Tag Archives: Forbes

WILLIAM SHATNER PLUGS AI, RIPS “SELF-ADVOCATES”

William Shatner

William Shatner – the man, the legend himself – plugged Autism Investigated’s piece on Twitter that caught Forbes’ contributing Emily Willingham denying the existence of government research implicating mercury in vaccines as a cause of autism. He also slammed the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) and its opportunistic founder Ari Ne’eman for attacking other charities and then currying sympathy by playing victim.

It started with yet another hit piece by neurodiversity blogger Emily Willingham in Forbes Magazine, this time against President Trump for his acknowledgement of Autism Awareness Month and views of autism being caused by vaccines. William Shatner was not impressed:

What followed was a slew of vitriol directed at him by the online proponents of neurodiversity – the cancerous, social justice movement that preaches autism “acceptance” – egged on by Autistic Self-Advocacy Network (ASAN) founder Ari Ne’eeman. Unfortunately for Ne’eman and friends, Shatner didn’t take their attacks lying down. In particular, Shatner slammed Ne’eman’s group and movement for its tendency to play victim:

For the past decade, Ari Ne’eman and his group have received mostly positive media attention but little public scrutiny. No mainstream journalist or big name celebrity has taken on their movement directly. Without question, they were in for one hell of a surprise when William Shatner stepped up.

But even better: Shatner tweeted a link to Autism Investigated’s 2014 post which exposed Forbes journalist Emily Willingham’s omission of the existence of Centers for Disease Control data implicating mercury in vaccines as a cause of autism:

And for his tweets of truth, Shatner received a couple of warm and well-deserved thanks:

H/t: Jonathan Mitchell

Fight Crooked Media, Donate To The Donald Trump Campaign!

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Progressive and feminist bloggers who spread dangerous lies on behalf of the crooked vaccine injury cover-up are slamming Donald Trump for giving money to Jenny McCarthy’s vaccine-induced autism charity Generation Rescue and to exonerated British doctor Andrew Wakefield’s Strategic Autism Initiative.

They include:

-Forbes’ Emily Willingham who lied about the existence of federal autism research results and lied that Dr. Wakefield is responsible for neglecting a gastrointestinal connection to autism. She went on a long hiatus and even called herself a “former journalist” before Forbes resurrected her after winning an industry-funded “award.”

-Tim Mak of The Daily Beast which called autistic men pedophiles

-Mark Sumner of the DailyKos which banned comments acknowledging vax-autism link, to which AI responded by banning comments linking to Kos (Note: that applies to comments on this post)

-Brad Reed of Raw Story which AlterNet re-ran, because all these sites are practically the same anyway

How should we – as people opposed to the child-poisoning lies that are the US vaccine program – respond?

Simple: Donate to the campaign to elect Donald Trump president so he can end the autism epidemic! Crooked Hillary will do all she can to make it continue. Unlike the mole-and-Democrat-run Age of Autism blog, Autism Investigated is fully committed to making this happen. So donate to Donald Trump’s campaign, and Make America Great Again!

The wall just went 10 feet higher, and the vaccine program just went six feet under.

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Emily Willingham: Forbes’ Formerly Contributing “Contributor”

By Jake Crosby

Since May, Emily Willingham has gone from a Forbes “Contributor,” to “Subscriber,” and back to “Contributor” again according to her bio on the Forbes website. The difference between the first and second time she was listed as “Contributor” is that during the first time, she was actually contributing – albeit with embarrassingly misleading stories. Since her demotion to “Subscriber,” Forbes has published nothing from her, and she began referring to herself as a “Former journalist” in her Twitter bio. She would then replace it with her current bio which says, “All sweetness and light wrapped in a glittery sugar-spun cloud of happiness. Plus unicorns! So many unicorns.” This Twitter update along with the reversion to her old “Contributor” status at Forbes happened shortly before her receipt of UK lobby group Sense About Science’s 2014 John Maddox Prize, apparently to minimize attention to the fact that she no longer contributes.

Named in honor of Nature’s late editor, the John Maddox Prize is given out each year to reward someone who “has promoted sound science and evidence on a matter of public interest” according to Sense About Science. Willingham was rewarded for writing a Forbes article that is now the basis of a libel suit against her. Sense About Science is funded by the BMJ Group, which the plaintiff suing Willingham is also suing for libel.

