Tag Archives: Daily Beast

BREAKING: AI Demands Daily Beast Retract Paul Offit Post on Vaccine-Miscarriage Study

Paul Offit has written a post for The Daily Beast arguing that a CDC study of miscarriage and influenza vaccination should have never been published. He bases his argument on his own misrepresentations of the study’s results. Read Autism Investigated’s below letter to The Daily Beast’s editorial team demanding they retract Offit’s post.

——– Original Message ——–
Subject: Paul Offit’s Article Misrepresents Study Findings, Should be
Retracted
From: <info@autisminvestigated.com>
Date: Sun, September 24, 2017 3:33 pm
To: editorial@thedailybeast.com

Dear Daily Beast,

Your contributor Paul Offit’s latest article “The Pregnancy Vaccine Scare That Should Have Never Been” makes multiple misrepresentations of a recent CDC study on influenza vaccination and miscarriage. Since these misrepresentations form the basis of his central argument that the study should never have been published, Offit’s article is fatally flawed and should be retracted by your publication.

Offit states about a recent study of miscarriage and flu vaccination that the study authors found no overall association with miscarriage and flu vaccination when they had:

“The CDC’s question prior to this study was “Does influenza vaccine cause spontaneous abortions?” The answer to that question was no. It was only after investigators sub-stratified their data to include those who had or hadn’t received a vaccine the previous year that they could find statistical significance.”

This is directly from the study, contradicting Offit’s claim:

“The overall adjusted odds ratio (aOR) was 2.0 (95% CI, 1.1–3.6)”

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0264410X17308666

As someone who holds a degree in epidemiology (unlike Offit) and has analyzed the database used in this study (also unlike Offit), I can assure you that that is a significant association. The “95% CI” (confidence interval) excludes the number 1.0. Therefore, the answer to their study question would point in the “yes” direction.

This also demolishes his next point about the study, that the association was based on small numbers:

“After the CDC researchers had finished sub-stratifying their data, the numbers were small”, concluding the results due to “the curse of small numbers gleaned from a large database.” But even before the authors had computed their next association from a smaller sample, the association from their full study sample was already significant. But because Offit misrepresented the association as being insignificant, his point about the study’s findings being based solely on small numbers is also wrong.

His very first point was also wrong, too:

“Researchers had studied two influenza-vaccine seasons: 2010-2011 and 2011-2012. The problem of first-trimester spontaneous abortions occurred during the first season but not the second.”

The study itself makes clear this happened in both seasons: “This effect modification was observed in each season”

Because the majority of Offit’s points are based on his own misrepresentations – including all those that discussed the study findings directly – simple corrections are too mild. The entire post should be retracted by The Daily Beast, especially since the purpose of the post was to make the case for why the study should have never been published. In reality, The Daily Beast should have never posted this fatally flawed article by Paul Offit and should now retract it.

Sincerely,

Jake Crosby, MPH

Autism Investigated Announces Awards for 2013

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On New Year’s Eve, Autism Investigated announces its awards for 2013 looking back on the highlights of the year and the lessons learned – an award for each of five categories listed below. As I told one reader:

“2012 was a year of blissful ignorance whereas 2013 was a year of hard lessons – they were not easy to learn, but I think we will all be better off because of them. Here’s to an enlightened new year.”

I feel this sentiment is very strongly reflected in Autism Investigated’s awards for this year – a year when Autism Investigated only existed for the second half, but an eventful year nonetheless.

So here they are: Autism Investigated’s Awards for 2013!

Scientist of the Year: Dr. Brian Hooker

A researcher, professor, parent and advocate, Dr. Brian Hooker exemplifies scientific integrity, courage and persistence. Having organized the congressional hearing in 2012, Dr. Hooker works tirelessly to expose the scientific corruption of CDC and related groups that are implicated in the government cover-up of vaccines’ role in causing autism in children, especially vaccines containing the mercury-based, neurotoxic preservative thimerosal. He has made tremendous inroads with Congress despite overwhelming adversity, even from groups that claim to agree with his activities. Nonetheless, he remains unyielding in his pursuit of justice for countless vaccine-injured children, including his own son.

Thank you, Dr. Hooker!

Scoop of the Year: Mark Blaxill’s Early Interference in Autism Omnibus

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(Click to enlarge.)

Last October, Autism Investigated was sent email exchanges from 2003 and 2004 between members of SafeMinds and the lead petitioners’ attorney  in the autism omnibus proceeding for 4,900 children who developed autism after vaccination and were seeking federal compensation. The emails reveal that members of SafeMinds were being retained as consultants in the litigation. The email exchanges also reveal some troubling remarks by Mark Blaxill, then-board member of SafeMinds. Below are statements he has made in those emails to the attorney against petitioners’ expert witnesses Dr. Mark and David Geier as well as against suing in general. Also disturbing is his reference to his employer’s pharmaceutical clients.

Direct quotes from Mark Blaxill’s emails:

“The issue I will confess to the most difficulty with is the “sue the bastards” model…Please recognize, though, that my firm has clients on the other side and so I cannot–in fairness to my partners–get directly involved in the quest for money. I only am interested in the quest for the truth….I would say there are a few lawyers I’ve run into that make my discomfort really sharp.”

“As to the Geiers, I may be a bit of a minority voice here, but I worry very much that they can do our cause more harm than good. They are not very good scientists, write bad papers (both writing badly and reporting in sloppy fashion) and attract too much attention to themselves as individuals. In this last regard, they don’t show nearly as well as Andy Wakefield but they’re trying to play the same role. Frankly, if I were on the other side and were asked to critique their work, I could rip it to shreds. I’m surprised they haven’t been hit harder. So I think you are wise to diversify.”

