By justin Kanew
As a quick reminder, this is the 2nd of 4 interviews. The first was with Del Bigtree, producer of Vaxxed, which you can listen to here if you haven't yet.
In this next one I wanted to talk to someone who feels differently about the controversial topic of vaccines and autism than Del does, so it seemed there would be no more diametrically opposed viewpoint than that of Brian Deer.
I know I don't have to tell most of you Brian is the investigative journalist who accused VAXXED director Doctor Wakefield of fraud in a series of Sunday Times articles and initiated the investigation that got Wakefield's medical license revoked in England years ago. He's the source of much controversy and many strong feelings, and Brian himself has strong feelings about Wakefield, so I wanted to hear directly from him what his thoughts were about the topic and why.
So here's that interview:
I'd also like to address the fact that in the comments section I've seen people wonder if I'm some sort of "plant" sent from high above to hurt the case against vaccines, which I assure you I will swear on a stack of any kind of holy book you may read I'm not.
I've also seen people question how this interview happened. It's simple really- Brian's email is public on his website, I emailed him, and he responded (see photo at the top of this post.)
I'm not sure if that will help put those concerns to bed, but if not I think you'll find the episode shows we are anything but in league together. I look forward to hearing more from you about it.
I should also say that in the 2 days since the first interview posted, I've found myself the target of ire from both sides. Anti-vaxxers are angry that my wife and I still plan to try to find a safe way to vaccinate our baby girl, while pro-vaxxers are angry that by doing these interviews I'm giving a platform to the makers of Vaxxed and like-minded anti-vaxxers.
It's been heated, but it's ok. I can take it. I'm a big boy. I knew this was a contentious comment, and I expected to hear a lot of
The good news is through the anger there have also been calmer, well-meaning people on both sides who seem genuinely interested in educating me and sending me links that help make their points. Both sides have sent links to scientific studies - pro-vaxxers seem genuinely convinced theirs prove beyond a shadow of a doubt vaccines don't in any way cause autism... and anti-vaxxers are sure they don't.
I'm trying to read all of them. Please keep them coming. Even the ones that come angrily.
To be clear: The ONLY thing I care about here is finding out the truth.
Frankly, I would PREFER for that truth to be that vaccines are safe, and never cause autism, and we're free to pump doses into our daughter without inhibition. But the more I dig, the more elusive that feeling of freedom seems to get. I still have questions, and I still plan on asking them, no matter how many people that upsets.
One of the most concerning things I've learned is about the existence of the United States Vaccine Court, and the fact that it has paid billions to families of vaccine-injured children, including Hannah Poling, who also has an autism diagnosis the government insists is not what she was paid for. But in the 3rd episode, coming early next week, I talk to Lou Conte and Mary Holland, 2 parents behind a concerning Pace University study that shows Hannah Poling is not alone.
Episode 2 is embedded above, but it's also live on iTunes here: https://goo.gl/nXkFPI
Look forward to your comments and your thoughts on all of it.
Justin Kanew is a writer-producer in Los Angeles who was also a 2-time contestant on "THE AMAZING RACE" on CBS with his best friend Zev-- the first ever Amazing Race contestant on the autism spectrum. He lives in Encino, CA with his wife Nicole, a BCBA, and his recently born daughter Kaia. He also hosts "GET IT GOT IT GOOD", a podcast that was recently #16 on the iTunes News & Politics" chart. Subscribe to it here: https://goo.gl/nXkFPI And follow him on Twitter here: @justin_kanew