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Buzzfeed, Native Advertising and Death of the Free Press: Media Vaccine Defenses aren’t Merely a Case of Pliancy to please Ad Sponsors. They are Ads.

AG Libertad
Cartoon: Roberto Weil

Buzzfeed, Native Advertising and Death of the Free Press:  Media vaccine defenses aren’t merely a case of pliancy to please ad sponsors. They are ads.

Advertising is the rattling of a stick in a swill bucket.  ~George Orwell

Adriana Gamondes

A fellow contributing editor recently brought attention to yet another hit piece against Dr. Andrew Wakefield and Miranda Bailey’s film The Pathological Optimist in Buzzfeed titled The World’s Most Notorious Anti-Vaxxer Wants a Second Act.

The article was penned—or, you might say, grammatically assembled—by a science reporter named Azeen Ghorayshi who once studied fruit fly neurogenetics at UC Berkeley.

Readers are free to review the article themselves but a quick summary is that it’s like listening to pigeons cooing in an echo chamber without a single humanizing word about the severely disabled individuals at the center of the controversy or the harrowing rise in autism. 

Coo coo coo Brian Deer quote. Coo coo coo Paul Offit quote.  

Because that’s what journalists from the mainstream media and pseudo-alternative media like Buzzfeed represent: carrier pigeons, or stenographers or all of the other derisive names (hack, shill) used for reporters who simply repeat the party line.

And where’s the party? It’s in the pants of multiple industries—especially the pharmaceutical industry— their shareholders and corrupted regulators where the fidgety hands of complicit journalists are lodged in the delusion they’re reviving the fourth estate, the death throes of which are accelerating because of something called “Native Advertising” or “Sponsored Content.”

Native advertising is when ads or other forms of commercial promotion or defense are disguised as news content, supposedly to overcome consumers’ growing “banner blindness” and ability to ignore obvious ads. Since its advent, native advertising has been like a progressive disease toppling one press giant after another and advancing from promos so blatant that they could hardly be accused of stealth to promotions so subtly entwined in “regular content” that it would be impossible for viewers or readers to distinguish without actually seeing the contract. 

Imagine opening the New York Times one day and reading coverage of, say, the catastrophic effects of a category 5 hurricane on an island nation that’s been fighting back against the oil industry’s attempts to control offshore drilling and having no idea that descriptions of looting, misappropriation of charitable donations, and the general fecklessness and compensation fraud among islanders has been brought to you courtesy of Shell Oil because dead men floating face down in flood waters don’t picket.

Engineering public approval for the victimization or abandonment of certain populations or even certain sectors of our own society is not new and is the theme of Manufacturing Consent by political media analysts Noam Chomsky and Edward S. Herman. In an interview for Byline, Chomsky states, “This [native advertising… in Buzzfeed and Vice] is exaggerating and intensifying a problem that is serious and shouldn’t even exist in the first place. The reliance of a journal on advertisers shapes and controls and substantially determines what is presented to the public.”

That which should not exist in the first place has already been happening for a long time in terms of vaccine injury coverage.  Especially in Buzzfeed.  The public has long become numb to distortions but native advertising represents another lurch down and our boiling frog status doesn’t make the prospect any less terrifying. The difference between advertisers traditionally “influencing” or issuing flak to control coverage or, as in the case of native ads, directing and essentially writing coverage on issues of global impact save for a few flourishes, may not be huge but it’s essential, particularly in terms of what a career in journalism now represents and the kind of reporters it attracts. For aspiring journalists, it’s like the difference between, say, signing up with a modeling agency or signing up with the Bunny Ranch in Las Vegas. For the former, fresh recruits understand their bread and butter work may involve a lot of synthetic crap, mutant editing and cleavage though they may dream of high end editorial.  For the latter, they enter with the knowledge they’ll have their hands perpetually shoved down clients’ pants by contractual obligation.  

