Autism GI Pain: New Research Shows Significance
World Mercury Project: Hiding Vaccine-Related Deaths With Semantic Sleight-of-Hand

The End of Journalism: A Book Review of The Smear By Sharyl Attkisson

The SmearBy Jonathan Rose

Sharyl Attkisson, The Smear: How Shady Political Operatives and Fake News Control What You See, What You Think, and How You Vote (New York: HarperCollins, 2017), $27.99.

Sharyl Attkisson is just about the only real journalist we have left.  As an investigative reporter for CBS, she won five Emmys and an Edward R. Murrow Award.  Her bosses rewarded her by cutting down her air time and spiking her stories.  (In a 2013 survey, only 33.6 percent of American journalists said they felt free to pursue any stories they wished, down from 60 percent in 1982.)  Out of frustration, Attkisson quit CBS and moved to Sinclair Broadcasting, where she anchors Full Measure, perhaps the only television newscast that actually leaves its viewers better informed.

Drawing on years of hard legwork, she has come to the conclusion that journalism has virtually come to an end – if we define journalism as the craft of ferreting out the truth and communicating it objectively in your own words.  What we call “journalists” have in fact been reduced to spin doctors, PR functionaries, and (worst of all) smear artists.  And Attkisson explains, in shocking detail, how the whole dirty system works.

The Smear nowhere mentions autism or vaccines, but anyone concerned with these issues must read this book.  The poisoning of our children continues unabated and unreported, but only because the media systematically poisons our public discourse.  What was done to Dr. Andrew Wakefield was despicable – and yet, not at all unusual.  That kind of vilification has now become standard operating procedure for disposing of whistleblowers and troublemakers.  Wakefield himself never appears in The Smear, but Attkisson describes many other victims of the same kind of tactics.  If we rented a very large convention hall, they could meet and swap horror stories.

In March 1992 newsman Jeff Gerth exposed the Whitewater scandal in the New York Times.  “The Clinton campaign went after me the day the story was published,” Gerth remembered.  “There was a whole department aimed at me and other reporters who were looking at the Clintons, the women, the Rose Law Firm.”  His editors backed off: “We don’t want any Whitewater stories,” they told Gerth, and they would not allow him to defend himself in print against Clinton attacks.  In 1996 pro-Clinton journalist Gene Lyons published The Great Whitewater Hoax, labeling Gerth’s revelations “debunked” and “discredited”.  If these words sound familiar, they are in fact the usual buzzwords parroted endlessly by smear artists, who rarely resort to a thesaurus.  The type of book Lyons produced is basically a PR weapon: hardly anyone buys or reads it, but it can be widely excerpted in the media, in this case by Harper’s and PBS.  All that was more than enough to neutralize Gerth as an investigative reporter and to discourage other journalists who might want to look into Clinton sleaze.

Or take James Tomsheck, who proved too diligent in doing his job: policing corruption at the US Customs and Border Protection agency.  When the deputy commissioner of the agency strongly hinted that corruption arrests should be drastically reduced, Tomsheck refused.  Not only was he soon reassigned: false reports disparaging his job performance were planted in the media.  And John Dodson, the government agent who blew the whistle on the Justice Department’s “Fast and Furious” scandal, found himself grossly libeled in Fortune magazine.

In 2014 University of Colorado professor Roger Pielke Jr. published an article on Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight website arguing that climate change was not causing more severe natural disasters.  He was promptly attacked by the Center for American Progress, a pressure group launched by John Podesta, formerly Bill Clinton’s chief of staff.  Soon a host of media outlets (Slate, Salon, Huffington Post) picked up the cry and demanded that Silver get rid of Pielke, which he eventually did.  Pielke counted the articles that the Center for American Progress generated against him, more than 160 in all, and even charted them on a graph.  Though he agreed that climate change was a serious problem and favored a carbon tax to deal with it, he was nevertheless branded a “climate denier”.  Does this also sound familiar?

Even Dilbert is a prime target.  When Scott Adams asked his fans to tweet him examples of campaign violence against Trump supporters, he received quite a few.  He was also flooded with hate tweets (and for a while was blocked from replying).  He was disinvited from a speaking engagement, his books were suddenly slammed in Amazon reviews, and Slate did a hatchet job on him so amusing that he retweeted it to his followers.

Adams could afford to laugh at all this: he knew that any newspaper that dropped Dilbert would lose its few remaining readers.  However, for UK journalist Neil Clark, the price of dissent was far greater.  In December 2005 he published a negative review of a book supporting the Iraq War in the Daily Telegraph.  The very next day he faced a blizzard of anonymous personal attacks that continued for years.  He was labeled a “plagiarist” and a “fraud” on social media and in letters to editors he worked for.  On Twitter lefties were told that he was anti-immigrant and an “obscure right-wing blogger”, while conservatives were warned that he was a communist.  (He is in fact a man of the moderate left.)  More than a hundred defamatory comments were inserted into his Wikipedia entry, including the allegation that he was a “Srebrenica denier/genocide denier”.  Trolls materialized everywhere, attacking him and his books.  They even went after his wife, also an author.  The personal and professional toll was enormous.  Their objective was to destroy his career and drive him out of mainstream journalism, and in that they largely succeeded. 

Clark calls it “the New McCarthyism”, and it certainly resembles the old Hollywood blacklist, but with some crucial differences.  Where the old McCarthyism was focused on Communists (real or imagined), these postmodern witchhunts can gun down dissenters of all types, pretty much anyone who challenges powerful vested interests.  And compared with 1950s McCarthyism, twenty-first century McCarthyism enjoys more solid support in the media and the political establishment, is far better funded, and employs vastly more sophisticated techniques of mass manipulation.