Despite the fact that Willingham is now listed as a Forbes “Contributor” again, she still has not actually contributed a single article since May – one month after she wrote the article she is being sued over. Even before that, she conflated the research results of an early CDC study of thimerosal with those of a later one to wrongly deny that CDC researchers ever found an association with autism when they actually had. When asked on Autism Investigated about this misrepresentation of Willingham’s, Forbes Senior Editor Matthew Herper had no comment. When she won the award, he inadvertently drew attention to her no longer contributing to Forbes by referring to her writing in the past tense: “I loved having her write for us. She’s awesome.”

Willingham’s award is more a curse than an honor for Forbes, bringing yet more attention to her embarrassing reporting and to the even more embarrassing fact that she is still not contributing there anymore. The only purpose the reversion of her status back to “Contributor” from “Subscriber” currently serves is to minimize attention to that fact. It appears just as unlikely that this “Contributor” will ever contribute anything to Forbes again.

Addendum: See on The Epoch Times.

Jake Crosby is editor of Autism Investigated and a blogger at The Epoch Times. 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.

Vaccine Industry Watchdog Responds to Forbes Defense of Mercury-Laced Vaccinations

BRIAN HOOKER, PHD, PE

Dr. Brian Hooker, PhD, says Forbes misrepresented congressional records and CDC studies

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Feb. 28, 2014 /PRNewswire-iReach/ — Last week, PhD biochemist Brian Hooker created a stir when he announced he had obtained sensitive documents from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. According to Hooker, these documents implicated the vaccine preservative Thimerosal (50% mercury by weight) in causing autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders, revealing what he says CDC officials had long known, but never disclosed publicly: a 7.6-fold increase in autism during infancy after exposure. Emily Willingham, who frequently editorializes in support of the vaccine program, responded in Forbes by criticizing a news story that went viral on the subject of Dr. Hooker’s FOIA revelations.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140228/MN73622)

Dr. Hooker methodically itemized “misrepresentations and outright errors” that he says appeared in Forbes.com. “Willingham either confused two CDC studies or intentionally deceived Forbes’ readers,” said Hooker. “There was one concealed study that found a very high association between Thimerosal and autism. That was the study that was kept from the public which I obtained. And there was a later study by the same researcher – CDC-paid epidemiologist Thomas Verstraeten – who had watered down the results of the earlier study to appear as if there were no association between Thimerosal and autism. That second study was made public even though it was fraudulent.  Willingham pointed to the conclusions of the later study and implied that they came from the earlier study.”

Although Willingham denies that the CDC researcher, Dr. Verstraeten, was under pressure to alter the results of the earlier study, Dr. Hooker points out that Verstraeten’s own email written at the time (an internal CDC document obtained through FOIA) reveals otherwise. Verstraeten’s subject line, “It just won’t go away,” refers to his difficulty in making the statistical association between Thimerosal and autism disappear.

Making an example of how he says Dr. Verstraeten hid that association in his reanalysis of the data on 400,000 infants, Dr. Hooker says Verstraeten did not include clinics within HMOs where there was a strong correlation between Thimerosal exposure and autism incidence. According to Hooker, “Willingham brazenly disregarded Verstraeten’s own chilling words: ‘All the harm is done in the first month [of life]…’ He wrote those words about the study I obtained.”  The abstracts of Verstraeten’s two studies and further comment on the controversy can be viewed here.

Dr. Hooker says Willingham misrepresented the congressional record when she selected quotes from a 2007 U.S. Senate report which falsely asserted that allegations of a cover-up are unsubstantiated. He considers the U.S. House of Representatives’ 2003 report titled Mercury in Medicine (the result of a 3-year investigation) a “scathing, 80-page indictment of the CDC regarding the Thimerosal coverup.”  The report concludes, “Our public health agencies’ failure to act is indicative of institutional malfeasance for self-protection and misplaced protectionism of the pharmaceutical industry.”

Willingham treated Verstraeten’s final, watered-down results as solid epidemiological evidence, when, according to Hooker, the final version of the Verstraeten study is fraught with statistical flaws, primarily “overmatching.” He provided an example:  the cases and controls received the same vaccination schedule and the same Thimerosal dosage; thus, no true comparison could be made.  Hooker says this invalidates all of the analyses (done separately for HMOs A, B and C).

Willingham quoted Verstraeten’s  2004 letter in the journal Pediatrics regarding his later, diluted study, omitting the fact that the CDC has used the study to exonerate Thimerosal despite Verstraeten calling the study “neutral.”  In addition, the 2004 Institute of Medicine (IOM) Immunization Safety Review (ISR) committee report used this as the only U.S. epidemiological study (among the 5 studies) as the basis to reject the Thimerosal-autism hypothesis, shutting the door on any further research.