In any case, I have no idea why otherwise well-informed people aren’t screaming about one of the worst threats to freedom of the press in the US since HUAC, but now might be a good time to bring up the subject using Buzzfeed as Exhibit A.

  BuzzFeed’s Future Depends On Convincing Us Ads Aren’t Ads
BuzzFeed makes the majority of its money on ads that pretend to be content, but can it keep up this charade? Or, is the Starbucks-sponsored “10 Summer Emojis That Should Definitely Exist” no charade at all, but actually the future of media that we should just smile and accept? These are the questions that popped out to me from the news that Andreessen Horowitz invested $50 million in BuzzFeed at an $850 million valuation.

BuzzFeed cancelling RNC ads masks the issue: sponsored content for politicians

What was missing from the announcement (and much of the news coverage) is that the deal inked in April would not have been for display advertisements – the industry term for ads, like those seen on the Guardian’s website, that appear on a webpage’s margins or inside an article. BuzzFeed doesn’t run display ads at all: the advertising it solicits, accepts and places on its site and promotes on social media is native advertising, sometimes known as sponsored content, and includes sponsored videos. In 2015, two marketing companies calculated that the minimum buy-in for a native advertising campaign at BuzzFeed was $100,000; that gives some sense of the potential scale of the now-scuttled RNC campaign.

Buzzing towards victory with native
To seamlessly deliver social, content-driven ads to more than 100 million monthly unique visitors, BuzzFeed needed a customized and robust infrastructure that could reliably serve ads across platforms. It turned to Google’s DoubleClick for Publishers platform as a trusted solution for ad serving and inventory management. “Ad serving is one of the few things we outsource, because Google’s DoubleClick for Publishers does it well,” says Eric. “DoubleClick for Publishers provides the scalability and reliability that enables us to focus on what we do best, and it gives us the credibility that comes with working with the industry leader.”

How BuzzFeed, The New York Times, Hearst, The Atlantic and Quartz define native advertising

Demand for native campaigns and content has never been higher. Thousands of advertisers are purchasing native ads each month, many for the first time. As native adoption and demand have exploded, formats have also broadened – from native “editorial” to programmatic native and beyond.With so much complexity in this area, how are today’s top publishers defining and committing to native? That internal definition guides their strategies and approaches to working with partners, brands and agencies. It also helps shape the content they feature within their publications.My company, MediaRadar, recently hosted a panel discussion bringing together some of the top experts in digital media to talk about native’s future. Senior advertising executives from BuzzFeed, The New York Times, The Atlantic, Hearst Digital and Quartz were featured.

Journalists in the U.S. don’t have guns to their heads forcing them to report only news which fits official or commercial doctrine.  Excluding the admittedly dangerous category of American war correspondents abroad, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists, among 1,253 journalists murdered around the world, only 7 were North Americans killed on US soil and the confirmed motives had nothing to do with corporate payback. 


Even if it could be argued that “military industrial” assassination rumors of reporters like Gary Webb and Michael Hastings cause a chill among mainstream journalists, these are the same journalists prone to dismissing corporate conspiracy theories. Journalists in the US don’t even face fines and jail time like Spanish journalists under the repressive and valiantly protested 2015 Ley de la Mordaza.   Instead, the threat facing journalists in the United States—if you could call it a threat—is what Noam Chomsky calls the “filters” of the mass media: ownership, advertising, sourcing, flak and ideology. 

