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Midweek Mashup: First Hulk Hogan, Now Andy Wakefield -- Gawker Media in Search of Truth and Justice

Midweek mashupBy Dan Olmsted Gawker Jezebel

On Tuesday, the online site Jezebel posted an article about Andy Wakefield stuffed with every mindless trope in the get-Wakefield playbook.

"This year’s Tribeca Film Festival will include a screening of a film by Andrew Wakefield, the former doctor who was stripped of his medical license after authoring a discredited study that implied a link between vaccines and autism," wrote Anna Merlan. "A spokesperson for the film tells Jezebel that there will be 'celebrity support' for the film at the screening."

"Wakefield," she continued, "claims the Centers for Disease Control and the Food and Drug Administration are ignoring a link between vaccines and autism, especially among African American boys. That claim has been extensively debunked."

Oh really. The piece is one of those tarred-by-association things, the implication being that Tribeca is inviting in a crank. Kind of like those articles you see that say "Rand Paul [or whoever questioned vaccine orthodoxy in any given news cycle] once belonged to an organization of doctors that once suggested that something once happened to a child who got 27 vaccines at once. That suggestion has been widely debunked."

 But it looks like the festival isn't going to fold, offering this perfectly sensible statement: “Tribeca, as most film festivals, are about dialogue and discussion. Over the years we have presented many films from opposing sides of an issue. We are a forum, not a judge.”

Let's remember that Jezebel is a sister publication of Gawker, which just lost its shirt, and every other shirt in the known and all possible universes, by believing it was newsworthy to air a video of Hulk Hogan having sex with his best friend's wife. The hundred-million-plus verdict will probably put the whole outfit out of business, and even as a journalist it's hard to feel too bad for an entity whose editor testified thusly, according to the New York Post:


A.J. Daulerio, 41, was sitting ramrod straight in the Florida courtroom during the awkward moment when he was asked on video by Hogan’s lawyer, “Can you imagine a situation where a celebrity sex tape would not be newsworthy?”

Daulerio answered flatly, “If they were a child.”

“Under what age?” attorney Charles Harder asked.

“Four,” he said.

“No four-year-old sex tapes, OK,” Harder said.


But back to Andy Wakefield. The comment section on the story was typically vitriolic and downright goofy. And -- warning -- these are hip young people of today and they use dirty swear and cuss words that are used by the cool hip people of today who no longer care what their parents think of their language as of right now this minute, so there! (My comments in italic.)


-- "do you think he GETS it? do you think he understands the harm? and if so, does he just not give a fuck (making him evil as fuck)? or if he DOESN’T get it, does he just believe his own “science”? 

"i can’t decide which is worse..."

(I think he believes his own science, which is correct.)

-- "Well, the evil Zionist Bilderberg Group has concocted Malthusian plans in order to subtly control the population of the subject humanoids. In this way, the lizardmen can more easily destroy our weakened militaries. Ten years after each human is afflicted with autism and the CIA-invented AIDS virus, the ships from Vega move in and they repurpose our existing infrastructure to suit their needs. Only the most powerful Freemasons are allowed to participate in the new society, while the rest of us are swiftly exterminated."

(I think this is meant satirically, but I can't be sure. Given that there are no pro-Wakefield comments, I suspect it is.)

-- "He needs to die of a vaccination-preventable illness."

(I vote for a lethal case of chicken pox!)

-- "Actually I would use murderer in that analogy. Little old ladies that are racist are usually harmless to other people, not nice to be around, but generally harmless. A anti vaxxer can kill someone."

(An vaxxer can murder the English language!)

--" Oh my god I hope they can stop this from happening. My nephew is autistic and members of my family grasp at straws looking for reasons and vaccines always come up. “It changed him”, they say. Now they don’t want to vaccinate anymore and it’s harmful to kids who CAN’T be vaccinated and there’s no amount of actual science I can show them that will make them feel otherwise because OF THIS ASSHOLE"

This was posted by the Duchess of Dork -- her words, not mine.