Indeed, we now face a new regime of censorship unlike anything historians have seen before.  It relies not on grand inquisitors or secret policemen, but on twenty-first century digital technologies. It serves powerful politicians but is enforced by nongovernmental front organizations, which are not subject to the Freedom of Information Act and not restrained by the First Amendment (which only prohibits government censorship).  Under this system of thought control, transgressors are not usually arrested or put on any kind of formal trial.  Instead, they are tried and personally destroyed by media and political operatives.  Unless the victims are strongly backed by a countervailing interest group (such as a major political party) they have little or no opportunity to defend themselves.  The result is not a free marketplace of ideas, but quite the opposite, where the very wealthy, corporations, and bureaucracies can shut down debate, speaking power to truth.

Attkisson shows that “The Smear” as a technique has been employed by big business, government departments, and the establishment wings of both political parties, but it was pioneered and perfected by David Brock.  He at first served the right by publishing salacious allegations against Anita Hill and Bill Clinton (in response to Anita Hill’s salacious allegations against Clarence Thomas).  After falling out with conservatives, he offered his services to the Clintons, who accepted with alacrity.  In their minds, all the nasty things he had written about them may have counted as a Machiavellian plus: after all, his talent for defamation might be very useful to them.  In 2004 he launched Media Matters for America, which was a kind of journalistic bodyguard for Hillary Clinton, funded lavishly ($94 million as of 2014) by wealthy Democratic donors (e.g., George Soros).  When investigative reporters exposed the scandal-ridden Clintons, Media Matters did not merely try to rebut the charges: they focused on attacking the journalists.  It was character assassination, but it successfully diverted attention from Clinton corruption and effectively neutralized the press as a watchdog. And Media Matters was only the flagship of fleet of PACs and pressure groups that Brock created, from which he collected millions in commissions: together they could direct fearsome coordinated attacks against anyone they (or their donors) wanted to dispose of.  In 2007 Jeff Gerth and Don Van Natta Jr. published a highly critical book, Her Way: The Hopes and Ambitions of Hillary Rodham Clinton, but one month before the pubdate Media Matters “senior fellow” Eric Boehlert launched a preemptive strike in his blog, essentially a long litany of name-calling: “shoddy”, “corner-cutting”, “discredited”, “delusional”, “bad writer”.  (Gerth and Van Natta are both Pulitzer Prize winners, and no one has ever demanded any corrections in their book.)

A Media Matters staffer once bragged that a thousand emails from nowhere (which can easily be generated by a couple of digital drones using hundreds of aliases) may be enough to unnerve a reporter who isn’t used to that treatment.  If sterner measures are necessary, smear artists undermine journalists by going over their heads and contacting anchors, editors, executives at the head office, and of course the advertising department: usually, someone in the chain of command cracks.

At the same time, Media Matters and its allies manufactured PR, distributing stories that spun the Clintons favorably.  Reporters quickly learned that if they published this puffery, they could forgo tiresome legwork and earn the gratitude of the Clinton machine, which would feed them still more stories.  You could call it antiinvestigative journalism.  In one notorious example from 2009, an aide to Secretary of State Clinton gave an Atlantic journalist a prior copy of one of her speeches on three conditions: (1) he call the speech “muscular”, (2) he note all the impressive diplomatic figures sitting in the audience, and (3) “don’t say you were blackmailed!”  Articles following those exact specifications are soon published not only in the Atlantic, but also Politico. As Attkisson concludes:

Brock’s groups pay to have one-sided “reporting” conducted and published in the popular press….They give speeches, hold press conferences, issue position papers, write blogs, pen letters to the editor, exploit social media, and serve as experts at think tanks.  Their disciples are booked on the evening news and cable channels, and quoted in national publications.  The idea for each new campaign is hatched by paid operatives, disseminated at meetings, spread among the groups, taught to the messengers, distributed as talking points, and ratified by politicians.

Soon journalists (if they can still be called that) learned that their jobs would be so much easier if they serviced not just the Clintons, but any of the agencies, politicians, and corporations they were supposed to be covering.  In 2012 AP reporter Ken Delanian ran several drafts of an article on drone strikes past the CIA, promising to make it “reassuring to the public” and striving “to make sure you wouldn’t push back against any of it.”  Attkisson is incredulous: “Can you imagine Bob Woodward or Carl Bernstein running their unpublished Watergate stories past the Nixon White House?” (her emphasis).  No, but one can easily imagine today’s press corps running their stories past the CDC.

For the 2012 election campaign David Brock distributed “one-pagers” to reliable television commentators apparently suffering from Attention Deficit Disorder. These very, very short lists of talking points offered pundits robotic responses to likely questions, which they could reel off without thinking.  The system worked flawlessly until May 2013, when it was revealed that the Obama Justice Department was monitoring the phone records of Associated Press reporters. To 3000 “progressive talkers and influentials”, Brock sent crib sheets justifying the surveillance, and was surprised and hurt when journalists of all political stripes lashed back at him.  Given that pundits had so cravenly followed his party line in the past, Brock had understandably assumed that, if instructed to do so, they would applaud government spying on themselves. 

