Parkinson’s, Autism, and Back To the Future

Dachel Media Update: Coverage of Atlanta CDC Rally

Online newsBy Anne Dachel

Read Anne's commentary and view the links after the jump.   The Dachel Media Update is sponsored by Aperture International. Aperture

This is how the CDC rally was covered by CBS in Atlanta.  (The story has been picked up in several places.) CBS Atlanta Reporter Dante Renzulli  approached this in the most irresponsible manner.   He presented the most heated controversy in pediatric medicine as if it's the first time he'd heard about it.  He'd done no background on this or he wouldn't have brought up "thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative" and William Thompson's claim that thimerosal causes autism, which surfaced last summer.  (Thompson's MMR study showing a greater susceptibility to regressive autism in black boys wasn't included.  The truth about events at the CDC vaccine division have been trivialized and misrepresented.  Thompson is described as a "former" CDC employee.)                                                                                                                                   

This debate is merely a curiosity to the news industry.  Autism isn't important.  It's certainly nothing officials are worried about.  A bunch of conspiracy-minded parents shouting in front of the CDC don't deserve to be taken seriously.   They couldn't possibly know what they're talking about.  (Notice how Renzulli pronounces the word "thimerosal.")  For whatever reason--fear, sloppy reporting, pressure from advertisers/doctors--members of the press universally fail our children every single day. 

CBS Atlanta: Group worried about autism caused by vaccines protests CDC

Anchor: "More than a hundred people waved signs and shouted at scientists and doctors.  They're angry at what some call a vaccine conspiracy. 

Reporter:  "All day long, people have been out on this corner shouting derogatory things about the CDC and accusing them of being a corrupt organization."

Marcella Piper-Terry: "That's too much corruption.  Too much conflict of interest, and our children are paying the price."

Reporter: ". . . a supposed link between vaccines and autism, and the protestors think there is some kind of cover-up to keep the public from finding out.

"Protesters are worried about THIMEROSAL, a mercury-based preservative that’s supposed to keep the vaccines bacteria free. . . .

Reporter: "The controversy was stirred up about a year ago, when a former CDC scientist named William Thompson, claimed the additive causes autism.  Since then very few others in the medical field have agreed with him, which is something the protesters explain as a conspiracy.

Mother: "The CDC did a study.  They know that they are harming children.  They will not admit the truth. "

Reporter: "We asked the CDC what they think about all of this, but they wouldn't comment on the issue, only saying they respect the right of the protesters to express their views. 

"So is there anything to this?  We went to experts at Emory Hospital who were not directly involved, to get their take on whether there is anything to worry about."

Doctor:  "Actually, we have looked at this phenomena,  that vaccines are often a victim of their own success." 

Reporter: "We'll have those answers at six."

CBS Atlanta: CDC protesters want vaccines investigated

Anchor: "Right now, protesters are gathering near the entrance of Atlanta's CDC, calling for the government to investigate certain vaccines they think, have harmful side effects.

...Dante, what are the concerns there?"

Reporter: "Well, Kim, the people you see out here waving signs and shouting into bullhorns are worried that there is a link between vaccines and autism.  They're here in front of the CDC because they're trying to get the attention of people in charge of giving out the shots to the public to tell them their complaints, which is with any vaccines that contain something called thimerosal.  There's currently a conspiracy theory about a cover-up at the CDC.  They think a preservative meant to kill bacteria, is actually causing autism, and the CDC is okay with that for whatever reaso

"Now this is not a theory supported by mainstream medical science, and not one that the CDC is in agreement with."

Marcella Piper-Terry: "Doctors are relying on the CDC in order to make recommendations for their patients.  When the science is corrupt, doctors can't make good decisions."

Reporter: "I asked that woman why she thought a government body like the CDC would want to deliberately cover up a link between vaccines and autism, and she thinks it has something to do with business interests.  She said the people who make vaccines, make a lot of money, and she thinks they're able to influence government to look the other way when it comes to research.  Now this all started last year when a doctor at the CDC proclaimed himself as a whistleblower.  His name is William Thompson. He said that there's a link between vaccines and autism, specifically a higher rate in African American children. 