So anyway, I thought I would post a benign and polite comment, which I almost never do (post comments, that is). It was this -- close but not verbatim: "I think this will be a really wonderful film and I can't wait to see it. Ideally it will convince more parents that vaccines are driving the autism epidemic."

I was pretty sure that to Jezebel, that would sound so naively stupid and not hip and edgy that they might run it just to set off more ridicule, especially since I used my real discredited name. They didn't. If I thought they had any money left or would be around after approximately next Tuesday, I'd think about suing. (Not really. I am not a asshole!)


Dan Olmsted is Editor of Age of Autism.


Jenny Allan

Thanks for trying Linda1, but these links don't work either. I am assuming Tribeca does not want comments from countries which will not be showing the film. Hopefully, my comments and other favourable ones posted here will be noted by potential Vaxxed filmgoers.

Most of the Wakefield slanders and bile are about matters which happened in the UK 18 years ago, and imaginatively 'embroidered' by Brian Deer in his subsequent Times and BMJ articles.

Yes, Dr Wakefield DID lose his licence to practice medicine in the UK, following a 3 year ridiculous £8million 'Kangaroo Court', which also 'struck off' distinguished clinician Professor John Walker-Smith. In February 2012, It took Lord Justice Mitting less than 4 DAYS in the High Court to quosh the GMC charges and restore the Prof's medical licence, with some scathing comments by the Judge, about the GMC's 'superficial and inadequate' examining of the mostly Brian Deer supplied evidence against the 3 doctors. Lord Mitting also stated much of this 'evidence' was just plain WRONG! Dr Wakefield faced more than 75% of the same charges at the SAME hearing.If Prof W-S is innocent, so is Dr Wakefield, and clinician colleague Professor Simon Murch, also found 'guilty' but permitted to keep his licence to practice.

There were glaring 'conflicts of interest' on the GMC inquisition panel, and the expert witnesses. One held shares in MMR manufacturers GSK, another had testified as an expert witness for vaccine manufacturers in US vaccine damage litigation cases, with air fares, luxury accommodation and fat fees. This was NOT declared, yet the panel had the nerve to accuse Dr Wakefield of 'dishonesty' for not declaring his own expert reports on some of the 1500 or so MMR allegedly vaccine damaged children, attempting to get justice via UK litigation. Their legal aid was pulled on the orders of another Judge, also strongly conflicted. The fact was - Dr Wakefield was never asked by the panel. It was THEIR job to inquire about COEs - They DIDN'T. Dr Wakefield was not dishonest.

Let's be QUITE clear on this:-
There was NO Fraud.
The 1998 Wakefield et al Lancet paper was effectively vindicated during Professor Walker-Smith's High Court appeal.
The two clinicians dragged before the GMC were simply doing their jobs, diagnosing bowel problems, and treating those affected children at the London, Royal Free Hospital. My autistic grandson (NOT a Lancet case), benefited greatly from their treatment and care. Along with almost ALL the other families of children so diagnosed and treated, we are very grateful to Clinical Lead, Professor Walker-Smith and his excellent team.

Dr Wakefield, it should be stated here, had a PURELY RESEARCH position at the Royal Free, precluded by contract from any clinical contact with the child patients. Technically, Dr Wakefield, should not have been dragged before the GMC at all. There is another organisation in the UK which deals with alleged research fraud.

Emilio van Oordt

I hope one day Dr. Wakefield, after being exonerated completely, will lead the scientific community, including the CDC, in research to prevent children from getting autism and recover the lost generation.......We need a true leader to change this tragedy and start curing our loved ones.
Emilio van Oordt
Lima, Perú


See if this page works for you:

Jenny Allan

I've been unable to activate any of the links on the Tribeca site. Presumably UK is excluded, or comments etc restricted to US. Pity! My own grandson was a Wakefield Babe, diagnosed and treated for the 1998 Lancet paper syndrome at the Royal Free Hospital, (NOT a Lancet child case), and I would like to put my own points on the comment thread. I would also have liked to thank Tribeca for screening Vaxxed. I hope they stand firm against all these pharma/ political attempts at suppression. Censorship of a public interest film is NOT part of democratic freedoms.