If you ask whether smear artists believe what they write, the answer is that most of them (like David Brock) will work for any partisan or corporate outfit that pays them (and they usually pay very well).  “I’m a contractor for hire,” one of them cheerfully admits.  To call them prostitutes would be unfair: after all, prostitutes harm no one and fake nothing (other than the occasional orgasm).  In dark contrast, “The best smear artists are sociopaths without conscience, without regret,” warns one operative.  “They’re able to suspend all pretense of fairness and logic.”  Even Mothers Against Drunk Driving has been targeted by smear artists – hired (as you should have guessed) by a restaurant trade group that fights restrictions on liquor licenses.

In October 2016 pervasive collusion between journalists and the Clinton machine was revealed by WikiLeaks.  In memos Correct the Record (another of David Brock’s media-manipulating operations) bragged that it had generated more than 900 interviews; dispatched “80 sets of talking points, background materials and briefings on topical issues” to “372 surrogates including influential and frequent pundits on broadcast and cable news”; provided “media advisories” to “960 members of the national media and 10,756 regional reporters in 28 states” as well as “369 television producers and bookers”; and sent out 21 “strategic memos” to the media, which “led to stories in a number of news outlets including National Journal, Politico, USA Today, MSNBC and The Hill.”  This expose was every bit as important as the Pentagon Papers.  It confirmed what the large majority of Americans already suspected: that the news media was a racket.  And it may well have given Donald Trump his narrow margin of victory.  It might have convinced just enough voters that, under a Clinton administration, the profession of journalism would abandon its watchdog role and become a vast sycophantic propaganda operation for the White House.  That, at any rate, hasn’t happened under the Trump administration.

On one level, The Smear is profoundly depressing, because it shows how far journalism has fallen from Woodward and Bernstein.  As Attkisson concludes with unsparing honesty: 

We in the news media have allowed ourselves to become co-opted by political, corporate, and other special interests.  We permit them to dictate the story du jour.  We let them dominate the opinions we consult and quote.  We plaster our news reports with political pundits not offering independent opinions but serving their masters.  We’ve invited political operatives into our fold as consultants, pundits; and even made them reporters, anchors, and managers in our newsrooms.  We’ve become a willing receptacle for, and distributor of, daily political propaganda. 

This level of corruption is unprecedented.  Of course, throughout the history of American journalism, there was plenty of personal vilification, partisanship, distortion, and sensationalism. But there was also a cacophony of voices representing a range of views, and everyone could get a hearing.  What is new is the level of enforced conformity, in a nation founded on the idea of free expression. Most journalists today are willing to echo the same talking points, while those who try to preserve their independence are squelched. 

But at least now nearly everyone realizes that journalism, like everything else in contemporary America, is up for sale.  Probably each of your friends knows and feels strongly about some individual, institution, or cause that was destroyed by the media.  So if they find it hard to believe that that same media is lying about vaccines and autism, just ask, “They smeared your people, didn’t they?”  And recommend this book to anyone who can handle the truth.

Jonathan Rose is a professor at Drew University, where he teaches (among other things) the history of American journalism.


Angus Files


Judical Watch September 20, 2017 05:40 PM ....still think the Clintons have something to hide r.e. Whitewater, time will tell...

"The documents in question are alleged drafts of indictments written by Hickman Ewing, the chief deputy of Kenneth Starr, the independent counsel appointed to investigate Bill and Hillary Clinton’s alleged involvement in fraudulent real estate dealings. Although others were sentenced for their role in the matter, neither Clinton was ever prosecuted.

Ewing told investigators he drafted the indictments in April 1995. According to Judicial Watch, the documents pertain to allegations that Hillary Clinton provided false information and withheld information from those investigating Whitewater."

Pharma For Prison


Gene Lyons

Nothing about me and my work in this review is even remotely accurate. I published no book called "The Great Whitewater Hoax." The 1996 book I did publish, which was called "Fools For Scandal: How the Media Invented Whitewater" wasn't excerpted by Harper's Magazine. It published the book, a greatly expanded version of my original 1994 article in the magazine exposing what a hopelessly inept faux-prosecutorial job of reporting Jeff Gerth had done. Certainly Attkinson hasn't read it. For Gerth to say the NYT refused to publish Whitewater stories is absurd. It published hundreds of articles and columns on the topic over the ensuing years. It was always my view that if you corrected the "errors"--some clearly deliberate--and filled in the blanks, there simply was no Whitewater scandal involving the Clintons. Eventually, Kenneth Starr's investigators were forced to concede as much after years of blowing smoke about it.


"@Visitor. I'm sorry, I'm not at all sure what you are getting at, but if I irritated you, please accept my apologies.

I am very passionate about this issue and truly do not see it in terms of left or right. I believe all sides have been 'bought', both here in the UK and in the US."

I happen to agree with you. I keep forgetting there are no sides.


Just a FYI... The Bruesewitz vs. Wyeth decision was covered quite well at AoA.

If you google Bruesewitz vs. Wyeth Age Of Autism, you will find at least four articles by Age of Autism. It is quite depressing reading through the comments on those articles when you see how many years have passed since then....and just how much worse things are now.

Thank you AgeOfAutism!!! and thank you Sharyl Attkisson!!!


Good review! Makes me want to read it. Such a critical issue surrounding the main mechanism in our society working every day to eliminate critical thinking, while making people think they are critical thinkers.
I hope this book becomes a best seller and opens a few eyes. Only when people open their eyes to the machinations leading up to every main stream news article they watch, read, or listen to can they even begin to comprehend the deep level of marketing and duplicity that exists to insure that vaccines continue to bring in money from the masses.
I believe that it is at the root of the most massive transfer of wealth, both financial and intellectual, in history and is the main contributing factor in the downfall of the middle class, the continuing existence of poverty, and the bamboozling of the pseudorich who ignorantly funnel their extraneous funds to institutions that promote our country's health bankruptcy, which turns out to be synonymous with financial bankruptcy, which then continues to insure intellectual bankruptcy. No health = no wealth

susan welch

@Visitor. I'm sorry, I'm not at all sure what you are getting at, but if I irritated you, please accept my apologies.

