As someone who’s waded through daily news stories on autism and on the controversial link to vaccines for well over ten years, let me tell you, nothing ever changes when the media reports on this. The tired mantra, “studies show no link,” or some version thereof, is always present, as if OFFICIAL STUDIES HAVE SETTLED THE DEBATE.
Members of the media retreat to the guys in the white coats waving the latest research to cover up their own failure as journalists. No mainstream reporter ever deviates from the standard storyline when they’re covering vaccines. There can never be even a hint that parents have something to worry about.
One only has to think back to George Stephanopoulos on ABC interviewing Dr. Andrew Wakefield in 2011. Stephanopoulos said that he’d read Wakefield’s book, Callous Disregard, yet he couldn’t cite a single statement that was in the book. All he did was repeat the claims from Brian Deer’s book.
Probably the worst example of media fraud on this issue was on CNN when Anderson Cooper talked to Wakefield, also in 2011. Cooper refused to address Wakefield as “Dr. Wakefield.” Instead he merely said, “Sir.” When Wakefield tried to defend himself against the charges Cooper was making by holding up a copy of his book, Cooper immediately cut him off saying, “I’m not here to let you pitch your book, I’m here to have you answer questions.” He went on to call Wakefield a liar: “But sir, if you’re lying, then you book is a lie. If your study is a lie, your book is a lie.” Every time Wakefield tried to present his side, Cooper cut him off.
Reporters love to bring up Wakefield’s name in their stories, blaming him for parents not vaccinating because of his fraudulent study; no one interviews him these days. No one wants his side in the news.
Corruption of the press is on my mind lately because of rather blunt comments from President Trump.
Recently Trump was interviewed by Fox News reporter Sean Hannity and the discussion was about the media.
“They’re very dishonest people. The media is very dishonest, I’ve been saying, I say it openly. …I get stories that are so false and so dishonest… It’s fake news, it’s fake. They make things up…. They’re the liars.”
Please understand that my life is so centered on what’s happening to the health of our children that I don’t have a lot of time to explode political questions, but as far as the press is concerned, Trump is absolutely right! (And this is not an endorsement of his economic, foreign, or domestic policies.)
After years and years of watching news coverage and reading endless stories, posting thousands of comments, and writing hundreds of articles, I know full well that the press is corrupt. They write what they’re told. They set up the phony scenario: cite the studies, interview pro-vaccine experts, slam vaccine skeptical parents, trivialize autism.
All I had to do was look at the last couple weeks to prove my point. There were dozens of stories to choose from, and I picked five.
Jan 26, USA Today
John J. Pitney, Jr.: Trump’s fake science could be lethal
“Trump’s science denial is especially troubling when it comes to autism. For years, he has propounded a discredited theory about the origins of the condition. In 2007, he said: ‘When I was growing up, autism wasn't really a factor. And now all of a sudden, it's an epidemic. Everybody has their theory, and my theory is the shots. They're getting these massive injections at one time. I think it's the vaccinations.’
“Study after study has disproved any connection between vaccines and autism. Scientists are still studying the roots of autism, and many possibilities remain, but vaccinations are the one purported cause that they have definitively ruled out.”
Jan 26, Washington Post
Joel Achenbach: The nation’s top scientists can’t get through to Trump — and they’re alarmed
Leaders of several of the nation's top science organizations say they've been shunned by the Trump administration and are alarmed by signs that the administration will muzzle government researchers and reject the scientific evidence that informs such critical issues as vaccine safety and climate change….
Earlier this month Trump met with Robert F. Kennedy Jr., after which Kennedy, an ardent promoter of the discredited notion that vaccines cause autism, said Trump asked him to chair a presidential commission on vaccine safety and scientific integrity. The Trump transition team quickly said no decision has been made about such a commission. But Trump has also promoted the discredited vaccine-autism link.
Jan 26, Los Angeles Times Michael Hiltzik: Trump is at war with science and knowledge, and that should terrify you “He also has given credence to a decisively debunked link between childhood vaccines and autism, …”
“ A White House panel that questions vaccine safety and attacks immunization standards set by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control—a possibility raised last week in meetings with incoming president Donald Trump—could actually lead to increased disease outbreaks. Environmental lawyer Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., who suggests inoculations are linked to autism, met last week with Trump to discuss a panel to examine what Kennedy called ‘vaccine safety and scientific integrity.’ Although the autism–vaccine claim has been studied and debunked, the president-elect has also suggested a connection. His team later hedged about the panel, saying that nothing had been decided. (Kennedy’s office declined an interview request.) Nevertheless, public health experts and autism advocates are deeply worried that an effort with presidential backing could undermine public confidence in vaccines and trigger epidemics of all-but-eradicated diseases.
“‘We have dozens of studies examining autism and vaccines, and they don’t show a link,’ says Alison Singer, president of the Autism Science Foundation, a nonprofit that supports autism research.
Jan 16, Chicago Tribune
Laurie Garrett: Donald Trump and the anti-vaxxer conspiracy theorists
“Things are getting down and dirty now. And millions of lives are at stake. I cannot possibly state strongly enough how dangerous it is that President-elect Donald Trump has embraced the notion that vaccination is the cause of autism.
“Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a celebrated vaccine skeptic, met with Trump on Jan. 10. Speaking to reporters outside Trump Tower in Manhattan after the meeting, Kennedy said he will chair a commission ‘on vaccine safety and scientific integrity’ at Trump’s request, because, ‘we ought to be debating the science.’…
Kennedy has long held the position that vaccines are dangerous, and that the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine administered to American children is a likely cause of autism. Like any good conspiracy theorist, Trump has long questioned the wisdom of vaccines. On Oct. 22, 2012, he tweeted that vaccines constitute “doctor-inflicted autism.”…
“…Kennedy claims the mercury is still used as a preservative and causes brain damage. But the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Food and Drug Administration removed thimerosal, the preservative in question, from vaccines and it has not been used in MMR since 1999. “
Jan 16, Sacramento Bee
Karin Klein:How scientific fraud about vaccines sows seeds of long-lived doubt
“I talked vaccines with Robert Kennedy Jr. a couple of years ago, when the Legislature was considering Senate Bill 277, which made vaccines mandatory for almost all school-age children. Kennedy was putting on rallies in Sacramento and showing his anti-vaccine movie; I’d been told by a mutual friend that he could explain the real scientific concerns.
“Not really, as it turned out. Instead of bringing up previously unexamined concerns about the safety of vaccines, Kennedy homed in on one of the most ancient. He wanted to talk about what he contends is the link between autism and thimerosal, the preservative that used to be added to many routine childhood vaccinations.
“Let’s ignore for a moment the mountains of high-quality studies that have discredited the autism-vaccine shibboleth and focus instead on the words ‘used to.’ Thimerosal was removed or reduced to trace amounts in children’s vaccines some 15 years ago. It’s still present in multi-dose flu vaccines, but getting a single-dose shot is easy enough….
“Trump already has an entire agency – the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – that studies and studies and studies vaccine safety. Vaccines undergo regulatory safety regulations so tight, they make the approval of regular prescription drugs look like a waltz in the free market.”
Notice that these stories attack Robert Kennedy without showing any interest in why scientific integrity is in question at the CDC.
John Pitney, Joel Achenbach, Michael Hiltzik, Laurie Garrett, and Karin Klein don’t really cover the issue. Their stories simply defend the safety of vaccines, no questions asked. They’re going after Kennedy the same way the press demonizes Andrew Wakefield.
Pitney cited“study after study” without, I’m sure, ever having looked at a single one or asked about the role of the vaccine industry in the research.
Achenbach reported that “several of the nation’s top science organizations…are alarmed” over Kennedy’s commission on vaccine safety. What Achenbach will never do is investigate the money ties between those organizations and the pharmaceutical industry.
Hiltzik warned that if Kennedy’s panel looks into the CDC’s immunization standards, it could “undermine public confidence in vaccines and trigger epidemics…” According to Hiltzik the science is in, and we dare not even look into the issue.
Laurie Garrett at the Chicago Tribune is the most glaring example of the incompetence of the press. She has no idea of the real issues here and makes the absurd claim that mercury “has not been used in the MMR since 1999,” when it was never in the MMR in the first place!
Klein defended injecting mercury into children as safe, and relied on the authority of the CDC that “studies and studies and studies vaccine safety,” seemingly unconcerned that the agency that approves, recommends, and vigorously promotes vaccines is also in charge of vaccine safety.
She said she’d talked about this issue with Kennedy a couple of years ago, but it seems she wasn’t really listening. In his scathing attacks on the CDC, he has long made it clear that their main interest is profit for the vaccine makers, not the health and safety of our children. The money ties between this agency and the companies they regulate are vast. Klein is willing to close her eyes to the fact that in Kennedy’s words, the CDC “is a vaccine company” because they hold the patents on over 20 vaccines.
No reporter will ever discuss the power and influence the pharmaceutical industry has over our health officials (and the media for that matter). Pharma long ago bought the regulators and the press.
ANY HONEST COVERAGE would open the door to the possibility that through total oversight failure and corruption, we are now looking at the systematic poisoning of a generation of children through the mandated vaccine program.
The only real defense experts, officials and reporters have is “the studies”—they are often referenced as conclusive proof that disproves any link between vaccines and autism. No one ever looks into the easily flawed and easily manipulated findings of the endless population studies.
NOTE TO THE PRESS: The public isn’t buying it. We know the science was rigged and the findings were fixed. We have a whistleblower from inside the CDC, Dr. William Thompson, and he says his agency lied. They destroyed data that showed a link between the MMR and autism.
Parents also know about research of Dr. Poul Thorsen in Denmark. He’s currently under indictment by the U.S. government for 22 counts of wire fraud and money laundering. He is alleged to have stolen more than $1 million from a CDC grant to Denmark. His study on thimerosal and autism was the science used by the 2004 Institute of Medicine panel to dismiss a connection between vaccines and autism.
Parents have heard all about how medical experts from HHS conceded the claim of vaccine-induced autism in the case of Hannah Poling back in 2008, as well as more than 80 injury claims that included autism and were compensated by the federal Vaccine Court.
They know about the conflicts of interest waivers that are rampant at the CDC because those regulating vaccines are also getting money from the vaccine makers.
You either haven’t educated yourselves on all the slimy facts involved in the vaccine safety debate, or you know and you willingly cover them up.
Either way, after two decade of failing to honestly report on a subject so vital to the our children’s health, NO ONE IS LISTENING TO YOU.
Dr. James Lyons Weiler reports on fake news and censorship in Fake Science: When is Medical “Science” Not Science?
Anne Dachel is Media Editor for Age of Autism.