In short, the most potent threat to journalists who wander astray of doctrine in the US is that they will be filtered, i.e., won’t have a viable, paid career in journalism.  No one is making them do what they do.  Even if some reporters kid themselves that they’re making worthy tradeoffs in adulterating certain stories to be able to report on others which they may deem more important or more impactful, what precise principles or boundaries do they think content-sponsoring corporations or their publishing companies adhere to in preventing an all-out descent to the ninth ring of hell if not journalistic principles which have already been sold? Do they think the “free market” will put on the brakes?  And even if one of the issues driving the cowardice is that a generation of young professionals are essentially student loan serfs (Ghorayshi’s alma mater, for instance, is among the most expensive public universities in the country even for residents and is ranked as the most expensive college town in the US), why didn’t they just opt for careers in hedge fund management or cocaine trafficking instead of stinking up a professional principle that, in other eras and other countries, journalists have risked or are risking torture and murder to uphold? Quite aside from the tragic role the media has played in allowing the worst medical disaster in history to escalate unchecked, I think this makes our current breed of mainstream reporters among the most spineless, gutless wonders in the history of journalism.  

Adriana Gamondes is a contributing editor at Age of Autism and one of the blog’s social media administrators.


Jeannette Bishop

A more hope inspiring review:

Jeannette Bishop

Thank you. Apologies for more cooing. This one doesn't even quote anyone, but it's on the movie page tonight:


Thanks for the insights all.

Nancy-- the FTC has made it clear they won't crack down on deceptive advertising, particularly when it comes to government sanctioned commercial propaganda like vaccine promotion. Now that even domestic propaganda has been legalized, there's no bottom.

As far as the gun control/Vegas issue, the Vegas shooting does have one potential tie to the subject at hand-- increasing clinical evidence of a drug link and reports by pharmaceutical experts like Drs. David Healy and Peter Breggin, etc., that 90% of "random" mass shooters were on or recently withdrawing from certain prescription drugs. This is not to say that all modern mass attacks were drug induced. Attacks by Dylann Roof, Anders Breivek. James Fields, Timothy McVeigh, etc. had all the earmarks of political terrorism regardless of whether they also took drugs (their militant ideologies and motives were long standing and heinous but pragmatic, they had militant ties, etc.), but many modern mass assaults fit the drug-induced psychosis model.

The availability of guns seems to be the media focus regardless, but it seems more than one industry should be facing sanctions, not least the media industry which is distorting all of it.


Re: go Trump

These kind of comments blaming the left really don't bring anything new to the table. This is why people think "antivaxxers" are conspiracy nuts.

Go read a newspaper and stop following the crazies on social media!

go Trump

Any MONEY from the Clinton Foundation been donated to HELP with any of the most recent disasters ???

Has she made any effort to find the killer of Seth Rich the young DNC staffer killed in the middle of the night ???

Thank gawd this woman is not in charge of much of anything.

cia parker

In the case of the Las Vegas shootings, there was no silencer used. A silencer would have been burned up and ruined by the heat generated by the rapid-fire ammunition. Hillary was just saying something ridiculous to pretend as though she had anything to contribute. The weapons used can only be acquired by agencies such as the FBI or CIA, not by private individuals. The man may have modified his guns himself, illegally. He was in the hotel since last Wednesday: how did he get that many guns and that much ammunition up to his room without being noticed?

And as the attacks in Edmonton and Marseille showed, bad people can carry out horrendous attacks with just knives and trucks, although probably not 600 people. And in Israel, many deaths are prevented because most people on the street are armed, and intervene as soon as an attack gets underway.

cia parker

"scientists who agree with Wakefield" was correct. The "who" is the subject of the clause: who (subject) agrees (verb) with Wakefield (prepositional phrase). "Whom" represents a direct or indirect object. The man whom I saw at the store, the man to whom I gave the box.

Cait from Canada

The proposed bill would deregulate the purchase of silencers, making them easier to buy. And making it harder to locate the source of gunfire.


Hillary knows it all, rather she thinks she does.Rather than allowing more information in she revels in her ignorance, it makes her feel good.The apathy endured over Benghazi etc is now lifting I wish she would just go.

Pharma for Prison



They are not introducing a bill to make it easy to buy silencers., there is a bill some where in the works to make it harder to buy silencers?

I think that is correct.

Hillary statement on "Imagine if he had a silencer" left me puzzled. I thought she was deranged, perhaps? Then I found out there was this bill about getting rid of silencers.