I am very passionate about this issue and truly do not see it in terms of left or right. I believe all sides have been 'bought', both here in the UK and in the US.


@susan welch

"An idiomatic phrase with meaning that depends totally on context is naturally irritating."

“Good night and have a pleasant tomorrow.”

Aimee Doyle

@David - You really don't think the Big Pharma, with its $$$ hasn't co-opted government agencies and bought off media and Congress? I agree there's fault to be found with government agencies (and those who appoint the heads of those agencies), but they are certainly not the only actors in this tragedy. The media is bought... that includes the mainstream, conservative, and alternative media. Look at all the pharmaceutical ads! The government isn't buying those ads.

@Jonathan and @Linda - Good point about the tunnel vision. I'm willing to admit I was wrong here. I wrote the post when I was feeling quite frustrated. I've been in the autism trenches since my son was diagnosed in 1994 and I've only seen the problem get worse. But you're right -it is always important to see the larger context. You're also right that the media has been hopelessly corrupted.

@Jonathan - And yes, I do often speak up here on AoA, but I often feel my voice is drowned out. Congress hasn't gotten half the bashing that the media, the government, and the liberals regularly get on this site. And I don't understand why, since they do have the power to hold hearings, enact change, and give a voice to our disabled kids. They are sitting on whistleblower documents! And I am frustrated that Trump gets so much credit for barely mentioning vaccines while doing nothing practical to help and appointing pro-vax people to head the relevant agencies.

And yes, I'm tired of waiting and watching more children spiral into autism every day.


In her book she says she gets a ton of mail from people asking her to investigate various things. She probably can't answer it all.

I'm glad to see this review here. Autism and vaccines are part of a much bigger picture. It would be a mistake to approach this issue with tunnel vision.

Jonathan Rose

Aimee: If you feel there should be more criticism of Trump and Republicans on AoA, go right ahead and post it. Is anyone stopping you? But if you say that AoA should never publish anything that doesn't explicitly and directly address vaccines and autism, that strikes me as tunnel vision. We can't understand the autism epidemic unless we understand the larger context that made it possible, and that context must include the media. Why didn't the media blow the whistle, as it did in the days of the Muckrakers and Woodward/Bernstein? Why are journalists systematically libeling anyone who raises questions about vaccines (including Jill Stein) and how on earth do they get away with it? I confess I was absolutely incredulous when I saw Anderson Cooper and George Stephanopoulos hurl mud at Dr. Wakefield, conduct that Huntley, Brinkley, and Walter Cronkite would have considered grossly unprofessional. But Sharyl Attkisson explains all too clearly how American journalism has been transformed into a corporate brothel -- and as a Green Party supporter, that might interest you. Surely you can see the relevance of all that.

True, Attkisson never mentions vaccines or autism in "The Smear". Neither did Henrik Ibsen in "An Enemy of the People" -- but the play (a century earlier) predicted exactly what would happen to Dr. Wakefield.

And Cia, this book has a lot to say about how rent-a-troll works. If Attkisson didn't respond to your friends, perhaps it's because she is overwhelmed by hundreds of letters like that every week.

david m burd

Aimee Doyle, the REAL "puppetmasters" are our Fed. Govt. Agencies that value their Power and Authority and Reputation above any faintly objective criticism (and truth) of the carnage caused by their Immunization Schedule for Children. These 'criminal' Govt. employees and their despicable Leaders have wrought such carnage they can never be forgiven.

Aimee Doyle

First, I don't think that a discussion of this book, which doesn't even mention vaccines or autism, belongs on this site. Our mission is vaccines and autism. I really don't understand why this review was posted.

I agree that the mainstream media - and the alternative media for the most part - have failed the American people when it comes to vaccines and autism. They have failed to investigate the broader damage that vaccines cause. I agree that the liberal establishment, primarily Democrats, have failed us as well. I understand the rage expressed by many members of this site, which often does feel like a right wing site to me. It didn't used to.

However, why isn't there as much rage against the members of Congress who have failed to investigate the crisis? Rep. Bill Posey has had the whistleblower documents for how long now? What the heck has he done with them? He certainly hasn't gotten anyone else to take action on them. No one blasts him the way they do the media for failing to cover the story. Jason Chaffetz, the former Republican Chair of the Government Oversight Committee, with a Republican majority on the Committee, failed to investigate the autism/vaccine issue. I saw very little criticism of his failure to take action. These people have had the power to do something and have been given a free pass in terms of comments. Former Justice Antonin Scalia authored the opinion in Bruesewitz v. Wyeth which closed down legal options after vaccine court (notably liberal justices Sotomayor and Ginsburg dissented). Once again, mostly crickets on this site.

Trump has appointed pro-vax individuals to HHS, FDA, and CDC. Supporters say give him time, and that after all he's the only candidate who has spoken out against vaccines. First of all, Jill Stein of the Green Party, questioned vaccines as well. Not much coverage of her position - she actually said more about it than Trump did. Second, although Trump has spoken out, words are cheap, and Trump hasn't done anything that I can see to actually, practically help individuals with autism or their families. Give him time? Really? Want to tell that to the parents of kids of are diagnosed with autism every day he delays? According to an Autism Speaks stat, a child is diagnosed with autism every twenty minutes. He's been in office six months. How many kids is that? When he thought Syrian children were in danger, he took action immediately.