"We're going to be speaking with doctors at Emery Hospital later this afternoon to see if they think there's anything to worry about."

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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 is on sale now from Skyhorse Publishing.



Denise Anderstrom Douglass

Well, I think the news media, of this kind, are here revealed to be extremely young, naive, and frankly, dumbed down. They are now more gullible than your average American, no matter what that average American's color, religion, or politics are. These young kids just got out of college and they have huge debts to pay, and they're really trying to keep their new jobs as hip reporters.

They're losing because trust in the media and the federal government is at an all time low. Thank you, all at AOA: Americans are waking up and thinking about a lot of things now, and from many different paths.


I didn't expect to get any coverage for the rally, but I was hoping to make some good connections which I did. The media is the enemy as much as Big Pharma, and I don't believe it is as simple as they are working for advertising dollars. So many of these news outlets are losing money and yet they are in the business of pushing agendas. Neither the activities of the political class nor the media makes any sense to me outside of some big agenda not shared with the public.

It's a problem for us, though, when we don't get the facts right ourselves. The MMR does not contain mercury, and the MMR was the focus in the 2004 study that showed a link between vaccines and autism. This study did not "prove" that mercury causes autism. In this study, mercury caused ticks, but was still separate from the MMR autism connection to Black male babies below the 36 month threshold. I was surprised by how many people at the rally thought that there was mercury in the MMR. Robert Kennedy made that great speech but the take away implication was that the autism connection is mercury not the MMR. This may be true but not for the 2004 study/whistleblower.


"...What I noticed on CBS coverage is the lack of comment section for people to provide accuracy to the lack of reporting."

Yes, but they left their email addresses...which I took advantage of.

Maurine Meleck

Thanks Anne, the great reporter at-large. That dude was a total loser.. And a bit ironic that some of us were standing outside CVS with flu shots available signs.

cia parker

What is 13th grade?


Protesters want CDC investigated, Doctor debunks vaccine myths.

What I noticed on CBS coverage is the lack of comment section for people to provide accuracy to the lack of reporting.

Jeannette Bishop

A little coverage, or video uploads rather, from David Gorski ... of the Friday evening CDC Truth dinner:

Barbara Loe Fisher

Nation of Islam's Tony Muhammed

The 20th Anniversary Million Man March had 1.4 million in D.C., 1.5 billion hits on their hashtag, 800,000 viewers on twitter, (90? countries listening)? All without "mainstream" media coverage...but hopefully the fundamental truths are getting out or soon will be...

Toni Bark

Jenny Allan

@Bob Moffit "Gov Cuomo also signed bill regarding the right of dog owners to have their pets at their sides as they eat at out-door venues."

Ah - lots of doggies at NYS barbecues. Silly burgers!! (Will the dog owners be required to show their pets' vaccination status? Thought not!)

Bob Moffitt

The news media has finally become that "vast waste-land" once predicted .. as their sloppy "news" report that Anne posted shows. Consider ....

Apparently .. NYS Gov Andrew Cuomo signed into law a mandate requiring meningitis vaccines for all 11th and 13th grade students in Public School. I say apparently because our local CBS, NBC and ABC affiliates didn't mention the bill last night .. even though concerned parents in NYS have been calling the Governor's office for weeks on end .. begging he not sign the bill.

Notice of the Governor's action was reported .. as far as I know .. not by the media .. instead by the Autism Action Network earlier today.

Just watched CBS news .. 6:00 PM tonight .. and .. learned the breath-taking breaking news that Gov Cuomo also signed bill regarding the right of dog owners to have their pets at their sides as they eat at out-door venues.

Consider the "tough decisions" a CBS "news" editor must make .. ignore legislation that will require somewhere in the neighborhood of 400,000 students to receive a meningitis vaccine .. costing NYS millions of dollars EVERY YEAR GOING FORWARD .. while deciding instead to squander their supposedly precious "air time" alerting dog owners of the Governor's decision.

Am I missing something here?

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