Then I though - -Oh, Hillary knows still all about bills in the senate and Congress then.


@Tom Petrie: "Ooops, the whole thing was a $20 billion movie production directly by Stanley Kubrick."

I don't know... Kubrick portrayed the moon's gravity very differently in 2001 ( getting it wrong ). Why the change?

Angus Files

Great article.To many great points to cover.I know us on here look mainly at vaccine damage but if we take all the damage from Pharma from its bad-health silent wonder kill products I find it hard to find any walk of life that isn't inflicted or have died un-naturally the young to the old they die.The elderly dying is seen as a windfall by the Hedge managers of pensions .We get the real news these days from sites that are deemed crank shows,crank web blogs.I seen the other day that a certain would be known as crank show that I follow daily had 36 million views in the space of a week and that isn't its biggest and best viewing figures.

Holywood gives puke inducing awards to equally puke inducing casts for films that sell 10 million copies .We are winning the news war guys more people are waking up.The sad twits that write for the MSN these days are delusional but then you would have to be delusional to be a journo for MSM these days.

Pharma for Prison


John Stone

I remember being interviewed by a young lady from a local newspaper about collapsing SEN provision c.2002-3: she reported something I think - but what was really making her happy was a story she had written some weeks before which had been nationally syndicated. It wasn't a real story at all: it was about a schoolteacher just doing their job - a normally unsung hero who deserved praise no doubt - picked up by some government office but already the purpose of news reporting had become twisted. We need news above all tell us when things are going wrong. I suppose it gives a new meaning to "No news is good news". Anyhow, she was pleased with herself, and slightly perplexed that I didn't think it was absolutely wonderful (though I am sure I was polite).


Leah, I was agreeing with you.


I just realized I should have written "WHOM agree with Wakefield".
I'm yelling at the people WHOM make grammer their priority, while being grammatically incorrect.

Man I miss Mr. Olmsted! I think (at least I hope) he would have been amused, while simultaneously not making deserved fun of me.

Thank YOU SO MUCH AoA and Ms Gamondes for your constant BRILLIANCE!!!!!!


Does anyone in this community, that is the community of us whom assert that VACCINES DO CAUSE AUTISM, honestly believe that the pissants who cover this issue are nearly as important as the SCIENTISTS that do?!!!!

Calibrate your focus! The next documentary that comes out should be regarding the number of SCIENTISTS who agree with Wakefield.

You think the death of those brave journalists that cover war is significant - so do I. But when it comes to what will be forcibly INJECTED INTO MY CHILDREN!!!!! I want to know about Jeff Bradstreet! I want to know about Nick Gonzales! I WANT THE WORLD TO KNOW ABOUT DR JUDY MIKOVITZ!!!!!!!

Focus people!


Really funny Carol! I wonder if it would be quite as funny if your kid was one of those bodies laying on the ground. I didn't even get to legalizing bullets that pierce armor, another great idea. But if your husband or wife is a cop...laugh it up why don't you. Glad I could give you a good time.

David Weiner


I think that the most likely reason for the ignorance is willful blindness.


“Engineering public approval for the victimization or abandonment of certain populations… is not new…” How infuriating for our new medical minority of vaccine-injured to keep reading formulaic hit pieces like Ghorayshi’s, or chillingly zealous op-eds (e.g. Boston Herald) that call for legal penalties or worse against people who warn of vaccine failures and CDC corruption.

One tenet of the Society of Professional Journalist’s code of ethics is to act independently, which means to:
– Deny favored treatment to advertisers, donors or any other special interests, and resist internal and external pressure to influence coverage. 
– Distinguish news from advertising and shun hybrids that blur the lines between the two. Prominently label sponsored content.

Those idealistic words are increasingly ignored, especially by ambitious freelancers whose assignments flip-flop from editorial to advertorial.

