Nathan Crabbe at the Gainesville Sun is just the latest example of bigotry and sloppy reporting when it comes to the vaccine controversy.
Crabbe says he watched "VaxXed," but you'd never know it from this article. Instead of writing about an alleged whistleblower at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and a fraudulent study on the MMR vaccine and autism, he devoted most of this piece to slamming Andrew Wakefield and defending vaccines by saying, "The most important thing for parents to know is that repeated studies have found no connection between vaccines and autism."
Crabbe mentioned that his son spent time in the hospital as a baby because of a virus, but what was lost on him were the stories in "VaxXed" of normal, healthy babies who suddenly got very sick and descended into autism following routine vaccination. Crabbe is proof that no matter how much evidence is out there, the media will never honestly and thoroughly cover this controversy.
Sept 30, 2016, Gainesville (FL) Sun: Nathan Crabbe: Lies about vaccines cost lives
In any case, I wasn’t enthusiastic about watching this particular movie.
But I felt bad about bashing the movie without seeing it, so I told the reader who made the offer that I would watch it without payment. The documentary, "Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe," claims a connection between vaccines and autism....
The cover of the “Vaxxed” DVD proudly includes the logo for the Silver Springs festival as well the crossed-out logos for two festivals where showings were cancelled, including New York’s Tribeca Film Festival. “The film they don’t watch you to see,” it says ominously.
As a journalist, the idea of restricting access to information goes against everything I believe in. But there is a difference between someone's opinions and scientific claims that have been refuted through research. Film festivals have no obligation to screen films that spread lies, and are being downright irresponsible when those lies cause the spread of diseases that cost lives.
"Vaxxed” begins by confronting that very issue, showing news coverage of a measles outbreak that started at Disneyland in California in 2014. The outbreak’s subsequent spread across several states was linked to parents who opted their kids out of getting the measles vaccine.
For a moment I thought the film might actually be an evenhanded documentary, but that thought was dispelled once Andrew Wakefield appeared on the screen. Wakefield, the film's director, also happens to be the author of a discredited study published in the British medical journal The Lancet in 1998 linking the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine to autism....
The most important thing for parents to know is that repeated studies have found no connection between vaccines and autism. My son spent the first couple weeks of his life in the hospital due to a nasty virus, so I find it particularly loathsome to use made-up threats to discourage the use of vaccines that prevent real diseases.
After watching “Vaxxed,” my suspicion that it was a propaganda film masquerading as documentary was only validated. You couldn’t pay me to recommend it to parents.
Anne Dachel is Media Editor for Age of Autism.