Where is the name William Thompson in news reports on Tribeca and De Niro?
There is something is truly frightening here.
Consider that the controversial film "Vaxxed" is about a whistleblower, Dr. William Thompson, who works at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and who says that his agency knows there's a link between vaccines and autism. He has revealed that he himself was ordered to destroy data that showed this link, but his conscience has not allowed him to go along with the cover-up. In 2014 he shared this information with Dr. Brian Hooker, a biologist and father of an autistic child. Thompson is even willing to tell Congress about the corruption going on at the CDC, and he is certainly a credible expert. Who better to talk about how the science is rigged than an agency insider?
Congress is aware of the charge of fraud since US Rep Bill Posey (FL) took to the House floor and pleaded with members of Congress to do something back in October, 2015, but our legislators seem to be overwhelmingly not interested in hearing what Thompson has to say.
Posey: "Considering the nature of the whistleblower’s documents, as well as the involvement of the CDC, a hearing and a thorough investigation is warranted. So I ask Mr. Speaker, I beg, I implore my colleagues on the Appropriations committees to please, please take such action,"
This is the background of the documentary "Vaxxed," but you'd never know it from the way the media reported on how the movie was pulled from the Tribeca Film Festival.
What should have been an unfolding high level scandal involving the top health care agency in the US, has been turned into yet another egregious attack on the doctor who first made the claim of a link back in 1998. In the recent press coverage the most talked about person was Andrew Wakefield, not William Thompson. Instead of quoting anything that was said in the film, reporters cited doctors telling us once again that "studies show no link," seemingly aware that the movie calls all the official research from the CDC into question.
In CNN’s coverage of “Vaxxed,” they quoted the CDC endorsing their vaccines. ‘Vaccinations will prevent more than 21 million hospitalizations and 732,000 deaths among children born in the last 20 years,’ and omitted anything about the charges made against the agency.
I can't believe members of the press are this incompetent. Doesn’t anyone at any of the newspapers or networks covering this wonder why the emphatic denials by doctors and health officials have done nothing to end the most heated controversy in pediatric medicine?
I firmly believe that when it comes to vaccines as the cause of autism, or anything about the safety of the schedule, reporters are told what to write. Within hours of the first announcement by Robert De Niro back in March that Tribeca would show "Vaxxed," dozens of news sites attacked the film as "anti-vaccine," despite the fact that no reporter had seen the movie. In fact, news reports told the public NOT to see “Vaxxed.”
Actually the whole thing about “Vaxxed” and Tribeca should have been a minor event in the news, but it suddenly became a major breaking news story.
First was the announcement that Robert De Niro, co-founder of Tribeca, would show “Vaxxed” at the Tribeca Film Festival. That was followed shortly by the news that “Vaxxed” had been cancelled. Over the next week the stories were non-stop in their mass condemnation of the film as “anti-vaccine.”
Considering what “Vaxxed” is actually about, headlines should have looked like this: "Tribeca film charges cover-up of CDC vaccine study" and "Documentary reveals CDC whistleblower."
Newspapers and TV networks should have descended on the CDC headquarters in Atlanta to talk to the major players. If William Thompson wasn’t willing to answer questions, they should have sought out Frank Destefano, Coleen Boyle, Marshalyn Yeargin-Allsopp, and Tanya Karapurkar Bhasin, whose names were also on that 2004 study. They should have gone to the head of the CDC, Dr. Thomas Frieden, to ask him why parents should trust the safety claims of officials in the face of charges of a huge cover-up that’s gone on since the first findings in 2001.
Reporters should have lined up for blocks when “Vaxxed” premiered at Angelika in New York. They should have sought out Brian Hooker, Andrew Wakefield, and Del Bigtree, the people responsible for “Vaxxed” for interviews. And since the 2004 MMR study specifically revealed a high risk for autism in African American boys who received the MMR vaccine before the age of 36 months, news people should have talked to leaders in the black community to get their reaction.
These things didn’t happen.
Instead the media buried the real story of "Vaxxed." The film somehow became the story of a discredited doctor from Britain, Andrew Wakefield. Articles talked about his Lancet article in 1998 linking the MMR to autism and bowel disease, and how he had lost his medical license. Coverage was about measles outbreaks caused by non-vaccinating parents who believe there is a link to autism. They interviewed doctors who denied that autism could result from vaccination.