Such as the clubby Association of Health Care Journalists. At its April Health Journalism conference in Orlando, “independent health journalist” Tara Haelle moderated a “Science of Vaccines” presentation by an immunologist from the sponsoring Mayo Clinic. That supposedly non-profit institution is also home to Merck vaccine developers Dr. Gregory Poland and Dr. Robert Jacobson, who’ve published frequently against vaccine/autism causality.

Reading Haelle’s biased vaccine writing, one could well argue that such structured events inappropriately create and reinforce mutually beneficial professional relationships that lead to financial arrangements, and thus cross ethical lines. AHCJ health conferences are journalism’s equivalent of a game farm, which takes the sportsmanship out of hunting.

Tim Lundeen

@Jonathan Thanks for the referral to your upcoming book, Readers' Liberation: The Literary Agenda --
I pre-ordered a copy!

Tom Petrie

I used to routinely write to my local newspaper or the New York Times in an attempt to correct factual errors in their respective articles. Just last week, I took one newspaper and reported four errors in one paper--to no avail.

As aptly pointed out by various commenters above, the media lies ALL THE TIME on most subjects. Even with the ever popular crime or weather-related stories, they still leave out pertinent facts. And we all know how ANYONE who just asks for "safer" vaccines is simply labeled "Anti-Vaccine." Why debate someone on a particular topic, when you can simply plop a label on them and wholla, the discussion ends! Call them a conspiracy theorist--that'll work. Avoid ANY discussion of pertinent facts--that'll work too. Or keep em distracted with nonsensical stories of how Russia "hacked" our elections. That'll keep them from knowing what is REALLY going on in their country or around the world!

So many excellent books have been written on the problems with the media such as those from the Censured News Project, "Media Circus," "Trust Us, We're Experts" and "The BIG Autism Cover-up," that I'm amazed that folks still don't get that MOST stories are lies OR designed to distract us from serious issues that we prefer to avoid discussing.

Let's just give five random examples.

1. Libya's Destruction: Do you REALLY know why this country was destroyed--the Number One Economy of all of Africa? Hint, it's not what you were told, but it was about their Gold--all 143 tons of it, that WE'RE about to be used to back a NEW African Currency, the Dinar, which WOULD have helped free all African nations from centuries of colonial rule or "outside" control! So THIS is why you never see a before and after picture of Libya (or other countries we bomb to the stone ages): Truth outs our lies.

2. Ho Chi Min asked then President Truman in 1954 for help in "getting rid of the French" who were occupying their country. Instead, Truman SUPPORTED the French, installed a puppet leader who then refused to allow for "independent" elections because this puppet knew he would lose. Never mind that the Gulf of Tonkin incident in 1963 was staged to look like North Vietnam attacked our own ship in the Gulf of Tonkin. We learned this of course, just a few years ago, when "secret" documents finally became public. Too bad at the time, of the 29 major national newspapers--not ONE questioned the b.s. story.

3. All know about horrible mass shootings, like the most recent in Las Vegas, but few if any folks will ask what is the role of powerful (and deadly) psychiatric drugs; the newspapers NEVER bite the hand/s that feed them, so THIS topic is conveniently NEVER discussed in mainstream news.

4. So why DID NASA "lose" ALL footage of the moon landings--arguably the most significant scientific achievement of all time! Ooops, the whole thing was a $20 billion movie production directly by Stanley Kubrick. No wonder why Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong rarely gave "post landing" interviews: They were too embarrassed by what they had done. The hundreds of contradictions were waking up too many folks, I suppose.

5. As for vaccine truth, well I'm preaching to the choir now!

By the way, I try not to tell folks what to think, I only try to get them to think for themselves. That's why I've posted fifty documentaries/lectures and maybe forty or so books on this topic on my website. If someone can't bother to read even one book or look at one lecture/series/documentary on this topic, then they really prefer the "Easy" education provided by their doctor or their television set: "Vaccines are safe and effective." This requires zero thinking.

