Tag Archives: Seth Mnookin

FAKE NEWS REVEALED, Part II: The Ghostwriter Behind The Kennedy Retraction

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Scott Rosenberg, ghostwriter behind Kennedy retraction

With President-Elect Trump’s consideration of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. as chair of a committee on vaccine safety and scientific integrity, the shills of fake news have been relentlessly trying to convince Trump’s team to reconsider. The most widely circulated argument has been Salon.com’s retraction of Kennedy’s article “Deadly Immunitywhere he wrote on the government cover-up of the dangers of the mercury-based vaccine preservative thimerosal. The retraction was based on a bogus rumor that Rolling Stone secretly retracted Kennedy’s article and was later condemned as editorial cowardice” by Salon.com’s founding editor-in-chief David Talbot. But now there is even more news that should bury the retraction of Kennedy’s work once and for all in this exclusive two-part series by Autism Investigated: the Salon.com editor-in-chief who took credit for the retraction of Deadly Immunity didn’t even read it, didn’t write its retraction statement and didn’t interview the person who started the rumor as portrayed on Salon.com. The first part of the series provided proof that he didn’t, this second part reveals who did.

That person is the MediaShift blogger whom the editor-in-chief misrepresented Kennedy’s article to in Part I: former Salon.com managing editor Scott Rosenberg. Rosenberg attended theScience Online 2011 annual conference with the Rolling Stone rumor-starter Seth Mnookin. The event ran from January 13-15 right before the article was retracted on the 16th. Both Mnookin and Rosenberg had books of theirs featured at the conference:

Scott Rosenberg – Not Kerry Lauerman – Interviewed Seth Mnookin

Rosenberg was also still contributing to Salon through 2011 when Kennedy’s piece was retracted. Yet Rosenberg would never disclose that in his MediaShift blog about Salon’s retraction of Kennedy’s article weeks later. Seth Mnookin’s first tweet about Salon’s interview used Science Online 2011 hashtag #scio11 – specifically for tweets Science Online meeting commentary and follow-up discussions – even though Lauerman was never at the conference while Rosenberg was:

 That was the first and last tweet by Mnookin about Salon’s coverage of his book and the removal of Kennedy’s article using the #scio11 hashtag. The purpose of the #scio11 hashtag according to a conference attendee was to denote tweets about Science Online 2011 “meeting commentary and follow-up discussions” by conference participants:”One goal of the conference was to be as inclusive as possible by livestreaming several of the sessions online and encouraging liberal use of the Twitter hashtag, #scio11, for meeting commentary and follow-up discussions.” Mnookin was also trying to score interviews at Science Online 2011 to pitch his book prior to the conference:

A Twitter search for both Mnookin and Rosenberg’s Twitter handles reveals substantial interaction between them at Science Online 2011, as well as Rosenberg tweeting about Salon’s retraction of his piece almost immediately after it happened. In contrast – Lauerman had no participation in Science Online 2011; a search with the #scio11 hashtag and his twitter handle yields nothing. Lauerman was not even in virtual attendance, despite it being an option for conference participants who could not physically be at the conference. He simply was not there at all.

Lauerman’s Motive For Retraction: Payback to Rosenberg in Exchange for Career Advancement

Kerry Lauerman had quite a rapport with Scott Rosenberg going back many years, specifically concerning the project Lauerman launched that was Rosenberg’s idea. This is what Rosenberg said about Lauerman in 2008:

“The Open Salon that opens its doors today — it’s been in private beta for a while — is an outgrowth of the work I did back then, but of course over the past year the project has evolved much further…It’s the work of Kerry Lauerman and his team — and, now that the participants are using it, it’s in the hands of Salon’s readers the people formerly known as Salon’s readers, to make of it something new and exciting.”

The implementation of Rosenberg’s idea by Lauerman was followed by his rapid accession to editor-in-chief just two years later. So naturally, Lauerman would feel indebted to Rosenberg which would in turn be a motive for Lauerman having Kennedy’s article retracted to please Rosenberg if Lauerman felt Rosenberg’s idea got him the highest editorial position. Lauerman not having personally interviewed Mnookin, read Kennedy’s piece or wrote Salon.com‘s retraction statement would also explain why Lauerman refused to even take Kennedy’s calls the night Lauerman told Kennedy via email that Salon.com would retract his piece on the night of the 15th – the last night of the conference attended by Mnookin and Rosenberg. 