Because most of the public would not see “Vaxxed” for themselves and because many people don’t look beyond the headlines of a story, it was important that news reports on “Vaxxed” label it anti-vaccine from the start. Simultaneously major news outlets in the US and abroad attacked this film "anti-vaccine" in the headline, and they universally refused to tell the public what it was really about. The issue of vaccine safety instantly became opposition to vaccination. It could hardly be coincidence that all the print and broadcast news outlets were talking about this story in exactly the same way. It really began to look suspicious when even Teen Vogue and Glamour covered this story calling the film “anti-vaccine.”
April 14, UK Daily Mail: Robert De Niro pictured socializing with celebrity anti-vaccination squad Jim Carrey, Robert F Kennedy Jr, and activist film maker amid controversy over movie linking MMR to autism at Tribeca Film Festival
April 13, LA Weekly: Anti-Vaccination Doc Vaxxed, Booted From Tribeca, Is a Tragic Fraud
April 13, Salon.com: De Niro is out of his depth on anti-vaxxer film: “Let’s find out the truth” suggests the vaccine-autism link hasn’t already been debunked
April 13, Sacramento Sun Times: De Niro regrets pulling anti-vaccine documentary from Tribeca Film Fest
April 13, New York Daily News: SEE IT: Robert De Niro defends anti-vaccine documentary on ‘Today’
April 13, TIME Magazine: Robert De Niro Defends Anti-Vaccine Doc: ‘There’s More to This Than Meets the Eye’
April 13, Daily Beast: Robert De Niro Sticks Up for Anti-Vaxx Documentary
April 13, Entertainment Weekly: Robert De Niro defends support for anti-vaccination doc
April 13, Rolling Stone: Watch Robert De Niro Talk Pulling Anti-Vaccine Film From Tribeca
April 5, NJ.com: Anti-vax quackery sees light despite De Niro snub
April 3, Wall Street Journal: Anti-Vaccination Lunacy Won't Stop
April 1, New York Times: Anti-Vaccine Film, Pulled From Tribeca Film Festival, Draws Crowd at Showing
March 30, Irish Times: Robert De Niro withdraws anti-vaccination film from Tribeca
March 30, New York Times: Pulled From Festival, Anti-Vaccination Film Will Run in Theater
March 30, People Magazine: Controversy Still Swirls Around Anti-Vaccine Documentary After Robert De Niro Pulls It from Tribeca Film Festival
Mach 29, UK Guardian: How the scientific community united against Tribeca's anti-vaccination film
March 29, New York Post: Tribeca nixes anti-vax doc, but damage is already done
March 29, CBC (Canada): Robert De Niro pulls anti-vax doc from Tribeca Film Festival
March 28, People Magazine: Robert De Niro Pulls Controversial Anti-Vaccine Documentary from Tribeca Film Festival
March 28, New York Post: Robert De Niro was right to say no to anti-vaccine hysteria
March 28, PennLive: Robert De Niro, whose child has autism, changes mind about anti-vaccine film
March 28, ABC News: Rejected Tribeca Documentary Recalls Debunked Study that Helped Spark Anti-Vaccine Movement
March 28, Fox News: De Niro axes anti-vaccination film from Tribeca after scrutiny
March 28, Christian Post: Controversial Anti-Vaccination Documentary Pulled out From Tribeca Film Festival
March 27, Slate: The Tribeca Film Festival Pulls Anti-Vax “Documentary”
March 27, Entertainment Weekly: Tribeca pulls anti-vaccination doc Vaxxed from schedule
March 27, Newsweek: Robert De Niro pulls 'Vaxxed' anti-vaccine documentary from Tribeca Film Festival lineup
March 27, UPI: Robert De Niro says anti-vaccination documentary has been pulled from Tribeca slate
March 27, Washington Post: Robert De Niro accused of censorship after yanking anti-vaccine movie from film festival
March 27, Rolling Stone: Robert De Niro, Tribeca Film Fest Pull Anti-Vaxxer Documentary
March 27, CNN: Robert De Niro pulls anti-vaccine film from Tribeca after controversy
March 27, NewsMax: De Niro Pulls Anti-Vaccination Doc From Tribeca Film Festival
March 27, TIME Magazine: Robert De Niro Pulls Controversial Anti-Vaccine Film From Tribeca Film Festival
March 26, People Magazine: Robert De Niro Reveals He Pushed For Screening of Anti-Vaccine Movie at Tribeca Film Festival
March 26, Los Angeles Times: Robert De Niro reverses course, yanks anti-vaccine film from Tribeca lineup
March 26, Newsday: Robert De Niro pulls 'Vaxxed' anti-vaccine documentary from Tribeca Film Festival lineup
March 26, CNN Money: De Niro won't show anti-vaccine movie at Tribeca Film Festival
