July 15, 2005

CBS News Looks At Kennedy Claims

A Kennedy Fuels Autism Debate


Don't miss the "Video excerpts of interview" link in the written section of the story.

The most interesting thing to me that he mentioned was that he flew autism researchers in to go with him when he met with the editorial boards of some major newspapers, and despite all the evidence they were shown that there could be a thimerosal/autism connection, they still didn't believe it and refused to print his charges.

It seems to be an example of just how much people don't want to believe that this theory might be true.

Cudos to CBS for actually taking a look at it on the evening news.

Update: A post from a woman on something about the web version of the story that I missed.

A Kennedy Fuels Autism Debate

It's interesting to see how CBS's Internet text differs from its broadcast report by Sharyl Atkisson.

For example, here's the Internet intro: "Is there a link between autism and childhood vaccines? Medical experts say no -- resoundingly ..." The next sentence refers to Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s support as "controversial."

However the Internet version leads with video of Kennedy, stating, "Robert F. Kennedy is lending his famous family name to a new cause."

On the Internet, Dr. Tanja Dr. Popovic says, "Based on what we know right now, we don't think there's an association."

On the broadcast, Atkisson counters, "But that's not saying with 100% certainty that there isn't one." Popvic pauses, then repeats her previous statement. But that telling exchange is missing on from the Internet piece.

On the Internet, Dr. Tanja Dr. Popovic says of the CDC, "We've always been open about all of our activities."

On the broadcast Atkisson comments, "There's widespread disagreement about that." Again, that statement was omitted from the print version.

It's definitely worth your time to listen to the extended 10-minute segment of Atkisson interviewing Kennedy.

Unfortunately right underneath, CBS dredged up Dan Rather's dreadful hatchet job of Barbara Loe Fisher and others regarding a slight rise in pertussis cases (and no mention of how many cases occurred in vaccinated children).

Nancy Hokkanen

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