Interestingly – following the retraction – Rosenberg went on to run the annual Science Online conferences regularly attended by Mnookin until the organization became insolvent and shut down in 2014. Lauerman did not read Kennedy’s article when it was pulled, did not interview Mnookin and likely yanked “Deadly Immunity” as a favor for a friend with strong Mnookin connections. Yet now years later, the result of this crooked behavior is used as justification to block Robert F. Kennedy Jr. from becoming chair of a badly needed commission to stop the ongoing harm being committed against innocent infants. Fortunately, the president-elect and the vice president-elect both seem pretty happy to have Robert F. Kennedy Jr. on their team.

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*Please send this article to the president-elect and vice president-elect*

FAKE NEWS REVEALED, Part I: Salon Editor Who “Retracted” Kennedy’s Article Didn’t Even Read It

KerryLauerman_writer

Kerry Lauerman, Salon.com editor-in-chief who deleted Robert F. Kennedy Jr. ‘s article without even reading it, is now executive “news” editor of Mic.

With President-Elect Trump’s consideration of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. as chair of a committee on vaccine safety and scientific integrity, the shills of fake news have been relentlessly trying to convince Trump’s team to reconsider. The most widely circulated argument has been Salon.com’s retraction of Kennedy’s article “Deadly Immunity”where he wrote on the government cover-up of the dangers of the mercury-based vaccine preservative thimerosal. The retraction was based on a bogus rumor that Rolling Stone secretly retracted Kennedy’s article and was later condemned as editorial cowardice” by Salon.com’s founding editor-in-chief David Talbot. But now there is even more news that should bury the retraction of Kennedy’s work once and for all in this exclusive two-part series by Autism Investigated: the Salon.com editor-in-chief who took credit for the retraction of “Deadly Immunity” didn’t even read it, didn’t write its retraction statement and didn’t interview the person who started the rumor as portrayed on the site. This first part of the series provides proof that he didn’t, the second part will reveal who did.

That editor, Kerry Lauerman, has since made quite a career out of running outlets that delivered fake news. In 2014 he was hired by The Washington Post and in 2015 was made the newspaper’s National Projects Editor. Among Lauerman’s roles, according to the newspaper, would be “the planning, execution and coverage of some critically important events during the political year, such as the presidential debate and forum we’re co-sponsoring with Univision, and in guiding our preparations for the political conventions.” During that stint of Lauerman’s at WaPo, the now-president-elect stripped the newspaper of its press credentials because of its dishonest reporting.

Then the month before the election, Lauerman left the newspaper to become executive “news” editor of Mic – a creepy far-left site aimed at millennials that makes sensationalized stories out of the way men sit in subways. He still edits Micwhere he now pushes garbage rumors about the president-elect while he still attacks Kennedy.

Proof Lauerman Didn’t Read “Deadly Immunity”

A blog post for MediaShift dated January 24, 2011 provided a quote of Lauerman’s following the retraction. It proves Lauerman’s basic grasp of both the article and the context of the Kennedy quote he provided was so poor, Lauerman could not have read the article he censored:  

“It’s a seriously flawed story we feared could do real harm. People who have bought into the anti-vaccine panic have created a health crisis, and a flawed report that feeds that hysteria poses a real threat. With this particular story, the unproven logic that animates the piece — as when Kennedy says the link between thimerosal and the epidemic of childhood neurological disorders is real’ — is not easily excisable, and no matter how many editor’s notes or Drudge-like, red-flashing sirens you place on a story to warn readers, there will be those who will take a well-known, respected American at his word. We simply didn’t think it was worth that risk.” (boldface mine) 

How Lauerman quoted Kennedy’s article to justify its retraction completely contradicts how the retraction statement quoted that same sentence in his article on Salon.com:   

In 2005, Salon published online an exclusive story by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. that offered an explosive premise: that the mercury-based thimerosal compound present in vaccines until 2001 was dangerous, and that he was convinced that the link between thimerosal and the epidemic of childhood neurological disorders is real.” (boldface mine)

