By Anne Dachel
From Missouri to Oregon, Pennsylvania to Florida, "Vaxxed" is being shown in theaters and reviewed by the press. I've graded each of these 13 stories because reporters need to be held accountable.
The two things I think are absolutely essential in covering this movie are (1) including the trailer in the online story so the public can see what this is about, and (2) having a reporter who's actually seen the movie and talked to members of the audience.
Reporters who simply sit at their desks and include the talking points higher ups have given them, are a disgrace. Members of the media have an equal share in the blame for what's happened to our children.
Grade: A+ June 10, 2016, KCTV5 Kansas City, Missouri: Controversial film connecting autism to vaccines comes to Kansas
By Joe Chiodo
Reporter Joe Chiodo made the rare statement: "We talked to both sides"--AND THEY DID!
Video coverage included a woman whose nephew was vaccine injured. Andrew Wakefield was interviewed about the CDC whistleblower and fraudulent research. Sheila Lewis Ealey was covered saying, "Guilt. Tremendous guilt because as a mother, you carry your child, your baby, and then one shot in the dark, bam, the child is gone."
By Josh Helmuth
Vaxxed is a documentary that centers around a CDC whistleblower who claims the organization covered up data regarding the vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella which proves can cause the onset of Autism.
Although the CDC says severe side effects from the vaccine are so rare, it’s “hard to tell whether they are caused by the vaccine,” the film’s director says there is a clear reason for a cover-up.
"Because what it does is to threaten pharmaceutical industry profits and vaccine policy in this country,” said Andy Wakefield.
Excellent clips featuring Andy Wakefield, Sheila Lewis Ealey, Kelly Kerns, and Rita Schreffler. The truth about "Vaxxed" is the focus of this piece. This is authentic journalism.
By Kyra Buckley
The privately funded film follows the story of an alleged whistleblower’s claims the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention supposedly omitted information from a study connecting the MMR vaccine to autism.
Jason Davis is with Lane County Health and Human services. He says the County disagrees with the film’s claims but supports increased awareness of vaccines.
Destroying critical data linking vaccines to isolated autism and autism in African American boys is reduced to "supposedly omitted information from a study..."
Nothing substantial was said about this movie. At least it wasn't called "anti-vaccine."
By Dan Margolies
Starting tonight and for an entire week, the Glenwood Arts theater is screening the documentary “Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe,” which was withdrawn from the Tribeca Film Festival in New York earlier this year amid an uproar over its thesis: that there’s a link between the mandatory measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism, and that health authorities have conspired to cover it up. ...
Mossman says the film will be screened 27 times over the course of its run and that, as of early Friday afternoon, more than 800 people had bought tickets online.
“Normally, we’ll have as many or more walk up,” he says. “It’s going to be hectic.”
Margolies had one vague reference to the story of "Vaxxed." The rest of the article consisted of a doctor telling us studies show no link.
Grade: F June 9, 2016, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Review: 'Vaxxed' is closer to horror film than documentary
By Michael O'Sullivan
It's doubtful that “Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe” would be playing anywhere were it not for the controversy that briefly flared up around the film when Robert De Niro personally programmed the documentary linking autism to vaccination into his Tribeca Film Festival in March….
With the tone of a horror film, it presents before-and-after footage of several apparently healthy, developmentally normal children who, after receiving vaccinations, were said to have “regressed” — seemingly overnight — into profoundly disabled youngsters. The interviews with these children's parents are heart-rending.
I wish I had a grade below F because this was vicious and was in itself a cover-up of the story of “Vaxxed.” (O’Sullivan writes for the Washington Post. It figures.)
By Charlie Patton
“I think it’s important that parents have this information when they are considering vaccinating their children,” said Heather Laurence, one of several people who contacted the Times-Union requesting coverage of “Vaxxed.”
“I believe people should see the movie because some children can be injured from the vaccines,” said Maurine Meleck, whose autistic grandson lives with her.
But the movie has many critics.
It’s director, Andrew Wakefield, was the author of 1998 study published in The Lancet that claimed to have found a link between the MMR vaccine and autism. But after questions were raised about how and why Wakefield conducted the study, The Lancet retracted it and Britain’s General Medical Council revoked Wakefield’s medical license.
Why did Patton even bother to write this? (The only good point was the inclusion of my friend Maurine Meleck.) There’s a vague reference to “the argument” that the CDC fixed data. Nothing is said about there being a whistleblower, or about the host of top experts included in “Vaxxed.”
Grade: C- June 9, 2016, Wichita (KS) Eagle: Anti-vaccine film yanked in New York is showing in Wichita
By Rod Pocowatchit
Full disclosure: I have not seen the film. But it has sparked a roiling, intense debate among the scientific and autism community and on social media. Here’s a look at the film and its impact:
The film, directed by British gastroenterologist Andrew Wakefield, alleges that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control destroyed data on their 2004 study that showed a link between the MMR (Measles-Mumps-Rubella) vaccine and autism.
