More media stupidity: Chicago Sun-Times runs propaganda piece for Jenny McCarthy’s anti-vaccine conference

UPDATE, May 21, 7pm: See this post for an update on the Sun-Times‘s “proud support” of AutismOne.

On Sunday, in honor of Mother’s Day, the Chicago Sun-Times ran a puff piece on native daughter Jenny McCarthy. This is closer to a press release than it is to journalism:

On Memorial Day weekend, Jenny McCarthy will bring a little bit of L.A. glamor to her hometown, Chicago, for a cause that is close to her heart. The TV star’s philanthropic organization, Generation Rescue, and Autism One^ have paired up to offer a conference for parents to learn about new support and treatment methods for their children with autism. … McCarthy will be a keynote speaker at the conference, which, for the second year in a row, is free for the entire weekend to ensure that families of all income levels can attend and learn more about treatment for their children with autism.

The piece also recommends a “hip cocktail fund-raiser” that McCarthy is holding, and ends with this shocker: “The Sun-Times proudly supports Generation Rescue & Autism One.”^ As Carl Zimmer put it when he got to that line, “Huh???????”*

I’m not going to go all TLC and catalog the errors in the Sun-Times piece, but I will point out that apparently “free” means something different in Chicago than it does in the rest of world: Check out the conference’s registration page:

(There’s also a $125 charge for the gala dinner, a $35 charge to attend the “mixer,” and a $250 charge for anyone seeking CME credit.)

I’m also not going to get into Jenny McCarthy’s history; there are plenty of places to go if you want to learn about her history of promoting dangerous and false misinformation about vaccines. But I thought that perhaps fewer readers were familiar with AutismOne. Its annual conference is not, as the Sun-Times claims, a place for “parents to learn about new support and treatment methods for their children with autism”; it’s more akin to Woodstock for vaccine deniers. Take a look at some of the presentations scheduled for this year:

* More Vitamin D, No Vaccines, Virtually No Autism
* Know Your Vaccine Exemption Rights
* Hurt and Healing After Mercury-containing Vaccines
* FOIA Exposes CDC Lied Claiming Mercury in Vaccines is Safe
* Vaccine Nation: A Novel Dramatizing the Vaccine Safety Debate
* Vaccine Manufacturing Practices and Residual Vaccine Contaminants
* Hidden in Plain Sight: the Role of Vaccines in Chronic Disease
* Prospects for Justice for Children Injured by Vaccines: The Experience of the Omnibus Autism Proceeding

There are plenty of other presentations that don’t include the word “vaccine” in the title but are about vaccines, including “The Biological Basis of Autism: Causation and Treatment” by the father-son tag-team of Mark and David Geier. (From the description: “Important new information will be presented showing how environmental exposures, particularly mercury, are associated with autism…”) The Geiers, for those of you who don’t remember, opened clinics around the country to administer a powerful drug used to chemically castrate sex offenders as a “treatment” for autism. Mark Geier has had his medical license suspended in several states; David Geier is not a doctor; he was charged with practicing medicine without a license in his home state of Maryland.

And, of course, no AutismOne conference would be complete without a “Featured Presentation” by Andrew Wakefield, who this year will be giving a talk titled “The End Game.”

I had several sections in my book about AutismOne — if I get through the rest of my work, I’ll post one later today.

* The second half of that sentence was added at 5:18pm on May 15.

^ May 29, 2012, 6:15 pm: Per reader Narad’s comment, I un-sicced the Sun-Times‘s spelling of AutismOne as “Autism One”; he makes an interesting point. I’m not sure what the ultimate spelling should be, but certainly it seems there’s a legitimate case for spelling it as two words.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Creative Commons License
This work, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.

This entry was posted in Autism, Vaccines and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

35 Responses to More media stupidity: Chicago Sun-Times runs propaganda piece for Jenny McCarthy’s anti-vaccine conference

  1. Matt Carey says:

    The fact that Autism One and Generation Rescue can’t cut loose such obvious bad actors as the Geiers and Andrew Wakefield is just astounding. Really, what does one have to do to be considered less than a hero? As long as they point the finger at vaccines, no ethical lapses are too big?