The intro to Salon.com’s interview with Seth Mnookin – news fabricator extraordinaire who started the rumor that Rolling Stone canned Kennedy’s article – also contradicts the context in which Lauerman quoted Kennedy:  

In 2005, we published a report, “Deadly Immunity,” by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. that appeared in Rolling Stone magazine (Salon had a co-publishing arrangement with the magazine at the time), in which Kennedy wrote that he became convinced that the link between thimerosal [a mercury-based compound once used in vaccines] and the epidemic of childhood neurological disorders is real” (boldface mine)

The only apparent place that misleadingly quoted Kennedy’s article the same way Lauerman did in 2011 was a CBS Moneywatch piece that also helped spread the false rumor that Rolling Stone pulled Kennedy’s article. That would mean Lauerman only read that piece instead of actually reading Deadly Immunity”.  And as one can see from a search result, there do not appear to be any other January 2011 sources that chopped the quote from Kennedy’s article to look like an absolute statement the way Lauerman did. The only way for Lauerman to have reasonably misrepresented Kennedy’s piece and quoted it out of context the way he did would have been for Lauerman not to have read his article and to have only read the CBS Moneywatch article with the chopped quote from Kennedy’s piece. Had Lauerman even bothered to read “Deadly Immunity”, he would know that his whole claimed pretense for retracting it was totally false. But the facts didn’t matter to him, as they continue to not matter to Salon.com. 

Since his reasoning is contradicted by both the retraction statement and the Salon.com interview as well, that would mean Lauerman did not write or conduct them either. But if he didn’t do either for Salon.com, who did? That will be revealed in Part II of this series, where the ghostwriter will be outed.

TrumpKennedyPence-590x443

*Please send this article to the president-elect and vice president-elect*

False Rape Story-Pusher Anna Merlan Profits Off Crocodile Tears

merlantheuglylizard

Feminist Gawker blog Jezebel is one of the dumbest places on the internet – in part for giving a platform to Anna Merlan, one of the dumbest people on the internet. Along with defending mercury in vaccines as “not toxic to humans” in stark contradiction of its own labeling as well as wiping the crocodile tears of a woman who tried to censor a film she never saw, Merlan also defended the notoriously false UVA “rape” story that was subsequently retracted. Yet despite calling journalists questioning the piece “idiots,” she somehow remains employed at Gawker even while the company is being sued into bankruptcy for libel. Apparently, Merlan is the best blogger big pharma can find on such short notice while its go-to guy Seth Mnookin is at risk of a relapse after losing his old platform and being called a shill in so many words by the founder of Salon.com.

How appropriate that someone who associates with third-wave feminism which grossly exaggerates sexual assault statistics and that fabricates the myth of a gender wage gap would also push junk science claiming that vaccines don’t cause autism. And how perfect that she believes exonerated British doctor Andrew Wakefield is a conspiracy theorist yet also believes in a “patriarchy” (think all-male illuminati).

It should hardly be a surprise to anyone then that Anna Merlan would rush to the defense of one Fiona O’Leary who operates the autism treatment-hating, neurodiversity-loving “Autistic Rights Together” practically out of her basement. She opposes any kind of treatments for autism on the pretense that they’re “dangerous” and intend to wipe out autistic people themselves, even though the real risk to autistic kids is their autism. Yet in an utter stroke of irony, Merlan called O’Leary an “autistic rights” activist.

Neurodiversity – like feminism and other social justice cancers – ignores basic facts in favor of personal prejudice. Change a few key words and there is no real difference between feminism and neurodiversity; they are two sides of the same coin. They thrive off of victim-playing and cry-bullying and believe that some peoples’ feelings rank higher than others on the hierarchy of victimhood.

When a 12-year-old child made a viral video intended to mock people who watched their children crash into autism after vaccines, Anna Merlan wrote a long-winded post praising the “budding scientist” whom “anti-vax activists are trying to dox.” Even when Autism Investigated decided to respond with satire of the media’s calling the boy a “scientist,” the same folks who got a huge laugh out of his video at others’ expense suddenly accused Autism Investigated of doing the same to him that he did to others. Time and time again, Merlan’s ilk show they can dish it out but cannot take it.

