Vaccines: Stenographer disease hits journalists at Wall Street Journal, CNN

Jeanne Whalen knows how to get to the bottom of a story — until recently she honed her skills getting the scoop on CEOs and politicians alike at The Wall Street Journal’s London and Moscow Bureaus. But now that she’s the Journal’s Deputy Bureau Chief for Health and Science, she sometimes more resembles a stenographer, as […]

Discover Magazine needs to rediscover facts on vaccines

When Discover Magazine was launched by Time in 1980, graced by columnists such as Stephen Jay Gould, it was a marvel to behold. That era of excellence in its illumination of science is no more. Over the years Discover was sold and resold several times, dumbed down, and now it runs pieces by blogger Keith Kloor such […]

USA Today wrong on mercury, wrong on scientific consensus on vaccines

“According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the mercury-containing chemical has been removed from routine childhood vaccines since 2001,” writes Ty Chandler in a USA Today story entitled “Calif. lawmakers advance controversial vaccine bill.” Chandler didn’t do her homework, and USA Today didn’t do its fact checking. 2001 didn’t mark the removal of […]

Autism: San Francisco Chronicle’s errors of omission

“Kaiser to look for autism’s causes in large-scale study,” read a headline in yesterday’s San Francisco Chronicle. Its subtitle could have read: “And it won’t be vaccines.” Health reporter Victoria Colliver can’t be faulted for any factual errors in this story about what’s believed to be “the largest genetic research project ever conducted by a […]

One-quarter of Utah’s autistic children don’t speak

“One in 54 Utah kids has autism — the second highest prevalence in the nation — and 1 in 4 cannot or will not speak,” Salt Lake City’s Deseret News reported Sunday, in an article that focused on the difficulties of living with autism, and the need for more resources to help autistic children and […]

New York Post flubs facts in vilifying RFK Jr. on vaccines

The New York Post’s editorial board went personal yesterday in “RFK Jr.’s vaccine villainy,” an over-the-top, cheap-shots attack on Robert Kennedy’s opposition to mandatory vaccinations. We don’t quarrel with the Post’s right to disagree with Kennedy on the merits of mandatory vaccinations, or to sneer at him and Democratic legislators who side with him, unseemly […]

UBC’s student newspaper covers autism-vaccine link, upholds academic freedom

In an article entitled “Autism and Vaccines: UBC Defends the Freedom to Research,” the University of British Columbia’s student newspaper, The UBYSSEY and writer Danni Shanel do something few commercial newspapers and professional journalists do when the subject is vaccines —present the news accurately and fairly. Shanel describes attacks by official bodies such as the […]

Ottawa Citizen channels Jenny McCarthy in cheesy vaccine story

Ottawa Citizen reporter Elizabeth Payne put in a cheesy performance in her role writing “An anti-vaxxer makes her case,” and so did her editors. This article — about how easy it was for an Ottawa mother to obtain an exemption from vaccination for her son — fails to meet journalistic standards on several grounds. The article features a […]

UBC doubles down on academic freedom, avoids firestorm

Unlike other leading Canadian universities, the University of British Columbia adopted a novel stance last week when the national press castigated it and one of its professors, Dr. Christopher Shaw, for conducting research into a possible link between vaccines and autism — it unambiguously backed both Shaw and the principle of academic freedom. Almost immediately, […]

Confidence in vaccines eroding as Americans learn of disadvantages, Gallup finds

Americans’ confidence in the value of vaccination has fallen since 2001, according to a Gallup study released last week. The study, undertaken to gauge public opinion following weeks of heightened public controversy over the measles outbreak at Disneyworld, found that only 54% of the public now considers it “extremely important” for parents to get their children […]