I have been a political independent or Green party most of my life. I am furious at both major parties on this issue. I find it frustrating, though, on AoA, that Trump and the Republicans are never criticized as vociferously as are Democrats, Liberals, or the media. How about spreading the blame a bit - it's hard to see how the Republican party is less as fault on the vaccine issue. Bashing one side is not useful when both sides share the blame. And how about targeting Big Pharma - the puppetmaster?

cia parker


Two friends of mine wrote and sent to Sharyl two years ago a detailed report with many screenshots and networks of shills connected even before they were hired to troll vaccine critics online, with some info on who some of them were in real life. We thought she might be interested in investigating this concrete proof of someone's paying those already employed by this company for other purposes (!) to turn their talents to defending vaccines and attacking vaccine critics all over the Internet. She never even wrote back or acknowledged having looked at it.


Watching the Italian protests, I can't help but compare to our population. So many reasons why our people are now so meek, including mass prescription drugging. But another thought occurred to me yesterday. We know that the media only reports what will serve an agenda. I suspect that the frequent reports of police brutality serve the purpose of implanting fear in the collective consciousness. I think that's a big part of why we as a people will not protest like the Italians. The media is being used as a psychological cattle prod, conditioning us to go along without objecting.


Sharyl Attkisson appeared before audiences with the Vaxxed filmmakers. Also, I can't remember specifics at the moment, but I'm sure her reporting over the years has revealed the truth of vaccine injury and of the corruption.

Gary Ogden

david m burd: I'm about half way through "The Smear." It is worse than I thought. Largely about David Brock, an equal-opportunity propagandist, first for the Right, now for the Clinton machine. Goebbels with vast sums of money to use to destroy whatever semblance of representative government remains. Since there is no greater danger to our nation's future than the poisoning of the entire birth cohort, and I think she understands this, I wouldn't be surprised if she wrote a book about it.

david m burd

I agree with Cia Parker as to Attkisson ignoring our baby/infant/children vaccine-caused damage and deaths. Why?

My best guess is she will indeed, soon I hope, bring to the fore this immensely-crucial topic, but she first wants to get her overall point across as to Mainstream Media being bought. She seems fearless, yet still wary of alienating the brain-washed public who have bought the false virtues of vaccines.


Truth and corruption also find cover and a platform in people who believe a lie or are corrupt themselves. That does not mean the left or right is irrelevant to the struggle. It is not the right generally branding us anti science.
The article below sad a lot.

Jonathan Rose

May I defend Sharyl Attkisson on a few points. Cia, she had quite a lot to say about vaccines and autism in her last book, "Stonewalled." "The Smear" is more devoted to hatchet jobs in the realm of politics, and it focuses largely on David Brock and Media Matters, an outfit that wasn't much concerned about autism issues. But the tactics Brock pioneered and perfected were obviously copied by big corporations, and any reader can see how they have been adopted by pharmaceutical companies, even if this book doesn't make the connection explicit. And recently she has appeared on public panels backing up RFK Jr. and Dr. Wakefield.

I also think it's unfair to pin the "right-wing" label on AoA (which frequently publishes RFK Jr.) or on Sharyl Attkisson. I don't know her party registration, but I do know that as an investigative reporter she has gone after Republicans and Democrats, corporations and bureaucrats. Indeed in "Stonewalled" she said that Noam Chomsky (on the extreme left) was basically right when he said that the media was a propaganda vehicle for corporate and government elites. I personally think we should work with anyone -- left, right, or center -- who will work with us.

British Autism Mother

@ Cia
A very long time ago I was told that the absence of something could be much more important than the presence of something. Perhaps Sharyl has her own reason/s for omitting this particular example. Yes, it's disappointing for us on the "outside" but maybe we have to be patient a little longer (yes, I'm gritting my teeth too as I write this). BTW, inform me my pre-ordered copy of Sharyl's book isn't due to be released until 10th August.

cia parker

Why did she not discuss the way the media have lied for decades about many issues related to vaccines? A horrifying example of her book's topic, and one she is very familiar with. I think there must be a reason she decided not to include it, and one which is not flattering to her.

david m burd

@ Leah,

For the record, 7 out 15 ACIP Members (Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, within the CDC) are women.

Eight others are men, and the remaining Member has a foreign name I cannot decipher.

I think we would agree this unholy ACIP has wrought unforgivable carnage on our American families and society as a whole, continues to do so, and is not made up of 'exclusively old white men.'


Visitor--The opposition is on the left. It is where their arrogance and profound ignorance combine to produce overconfidence in their belief---typified in "I Love Science" slogans without any attempt to qualify or understand what their slogan means.

Leah and David-- I don't know absolutely the age of all the members of Congress that voted to invade Iraq based on lies had the on-going horrific consequences in injuries and death, but whether its health care, vaccinations, gmos, or whose children, siblings or parents will be put in harms way, the same Congress is still voting on these matters. The Leahs, Davids, and Michaels don't matter to the industrial-complex forces that define the corporatocracy that currently define our country.

One thing is for certain, we are in this battle for the long haul and soul of this country.


@ David burd
Please do not take my words out of context. (That's fake news.)I said I do not want a room of exclusively old white men making decisions on women's healthcare. Flip it: do you want a room of exclusively young women of color making all the decisions on your healthcare? Representation is important in a democracy not "idiotic" as you so graciously point out. The only reason it is not a problem for you is that you are over represented so everything is copacetic. Anyway you guys are not doing such a good job despite all your wonderful experience. US ranks almost dead last in the developed world in many measurements of health.