“In light of Ms. Willingham’s enthusiastic defense of mercury in vaccines despite conclusive evidence of its harm to children, it is ironic that the tagline for her column is ‘I write about the science they are selling you.'” remarked Dr. Hooker. Thimerosal is still administered to pregnant women and infants via the flu shot.

Brian Hooker, PhD, PE is an associate professor of biology at Simpson University. His over 50 science and engineering papers have been published in internationally recognized, peer-reviewed journals. He has a son, aged 16, who developed normally but then regressed into autism after receiving Thimerosal-containing vaccines. Dr. Brian Hooker’s investigative research is sponsored by the Focus Autism Foundation, which is dedicated to informing the public about the cause(s) of the autism epidemic and the rise of chronic illnesses. To learn more, visit focusautisminc.org and ashotoftruth.org,  an educational website sponsored by Focus Autism.

AutismOne is co-sponsoring this message and is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that provides education and supports advocacy efforts for children and families touched by an autism diagnosis. To learn more, visit autismone.org.

Media Contact: Angela Medlin, A Shot of Truth, 1 866-498-2768, angela@ashotoftruth.org

News distributed by PR Newswire iReach: https://ireach.prnewswire.com

 

SOURCE Brian Hooker, PhD, PE

RELATED LINKS
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Forbes’ Emily Willingham Pretends CDC Study Results Don’t Exist

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Editor’s Note: Click the above image to enlarge.

By Jake Crosby

Forbes’ writers seem to have trouble reading scientific abstracts. In December, its senior editor Matthew Herper cited a press release that contradicted the research he discussed to endorse the vaccine efficacy of Gardasil. That, however, pales in comparison to the type of misrepresentation contributor Emily Willingham made when she conflated an earlier, suppressed CDC analysis (left abstract in image) showing thimerosal is associated with autism with a later, watered-down analysis CDC distributed at a public meeting that showed no association (right abstract in image). All the more remarkable is that she is an autism parent herself and has a PhD in biology.

Following the press release by Focus Autism, AutismOne and A Shot of Truth about the earlier abstract uncovered by A Shot of Truth scientific advisor Dr. Brian Hooker, Willingham responded with a long and verbose article titled, “Is The CDC Hiding Data About Mercury, Vaccines, and Autism?” She then answered her own title with: “You know the rule. The answer is, ‘No.'”

One paragraph in, she was already getting basic facts of the abstract disastrously wrong: “In 1999, four authors affiliated with the CDC presented an abstract at a conference … a CDC conference for fellows of its Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS).” The conference takes place annually in April, but the research project of thimerosal did not even begin until August of that year as pointed out by chemist and Coalition for Mercury-Free Drugs‘ secretary Dr. Paul King in a comment to me. That error of Willingham’s, however, could hardly have predicted what was to come.

Although she never linked to the abstract from her article, she did read it and quoted directly from it – noting that it compared a “highest exposure group” to an “unexposed group”. Though she acknowledged the study authors “reported an increased risk for nondegenerative neurological disorders,” she never acknowledged they included autism.

Then five paragraphs into her article she suddenly switched from talking about the long-suppressed abstract to talking about a later analysis  where no comparison of autism across highest-and-unexposed groups was included. The manuscript describing that analysis, dated June 1st, 2000, was presented at the closed Simpsonwood meeting of federal officials and pharmaceutical industry representatives the following week and then distributed by CDC at a public meeting of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices later that same month. That document Willingham cited was not concealed from the public for over a decade and did not show that thimerosal is associated with autism, unlike the abstract of the earlier analysis. Yet she spent the rest of her article discussing the later study as if it was the same CDC study cited in the press release circulated by Focus Autism, AutismOne and A Shot of Truth and later picked up by Health Impact News Daily whose headline she drew attention to.

She even quoted the lead investigator Dr. Thomas Verstraeten presenting the lack of association with autism in the later manuscript:

“This is the result for autism, in which we don’t see much of a trend except for a slight, but not significant, increase for the highest exposure. The overall test for trend is statistically not significant.”

Dr. Verstraeten was under considerable pressure to reanalyze the data to  make the association between thimerosal and neurological disorders disappear, as evidenced in an email he titled “It just won’t go away.”  He wrote “…some of the RRs [relative risks] increase over the categories and I haven’t yet found an alternative explanation… Please let me know if you can think of one.” He and his colleagues issued successive studies  watering down the original results and ultimately, as  Willingham conceded, he was hired by vaccine maker GlaxoSmithKline.

