By Anne Dachel
Here's a look at "Vaxxed" coverage around the country. It's interesting to see which news sites honestly report on the real story of "Vaxxed" and which ones reduce it to Andrew Wakefield's fraudulent claim that vaccines cause autism and say nothing about a scandalous governmental cover-up.
May 26, 2016, Santa Barbara Independent: Film Stirs Vax Pot ‘Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe’ Plays at Riviera Theater By Keith Hamm
"At the core of Vaxxed is CDC whistleblower Dr. William Thompson, who in 2014 released a statement admitting (and regretting) that he and fellow authors of a 2004 article in the medical journal Pediatrics left out significant information that “suggested that African American males who received the MMR [measles, mumps, and rubella] vaccine before age 36 months were at increased risk for autism.”
Excellent review. It authentically covered the film and the controversy. Congratulations to Keith Hamm for doing his job. He even includes comments by a former Merck rep who was onstage during the Q and A.
“A documentary alleging that the CDC, the government agency charged with protecting the health of American citizens, destroyed data on their 2004 study that showed a link between the MMR vaccine and autism. Directed by Andrew Wakefield. This Film is Not Rated/91m.”
This was just a press release statement in a list of featured movies, but it was far better than most of the news reports on “Vaxxed.”
The Star Tribune reprinted the review by Mick LaSalle from the San Francisco Chronicle.
“So ‘Vaxxed’ can be seen as Wakefield’s side of the story. But it also contains a lot of interesting new information, which is contained in surreptitiously recorded phone calls with Dr. William Thompson, a former researcher from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control). Thompson, a potential whistle blower, claims that he was present for the suppression of findings that established a connection between the MMR virus and autism.”
Charges of fraud and cover-up by the people who run the vaccine program weren't frightening or even concerning, but merely “interesting.” There was no call for an investigation or a congressional hearing. Life goes on.
May 31, 2016, Fox8 Cleveland: ‘Vaxxed’ filmmakers in Cleveland for special screenings, Q&As
By Darcie Loreno
There were only four sentences in the review.
“'Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe’ was directed by Andrew Wakefield, an activist and former doctor whose 1998 study linking autism to childhood vaccines was discredited and retracted years ago.”
There was nothing about the content of the film and no trailer.
“A documentary purporting to show an investigation into how the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concealed and destroyed data in a study that showed a link between the MMR vaccine and autism will screen in Tulsa.”
While this review started out fine, and it did not include the trailer to “Vaxxed,” the piece talked about Robert De Niro and Andrew Wakefield. What about the “destroyed data”? What about the “link between the MMR vaccine and autism”?
Hoffman included the trailer to “Vaxxed,” which most reporters don’t do. She mentioned “a cover-up,” but claimed it was Wakefield who said it. There was no mention of William Thompson and what goes on at the CDC. (Nice photo of Andy was included announcing his appearance in KC.)
By Tom Lyons
Lyons didn’t even attempt to report on “Vaxxed,” the movie. His piece was about everything but the film. He wrote about the man who sponsored “Vaxxed” in Sarasota, Donald Trump, and Andrew Wakefield. He says he’s sympathetic to autism parents, but then ridicules the link to vaccines. Another case of reviewing a movie while hiding what it’s really about.
By Lauren Delgado
Delgado wrote about Robert De Niro and Andrew Wakefield. She cited Autism Speaks’ position defending vaccines. She said nothing about the real story of “Vaxxed,” except to conclude that it advocates “for giving the MMR vaccine to children at age 3 or splitting it into three different shots.”
One mother of a vaccine injured child who’s seen “Vaxxed” five times was quoted. Too bad the reporter didn’t see the film herself before writing about it.
The trailer was included in the story, and Andrew Wakefield was interviewed here. He said the CDC has covered up the truth. “This is an insider word from a senior scientist from inside the Center for Disease Control coming forward saying himself they have committed fraud, lied and deceived the American people about the potential negative effects of the vaccine. They have put millions of children in harm’s way,”
While a doctor was included who defended vaccines based on all the studies, the public was given the argument from the other side that the research has been falsified to show no link. A parent's story of how vaccines injured his children was included. Definitely outstanding coverage!
This was a bizarre article. It didn’t have “Vaxxed” listed in the current and upcoming movie lineup with a write-up of what the film was about like all the others, instead it was only mentioned in the opening like this:
“Every once in a while, it'll show a weird or controversial flick — this week's Vaxxed, for example, about which Cleveland Cinemas marketing director Dave Huffman told Scene: ‘Cleveland Cinemas does not shy away from controversial films and believes in providing an outlet for all types of filmmaking and opinions.’”
What was that supposed to mean? Is “Vaxxed” somewhere between “weird” and “controversial”? A movie about government fraud and corruption putting all of our children in danger was trivialized and demeaned, and its actual content was carefully hidden from the public.
June 3, 2016, FOX 13 Tampa Bay: Controversial documentary 'Vaxxed' comes to Sarasota
Twice in this short piece we read that "Vaxxed" is an "attempt" to link vaccines and autism.
“The documentary attempts to link vaccinations with autism and presents before and after footage of several apparently healthy children who after receiving vaccines were said to regress into disabled youngsters.”
Absolutely nothing was said about the CDC or William Thompson. The piece talked about Wakefield and "scientific fraud."
There was no trailer included and whoever wrote this had one goal, to discredit the film while defending vaccines.
"Infamous vaccine documentary"? The person covering this clearly never saw the movie.
Reporter Lauren Sausser wrote about Wakefield's 1998 paper in the Lancet, and she had a doctor from the University of South Carolina denounce Wakefield's work and who worried that the movie would convince parents not to vaccinate.
Sausser brought up Tribeca and the fact that Robert De Niro removed the film from the festival. Nothing was said about fraud and cover-up, but only that 'the film reveals previously unreleased CDC data showing a statistical association between the introduction of MMR and the phenomenal spike in the number of autism cases in the U.S.'
Anyone reading this would know nothing about the story of "Vaxxed." And that was probably the intention all along.
Anne Dachel is Media Editor for Age of Autism.