One last thing: the recent vote on labeling GMO foods. These frankenfoods are clearly labeled by law in 64 countries. Gee I wonder why? Having Monsanto change the DNA of our food supply without our knowledge isn't a great idea? Yet republicans who apparently care deeply about the country's health voted overwhelmingly to side with Monsanto and back a loophole filled version that you have to read with a smartphone, cancelling out Vermont's clear cut labeling law. ( wow, I thought they support states rights? ) This may be the next health disaster as 80 percent of foods now contain gmos. These really are not partisan issues but as someone wrote corruption versus truth.

susan welch

With all due respect, Visitor, I fail to see what 'Left or Right' has to do with vaccine injury.

If we are taking sides, I would prefer to label them 'Corruption or Truth'

Hans Hitten

Why am I the only one finding this ?

Did the Italian government pass everything today ?


If you look at who agrees in general with the main stream media you see a general trend. When you notice that the thousands of accounts of vaccine reactions are buried and ignored by this media you see a more specific trend. When the main issues advocated by this site and those who post here and support it are considered you can see why a trend develops that is more at odds with aspects of the left. The right may offer little help, but the opposition is mainly on the left.


Thank you A of A for this extremely relevant post. If we had honest reporting in a mainstream media that welcomed investigative journalism, there would no longer be a need for A of A (or any of the wonderful sites that are now so necessary) because the public would know about the dangers of vaccines.


If we had an honest media, the vaccine hoax would have never gotten off the ground in the first place.

It's all about manufacturing fear, and then heroically bringing forth a solution.

Have a second look at all those front page images from the 50's, showing children in leg braces, or lying helplessly in an ominous looking iron lung contraption. Followed shortly afterwards by front page proclamations of a brilliant scientist, who just happened to have been working on, and who's heroically produced a vaccine that will save the day in a nick of time!

What we're seeing today is really nothing new. Just more of it.

go Trump

The Zika crisis about a year back was a classic case on how the news media works today. We had “24-7 Zika fear stories” until the US Treasury released over a billion dollars to create a new Zika vaccine with the NIH.

Soon they will soon want to mandate the vaccine for the 4 million pregnant women each year in the US.

They will then need more money to cover this cost so the vaccine can be “free.” Millions will then be spent on Zika advertising for the news media and billions in profits will go to the “vaccine investor class” who work so hard to protect us.

A few dozen jobs might be created.


"This level of corruption is unprecedented. "
Concise criticism.
Consolidation of power becomes ever more challenging.
I think of the Bernadine Healy interview Attkisson did as a true "wonder women" moment.
Journalism that shines a light.

Hans Hitten

Posted by: Leah | July 19, 2017 at 03:13 PM

I am based in Europe and have no allegiance to either US party.
But I see the same thing here in the UK , "once a labour supporter , always a labour supporter" , even if the labour party is no longer what it once was (& likewise for the Tories) .
To my mind Leah , there is no other more important issue than this one (mass chemical poisoning).
This transcends all political allegiances.

Trump is the highest ranking politician to have ever told the truth on vaccination .
I don't care what party he is from . I don't care about any of his other policies .
This issue is the number one problem in the world TODAY . Most people don't even know it .

I have read loads of rumours about the Clintons (which AoA wont publish actually) and they concern me greatly , and quite frankly I think we have had a lucky escape there .
That isn't to say that I wouldn't be pleased to see an honest female democratic president of the US next time (but not her - HC) .

Nevertheless , this is the main issue to my mind :
By 2050, 131 million people could be living with dementia globally.

Aluminium in the processed food supply & a contaminated water supply (fluoride)?
Or is it , people get old and naturally develop dementia ? (nah , don't believe it !)

Autism is just another chemical induced dementia , just in the very young !


Thank you A of A for this extremely relevant post. If we had honest reporting in a mainstream media that welcomed investigative journalism, there would no longer be a need for A of A (or any of the wonderful sites that are now so necessary) because the public would know about the dangers of vaccines.

Although it is virtually impossible to decide who is the most evil in this catastrophe that is 'vaccine industry', the suppression of facts by the media moguls has to be somewhere near the top of the list. I don't think party politics has much to do with the cover-up because they are all guilty of 'toeing' (is that a word?) the corporate line when it comes to vaccines.


I'll knit my own pussy hat thank you very much!
Mine will be blue AND orange!
Take that offit!

Thank You for this brilliant book review!
and as always THANK YOU AOA!!!!!!!


Thousands upon thousands of Italian Moms taking to the streets to protest mandatory vaccinations. I guess none could knit as well as Amy Goodman and Rachel Maddow.


Thank you, Dr. Rose, for this potently delineated synopsis of Sharyl Attkisson’s timely new book on media corruption. The post-computer decline of journalism has been darkly instructive about communication technology’s influences on human weaknesses. Let the reader beware….

I don’t perceive this article as biased against Democrats; rather, its length necessitates focus on one narrative thread. As Leah noted, liberal advocates such as Robert F. Kennedy Jr. are also regularly maligned by ethically compromised media. How perverse that someone working toward cleaner water would find himself trolled so perniciously, but that’s the power of the polluters’ money.

I hope that people who disagree with Age of Autism’s editorial content feel free to submit their thoughts via comments, news tips or articles. Those with first-hand experience make quite compelling front-line reporters of autism's realities, especially the grittier topics MSM blacklists.