I have not been a big fan of the Geiers. I worry they do not represent our side well. They often do sloppy work.”

In response to the last quote by Blaxill, the attorney replied:

“Thanks, Mark, very helpful.”

The autism omnibus eventually collapsed and thousands of children were denied justice. In a podcast interview last October, Mark Blaxill said he was not apologetic about anything he has done.

Quote of the Year: Dr. Boyd Haley on Mark Blaxill and the Geiers

After the above email passages were posted on Autism Investigated, emeritus chemistry professor, scientist and leading authority on mercury toxicity Dr. Boyd Haley responded in the below email:

I know both Mark Blaxill and Mark & David Geier fairly well. Mr. Blaxill does not have the biological science and medical training of the Geier’s and most of their articles address issues on the biological level. I have critically read most of the publications by the Geier’s and I seriously doubt that Mr. Blaxill could shred this research even though he may think he could.

Boyd E. Haley, PhD
President
CTI Science, Inc.

Irony of the Year: Tina Brown runs bogus autism-and-pedophilia-linking article, despite having son with autism.

Tinabrownson

Last August, The Daily Beast ran an article by Eustacia Cutler – mother of internationally famous autistic advocate and animal scientist Dr. Temple Grandin – falsely claiming autistic men have an affinity for pedophilia. Dr. Grandin distanced herself after the article was written following an inquiry by Autism Investigated. The major irony to emerge from this is that Tina Brown – editor of The Daily Beast – has an adult son with Asperger Syndrome, an autism spectrum disorder. She did not respond when confronted about the story on Twitter. The following month, Tina Brown stepped down as editor of The Daily Beast.

Event of the Year: NVICP Congressional Hearing Cancellation

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The event of the year – or rather non-event of the year – goes to the cancellation of the congressional hearing on the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP). By asking Congress to investigate NVICP, Canary Party was able to prevent the CDC cover-up of vaccine dangers from gaining exposure in a congressional hearing despite the organization’s false promises to Dr. Brian Hooker that it would ask specifically for an investigation into the malfeasance. Then at a Canary Party Briefing held the month before the anticipated NVICP hearing, the case of vaccine-injured child Hannah Poling was misrepresented. After her mother Terry Poling protested in the comments of Age of Autism – the blog sponsored by Canary Party and edited by its chairman Mark Blaxill – Age of Autism took down the video of the briefing without explanation. After the incident was written about on Autism Investigated, Age of Autism claimed technical failure before finally re-uploading the video three days after its removal. That night, Autism Investigated received word that the December-scheduled NVICP congressional hearing that Canary Party was instrumental in lobbying for was cancelled. The reason, according to one reliable legal source, was that NVICP is an “overly divisive issue.”

Jake Crosby is editor of Autism Investigated and is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. He is a 2011 graduate of Brandeis University with a Bachelor of Arts in both History and Health: Science, Society and Policy and a 2013 graduate of The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services with a Master of Public Health in Epidemiology. He currently attends the University of Texas School of Public Health where he is studying for a Ph.D. in Epidemiology.

Ask Tina Brown to Condemn Linking Autism to Child Porn

Tinabrownson

Editor’s Note: Above is a photo of Tina Brown and son, Photo Credit: Patrick McMullan Company

By Jake Crosby

With Temple Grandin now disassociating herself from her mother Eustacia Cutler’s fallacious article in The Daily Beast linking autism to child porn, attention now shifts to The Daily Beast itself, particularly site’s editor Tina Brown. In an article for the now-defunct Newsweek Magazine of which she was editor, Brown referred to her “adored” adult son with Asperger’s. It is then especially odd, given that she has a son with Asperger’s whom she adores, that she would allow a totally baseless article claiming autistic men are more likely to be pederasts. She remains silent on the topic even after being asked on Twitter how she could have published such a piece.

Tina Brown is responsible for articles published on The Daily Beast website. That means she should vet everything The Daily Beast runs, and it is possible she could have simply missed Cutler’s article. Nonetheless, it seems highly unlikely that the mother of a son with Asperger’s would have completely missed such a sensationalist and bigoted story by the mother of perhaps the most famous autistic person alive today and who ever lived.

In Brown’s piece where she discusses her son’s disability, she talks about the attempt of parents like her to “patch together a tolerably happy existence” for their offspring. Among the hopes she has for her son is “a safe sex life,” according to that article. Now everybody should have a safe sex life. However, the common complaint I’ve heard from other autistic men is simply the lack of a sex life – nothing about concerns for safety. Obviously, a sex life involving something illegal would not be safe.

If Tina Brown was aware of the article, does she relate to Eustacia Cutler’s article in some way? Perhaps she knows of somebody in the autism community who fits Cutler’s profile of an autistic male pederast? The only person I know of who might fit that profile is the psychologist mentioned in autistic blogger Jonathan Mitchell’s response to Cutler’s article, and that psychologist’s claim of an autism diagnosis is dubious according to Mitchell. Whether Brown does know of an autistic man who looks at child porn or not, it is still no excuse for painting the entire male autistic population with such a denigrating association.

While Tina Brown may be able to deny ever knowing about this article before publication – however unlikely that may be – she cannot deny having any responsibility for running Eustacia Cutler’s piece. Brown has an obligation to speak out against the bogus allegations Cutler raised.

Tina Brown owes it both to her profession as a journalist, and even more importantly, to the entire autism community. Send an email to editorial@thedailybeast.com, put “Attn: Tina Brown” in the subject line and ask that she condemn Eustacia Cutler’s article.

Jake Crosby is editor of Autism Investigated and is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. He is a 2011 graduate of Brandeis University with a BA in both History and Health: Science, Society and Policy. He currently attends The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services where he is completing his candidacy for an MPH in epidemiology.