What Willingham never quoted, however, was the reported result for autism in the abstract of the earlier analysis that the press release was actually about:

“The relative risk (RR) of developing a neurologic development disorders was 1.8 (95% confidence intervals [CI] = 1.1-2.8) when comparing the highest exposure group at 1 month of age (cumulative dose  > 25 ug) to the unexposed group. Within this group we also found an elevated risk for the following disorders: autism (RR 7.6, 95% CI = 1.8-31.5), nonorganic sleep disorders (RR 5.0, 95% CI = 1.6-15.9), and speech disorders (RR 2.1, 95% CI=1.1-4.0).”

Apparently, Willingham is imitating CDC, as all the way back in 2004 one of the coauthors of both CDC analyses Dr. Frank DeStefano said in a presentation to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) that:

“In no analyses were significant increased risks found for ADD or autism”

In that same presentation, DeStefano also claimed the “Initial” analysis was a study dated February, 29th, 2000, where the association with autism originally reported in the suppressed abstract was apparently diluted away by combining the highest exposure category with a lower exposure category. The very existence of the positive research results from the long-suppressed study abstract was denied.

One decade later and Emily Willingham and Forbes Magazine are now following CDC’s lead, as are other vaccine industry talking heads.

Jake Crosby is editor of Autism Investigated. 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.

Forbes’ Matt Herper Cites Misleading Gardasil Press Release

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Editor’s Note: Above is the abstract of a study which was misrepresented by the drug company press release that Herper cited to endorse the cervical cancer vaccine Gardasil; click to enlarge.

By Jake Crosby

Mainstream media’s coverage of the disputed safety and effectiveness of human pappilloma virus (HPV) vaccination is a shameful repeat of its coverage of the vaccine-autism cover-up.

Following Katie Couric’s recent investigative report on the safety and efficacy of vaccination against HPV, many familiar media mouthpieces of the vaccine industry came out of the woodwork to chastise Couric for her journalism. Included among those was Matt Herper, senior editor of Forbes Magazine. Using Twitter to cite a press release from Gardasil’s manufacturer, Herper challenged HPV expert Dr. Diane Harper’s contention to Katie Couric that HPV vaccine Gardasil only provides protection for five years. His tweet:

It appears that the claim on @katiecouric that vaccine efficacy wanes at 5 years is incorrect. http://www.prnewswire.co.uk/news-releases/studies-demonstrate-gardasil-has-long-duration-of-protection-from-hpv-disease-182323031.html …

Herper’s tweet was retweeted dozens of times, including by vaccine industry media go-to guy Seth Mnookin. Herper also cited and linked to the drug company press release from his Forbes article attacking Couric for her program on Gardasil. According to the press release:

“The interim data, presented at the 28th International Papillomavirus Conference (IPV) in Puerto Rico, showed that young women[1] and adolescent girls and boys[2] vaccinated with Gardasil were protected from HPV-related diseases for up to eight years following vaccination.”

The press release also included quotes from Professor Susanne Krüger Kjær, lead investigator of one of the studies:

“These latest data show an encouraging trend of continued protection with Gardasil against HPV-related cervical, vaginal and vulvar disease in women through eight years,” said Professor Susanne Krüger Kjær, Danish Cancer Society. “These studies provide further evidence for the ongoing efficacy, immunogenicity, and safety of Gardasil.”

Absent from Sanofi Pasteur MSD’s press release, however, is the conclusion from Professor Kjær’s own study which reads:

“The qHPV vaccine shows a trend of continued protection in women, although there is as yet insufficient data to confirm that protection is maintained.”

If Matt Herper can go to the trouble of digging up a drug company press release from a year ago on research presented at a conference, then why couldn’t he go to the extra trouble to dig up the abstract of the actual research the press release was about? Why did he instead settle for the misleading press release written by a PR person employed by Gardasil’s manufacturer to second-guess the statements of Dr. Diane Harper – an international authority on HPV who was involved in clinical trials of Gardasil? Perhaps because the abstract would prove that the press release Herper cited is a misleading representation of research.