    The Sun Times are proud to support this conference and Generation Rescue? Really? I wonder if the people in the board room would agree after given some insight into these organizations and their activities.

    • BillyHewitt says:

      The CDC has refused to allow indepedent researchers access to the VSD illegally. The CDC contracted the VSD to a lobbying firm named American Association for Health Plans for $190,871,967.00 for 10 years. The contract was effective starting 9/20/2002. The contract is up for renewal this year. The VSD should be taken away from the CDC and awarded to SCPI (Sound Choice Pharmaceutical Institute).

      • Chris says:

        Why should we believe you, Mr. Hewitt?

        And why should a public health agency relinquish its data to a private religious lobby group? This is anathema to the concept of separation of church and state. Dr. Deisher should know this from her own experience.

        • BillyHewitt says:

          The reason is the CDC has been proven corrupt (reference the fake autism study produced by Dr Poul Thorson lead scientist at CDC for $1 million in 2003 that DOJ has indicted for embezzlement) and the VSD is the only publicly funded database available for research and the CDC lead by Dr Julie Gerberding hid the VSD from independent scientific researchers by outsourcing the VSD to a lobbying firm (American Association of Health Plans) for BIG PHARMA. Dr Julie Gerberding has been promoted to BIG PHARMA Merck as President of Merck Vaccines where she is assured $million performance bonuses. The CDC is corrupt and in the pocket of BIG PHARMA and BIG PHARMA is poisoning the American population with RED vaccines (filled with aborted human fetal DNA and viruses that cause cancer and Crohn’s IBD that leads to autism for young and Alzheimer’s for elderly.

          Billy – This is the third comment in a row in which you tried to post the exact same thing, word for word. I cut out that part of your comment. You’re welcome to make new points; in fact, I’ve allowed you to say numerous things that are demonstrably false. However, if you continue to post identical comments I will blacklist you. Thanks.
          Seth

          • Chris says:

            Please post to the paper that Poul Thorsen is the primary author. Because none of the three out of the two dozen vaccine/autism studies out there include him as a primary author (and several are not even from Denmark).

            What does Dr. Gerberding’s job she went to after leaving the CDC have to do with her work there? Do you think she has a time machine to influence her past work?

            Mr. Hewitt, you are posting nonsense that has nothing to do with the science around vaccine policy. I suggest you find better reading material (like actually reading Mr. Mnookin’s book). Starting by educating yourself on the concepts placed in the First Amendment, and how that applies to private religious lobby groups (they claim to do research, but their webpage shows none in the last three years).

            You should also read about the rubella epidemic of the the early 1960s. Even though it is a ponderous academic read, Dangerous Pregnancies by Leslie J. Reagan is a comprehension history of how that affected our country. That includes the overcrowding of institutions where disabled children were warehoused and mistreated. These include places like Willowbrook School, which was called “Hell on Earth.”

          • BillyHewitt says:

