By Anne Dachel
August 11, 2016, Los Angeles Times: Arianna Huffington wants to sell health advice and products. Science help us.
Paul Thornton, at the LA Times, is mad at Arianna Huffington because for years she's allowed for free speech on the issue of vaccine safety on the Huffington Post blog. Thornton blames the likes of Jenny McCarthy, Dr. Jay Gordon, and Bill Maher for giving us their opinions on vaccines on HP, and he's even more dismayed because now Ms Huffington is moving on to a new public forum, Thrive Global. Thornton fears for the worse.
I think I can see what Thornton's problem is, because even a brief scan of the Huffington Post archives reveals numerous articles on the pro-vaccine side. The only conclusion I can come to is that he’s mostly upset by the idea of anyone being fair and balanced when it comes to covering vaccines safety. If all the mainstream news outlets are following the dictates of their advertisers (pharma) and bowing to pressure from health officials and therefore writing what they're told about vaccines--never actually investigating this controversy for themselves--there has to be a way to shut down the alternative news sources.
In his biography it states, "Paul Thornton is the Los Angeles Times’ letters editor. He joined the editorial pages in 2005 as a researcher and occasional editorial writer and also served as a Web producer."
We should all be concerned that someone with no tolerance for opposing views on vaccine safety is in charge of which letters get published at the Times. And it's hard to believe that Thornton has spent over a decade as a researcher for the LA Times, yet has such a simplistic view of the vaccine controversy. Sadly, his not-too-subtle call for censorship is the standard viewpoint of the American media when it comes to talking about vaccines: We will not look into this.
Arianna Huffington got very rich off writers working for free and by providing a platform for quacks to push dubious medical advice, including dangerous amounts of anti-vaccination nonsense. ...
But we should be skeptical of anyone who sees economic opportunity in selling us answers that science and mainstream medicine have not yet provided (despite their best efforts). Huffington has gone a step further and enabled people who encourage dangerous behavior and deserve to be ignored. Keep that in mind before you “Thrive” (for a price, of course)....
I’ve written a handful of pieces on the public health crisis of diminishing vaccination rates, work that required doing some opposition research. The articles that soberly presented the evidence on vaccines and the risks of forgoing them appeared mostly in peer-reviewed medical journals and in newspapers and magazines with a respect for scientific consensus. As for the other side (and I say “other side” without any implication of moral equivalence), one place served as a clearinghouse for articles that ranged from insidiously raising questions about the vaccination schedule to angrily rejecting the work of scientists and doctors: the Huffington Post. This isn’t to say that site publishes only pieces from vaccine deniers (to the contrary, its more recent record on the topic is better), but parents worried about harming their children and who might withhold valuable medical treatment at the slightest suggestion that something could go wrong can easily find archives of material at the Huffington Post to confirm their worst fears.
According to Thornton, no one can question vaccines safety claims--NO ONE. All the science is in and we must accept whatever pharma-funded officials tell us. I can’t think of any other subject where the media so completely shuts down like they do when the topic is vaccination. Even a hint of doubt regarding the safety of the ever-increasing vaccine schedule isn’t allowed. Reporters do everything in their power to try and convince us that every vaccine is safe for every child—something that hardly seems possible to any thinking person. Perhaps this is why the public increasingly doesn’t trust the press to tell them the truth about vaccines.
And as far as Thornton’s attack on McCarthy, Maher, and Gordon, it was more than just a little disingenuous, it was an out-and-out cover-up. Thornton gave us of the opinions of these three, hardly much to challenge the conclusions of mainstream medicine.
What Thornton didn’t give us were details about the multitude of articles on Huffington that have raised serious questions about vaccine safety for the last decade.
I’m talking about ones like the Jan 6, 2014 piece by Lawrence Solomon, National Post (Canada) columnist, entitled Why the Press Shouldn’t Dismiss Vaccine Skeptics. He wrote about the late Dr. Bernadine Healy, former head of NIH, who, according to Solomon, “criticized the public health establishment for being ‘too quick to dismiss [vaccine concerns] as irrational. The more you delve into it, if you look at the basic science, if you look at the research that's been done in animals, if you also look at some of these individual cases, and if you look at the evidence... what you come away with is that the question [of vaccine safety] has not been answered.’”
Solomon listed well credentialed experts, including Dr. Diane Harper, Dr. Chris Shaw, Dr. Lucija Tomljenovic, Professor Walter Spitzer, and Dr. Peter Fletcher—all of whom are convinced that vaccines have serious side effects.
Solomon is a veteran journalist and bestselling author, and he’s continued to write on vaccines.
Oct 8, 2014, Huffington Canada: More Parents in California Are Refusing to Vaccinate Their Kids
On December 19, 2014, his story, Why Doctors Aren't Shocked That Mumps Have Hit the NHL was published on Huffington Canada. This was a strong critique of the efficacy of the mumps vaccine by top doctors like Dr. Gregory Poland, head of the Mayo Clinic's Vaccine Research Group. Solomon also revealed that Merck, the maker of the MMR vaccine, was facing two lawsuits by “doctors and medical practices who claim they were sold an overpriced and defective product.”