It's just not the sky high aluminum (pun intended), that is diminishing brain capacity, but the fluoride that triples it's uptake into the brain is certainly not helping improve our critical thinking skills.

I really don't know what's contributing more to our inability to think properly: Is it the dumbing down by our media OR our laziness in seeking the truth when so much truth on so many subjects is so easily available, IF one only cares to look.

Or maybe, people just prefer to be stupid, like those masses of hapless folks caught off guard on California's sandy beaches that think we should bomb N. Korea, but can't find it on a map.

Or doctors that don't know any of the ingredients in the vaccines they administer to innocent children across the country.



The rapid firing in Las Vegas was very loud and hurt my ears listening to it on TV. I think silencers would be very helpful in that situation.

(Sarcasm intended.)

Alan V. Schmukler

As homeopaths struggling to get the truth out it's very frustrating seeing this native advertising bashing us all the time. It creates the appearance of consensus for the unwary. It's helped spread Pharma's lies which led to the closing of 6 out of 7 homeopathic hospitals in the UK, the mislabeling of homeopathic remedies by the FTC in the U.S. and persecution of homeopaths in Australia. The writers are often young and may or may not know the damage they're doing. They just know they're getting a paycheck.

David Weiner

"Still making money" is the talking point in reviewing the movie, it seems.

This is the Marxist perspective of the media coming out. That there is something inherently wrong with people making or raising money. Thank God Wakefield continues to do so.

Unlike the vaccine industry, which makes its money through fraud and coercion.

David Weiner


That is a great Malcolm X quote.

Another one that could not be more applicable is “If you're not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.”

Jonathan Rose

If I may put in a plug, I discuss native advertising, PR, fake news, and related issues in my book "Readers' Liberation", which will be published early next year by Oxford University Press:


Talk about ass kissing--how about the Republicans and the NRA. I didn't bring it up but I am furious hearing about how wonderful these guys are, draining the swamp etc. Wow what this country really needs is a bill to make it easy to buy silencers. I could not be angrier this morning.


My best friend in high school was the valedictorian of our class.
I see she put on facebook some kind of article about research done on valedictorians and then discussed it some. She was kind of mad and disproving of article.

It said that valedictorians seldom if ever make much of a splash, difference in society.
Apparently they work well with in the realms of society, and the way it is set up. She did not think this was a fair article.

Hmmm; that would be most doctors and nurses and lawyer and such.

I have to chuckle to myself when a few weeks later; my best friend and valedictorian warns me that I don't need to be reading these far left, right, extreme stuff.
This is after she posted an article from the main stream media; full of conjecture and opinions.
In this day and time; even the Gray Lady of New York is extreme in their views. Is there really any mainstream media that does not just out right lie. Not the ability to just ignore like some have said but out right lie. They do this when they let some one they claim might be an expert come in to debate an issue. Debate is good, but I notice that when the debate on vaccines is not going well the host likes to chime in and help the medical expert.

WE live in times that I never dreamed were possible for America, in my youth.


the guardian! journalism indeed! corporate sponsored, heavy censorship, and warmongering to boot.


"Still making money" Is the talking point in reviewing the movie, it seems.

Saying she assembled her review may give her too much credit. Tweaked it to make it sound like her is probably more accurate.

Kenneth B Sizer II

"Advertising is the rattling of a stick in a swill bucket."
~George Orwell

Epic quote to set the tone!!

bob moffit

"Because that’s what journalists from the mainstream media and pseudo-alternative media like Buzzfeed represent: carrier pigeons, or stenographers or all of the other derisive names (hack, shill) used for reporters who simply repeat the party line."

I think Malcom X had it right when he said:

"The greatest power of the press .. is their power to ignore".

The easiest way to "ignore" .. is to "deflect" .. such as .. yesterdays tragic mass shooting in Las Vegas .. a crisis that too many saw as THEIR opportunity to "deflect" from the actual event by blaming "gun control laws".

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