March 26, CBS News: Anti-vaccination film pulled from Tribeca Film Festival
March 26, New York Daily News: Robert De Niro pulls controversial anti-vaccination documentary 'Vaxxed' from Tribeca Film Festival
March 26, New York Daily News: Robert De Niro should take heat for giving Tribeca Film Festival platform to anti-vaccination documentary by snake-oil peddler Andrew Wakefield
March 26, New York Times: Robert De Niro Pulls Anti-Vaccine Documentary From Tribeca Film Festival
March 26, CBS New York: De Niro's Tribeca Festival Pulls Anti-Vaccination Film
March 26, NBC New York: De Niro's Tribeca Festival Pulls Anti-Vaccination Film
March 25, NBC New York: Robert De Niro Backs Choice of Controversial Anti-Vaccine Documentary 'Vaxxed' at Tribeca Film Festival
March 25, Daily Beast: The Tribeca Film Festival’s Dangerous Anti-Vax Documentary
March 25, Los Angeles Times: How Robert De Niro's Tribeca Film Festival sold out to anti-vaccine crackpots
March 25, CBS News: Tribeca Film Festival under fire for anti-vaccine documentary
March 25, New York Times: Robert De Niro Defends Screening of Anti-Vaccine Film at Tribeca Festival
March 25, USA Today: De Niro defends showing anti-vaccination doc
March 25, New York Daily News: Robert De Niro defends showing anti-vaccination documentary 'Vaxxed' at Tribeca Film Festival amid backlash
March 25, UK Daily Mail: Robert De Niro defends anti-vaccination documentary screening at Tribeca Film Festival
March 25, Entertainment Tonight: Robert De Niro Defends Screening of Anti-Vaccination Movie at Tribeca Film Festival
March 25, Glamour: Tribeca Film Festival Will Screen Highly Questionable Anti-Vaccine Film
March 25, Daily Beast: The Tribeca Film Festivals Dangerous Anti-Vax Documentary
March 25, Teen Vogue: Tribeca Film Festival Anti-Vaccine Documentary
Something is very wrong when the press so willingly shuts its collective eyes to the worst charge of medical corruption and fraud in our history.
If the members of the press can be so completely controlled when it comes to reporting on such a critical topic like the safety of a product mandated for every child in the country, what else are they being told to cover up? Can we really trust ANYTHING they tell us? Just as pharmaceutical advertising dollars can influence what we're told about vaccine safety, what other corporations are dictating the spin in the news?
Almost no coverage presented the real story of “Vaxxed,” instead those that mentioned it at all, did it like this:
Fox News: “According to the Los Angeles Times, the movie alleges that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has covered up the notion that measles, mumps and rubella vaccines increase the risk of autism.”
Vogue: “Vaxxed is directed by Andrew Wakefield, the doctor who authored a discredited 1998 study linking the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine in children to autism. The Centers for Disease Control has long refuted any link between vaccines and autism, but the debate among parents and the medical community has escalated in recent years.”
People Magazine: “The film claims MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccines are linked to cases of autism, which was a theory presented by gastroenterologist and medical researcher Andrew Wakefield. The notion has since been widely discredited and retracted from the journal it was published in.”
New York Post: “The documentary links vaccines to autism in children; its director is ex-doctor Andrew Wakefield, who launched the whole hysterical movement with a bogus 1998 study.”
ABC News: “The movie reportedly includes interviews with doctors, politicians and parents, and reveals ‘an alarming deception that has contributed to the skyrocketing increase of autism,’ according to the film website.”
Education Week: “The Tribeca Film Festival in New York City has pulled from its schedule this month a controversial documentary asserting a causal link between childhood vaccines and autism.”
Wall Street Journal: “If ‘Vaxxed’ had been submitted as science fiction, it would merit attention for its story line, character development and dialogue. But as a documentary it misrepresents what science knows about autism, undermines public confidence in the safety and efficacy of vaccines, and attacks the integrity of legitimate scientists and public-health officials.”
One has to ask who really controls what we are told in the news.
Anne Dachel is Media Editor for Age of Autism.