            Dear Mr Seth and Mr Chris,

            I am very interested in why you insist on no safety tests for vaccines and no safety tests for GMO food products and find the series of 7 man made epidemics (AIDS, Autism, ADHD, Alzheimer’s, Crohn’s IBD, Colitis, Cancer) acceptable and insist on corruption of CDC, FDA, USFDA, WHO by TBTF Banks and TBTF Pharmaceutical Corporations as a necessary evil. Who is the blinded bigot here you that embrace corruption and disease or dedicated researchers like my self that defend vaccine safety tests and GMO safety tests and no disease? Dr Julie Gerberding PHD who was in charge of CDC and VSD and NIP hid the VSD from independent researchers, lied to Congress and American people telling them autism was not caused by vaccines when US Federal Court of Claims compensated 83 victims of autism caused by vaccine injury $127 million over the last 20 years. The case of vaccine injury that caused autism to 9 year Hannah Poling after being jabbed with 9 RED vaccines filled with aborted fetal DNA and viruses. The US Federal Court of Claims awarded Hannah Poling $20 million. The future of GMO Bt corn is right out of a Frankenstein novel. The Bt pesticde which was blasted into the DNA genes of GM corn by Monsanto Corporation and Monsanto Vice President Michael Taylor testified to Congress that the Bt pesticide would not be found in humans.Despite corporate assurances, many have been skeptical. Non-GMO advocates such as Jeffrey Smith from The Institute For Responsible Technology and the Organic Consumers Association have long been concerned about the potential impact this Bt toxin could have on human health.In the recent study, researchers Aziz Aris and Samuel Leblanc evaluated 30 pregnant women and 39 non-pregnant women who had come to the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Sherbrooke (CHUS) in Quebec, Can., for a tubectomy. Upon taking blood samples, researchers detected the Bt Cry1Ab toxin in a shocking 93 percent of maternal and 80 percent of fetal blood samples. And 69 percent of non-pregnant women tested positive for the toxin in their blood. All women involved in the study had been consuming a typical Canadian diet which, like in the US, is riddled with GM materials and toxins. Conventional soy, corn, canola, and potato products, for example, are in many of the foods eaten in both the US and Canada, which explains why Bt toxin was highly prevalent in the women’s blood samples. And the fact that Bt toxin was detected even in unborn babies shows that the chemical is easily passed from mother to child, and that it persists far longer than the biotechnology industry claims it does. Clearly, the toxin is harmful both to pests and to humans. Earlier studies have already shown that Bt toxin and other pesticides end up contaminating and persisting in the environment, which makes it a major public health concern.

          • Chris says:

            Strawman arguments, Mr. Hewitt. All vaccines are tested beyond the requirment of most pharmaceuticals and food. Actually vaccines had safety requirements before regulations empowered the FDA to check drugs and food. Read Pox: An American Story (it is a book that should be in your local library).

            I noticed you did not bother to even answer my simple questions. Your insistence that Dr. Gerberding’s early career is affected by her present job is just silly. So was your high school performance affected by your present job?

            Instead you resort to a string of accusations without any evidence. This means that you have none.

            If you wish to be taken seriously, and not as a clueless luddite, then you will present some actual evidence. Plus you will not change the subject. Here is a hint: vaccines are not GMOs.

          • Bill Edmond says:

            Mr Chris, Your world is sheer fantasy and you lie. The RED vaccines are loaded with viruses like the SV-40 virus in the polio vaccine that has created the cancer epidemic. Breast cancer for women and prostate cancer in the men. This virus has been in the polio vaccine for more than 50 years. The SV-40 virus has been classified as a group 2A carcinigen and how and why did the CDC and FDA miss this perhaps they need eye tests. You must be as blind as the CDC and FDA or taking $million payoffs like Dr Julie Gerberding. I hear she has treouble sleeping at night.

          • Chris says:

            Mr. Hewitt, that virus was found in polio vaccines and removed fifty years ago.

            Why should we care what you say when you make claims that are not true, and you do not post any evidence?

          • Chris says:

            Here is a better explanation of why the SV40 bit is just pointless scaremongering.

            Mr. Hewitt, just post some real evidence showing that the MMR vaccine is more dangerous than measles, mumps and rubella. That evidence should be at least the title, journal and date of the Pubmed indexed paper supporting your statements. Much like the three papers supporting the author’s comments in the link I provided.

  2. AutismOne excludes skeptics from its annual conference. It only grants media passes to writers who have written uncritically about the anti-vaccine movement.

  3. Kevin Le Vu says:

    I don’t believe in vaccines is a cure to all diseases, some are dangerous.

    • Chris says:

      Fortunately we do not depend on your beliefs, but more on the actual science. Especially since absolutely no one who understand the science thinks they are “a cure to all diseases.” They are supposed to prevent certain diseases.

      Yes, some are dangerous. Which is why they are not often used unless there is a reason. One of those is for smallpox that is only recommended for certain people (military personnel, researchers). Otherwise the commonly used pediatric vaccines are much safer than the diseases.

