to tell the truth and Bruni compared him with Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey, whom he described as "the epitome of the sloppy talk, selfishness and disingenuousness too common in our debate and society."
Name calling like this, of course, solves nothing, and Bruni must know it. This controversy is not going away even if The Times resorts to ridiculing the major players.
Mr. Kennedy read Bruni's piece and wrote a response to the charges made against him and others. His version of what happened between himself and Bruni is quite different from The Times piece. Kennedy posted this on Facebook and asked that it be shared as widely as possible.
FROM Robert Kennedy, Jr.: Reply to New York Times Frank Bruni's Angry Tirade
Frank Bruni's angry tirade against me in his Sunday New York Times column took me by surprise. Last February we'd had a brief, friendly and mutually respectful telephone conversation. He had written an article about vaccine safety at the end of January and I asked if he would allow me to show him some of the recent scientific studies linking thimerosal to a range of brain injuries including autism. I also wanted to show him the transcripts of statements by CDC whistleblower, Dr. William Thompson about the troubling disarray and systemic deception at CDC's vaccine program. Bruni told me he would be delighted to look at the materials. He was under deadline at the moment, but he cordially invited me to call back to schedule lunch. Both of us are busy and so I was not surprised that he did not return my follow-up call the next week. Bruni now reveals that he was deliberately dodging my phone call because he was frightened that I would use the lunch meeting to "scaremonger" him.
It's disappointing that a columnist for America's leading publication can be "scaremongered" by facts. The sad outcome is that instead of the enlightened, civil debate over science and facts that our country deserves, Bruni, delivers in this Sunday's column the same tired species of invective and ad hominem attack that have long characterized this controversy.
In the two instances that he ventures from insult into facts, Bruni gets them wrong. Bruni erroneously suggests that mercury has been removed from all pediatric vaccines. In fact there are massive doses of mercury in some meningitis vaccines-now mandated for all schoolchildren in New York- and in flu vaccines given to pregnant women, infants and, annually, to all public school kids. Mercury remains in mandated pediatric HepB, HIB and DTap vaccines at double the concentrations deemed safe by EPA. Pharmaceutical companies have recently added to the ingredients of those vaccines, aluminum adjuvants that act synergistically to dramatically amplify the neurotoxicity of the remaining mercury. Finally, our pharmaceutical companies only reduced mercury levels in pediatric vaccines given to American children. We continue to send the range of pediatric vaccines fully loaded with mercury to hundreds of millions of children in developing nations in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Mid East, a policy that will haunt our country in many dreadful ways.
In defending thimeresol safety, Bruni alludes to the debunked industry canard that the ethylmercury in vaccines is less persistent in the body and therefore less toxic than the heavily regulated methylmercury in fish. However, the best and most recent science shows that ethylmercury is twice as persistent in the brain (Burbacher et al 2004) and 50 times as toxic as methylmercury in fish (Guzzi et al 2010).
In our book, "Thimerosal" - a review of the published science - http://www.amazon.com/Thimerosal-Supporting-Immediate-Mercury-Neurotoxin/dp/1632206013 Dr. Martha Herbert, Dr. Mark Hyman and myself identified hundreds of peer reviewed studies by leading government and university scientists showing that Thimerosal, a mercury containing preservative is a devastating neurologic toxin linked to various brain injuries now epidemic in American children including ADD,ADHD low IQ , Speech delay developments delays and Tics-A family of grave neurological injuries that include Tourette's syndrome. Among these studies were 39 publications strongly suggesting Thimerosal causes autism. (I have attached a digest of these studies as an addendum to this article on my website)We found no published study proving Thimerosal safe.
Without facts to support him, Bruni is left making the strange and anemic argument that if Pharma companies were truly driven by greed, as cynical thimerosal opponents believe, Pharma's best business strategy would be to stop manufacturing vaccines, let contagions run rampant and then profiteer on medicine sales. I'm not jumping into that shark tank with Bruni, but I will dip in one toe by pointing out that Pharma is making plenty of dough selling Adderal, Prozac, Risperdal, Focalin, Concerta, Strattera, Ritalin and dozens of other runaway best sellers marketed to treat the brain and body injuries that according to CDC, now affect one in six American children (Boyle et al 2011) All these illnesses are consistent with symptoms documented in mass mercury poisonings around the globe. These chronic diseases are much more lucrative targets for Pharma than infectious disease, either viral illness where the standard of care is to allow the infection to "run its course" or bacterial which often succumb to low margin antibiotics. CDC reports that over 10,000 American toddlers now take Ritalin and, according to the National Center on Health Statistics, nearly 8% of US kids between age 7 and 16 are on antipsychotic meds. (Insel 2014) Athsma, another highly lucrative chronic epidemic is also linked to thimerosal in the peer reviewed literature(McDonald 2008)
Bruni acknowledges that he relies on CDC's version of what the science says rather than reading science himself. There is a peril in unctuous faith in government orthodoxies. Four scathing Federal studies by Congress, the US Senate, the HHS Inspector General and the HHS Office of Research Integrity paint CDC's vaccine division a cesspool of corruption due to scandalous conflicts with the $30 billion vaccine industry. In August CDC's senior vaccine scientist, Dr. William Thompson invoked Federal whistleblower protection confessing that CDC supervisors systematically require vaccine division scientists to bury data linking vaccines to autism and other neurologic harms.
Frank Bruni and other American journalist need to start reading the science themselves and stop allowing compromised government bureaucrats to tell them what the science supposedly says.
The media's undue reverence for CDC has emboldened bad agency behavior that jeopardizes vaccine safety. The best way to promote vaccine compliance is through intense media scrutiny that will restore integrity and credibility at CDC.
Readers can decide which writer here is more credible. Both sides are presented. The sad fact is that at The New York Times, we won't get read what Robert Kennedy, Jr. wrote in response.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
The Dachel Media Update is sponsored by Lee Silsby Compounding Pharmacy and OurKidsASD. Lee Silsby is one of the most respected compounding pharmacies in the country and is committed to serving the needs of the Autism community. OurkidsASD is an online retailer for nutritional supplements for patients with special needs. OurkidsASD carries thousands of products from more than 60 brands and offers free ground shipping on all orders.
Anne 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 is on sale now from Skyhorse Publishing.