Given the seriousness of the journalistic corruption Ms. Attkisson's book exposes, it’s more important than ever for like-minded advocates to stand together in unity.


Leah, where does Sharyl fit into all of this?
What do you think of her stories she brings to the public?


Hi Leah, that's in Florida isn't it? I bet you've heard that one before. I attended the 2000 Third International Conference on Vaccinations, sponsored by NVIC and held just across the Potomac from DC, as I recall. Besides Dr. Andrew Wakefield being honored, Congressman Dan Burton, R-from Indiana spoke. Of course he had skin in the game because of vaccination damage to his grandson. I was a democrat then. I remember asking NVIC's Kathi Williams, "Where are the Democrats", and Kathi responded, "There aren't any". Go figure. 2017, there still aren't any Democrats. Go figure, but thank God or Dan Olmstead or Kim, AOA and the Rebel Alliance.

I stopped being a D some years ago, and been a Green when it made since and been Republican when I saw the need in an election. Next time I change voter registration I will officially declare party affiliation--Rebel Alliance-- which would likely encompass many who read AOA.

I remember clearly when NPR became National Pharma Radio. I remember Dan's piece on NPR, "What Happened to My Beloved NPR?"

No Leah, your boyfriend should not loose the health care he is receiving for cancer so the wealthy can acquire more wealth. I try to live simply so that others may simply live.

Don't force me into the western medicine approach to health/health care or "the prevention aspects" embodied in the ACA or anything now that Congress is considering.

Trust but verify, who said that, Ronald Reagan. I pretty much live by that.


I don't think you're out of place at all.

I think we all need to stand down with the politics and remember our common thread...Autism.
My son is 15 now, he went down at 18 months old, like millions of others. Broke my heart, that's why I'm here. And as long as AoA doesn't ban me, you folks are going to have to suffer through my cathartic comments. Have a great night democrat, republican, green, libertarian, labor, conservative, communist, or whatever.

david m burd

@ Leah,

You might consider that "old white men" have a lifetime of experience seeing their younger generations being destroyed and damaged by the ever increasing prescriptions of pharma drugs and vaccinations.

I am an "old white man" but this has nothing to do with truth and facts, except at my age I have realized the massive destruction by our medical institutions.

Why don't you stick to real medical facts, and stop insulting an older generation that has been through it - and - it has zero to do with race, as you idiotically spout.


Thanks Kim for your comment which I appreciate since I increasingly feel out of place on a of a. I did not vote for trump but agreed with his statements of concern about vaccines. I do not see vaccines as a partisan issue and am very disgusted by the recent California vaccine bill. Appalled is really the word. The press has done a horrible job of covering this issue as well. So while I am a democrat I have a lot of major concerns about vaccines, to put it mildly. I think many other people are like me and this issue does not neatly follow party lines or it shouldn't. I probably agree with many readers on a lot about vaccines. But I don't want guns handed out to violent mental patients or convicted wife beaters. I believe in climate change and that Newtown happened and don't think my boyfriend who has cancer should lose his healthcare so that trump's friends can get a tax break. I also don't want a room of exclusively old white republican men making decisions on women's healthcare. I could go on but I'll wrap it up. Just because someone reads a of a should not mean they have to be right wing. I know Robert Kennedy Jr. isn't or del Bigtree or Robert Deniro.


And how about the fake news from Trump's own tweets that can easily be fact checked?


Which ones were those?

Kim Rossi (StagMom)

Hi, Leah, you're certainly entitled to your opinion. I've taken note and will look for what you're saying. When President Trump makes any move that affects us, you can be sure we will speak candidly about the decisions. We've posted laments that he is not pursuing the vaccine safety commission, and questioned his CDC choice. We aren't pro-Trump or anti-anyone - the current political tone may make that seem different. And we are SUBMISSION based - so our writers and commenters may be coming in with a POV that differs from yours.

Thanks for reading us and please stick around!



It seems like this used to be a website dedicated to vaccine issues that since Dan passed on has become a right wing political site. Comments like lock her up were posted. Where is lock him up? No mention of the 48 GOP ers willing to gut health benefits for thousands with disabilities but yesterday a democrat who furloughed a day program staff. No one forgot that story. And how about the fake news from Trump's own tweets that can easily be fact checked? It is sad to see what age of autism has become, another partisan news source like those it criticizes.

Jeannette Bishop

Thank you for this insightful review.


Thanks to Bob Moffat to alerting me to this book a week or so ago. I have noted that there have been no book reviews or even a mention of the book from the left, at least that I can find. Brietbart had an excerpt and its clear the left just cannot handle the truth.

National Pharma Radio had this the other day

Its a study conducted by a marketing professor. There are multiple implications and applications that can be teased out.

GREENE: Well, that's interesting. So there's a general laziness that can be a problem, but also this group factor comes in when you know someone else is there. You see them or you're on social media with them, you expect that they might do the fact checking. If you're alone, maybe you have to do it yourself.

VEDANTAM: Precisely. Now, psychologists have sometimes talked about an effect known as the bystander effect where people in a group will sometimes hesitate to step forward and do something important because each person thinks someone else will step forward and do what's needed. But Johar found that was not the case here. People in groups simply seem to let their guard down.


My favorite book on this topic, Into the Buzzsaw by Kristina Borjesson.