      If you have some actual evidence (journal, title, date of PubMed indexed study) that the DTaP is more dangerous than diphtheria, tetanus or pertussis then please share.

      • BillyHewitt says:

        The Need for Certification
        We are all touched by the pervasive use of aborted fetal material. Almost 92% of our children have been given vaccines made using aborted fetal cell lines, which are contaminated with aborted fetal cell DNA and a retrovirus. This has happened without our knowledge or consent! By letting people know about these tainted vaccines, by working tirelessly for informed consent and full disclosure for consumers, and by working to develop alternative vaccines, Sound Choice is championing the interests of parents, grandparents, pediatricians, pharmacists, nurses, insurers, and all who are obliged to promote vaccines. Without knowing what is put into our vaccines we cannot make choices aligned with our values; and without alternative vaccines we cannot exercise our free choice as consumers.
        Certification By SCPI Question:
        What’s in the Needle? Safety & Health or Autism?
        The autism ZOMBIE epidemic is 1:47 in UTAH!
        The autism ZOMBIE epidemic is 1:49 in New Jersey!
        The autism ZOMBIE epidemic is 1:64 in UK!
        The autism ZOMBIE epidemic is 1:38 in S Korea!
        CDC hides VSD – uses mercury – requires 36 vaccines.
        CDC uses aborted fetal DNA in all vaccines
        —————————————————————
        The autism ZOMBIE epidemic is 1:2200 in Denmark!
        Denmark bans mercury requires only 11 vaccines!

  4. Pingback: AnneDachel.com » Blog Archive » Seth Mnookin: The Sun Times has no business talking about A-1

  5. webdiva says:

    Hey, the Sun-Times has let go so many seasoned journalists (including science writers and excellent copy editors) that there isn’t anyone left to catch such egregious errors. The Chicago Tribune is is exactly the same shape. You let go your mid-career reporters who know the beats and are supposed to train the newbies, and you lose the ability to produce good, responsible journalism. This is what you can expect more of under such circumstances.

    And people actually want more citizen journalism, i.e., more untutored scribblers or bloggers on the loose who can’t produce more than a flak sheet??? Give me a break! Oh, except they’re calling it ‘sponsored’ articles now instead of advertorial, which is a bad enough euphemism for a puff piece as it is. They may as well run a direct line from PR Newswire and skip reporting entirely. So much for objectivity.

    This is what happens when nobody else but journalists care about what happens to the fourth estate. Not only do you stop getting the investigative reporting you rely on as a citizen who has to be informed before s/he votes, but you get fawning press releases and cocktail chatter passing for news. You get what you pay for, folks. Blame yourselves when you want all the accurate news for cheap or free. Ain’t gonna happen. Journalism will die instead.

  6. Pingback: Sun-Times endorsement of autism quackfest remains online even after editor claims it was “incorrect” | The Panic Virus

  7. cia parker says:

    I am one of the hundreds of thousands of autism parents who thanks God for organizations like Autism One and Generation Rescue for moving forward on helping recover our vaccine-damaged, autistic kids. Seth Mnookin and his friends have as much right to free speech as we do, but we are the ones gaining ground, because we have explanations and treatments that work, and they don’t. My daughter got encephalitis from the hep-B vaccine at birth, and was later diagnosed with autism. I hadn’t wanted her to get it, I told her pediatrician I didn’t want her to get it, but they gave it to her without asking permission. Great, protection from a sexually-transmitted disease that I had tested negative for, that (even if I had finished the series, which I obviously did not) would have worn off LONG before she was of an age to contract it. This vaccine has caused more adverse reactions than all the rest put together. She has been helped immensely by chlorella/cilantro drops from the health food store to detoxify from the stored mercury and aluminum from her infant vaccines, and by the GFCF diet, put down by the medical establishment, but which measurably helps most of the autistic children with chronic diarrhea or constipation . Her constipation, extremely resistant to all the conventional treatments (Miralax, milk of magnesia, Colace, Natural Calm, aloe vera juice, Smooth Move tea), disappeared within two days of starting the diet. She’s speaking and reasoning better, and for the first time I have hope for her future.
    The naysayers’ Inquisition tactics have failed bigtime, and the Reformation is gathering believers by the thousands every day. We are going to call a halt to this massive destruction of our children (and ourselves) by vaccines that cause a lot more destruction than protection from disease. I’m grateful to the Sun-Times for supporting those working to bring solutions to our families.