Brian Deer's lies are NOT promoted in the UK news outlets and media. Murdoch's Sunday Times got their collective knuckles rapped, after Deer was permitted to write a vile anti Wakefield rant, following a rare public released transcript of a usually secret 'family court' case, against a mother convinced her now adult son was MMR vaccine damaged. The Royal Free clinicians' assessment, stated the lad DID NOT have the Lancet syndrome. There was NO Wakefield involvement in this case. Like my grandson, (and the Lancet 12 children) the referral to the Royal Free was via the boy's GP.

I am often amazed by the mininformation and downright slanderous lies promulgated against Dr Wakefield in the US. I would like to remind US citizens the 1998 Wakefield et al Lancet paper, (now EIGHTEEN years ago!), was a multidisciplinary early report, with THIRTEEN very well qualified authors. Professor Walker-Smith, who wrote the childrens' medical histories, was completely exonerated from all GMC charges in the English High Court 2012.


Here is the comment section from Tribeca- I count the comments as 99-1 positive with about 1400 comments in. I am counting the trolls who post and repost as one negative comment per troll, not one hundred negative comments by the same troll as posted.

Hoping Tribeca stands firm-

What comes next are lawsuits. Melinda Wharton, Frank DeStefano, Colleen Boyle- you will have to explain why your co-author is now publicly claiming that you three deliberately omitted statistically significant information showing that African American males receiving MMR vaccine before three months of age are at increased risk of autism.


I agree, Jenny Allan. It's actually a very carefully worded article. Either to avoid slander, or to avoid getting fired for being pro-Wakefield.


Jeannette Bishop:

LOL Put the top paragraph on the bottom and maybe they will never get it, eyes will cross, and they push the accept button.

Good one.

Maurine Meleck

I vote for the Zionist Bilderberg group and the Duchess of Dark for Vice President.

Jeannette Bishop

"Respectful Insolence" is a "science blog?" I've been hoping it mostly functioned as a bedside manner improvement blog via venting (away from the bedside hopefully).

Pretty interesting "parent blog" (I think) post about vaccine education (linked from NVIC):

Who are the "experts" on vaccine risks? Seemingly not most of the people who push them and/or inject them.

Jeannette Bishop

Your excellent comment appears to be still under "pending approval," along with many that seem likely to not be filtered by whatever filter let "approved" content through.

I'm thinking maybe this one gets some credit for bogging things down a bit:

>Anna Merlan
3/23/16 1:02pm

if you are honest, you will see that Wakefield has been targeted by a criminal industry, as has happened to many other people over the years. Wakefield’s co-author was completely exonerated.. numerous studies confirm Wakefield’s findings.. MMR has been banned and publicly criticised by health officials in other countries.. please do honest research!