In 2012, the then-future founder of Autism Investigated was shut out of a talk given by millionaire vaccine industrialist liar Paul Offit. The feminist Melody Hensley who followed his orders would later claim that Twitter gave her PTSD. Her internet presence may be gone, but feminists like Merlan prove that there will always be those willing to take Hensley’s place and cash in on the crocodile tears. A woman like Merlan who pushed a notoriously false story about an alleged rape on a college campus is a perfect ally for a pharma-funded government adviser like Offit who lies about vaccine dangers periodically.

Salon Founder: “Deadly Immunity” Retraction “Smacks of Editorial Cowardice”

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Photo credit: Salon.com

By Jake Crosby

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has an article up on his personal website that gives fascinating insight into the retraction of his piece “Deadly Immunity” by Salon.com, including a letter from the site’s founder. In his letter to Kennedy last month, Salon.com founder and former editor-in-chief David Talbot condemned Salon’s retraction of Kennedy’s 2005 article on the government cover-up of harm – such as autism and other developmental disorders – caused by thimerosal. The piece was retracted in 2011 by Salon’s then-editor Kerry Lauerman, who said at the time, “We’ve grown to believe the best reader service is to delete the piece entirely.” Talbot slammed Lauerman’s decision, saying – among other criticisms – that it “smacks of editorial cowardice”:

I was dismayed when I first heard that Salon had removed your article about the hazards of thimerosal from its web archives. As you know, I was no longer the editor of Salon when your article was published. And I am not an expert on the subject. But without taking a position on mercury preservatives in vaccines, I know enough about the debate — and about the pharmaceutical industry’s general track record on putting profits before people, as well as the compromised nature of regulatory oversight in this country when it comes to powerful industries — to know that “disappearing” your article was not the proper decision.

I founded Salon to be a fearless and independent publication — one that was open to a wide range of views, particularly those that were controversial or contested within the mainstream media. Removing your article from the Salon archives was a violation of that spirit and smacks of editorial cowardice. If I had been editor at the time, I would not have done so — and I would have offered you the opportunity to debate your critics in Salon’s pages.

In my day, Salon did not cave to pressure — and we risked corporate media scorn, advertising boycotts, threats of FBI investigations by powerful members of Congress, and even bomb scares because of our rigorous independence. Throwing a writer to the wolves when the heat got too hot was never the Salon way. It pains me, now that I’m on the sidelines, to ever see Salon wilt in the face of such pressure.”

Rolling Stone Magazine also published Kennedy’s piece, but never retracted it even after the magazine’s editors reviewed Salon’s explanation for the “Deadly Immunity” retraction and the book that prompted it: “Panic Virus,” by Seth Mnookin. It was Mnookin’s book that gave rise to the rumor that Rolling Stone secretly retracted Kennedy’s piece, which Rolling Stone has since dispelled.

Now that Mnookin’s self-described personal friend Kerry Lauerman has taken his editorial cowardice over to The Washington Post, Salon’s current editor-in-chief David Daley should do the editorially courageous thing and restore “Deadly Immunity” to Salon’s archives. Not doing so would make him just as much of an editorial coward as Lauerman.

See on The Epoch Times.

Seth Mnookin No Longer Blogging At PLoS After Libelous Remarks

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By Jake Crosby

On July 21st, “Panic Virus” author and MIT assistant professor Seth Mnookin wrote on his personal website: “From mid-2011 through the end of 2013, I was blogging at the Public Library of Science; those archives can be found here. In the summer of 2014, I began blogging again on this site.”

He no longer links to his PLoS blog from his Twitter bio either. The announcement came only 10 days after I wrote the post PLoS Enables Seth Mnookin to Violate Community Guidelines Unchallenged, calling out PLoS for allowing him to blog there despite the fact that he wrote a libelous post about me one year prior.