In addition, Thornton doesn't mention what Robert Kennedy, Jr's has said about fraudulent vaccine science, the federal government, and the Centers for Disease Control in his Huffington stories.
on May 11, 2010, Central Figure in CDC Vaccine Cover-Up Absconds With $2M,
or his March 27, 2009 Vaccine Court: Autism Debate Continues,
or his Feb 27, 2009, Autism, Vaccines and the CDC: The Wrong Side of History,
or his March 5, 2006, Time for CDC to Come Clean.
It’s pretty easy to understand why Thornton didn’t want to bring up these Huffington stories; they expose corruption, and they name names. They're the kind of reporting that we should be getting from our mainstream news outlets.
Actually these stories are just the beginning of "anti-vaccine" coverage on Huffington. Look at what journalist and author David Kirby has had published on Huffington. .
If Thornton had wanted to be honest about what been on Huffington, he would have had to include some of these:
Dec 6, 2012, Mercury, Vaccines Hot Topics at Autism Hearing
June 12, 2012, Mercury, Vaccines Hot Topics at Autism Hearing
Nov 17, 2011, NEW STUDY - "Mitochondrial Autism" is Real; Vaccine Triggers Cannot Be Ruled Out
May 10, 2011, High Rates of Autism Found in Federal Vaccine Injury Program: Study Says More Answers Needed http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-kirby/high-rates-of-autism-foun_b_859234.html?
March 18, 2011, CDC to Study Vaccines and Autism?
Feb 11, 2011, The Autism-Vaccine Debate: Why It Won't Go Away
Nov 5, 2009, US News -- Slow Down Vaccines for Some Kids?
Mar 28, 2009, NIH Agency Head: Vaccine-Autism Research is "Legitimate"
April 27, 2008, The Next Vaccine-Autism Newsmaker: Not Isolated, Not Unusual
April 4, 2008, CDC Has Lost Control of the Autism Argument
Jan 2, 2007, There is No Autism Epidemic
Somehow Paul Thornton avoided making any mention of these articles and the questions they raise (and I'm sure there are plenty more that I wasn't able to find). We all need to ask ourselves why a reporter writing for a major U.S. paper doesn’t want to see balanced coverage when it comes vaccines. It's so much easier to pretend there are no fraudulent studies, no government payouts for vaccine injury that includes autism, and no experts challenging what conflicted officials tell us.
I think what really bothers Thornton and the rest of the mainstream media is the fact that these Huffington stories are out there, available to anyone who cares to search online. The public has come to realize that there is a huge difference between pap from LA Times and what true investigators have discovered about vaccines.
There must be enormous pressure on Huffington to shut down the debate on vaccines. On April 17, 2016, former CBS Emmy Awarding journalist Sharyl Attkisson published the story, Review of “Vaxxed” deleted From Huffington Post.
A review of the film by writer Lance Simmens was originally published in the Huffington Post. It deviated from the normally-accepted vaccine industry, government and medical establishment storyline. It read, in part:
Vaxxed, the controversial documentary alleging a direct causal relationship between vaccines and exponential increases in autism amongst children is a deeply disturbing and hence critically important piece of work that will cause many sleepless nights for parents of infants everywhere. I had the honor of both watching the film last night and participating in a discussion afterwards with its Producer, Del Bigtree and Director, Dr. Andrew Wakefield. It is a must see film and deserves to serve as a catalyst for a national discussion of the role of mandatory vaccines for children and the role of the pharmaceutical industry in government decision-making.
Vaxxed represents another in a cascade of documented allegations calling to task not only the corruption of government regulatory agencies but the corruption of science and scientific method itself.
What is equally disturbing, however, is that the film represents another in a cascade of documented allegations calling to task not only the corruption of government regulatory agencies but the corruption of science and scientific method itself. And to the extent that the current Presidential election contest has sparked virulent dissatisfaction with our elected leadership and the institutions of government we must take this opportunity to seriously question what many had taken for granted: namely, that government has as its most solemn mission the protection of public health, safety and welfare. The film carefully documents decisions by the Centers for Disease Control that lend credence to systemic corruption.
Simmens has reported that his review was removed from the Huffington Post shortly after it was posted. He says his account was blocked and he’s been unable to get an explanation.
It’s probably just a malfunction. The news media wouldn’t censor this sort of information.
That was, I'm sure, said in a very sarcastic tone. The news media has powerful forces pushing to cover up the truth about vaccine studies, vaccine damage, and the autism epidemic.
Forbes and Scientific American have both attacked Huffington for their "anti-vaccine" stories. Censorship is alive and well in America, and things are most likely only going to get worse.
Anne Dachel is Media Editor for Age of Autism.