Studies supporting Dr. Wakefield’s research

1 The Journal of Pediatrics November 1999; 135(5):559-63
2. The Journal of Pediatrics 2000; 138(3): 366-372
3. Journal of Clinical Immunology November 2003; 23(6): 504-517
4. Brain, Behavior and Immunity 1993; 7: 97-103
5. Pediatric Neurology 2003; 28(4): 1-3
6. Neuropsychobiology 2005; 51:77-85
7. The Journal of Pediatrics May 2005;146(5):605-10
8. Autism Insights 2009; 1: 1-11
9. Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology February 2009; 23(2): 95-98
10. Annals of Clinical Psychiatry 2009:21(3): 148-161
11. Journal of Child Neurology June 29, 2009; 000:1-6
12. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders March 2009;39(3):405-13
13. Medical Hypotheses August 1998;51:133-144.
14. Journal of Child Neurology July 2000; ;15(7):429-35
15. Lancet. 1972;2:883-884.
16. Journal of Autism and Childhood Schizophrenia January-March 1971;1:48-62
17. Journal of Pediatrics March 2001;138:366-372.
18. Molecular Psychiatry 2002;7:375-382.
19. American Journal of Gastroenterolgy April 2004;598-605.
20. Journal of Clinical Immunology November 2003;23:504-517.
21. Neuroimmunology April 2006;173(1-2):126-34.
22. Prog. Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry December 30 2006;30:1472-1477.
23. Clinical Infectious Diseases September 1 2002;35(Suppl 1):S6-S16
24. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 2004;
25. Journal of Medical Microbiology October 2005;54:987-991
26. Archivos venezolanos de puericultura y pediatría 2006; Vol 69 (1): 19-25.
27. Gastroenterology. 2005:128 (Suppl 2);Abstract-303
28. Krigsman, Boris, Goldblatt and Stott: Autism Insights 2010:2 1-11

Evelyn Pringle

I left this comment in response to a question about what Cover-Up meant: Cover-Up refers to the CDC scientist, Dr Thompson, who led the CDC study that claimed the MMR vaccine did not cause autism, who has now confessed that the CDC rigged the study and the study did show the MMR caused autism. I wish people would do a little research before making such harsh statements about the movie or Andrew Wakefield. You should also know that this scientist has apologized to Wakefield for publishing this fraudulent study that was used to make Wakefield’s study appear fraudulent and for injuring all the children who were vaccinated and are now autistic due the CDC publishing a study that said the MMR did not cause autism. This scientist realizes how many children have been harmed and is very ashamed of his part in publishing that study. Thompson said specifically: “I have great shame now when I meet families with kids with autism because I have been part of the problem.”

Gary Ogden

God help us. This is the sort of rot that gives the internet a bad name, and appears to me to qualify it for number one on Sharyl Attkisson's list of astroturfers.


I hope he (Dr.Wakefield) know how much we parents all love and appreciate him & his courage.

Angus Files

You know what, if it is such a load of B.S. that Andy has filmed why are they sooo up in arms about it all. Very much a case of get in first, and do as much damage as possible.The hit men bought, media outlets don't get is that the damage was done long ago for all involved,and one wronged doesn't make any rights, we want justice
Thank you Dr Wakefield for trying yet again.



I know that Wakefield welcomes questions so I do hope the panel discussion is videoed so it can be shared with a wider group.


Bahaha Dr. Chris Hickie is beside himself with worry that the AAP has not gone far enough in harming children and is not being strident enough in checking questioners. LMFAO, what a fantastic Pediatrician. I mean God forbid they (those in charge of child health) would actually call a halt to the ever increasing and unchecked vacc schedule and the ever increasing autism rate.


I have entirely lost all respect for Jezebel.Thanks for this article.
Also, I was just reading a review in the New York Times Book Review this morning about two books on eugenics, and how the respected members of the government and society lined up in enthusiastic support of it. The review states that research indicates the driving force came from progressives in academia who had "extravagant faith in science and the state with an outsized confidence in their own expertise." Wow, that's sounds familiar. Of course that is now viewed as one of science and laws most pathetic disasters.

Donna L.

Oh my god! I have nothing intelligent to add (not because I am not a intelligent person) but I sooo needed this laugh today! Thank you, Dan.

Jenny Allan

Actually, having read the Jezebel article by Anna Merlan, I thought it was very carefully worded in order to avoid any potential Wakefield Lawsuit. Yes there was plenty of innuendo, but this was innocuous stuff compared to the slanderous Deer articles.

I expect all the bile and profanity was contained within the 254 comments. I'm not sure about US laws on profane or slanderous comments, but in the UK these are actionable. However, apart from a single Mat Carey muttering about the film title, all the rest required another click of the mouse.