In the film, CDC “whistleblower” William Thompson admits taking part in a “massive scientific fraud to conceal the truth about vaccines causing autism.”
How can a reporter include mention of the fact that a top scientist at the CDC has revealed criminal fraud, and then focus on Andrew Wakefield’s Lancet study?
And it’s always reassuring when the person writing the review readily admits he hasn’t seen it.
The Eagle did include the trailer and they mentioned the whistleblower.
Grade: C- June 8, 2016, Fox25 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma: Controversial vaccination documentary is on the big screen in Green Country http://okcfox.com/news/local/controversial-vaccination-documentary-is-on-the-big-screen-in-green-country
By Lauren Partain
"Vaxxed" takes an inside look at the effects of vaccinations while investigating a theory claims the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine has a link to autism.
This is puzzling to say the least. Partain’s story contains the trailer, which is stunning when you consider the revelations from the CDC whistleblower, but the text has nothing about it.
Grade: A June 8, 2016, KTUL (ABC8) Tulsa, Oklahoma: Autism film 'Vaxxed' now playing in Tulsa
By Burt Mummolo
"It's not an anti-vaccine film, it's about fraud at the CDC, it's about vaccine safety, it's about making them safer," he said.
Wakefield's involvement with autism has led to the loss of his medical license, making him both a villain and a hero, depending on which side reside.
"Firstly, I have never been involved in scientific fraud, number two everything that we published in that original lancet paper has turned out to be exactly true," he said….
The filmmakers are looking for action from congress and to investigate the agency that's supposed to be looking out for our health, the CDC.
"We've got the CDC basically policing itself. They get pharmaceutical money, and they're essentially policing themselves and have no incentive to be transparent," said Dr. Andrew Revelis, a Tulsa physician.
Excellent. It had the trailer and it include the charges made against the CDC.
By Enid Spitz
Vaxxed investigates the connection between MMR vaccination and autism, exploring a whistleblower's claims that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention manipulated and destroyed data about the link.
… Wakefield tried to clear his name last month on Fox and Friends, saying that the film is not anti-vaccine, it just shows a "statistical association" between MMR and a "phenomenal spike" in autism cases over the past twenty years, from 1 in 10,000 children to 1 in 68, according to Wakefield. (Most other scientists say this is bullshit.)
The reason this isn’t an F is because Spitz did include the trailer, but nothing here has anything to do with the story of “Vaxxed.” A huge disconnect.
Grade: F June 8, 2016, Kansas City Star: Director of vaccine documentary is used to controversy — and big ticket sales http://www.kansascity.com/entertainment/movies-news-reviews/article82498532.html
By Robert W. Butler
It also alleges “a pattern of data manipulation, fraud and corruption at the highest levels of the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention),” according to statements in the film by William Thompson, a CDC psychologist involved in vaccine/autism studies.
Thompson’s audio comments, secretly recorded during phone conversations with an anti-vaccine researcher, accuse the CDC of covering up a link between the measles, mumps, rubella vaccine and autism in African-American boys.
Fraud involving a study of the MMR vaccine and autism in African American boys? Butler doesn’t really care. He focuses on discrediting Andrew Wakefield and defending vaccines as safe. This has nothing to do with the story of “Vaxxed.”
Grade: C June 8, 2016, Charleston (SC) City Paper: 'Vaxxed' screening at the Terrace starting Friday
By Elizabeth Gelbaugh
Documenting a cover-up by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the faulty safety study of the Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) vaccine, the film delves into the controversy of the vaccination process from the perspective of whistleblower and CDC Senior Scientist William Thompson. According to the film, the CDC concealed and destroyed data after a 2004 study revealed a link between the MMR vaccine and autism.
Gelbaugh’s piece included the trailer. She makes no mention of whether she’s actually seen the movie. It’s hard to understand how reporters can state that there’s a claim that the CDC committed fraud, and then just talk about Robert DeNiro. That is a horrific charge. It should raise lots of questions, but Gelbaugh seemed more concerned about “undercurrents that seem strongly anti-vaccine.”
Grade: F June 8, 2016, Portland (OR) Mercury: Why Is Portland's Cinema 21 Showing Vaxxed?
By Erik Henriksen
After Tribeca, Vaxxed was met with mixed-to-negative reaction. Variety called it a "slickly produced but scientifically dubious hodgepodge of free-floating paranoia, heart-rending imagery... and anti-Big Pharma conspiracy mongering." After calling the film "a biased look at a controversial topic,"…
"In the movie, they claim there is an epidemic of autism in this country, and I, for one, would like to see what that amounts to," Ranieri continues, "whether it's half true, partly true, full of shit, or a matter of how the autism spectrum is defined and reported. But at every level of this, there are questions to ask, which I think are important ones. And I don't think you do that just by saying, 'These people are scared are ignorant, and you ought not show the film.' The 'ought not' stuff, I'm not a fan of. I self-censored myself a while ago, and I'm not going to do it again."
This review was as much a fraud as the 2004 MMR study.
Anne Dachel is Media Editor for Age of Autism.