    • Chris says:

      Ms. Parker, there is a reason we cannot accept anecdotes. You have a reputation of changing yours.

      • BillyHewitt says:

        The Need for Certification
        We are all touched by the pervasive use of aborted fetal material. Almost 92% of our children have been given vaccines made using aborted fetal cell lines, which are contaminated with aborted fetal cell DNA and a retrovirus. This has happened without our knowledge or consent! By letting people know about these tainted vaccines, by working tirelessly for informed consent and full disclosure for consumers, and by working to develop alternative vaccines, Sound Choice is championing the interests of parents, grandparents, pediatricians, pharmacists, nurses, insurers, and all who are obliged to promote vaccines. Without knowing what is put into our vaccines we cannot make choices aligned with our values; and without alternative vaccines we cannot exercise our free choice as consumers.
        Certification By SCPI Question:
        What’s in the Needle? Safety & Health or Autism?
        The autism ZOMBIE epidemic is 1:47 in UTAH!
        The autism ZOMBIE epidemic is 1:49 in New Jersey!
        The autism ZOMBIE epidemic is 1:64 in UK!
        The autism ZOMBIE epidemic is 1:38 in S Korea!
        CDC hides VSD – uses mercury – requires 36 vaccines.
        CDC uses aborted fetal DNA in all vaccines
        —————————————————————
        The autism ZOMBIE epidemic is 1:2200 in Denmark!
        Denmark bans mercury requires only 11 vaccines!

    • Science Mom says:

      If your child was truly “vaccine damaged”, all the woo-juice in the world wouldn’t fix that. Hep B isn’t just a sexually-transmitted disease either. It’s really too bad you “Thinking Mom” types can’t see your child in front of you and treat them as damaged goods and test subjects. You are far worse than the medical establishment you criticise. What exactly are you “gaining ground” in Ms. Parker? Getting a few more parents to believe your nonsense is a triumph for you? So sad indeed.

    • cicero says:

      @ cia parker

      Good lord you’re dumb as a rock.

      It’s sad, heartbreaking if you care about our society, to see how poorly educated vis-a-vis science so many people are nowadays. Ignorance makes them gullible unfortunately.

    • Momofthree says:

      I am sorry that your child has autism, but blaming the wrong cause is not going to ever help anyone. My niece also has autism, her mother swore it was from vaccines and it definitely wasn’t. Unfortunately, her mother had to learn the hard way that it is genetic when her son was also diagnosed with autism and had never had a single vaccination. Also, since your daughter had encephalitis so young, I suspect the diagnosis might not even be correct. I have a friend with a son that was on a third floor balcony with his parents when he was 2 months old and it collapsed. He had very serious injuries, including head injuries. He recovered, but was never the same and three different doctors diagnose him with autism. He does not have autism, he has brain damage.

  8. Nick says:

    Jenny McCarthy is the Typhoid Mary of our times.

  9. Steve Rhodes says:

    Please also note the piece was written by the VP of PR for Wrapports, the Sun-Times’ parent company.

  10. Steve Rhodes says:

    Oops, saw you did in a follow-up. My bad for not reading all entries first. Good work!

  11. Pingback: Please shut up Jenny McCarthy - Best of WebBest of Web

  12. Twyla says:

    AutismOne has posted videos of the presentations here:
    http://www.autismone.org/
    These presentations are about far more than vaccines.

    Please read Dr. Martha Herbert’s new book “The Autism Revolution: Whole-Body Strategies for Making Life All It Can Be”
    http://www.amazon.com/The-Autism-Revolution-Whole-Body-Strategies/dp/0345527194

    This is not a simple matter of pro-vaccines/anti-vaccines, pro-science/anti-science. As Dr. Herbert says in this book, “As I have dug into current research to write this book, I have been stunned by how much science there is to support the approaches parents are taking to get their kids better.”