The month after Mnookin’s last PLoS blog post, PLoS’s attorney received and acknowledged the evidence that was provided showing Mnookin fabricated the claim that I “crashed” his “invitation only event” at the Public Responsibility in Medicine and Resesarch (PRIMR) conference in December, 2011. In Mnookin’s same libelous blog post, he claimed I “jabbed” him “in the chest” even though I did no such thing. This accusation of jabbing him came two years after the event, and Mnookin provided zero evidence of it ever taking place. That, combined with his provably false allegation above likely led to his expulsion from PLoS.

Mnookin wasn’t nearly as excited about returning to his old blog as he was when he first joined PLoS blogs three years ago, having written:

“…this blog is being relocated to the PLoS Blog Network, which has been built up by the indefatigable Brian Mossop, another #SciO11′er. At  PLoS, I’ll be joining #SciO11 superstars Misha Angrist (Genomeboy), David Kroll (Take As Directed),  Hillary Rosner (Tooth and Claw) and the inimitable Steve Silberman (NeuroTribes), as well as Deborah Blum (Speakeasy Science)…

…so head on over, check out some of the other offerings, and enjoy!”

It is quite amusing to compare that to his terse, two-sentence departure announcement from PLoS. There is not even a farewell post to rave about what a supposedly great experience it was blogging alongside all those “indefatigable” and “inimitable” “superstars.”

Like Mnookin, I never wrote any farewell posts either when I was banished from contributing to Age of Autism. Unlike Mnookin, however, I was still up front about why I was no longer writing for AoA. That did not stop Mnookin from seizing on my ouster in his libelous post about me, concluding:

“Now he’s wandering in the wilderness, hoping that by including my name in the titles to his posts, someone will notice him throwing a tantrum in the corner.”

Looks like my “tantrum” was noticed by someone.

Welcome To The Jungle, Seth.

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.

CDC Cover-up’s Ivan Oransky Conceals BMC Violation

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By Jake Crosby

 

Some journalists are just ignorant; Ivan Oransky is not. He is Vice President of the “Association of Health Care Journalists” (AHCJ) – an organization of “journalists” funded by vaccine industry-tied groups dedicated to helping the CDC carry out its cover-up into the media. He also co-edits the blog “Retraction Watch,” which gleefully reported on the withdrawal of Dr. Brian Hooker’s paper that reported the very relationship between MMR and autism that CDC omitted from its original study. Oransky knows full well BioMed Central (BMC) breached policy when it pulled Dr. Hooker’s paper, but did Oransky report that, even though his blog reported on the removal of Dr. Hooker’s paper? Of course not, but he inadvertently revealed his knowledge of it in the email exchange I had with him after he vehemently defended the article’s deletion. Oransky also defended drastically altering my comment on his blog, grossly distorting what I said. (See full email exchange below)

After Oransky’s blog wrote about the pulling of Dr. Hooker’s paper without reporting about the BMC violation, CNN wrote an article from the same perspective as Oransky’s blog the very next day. CNN also added that Dr. Hooker’s paper was removed in a note above every relevant CNN iReport – without noting the BMC violation – disabled editing on the iReport CNN linked to from its article. What more can you expect when, as written elsewhere, Oransky’s wife is a writer/producer for none other than CNN?

Earlier this year, millionaire vaccine industrialist Paul Offit – who advised CDC’s immunization program while the fraud the whistleblower described was taking place – announced at AHCJ’s annual meeting that there should be “journalism jail” for journalists who write stories about debate on vaccines i.e. who try to report on the cover-up honestly. AHCJ gave pharma PR agent Trine Tsouderos an award for her hit pieces against notable scientists opposed to adverse vaccine side-effects like Dr. Boyd Haley. Over the years AHCJ has invited other co-conspirators such as Brian Deer, Walter Orenstein, Alison Singer, Diana SchendelArthur Allen and Seth Mnookin to its annual conference. Mnookin and Oransky were old college friends; they also have dishonesty in common. Additionally, AHCJ has even teamed up with CDC to train reporters to disseminate its propaganda – no doubt in line with former HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’ statement about telling media outlets not to report on vaccine dangers.

As Congress investigates the CDC for fraud like that revealed by the whistleblower William Thompson, Congress should also investigate CDC’s collusion with “journalists” like Ivan Oransky, AHCJ and related people and groups who don’t abide by journalistic standards and therefore do not deserve any press freedom protections. Such people should be fully investigated as co-conspirators and any investigation that leaves them out or fails to recognize them as such will be wholly inadequate.