Who would be bothered to access this load of anti Wakefield profane rubbish? Only those persons who commented methinks!!


I notice that Orac professes to know what's in the film even though Orac hasn't seen it. If so, Orac is psychic and should win that Amazing Randi prize we've heard so much about over the years. But how would we know? Because Orac then talks about things that aren't in the film, hoping, I assume, that nobody will notice. Gonna have to do better if you want to win that prize.

Oddly, Orac's omniscience doesn't seem to extend to facts that can be looked up in a book. Here are Thompson and Hooker talking about shame, for instance:

Thompson: When I talk to you [Dr. Hooker], you have a son with autism. I have great shame now when I meet families with kids with autism because I have been part of the problem.

Hooker: Not for my son personally. My son got his vaccinations in 1998, dude. You don't have to shoulder that one.

Thompson: No, no, no, no. Here's what I shoulder. I shoulder that the CDC has put the research ten years behind. Because the CDC has not been transparent, we've missed ten years of research because the CDC is so paralyzed right now by anything related to autism. They're not doing what they should be doing because they're afraid to look for things that might be associated. So when I talk to a person like you who has to live with this day in and day out, I say, well, so I have to deal with a few months of hell if all this becomes public, um, no big deal. I'm not having to deal with a child who is suffering day in and day out. So that's the way I view all this. I am completely ashamed of what I did. So that's that.


This is your hip, trendy Reddit, Scienceblogs crowd for whom science has become a religion. Orac or David Gorsky, is positively incensed and threatens all manner of protests. Lots at stake here, folks, including money and ego, the latter being perhaps most significant.


keeping it simple..are they suggesting that the rate of sids that soared with the introduction of multiple vaccines, the rate of autism that followed the graph ,as well, should be of no concern to the public whom they "believe" ( money well spent by pharma to manipulate ) should be fully indoctrinated by now..but to add a little fright to the picture.. " a little ole' lady who is racist causes no harm..yet a little ole'lady who saw the carnage as it developed over the last thirty years, is "public enemy #1, a baby killer, and should be treated as such. WATCH OUT grandma!! You weren't subject to media manipulation.. they have thrown the gauntlet , think of the doctors dead in the fields and rivers, you want that? Stop battlin' ,surrender to the Emilys, they will "find you where you volunteer"..give it up!


I've posted several comments on the site. Haven't seen a one. This is one of them:

England and Wales High Court (Administrative Court)
Decision Between: PROFESSOR JOHN WALKER-SMITH Appellant- and - GENERAL MEDICAL COUNCIL- Respondent.
Hearing dates: 13th. 14th, 15th, 16th & 17th February 2012.

But following the successful appeal of the paper’s senior clinical investigator – John Walker-Smith – the GMC findings that served as the basis for Lancet’s retraction have since been overturned.
-With regard to the GMC’s false claims that the patients in the paper were not “consecutively referred”: “157. …Thus
construed, this paper does not bear the meaning put upon it by the [GMC] panel. The phrase “consecutively referred” means no more than that thechildren were referred successively, rather than as a single batch, to the Department of Paediatric Gastroenterology.”

-Similarly, the GMC’s rulings that the children in the Lancet paper weresubjects of a research project that did not gain ethical approval also proved unfounded:
“158. …The [GMC] panel’s finding that the description of the patient population in the Lancet paper was misleading would only have been justified if its primary finding that all of the Lancet children were referred for the purposes of research as part of Project 172-96 is sustainable. Because, for the reasons which I have given, it was not, this aspect of its findings must also

The judge found only one misleading statement in the paper, but it was not because investigations undertaken were unethical experiments described as gaining ethical approval in the paper according to the now-overturned findings on which the paper’s retraction was based. On the contrary, it was because investigations in the paper were described as being ethically approved when most were clinically indicated and required no such approval, although a few investigations were ethically approved. This may require an erratum, but it does not justify keeping the paper fully retracted.
Read the entire adjudication at: http://www.bailii (dot) org/ew/cases/EWHC/Admin/2012/503.html.

