For the last two weeks, the US media has been pounding Deer's fraud allegations. The UK media has ignored them.
In the US, a CNN blogger is calling for Wakefield to be brought up on criminal charges (ironically... even outright mentioning Galileo in his piece). In the UK.... no calls for new investigations, no interviews with prosecutors, no pitchfork wielding mobs calling for Wakefield's head.
Because in the UK, they have been following this story for a decade, they know what is up with it, they know what a weaselly figure Brian Deer is and they are not falling for it. The lapdog media there is not even falling for it. The US media apparently was handed a press release, saw that the British Medical Journal's name was on it, and having no understanding of the case or the players, or what making actual fraud allegations would mean legally, just parroted it.
Child Health Safety reports today that Brian Deer is angry that the only coverage he could get there was the Guardian allowing him to write a blog, which could well have been titled, "Someone Please, Please Pay Attention To Me." And even the blog piece is not being received by the readers it is getting.
In it, Deer recounts his glorious MMR protection and declares that, "13 years passed before I slayed the MMR monster." I get the sense that he is disappointed that he has not been hoisted on the shoulders of a teeming mass of mothers and carried triumphantly through the streets of London.
Shockingly, Deer lashes out against the medical establishment for... get this... PROTECTING Andrew Wakefield! He chastises Ben Goldacre and Paul Offit for not being hard enough on him!
I don't even know what to do with Deer's reference to "a single, severed hand may yet come crawling across the floor."
I am sure this column in the Guardian must have been met with a flurry of text messages betwixt board rooms hither an yon saying, "someone tell Deer to shut up before this whole thing falls apart". (Update: CHS now reporting that Deer has actually shut up.)
And I wonder why his blog was not run in the Sunday Times and if the BMJ is cringing at their endorsement of him.
These charges of fraud are based on the word of Brian Deer alone, as none of us has access to the children's records or interviews with the parents to confirm his claims. And these claims are coming from a man who believes he can be a journalist AND the complainant in the GMC trial, lied to the Lancet 12 parents about his name, calling himself "Brian Lawrence", to get interviews with them and who not only writes very self-aggrandizing pieces (to put it mildly) but posts a page of 36 pictures of himself on his journey from babe to "MMR Monster Slayer" on his journalism blog.
I feel that I am being kind in characterizing Brian Deer as someone whose honesty and judgment one might be wise to question.
Bottom line, it is not being covered in the UK, because there is no fraud. If they cover it, they have to interview prosecutors for interviews and prosecutors know there is no crime here. Worse... the media would have to start asking... "Hey... I know I can't get access to, or publish, private medical records... how 'come Deer can?"
And GSK has to be a little concerned about calls in the UK for criminal proceedings... God Forbid that the parents of these kids are allowed to testify, which they would have to be, and the news carries the fact that the 12 children in the study went in sick and came out better! Then its heads on a platter for the GMC who took away the licenses of doctors who heal very sick children, and a decade and millions in work on the End Wakefield project goes right out the window.