The below email exchange demonstrates that all the more:

On Monday, September 1, 2014, <info@autisminvestigated.com> wrote:

Hi,

The text of my comment was altered to make it look like I said something I didn’t:

“How come no one is reporting that I believe BioMed Central’s take-down of Dr. Hooker’s article is a violation of the publisher’s own policies on article removal?”

This is what I really said:

“How come no one is reporting that BioMed Central’s take-down of Dr. Hooker’s article is clearly a violation of the publisher’s own policies on article removal, which states such action is only done under the explicit avoidance of threatened legal claims”

I don’t want anyone to report what “I believe,” I want journalists to report what actually happened. It is clear from BioMed Central’s policies that the take-down of Dr. Hooker’s article was a violation of them. Reporting on the take-down without reporting on the violation lends undue legitimacy to the censorship of a scientific paper.

Sincerely,

Jake Crosby, MPH
Editor, Autism Investigated
www.autisminvestigated.com

 

——– Original Message ——–
Subject: Re: Mangled comment misquotes me.
From: Ivan Oransky ivan-oransky@erols.com
Date: Mon, September 01, 2014 7:29 pm
To: “info@autisminvestigated.com” info@autisminvestigated.com
Cc: “adam.marcus1@gmail.com” <adam.marcus1@gmail.com>

 

What you said left out most of BMC’s actual policy, and that leaves it as your belief that they violated said policy. Your choice is to have it as is, which conforms to our comment policy, particularly the part about unverified allegations, or have it deleted altogether. You’re welcome to post whatever version you want elsewhere.

 

On Monday, September 1, 2014, <info@autisminvestigated.com> wrote:

It’s not my “belief,” you can view the entire policy on BMC’s website and see for yourself that it contradicts the excuse for pulling the paper: http://www.biomedcentral.com/about/permanency 

I also said I wanted others to report on this – not on my opinion of it. So the wording still misrepresents what I said, even without taking verification into account.

 

Subject: Re: Mangled comment misquotes me.
From: Ivan Oransky ivan-oransky@erols.com
Date: Mon, September 01, 2014 8:18 pm
To: “info@autisminvestigated.com” info@autisminvestigated.com
Cc: “adam.marcus1@gmail.com” adam.marcus1@gmail.com
We included the entire policy, which you neglected to do and which contradicts what you wrote, along with both statements about why the paper was removed, which you also neglected to do. Your choice is still to have it as is, or simply deleted. Just let us know which you would like.

 

On Tue, Sep 2, 2014 at 12:46 AM, <info@autisminvestigated.com> wrote:

No, it backs up what I wrote, and I explain that fully. You neglect to explain how it’s contradicted at all. I included the entire policy in a screenshot on the webpage I linked to along with the statement that was more specific, contrary to your claim that I didn’t. You chopped the second half of my first sentence, making it less immediately clear how the policy was violated. It’s also misleading to portray me as asking why nobody is reporting that I believe a certain way about this issue, as opposed to simply asking why nobody is reporting on the issue itself.

By mangling my comment this way, are you trying to make me want you to delete my comment?

 

——– Original Message ——–
Subject: Re: Mangled comment misquotes me.
From: Ivan Oransky ivan-oransky@erols.com
Date: Tue, September 02, 2014 3:56 am
To: “info@autisminvestigated.com” <info@autisminvestigated.com>, Adam
Marcus <>

The second half of that sentence, “which states such action is only done under the explicit avoidance of “threatened legal claims,” is incorrect and misrepresents BMC’s policy. The part of the policy in question: “…in the exceptional event that material is considered to infringe certain rights or is defamatory we may have no option but to remove that material from our site and those sites on which we have deposited the material in question.

BioMed Central therefore reserves the right to cease to make available articles that it has been advised are potentially defamatory or that infringe any intellectual property right, or are otherwise unlawful.”

The two relevant notices also make it clear that your original comment’s claim that “However, Dr. Hooker’s paper was only taken down on the excuse of ‘possible undeclared competing interests'” is also incorrect.

You continue to have two choices: Leaving the comment as is, or have it deleted.