    And I really like what Dr. Herbert says in the introduction about “Finding Common Ground”. This page is available at the Amazon.com page linked to above:
    “The autism world is filled with different groups that often disagree with one another. But they all make important points.
    “There’s the neuodiveristy movement…
    “Mainstream medicine…
    “Advocates from the biomedical treatment world…
    “There are the parents who want help for their kids…
    “…families…
    “This book is based on the premise that all these groups are right about their part of the picture. But the whole picture is bigger than any one part…
    “I wrote this book in the hopes of providing a framework that can integrate everyone’s perspectives.”

    Dr. Herbert is an Assistant Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School, a Pediatric Neurologist at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and an affiliate of the Harvard-MIT-MGH Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging. She is director of the TRANSCEND Research Program. She has a medical degree from Columbia University, and a doctoral degree from UC Santa Cruz. She trained in pediatrics at Cornell University Medical Center and in neurology and child neurology at the Massachusetts General Hospital.

    As a neurologist, Dr. Herbert started out by doing brain scans and ordering genetics testing to look for causes of autism. But she has found that autism actually involves the whole body. She writes that, “This book has been informed by… epigenetics, systems biology, gut microbiology, nutrigenomics, and metabolomics, as well as by new revelations in neuroscience, gastroenterology, environmental science, and immunology.”

    Yes, there is a lot of anger at our current vaccine program from parents who have seen children harmed by vaccines, and then seen that harm dismissed as coincidence by our health authorities and mainstream medicine, without adequate research or treatment. But if you watch the videos from AutismOne you will find detailed explanations of science and medicine. Yes, a lot of this is about vaccines, because clearly vaccines sometimes cause autism. We need to understand this better for the sake of prevention and treatment.

  13. Narad says:

    “Autism One [sic].”

    This is a very minor point, but being in the racket, I don’t think that’s “siccable.” AutismOne appears to be Ed Arranga and the Autism International Association (EIN 61-1429687), so it’s a logo. Indeed, their “about” page presents the compound open. Furthermore, I happened to be looking at their logos over the weekend. Somebody is actually thinking about this (and properly noting that it’s easily misread in the wrong titling face): when they do it in all in majuscule sans, it’s spaced to separate the words. If I were the slot, I’d open it.

  14. Pingback: Sometimes this works… « It's Bridget's Word

  15. Bill Edmond says:

    The RED vaccines and RED GM foods have never been tested for safety and have created the plague of epidemics (Autism, Alzheimer’s, Crohn’s IBD, Cancer, AIDS, ADHD, Colitis, Asthma…..) that afflict 1:47 Americans in Utah and 1:49 Americans in New Jersey. We need the GREEN vaccines and GREEN GM foods that have NO MERCURY, NO ABORTED FETAL DNA, NO HARMFUL VIRUSES, NO PESTICIDES as Jenny McCarthy and concerned citizens are demanding. SCPI (Sound Choice Pharmaceutical Institute) is the only American company dedicated to identify GREEN vaccines and GREEN foods for the American people. Reference http://www.SoundChoice.com

  16. DD says:

    Jenny McCarthy is the Typhoid Mary of our time by helping to spread the lies started by discredited former doctor Andrew Wakefield.

    In 1998, Andrew Wakefield released a paper claiming to have linked the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine to the onset of autism. No other scientist was ever able to match Wakefield’s findings, and in the coming years, it became known that Wakefield had a financial conflict of interest. In 2010, an ethics review board found that he had falsified the data in his report, causing an immediate retraction of his original paper and revocation of his medical license. Despite the fact most scientists opposed Wakefield’s “findings” from the start, some were all too eager to jump on the anti-MMR bandwagon. – See more at: http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/one-map-sums-damage-caused-anti-vaccination-movement#sthash.OQUf82XT.ht1CG16p.dpuf

Add Comment Register



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>