John Stone


It is a pitiful situation. Presently, the vaccine mafia are trying close in on the United Kingdom, starting a highly unspontaneous campaign for vaccine mandates which we have never had. A notable feature was an on-line article in the venerable journal 'The Spectator' by the CEO of Gavi, Seth Berkley, calling for "anti-vaxxers" to be excluded from social media. It is of course a weasel and slippery argument because what it actually entails is the exclusion of any criticism of the vaccine program whatsoever (which has effectively happened in the mainstream media already). Naturally, the CEO of Gavi would like that - it is pretty much like Gessler's hat.When I commented the comments column was quiet but I was of course quickly surrounded by abusive comments which it was barely dignified to respond to.

I wrote to the editor Fraser Nelson:

"I write with a concern about the recent blog by Seth Berkley. Dr Berkley wishes to promote vaccines - he may very well have commercial interests and he certainly has professional ones - and he does not like criticism of them. But it is going way too far to suggest that every criticism is invalid or that every criticism needs to be censored. This is apart from anything else an anti-libertarian project which lies well outside The Spectator's historic brief.

"I also point out that his arguments are not of the best quality. It is very easy to resort to pillorying Andrew Wakefield, but even if the allegations against Wakefield were well-founded - which they are not remotely - it would not absolve an entire and fast growing class of products given to every infant from safety concerns in perpetuity. Meanwhile, it remains the agenda of every vaccine promoter to exclude comment from all public forums. But there is a need to talk about this like everything else, or the risk of being harmed by a powerful industry which places itself above criticism grows by the year.

"For many years I have been trying to warn of the dangers of all this at only personal cost. I am a person who has moderate views on most political  and health issues. It is probably instructive to see the sheer viciousness with which I was set upon in the recent column for even commenting, by people who are almost certainly paid to do it, and don't even give their real names. I am beyond being remotely flustered, let alone hurt, but it does beg the question, what is going on? Now we are looking at a rate of autism among young children of possibly in the 10% range (10,000 new cases in London in a year, desperate figures in Scotland), without even being allowed to ask why. Across the globe legislation is being pushed to make ever expanding vaccine schedules compulsory (recently attempts of varying success in Australia, Germany, Sweden and Italy). I think anyone who has real political convictions or good sense needs to think about this before it is too late."

I was not surprised that he did not respond. Although I am sure Nelson moves in the highest circles of the British establishment, we have arrived at a point of total political/historic illiteracy and cynicism. Meanwhile, ordinary citizens and their children are being sold down the river by a political class which is totally out of touch and contemptuous..


On the book list as well , fascinating article describing it like it is ,in it;s own pitiful dimensions of reality. Machiavellianism in plain sight in the workplace . MACH-1V personality types abusing /misusing their positions of authority . In the school playground if challenged by these bully boy's types pulling yer hair or trying to take yer lunch money etc , we used to just kick them in the shins anyway then "RUN". We were taught " Don't worry the bigger they are the further they have to fall, so just go ahead and kick them in both shins as hard as you can then get "off your mark and run as fast as you can in the opposite direction " with learn to laugh and run away you'll live to laugh another day! Their techniques and strategies are that monotonously predictable the public can read them like an open book as well ,so the only people they are fooling are their own forensically fondled silly wee selfies !

Mark Wax

CBS "died" as a beacon of light when Bill Paley died. The NY Times and WaPo were once fiercely determined to "tell the story." Today, the struggle for their financial survival is paramount. Out whole society has changed and it is difficult to extract what were causes as opposed to symptoms. The blood sport of politics has drenched all of us. Even before "journalism" died, the first casualty was idealism. "Non Sibi" is the motto I follow. I could not find it in the justice system, the CDC nor the Congress. The vaccine injured are collateral damage. No oath of office, Hippocratic Oath or military Oath can save them. I will fight on. Even when revenge may be my only motivation,..... man, I hope I don't turn into the rest of them.

Hans Litten

Klaus Eberwein, a former Haitian government official who was expected to expose the extent of Clinton Foundation corruption and malpractice next week, has been found dead in Miami. He was 50.
Eberwein was due to appear next Tuesday before the Haitian Senate Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission where he was widely expected to testify that the Clinton Foundation misappropriated Haiti earthquake donations from international donors.
According to Miami-Dade’s medical examiner records supervisor, the official cause of death is “gunshot to the head“. Eberwein’s death has been registered as “suicide.”

According to Eberwein, a paltry 0.6% of donations granted by international donors to the Clinton Foundation with the express purpose of directly assisting Haitians actually ended up in the hands of Haitian organizations.
A further 9.6% ended up with the Haitian government. The remaining 89.8% – or $5.4 billion – was funneled to non-Haitian organizations.


Excellent writeup Johnathan. I'm looking forward to reading the book.

bob moffit

I whole-heartedly agree with recommending this book to "anyone who can handle the truth" .. truth as Shyral suggests .. is routinely sacrificed in favor of launching personal .. carefully crafted "smear" campaigns .. against all who dare speak TRUTH TO POWER.

I would suggest that reading Sol Alinsky's "Rules for Radicals" is also worthwhile .. as so many of the "smear tactics" Sharyl reveals .. were first recommended by Sol decades ago .. such as Sol's:

RULE 5: “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.” There is no defense. It’s irrational. It’s infuriating. It also works as a key pressure point to force the enemy into concessions.

(Pretty crude, rude and mean, huh? They want to create anger and fear. .. Jon Oliver comes immediately to mind)

RULE 12: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions.

(This is also cruel, but very effective. Direct, personalized criticism and ridicule works. Examples of those successfully marginalized by Sol's Rule 12 are too numerous to list .. )

What has happened to our media .. just as many of our once honored and revered institutions .. has been sad to witness ..

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