Herper’s use of a misleading drug company press release over actual research to push Gardasil is minor in comparison to his record of reporting on the vaccine-autism cover-up. He has endorsed Salon’s removal of “Deadly Immunity” by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (which exposed CDC’s cover-up of the dangers of mercury in vaccines) prompted by a bogus rumor spread by Seth Mnookin that Rolling Stone Magazine secretly retracted Kennedy’s article. Salon is run by the brother-in-law of Arthur Allen, Mnookin’s predecessor as vaccine industry media go-to guy who vetted and ultimately approved of Mnookin’s since-dispelled rumor. So Matt Herper has a history of promoting scientific fraud to protect the vaccine industry. Even worse, such apologists now appear to dominate mainstream media’s coverage of vaccine safety issues, Katie Couric notwithstanding. Not surprisingly, Herper has not responded when informed on Twitter of what the actual research said.

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.

Gardiner Harris Infects Forbes With Herper Virus

Matt Herper
Matt Herper, Senior Editor of Forbes

By Jake Crosby

Forbes Magazine has shamelessly given a platform to vaccine industry talking heads such as Emily Willingham and “Science”Blogger Peter Lispon. Its senior editor – Matt Herper – routinely writes articles pushing pharma talking points, while censoring the science CDC has tried to bury that utterly contradicts its party line. Ironically, when Herper first entered the debate, he seemed to hold promise as an inquisitive reporter. That, however, did not last long. So what influenced him? The probable answer: The New York Times’ ethically bankrupt reporter Gardiner Harris.

Matt Herper first came to this debate in 2007 when the CDC released a heavily biased study that sought to absolve thimerosal of causing neurological harm, using information from the CDC’s Vaccine Safety Datalink Project (VSD). Its lead author, William Thompson, is a former Merck employee and its senior author Frank DeStefano was already caught trying to bury proof that thimerosal was causing neurological damage. In spite of the fact that the 2007 study cut 70% of its participants, it replicated earlier research by DeStefano and colleagues associating thimerosal exposure with tic disorders and speech delays. Furthermore, the 2007 study never examined autism as an outcome. In fact, it never studied unvaccinated children.

As a result, Dan Olmsted, formerly of rescuepost.com, asked CDC why the lack of study of unvaccinated children. After receiving many long, circuitous answers, Olmsted tried to ask a follow-up question but was cut-off. Fortunately, there was another reporter who shared his concerns, and whom Olmsted quoted as asking:

“So I was just wondering in a follow up question about why not compare to unvaccinated kids. And you – if I understand right, you included all children from several managed care organizations in order to enroll?”

Olmsted thanked Matt Herper for asking the question, but did not follow up on how Herper actually covered the CDC’s study. That was a whole different matter.

The title of Herper’s article speaks for itself: “Fear Factor.” Herper coauthored the article with Forbes’ then-senior editor Robert Langreth. The third sentence speaks volumes:

The overwhelming consensus among scientists that vaccines don’t cause autism or learning problems is getting a boost today from a government study of 1,000 children that showed no evidence at all that receiving vaccines containing a mercury-containing preservative, thimerosal, caused any problems for children at all.”

Neglecting special populations such as unvaccinated Amish, Herper and Langreth simply cited CDC’s simplistic excuse as to why no unvaccinated children were studied:

Researchers couldn’t compare kids who got vaccines with those who didn’t, because almost all children are vaccinated. Only three kids out of every thousand in the United States don’t get at least some vaccinations.

Forbes was not the only mainstream publication that covered this study in such a deceptive way, however. Over at The New York Times, the conflicted “journalist” Gardiner Harris wrote an article that predictably began:

Yet another study has found that a controversial vaccine preservative appears to be harmless.”

However, if the preservative appeared to be “harmless,” then the CDC wouldn’t have replicated past research associating it with speech delays and tic disorders. The CDC study would have also included autism among its outcomes, but did not. Harris did not even address the fact that no unvaccinated children were studied, as Herper and Langreth did.

Why would different reporters from different publications report on this story from the same dishonest perspective? Perhaps because Robert Langreth and Gardiner Harris were old colleagues who cowrote articles for The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) – a newspaper whose editorial bias predates both Forbes Magazine and The New York Times. WSJ has published unsigned editorials supporting the rider in the Homeland Security Bill that sought to shield Eli Lilly from thimerosal litigation. After Langreth left Forbes for Bloomberg News, Herper became senior editor. In other words, Herper took over Langreth’s job, but still manages Forbes’ content on the vaccine-autism issue exactly like Gardiner Harris’ former colleague Langreth did – by backing the government’s cover-up of vaccine injury through censorship and propaganda.

We can almost certainly thank Gardiner Harris for infecting Forbes Magazine with the Herper Virus. Veteran public health reporter Harris is now in India where he came down with travelers’ diarrhea for not washing his own mango.

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 is completing his candidacy for an MPH in epidemiology from The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services.