However once you see Matt Cary sleazing all over a comment board, you know people of good conscious and sound minds will never get posted.

Jenny Allan

It is said there is no such thing as bad publicity, particularly where films are concerned. Since Jezebel chose not to publish Dan Olmstead's polite comment I repeat and endorse it here:-

"I think this will be a really wonderful film and I can't wait to see it. Ideally it will convince more parents that vaccines are driving the autism epidemic."

Well done Dr Wakefield and his team and a special thank you to Tribeca, for refusing to be bullied (quote):-

"As most film festivals, are about dialogue and discussion. Over the years we have presented many films from opposing sides of an issue. We are a forum, not a judge.”

I hope Jezebel, Gawker and all the other profane proponents of all the nastiest elements of an increasingly nasty society are sued out of existence. I hope Vaxxed wins an award, but more importantly, educates society about the evils within.

Bob Moffit

Apparently there is quite a distinction between the moral and ethical standards of Jezebel .. which is a sister publication of Gawker .. and .. the Tribeca Film Festival.


Recent testimony .. under oath .. reveals that Gawker's "journalistic standard" for "newsworthiness" .. would allow them to present any "celebrity sex tape" involving children .. UNLESS THEY WERE LESS THAN FOUR YEARS OF AGE."

While Tribeca defended their decision to show VAXX:

“Tribeca, as most film festivals, are about dialogue and discussion. Over the years we have presented many films from opposing sides of an issue. We are a forum, not a judge.”

Knowing of the stark "ethical and moral" difference between Jezebel and the Tribeca Film Festival .. I consider Jezebel's cruel attack on Dr Wakefield .. a badge of honor .. testimony to Dr. Wakefield's COURAGE .. while at the same time revealing to all .. the complete "moral and ethical bankruptcy" of Jezebel.


The Gawker settlement to Hulk Hogan .. for the dastardly deed of showing a video of Hulk having sex .. (as someone on AoA recently mentioned) .. is a prime example of what is wrong with our country .. which I believe .. for too long a time .. has been teetering on the very same edge of "moral and ethical bankruptcy as is Jezebel.

As evidence of our country's teetering bankruptcies .. consider .. as the former AoA commenter posted (paraphrasing):

If the Vaccine Court rules that a perfectly healthy, totally innocent child DIES .. as a result of a vaccine .. the compensation for that child's DEATH is capped at $250,000. .. as opposed to the $155 MILLION dollars that Hulk was AWARDED by a CIVIL COURT JURY OF HIS PEERS.

Now .. if that is not THE prime example of a COUNTRY GONE COMPLETELY MAD .. having lost all sense of moral and ethical boundaries .. I don't know what would a better example?

Patience (Eileen Nicole) Simon

Does this film discuss how the brain is affected by vaccine components? Autism, and all its causes will not be understood until the resulting brain pathology is identified.

If Tribeca is inviting in a crank, how might I submit the screen play I wrote, 36-Bit People, for next year's festival? 36-Bit People is Book 5 of my series on or It describes how two co-workers (and lovers) at the old Digital Equipment Corporation work through how disrupted signal processing in the brainstem can disrupt language development.

The paper they published in Medical Hypotheses (with Nicole Simon as author), Autism and Wernicke's Encephalopathy, also describes their ideas.

The Centers for Disease Control and the Food and Drug Administration are ignoring a link between vaccines and autism. They are also ignoring the link between damage of the inferior colliculus in the midbrain auditory pathway as a cause of autism. The whole world should understand the importance of the inferior colliculus, and that it is the structure in the brain most vulnerable to damage by vaccine components, toxic metabolites produced in genetic disorders, and asphyxia at birth.

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