Media Bias Rears Ugly Head in Vaccine Controversy

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By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media


The media think they have discovered another issue to beat Republicans over the heads with—vaccines. But the media have no credibility on this, or any other major health issue. They do have, and often demonstrate, a partisan political bias on such controversial matters.

“Vaccination debate flares in GOP presidential race, alarming medical experts,” states The Washington Post in horror.

It’s yet another attempt to portray Republicans as “anti-science.” This follows the “climate change denier” mantra used against conservatives and Republicans for supporting pro-growth economic policies.

In the measles case, NBC news is attacking Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky for “giving credence” to an idea—“disputed by the majority of the scientific community”—that “vaccination can lead to mental disabilities.”

That’s interesting. As we reported back in 2006, NBC was aggressively covering the mercury-autism link involving vaccines. That was because Bob Wright, Vice Chairman and Executive Officer of GE and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of NBC Universal, had a grandson who was autistic.

Going further back in time, consider a program on the link between vaccines and mental problems which was aired by NBC in 1994 and featured Katie Couric as a co-host.

If there are no problems associated with vaccines, then why did Congress pass the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986, which created a national Vaccine Injury Compensation Program?

Michael Chen of ABC 10 News in San Diego reports on one mother whose son suffered a very serious vaccine reaction and was diagnosed with autism, and later Tourette syndrome, obsessive-compulsive disorder and mitochondrial dysfunction. She was awarded $55,000 in damages. Chen reported that since 1988, 15,684 injury and death claims related to vaccines have been submitted to the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, and that among those, nearly 4,000 cases received compensation from a federal fund.

Nearly $2 billion dollars has been paid out to vaccine victims for their injuries.

But in response to New Jersey Republican Governor Chris Christie supporting parental choice in vaccines, CNN ran a story saying he had sidestepped “vaccine science.”

The Washington Post reported in 2008 that candidate Barack Obama had said, “We’ve seen just a skyrocketing autism rate. Some people are suspicious that it’s connected to the vaccines. This person included. The science right now is inconclusive, but we have to research it.”

The phrase “This person included” was apparently a reference to someone in the audience.

Now Obama acts as if all the science is settled. It is total hypocrisy.

But the science is not settled. In regard to the measles outbreak, Barbara Loe Fisher of the National Vaccine Information Center points out that “there were 644 cases of measles reported in America in 2014, even though 95% of children entering kindergarten have gotten two doses of MMR vaccine, which is also true for 92% of school children ages 13 to 17 years.” She also notes that “less than one percent of children under age three are completely unvaccinated and 92% of them have gotten one or more MMR shots. In some states, the MMR vaccination rate is approaching 100 percent.”

“From January 1 to January 30, 2015, 102 people from 14 states were reported to have measles,” the CDC reports.

Fisher notes that the “measles virus has not been eradicated from the U.S., just like measles has not been eradicated from any other country and emerging scientific evidence suggests it never will be—no matter how many doses of MMR vaccine are mandated for every man, woman and child in the world.”

Could it be possible that the shots aren’t working? What about the fact that millions of Americans took flu shots that don’t work? Did you miss this ABC News story: “Flu vaccine may not be effective for this year’s strains, CDC says.”

Dr. Anne Schuchat, assistant surgeon general and director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, was quoted by CNN as saying, “this is not a problem with the measles vaccine not working. This is a problem of the measles vaccine not being used.”

So why are vaccinated people getting measles? The CDC admits that 12 percent of those with measles associated with Disneyland were vaccinated. What’s more, some of the measles cases may be vaccine reactions. The fact is that the CDC just doesn’t know why or what is happening.

CNN, which is now trying to act “scientific” on the subject of vaccine safety, ran a January 15 column, “The climate is ruined. So can civilization even survive?” It was another effort to scare people over so-called global warming, or climate change.

Here, too, Republicans have been portrayed as “anti-science” for opposing scare mongering over the climate, based on junk science.

In this case, the editor’s note said the author, David Ray Griffin, “is emeritus professor of philosophy of religion at Claremont School of Theology and Claremont Graduate University. His most recent book is Unprecedented: Can Civilization Survive the CO2 Crisis? The views expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.”

That sounds impressive.

Yet, his previous book was, The New Pearl Harbor: Disturbing Questions About the Bush Administration and 9/11. It argues that Flight 77, a Boeing 757 which was seen by dozens of people crashing into the Pentagon, was actually a missile or small aircraft.

He has no explanation for passenger Barbara Olson’s call to her husband, Ted Olson, in the Justice Department, alerting him to the fact that the flight had been hijacked, other than to suggest that they were both part of a secret plan to conceal the truth and that it is not clear “what became of Barbara Olson.”

Griffin is an advocate of global government that he calls “global democracy” as the solution to the world’s problems.

According to the acknowledgements section of his new book, the “seed” for the book was a series of lectures he gave at the invitation of Zhihe Wang and Meijun Fan of the Communist Chinese Institute for Postmodern Development. Their specialty is “ecological Marxism.”

Not surprisingly, the book, Organic Marxism: An Alternative to Capitalism and Ecological Catastrophe, receives Griffin’s endorsement.

In a hastily added postscript to his own book, Griffin seems ecstatic that President Obama and Chinese leader Xi Jinping recently made an “executive agreement” about limiting carbon emissions. He says this “undercuts what had become the Republicans’ main argument for doing nothing about climate change…”

Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK), senior member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, is not impressed by the deal. He calls it “a non-binding charade” that benefits China.

Griffin calls the GOP “the party of denial”—a charge the media will increasingly use as the presidential campaign moves forward.

The Republicans ought to be getting used to this charge by now.

But using a 9/11 truther to attack Republicans? Don’t the media have any decency?

Will Republicans stand up to the media attack? Or will they wilt in the face of dubious “science” promoted by reporters with no credibility?
 

Follow-up article: “Can You Handle the Truth About Vaccines?
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