Ivan Oransky, MD
Vice President and Global Editorial Director, MedPage Today http://medpagetoday.com
Co-Founder, Retraction Watch http://retractionwatch.com
Founder, Embargo Watch http://embargowatch.wordpress.com
Adjunct Associate Professor, New York University’s Science, Health, and Environmental Reporting Program
Vice President, Association of Health Care Journalists
Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine, New York University School of Medicine
http://twitter.com/ivanoransky
917-359-2113

 

On Tue, Sep 2, 2014 at 9:52 PM, <info@autisminvestigated.com> wrote:

Actually, it is correct and is an accurate representation. The reason of “threatened legal claims” is the reason BioMed Central gives for striking articles, that was not the reason it gave for striking Dr. Hooker’s article. That’s clear in this “open access” publisher’s policy you partially quoted.

The more specific notice made it clear that “undeclared possible competing interests” was the reason for the paper’s removal and that “validity” and “public interest” were concerns supposedly stemming from that. Regardless, none of these are “threatened legal claims” – the actual reason BioMed Central gives for striking articles according to policy. Since this was not the reason given for striking Dr. Hooker’s article, his article was therefore deleted in violation of that policy.

One of my readers – ironically the one who told me to contact you – said your misrepresentation of my comment as asking why no one is reporting “that I believe” a certain way about an issue makes me look “unhinged.”

Is that your intent? Either censoring me or making me look unhinged, but giving me a choice between the two so you can then claim you did one or the other with my approval? Sure looks like it.

Jake Crosby, MPH
Editor, Autism Investigated
www.autisminvestigated.com

 

——– Original Message ——–
Subject: Re: Mangled comment misquotes me.
From: Ivan Oransky ivan-oransky@erols.com
Date: Tue, September 02, 2014 7:22 pm
To: “info@autisminvestigated.com” info@autisminvestigated.com
Cc: Adam Marcus <adam.marcus1@gmail.com>

You wrote that removal “is only done under the explicit avoidance of ‘threatened legal claims.'” The policy actually gives two other reasons for removal: “that material is considered to infringe certain rights or is defamatory.” That makes “only” incorrect, and a misrepresentation of the policy.

Our only intent is to verify claims in our comments, and the claim your comment made is incorrect. You continue to have two choices: Leave the comment as it is now, or delete it.

Ivan Oransky, MD
Vice President and Global Editorial Director, MedPage Today http://medpagetoday.com
Co-Founder, Retraction Watch http://retractionwatch.com
Founder, Embargo Watch http://embargowatch.wordpress.com
Adjunct Associate Professor, New York University’s Science, Health, and Environmental Reporting Program
Vice President, Association of Health Care Journalists
Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine, New York University School of Medicine
http://twitter.com/ivanoransky
917-359-2113

 

On Thu, Sep 4, 2014 at 1:41 PM, <info@autisminvestigated.com> wrote:

Well given that “threatened legal claims” are what the publisher says it hopes to avoid when taking down articles for either of those reasons, “threatened legal claims” are essentially the publisher’s only reason for taking down articles. Since none of what you quote was given in the publisher’s excuse for pulling Dr. Hooker’s article, will you at least finally acknowledge its deletion was in violation of the publisher’s policy for article removal?

Well you’re not acting like that’s your intent by treating verified facts as unverified claims. Nor are you acting like that’s your intent by giving me this ultimatum of either allowing you to keep my butchered comment up as is or having it deleted altogether without replacing it with a corrected version. As you can see from my comment submission (attached), your representation me as asking why others aren’t reporting “that I believe” a certain way is not only “unverified,” but plainly false.

commenttoretractionwatch 

 

——– Original Message ——–
Subject: Re: Mangled comment misquotes me.
From: Ivan Oransky ivan-oransky@erols.com
Date: Thu, September 04, 2014 10:51 am
To: “info@autisminvestigated.com” info@autisminvestigated.com
Cc: Adam Marcus <adam.marcus1@gmail.com>

Your two choices for this comment remain: Leave the comment as it is now, or delete it. If you want to submit future comments, you’re more than welcome to do so, but they too will be subject to our comments policy.

Ivan Oransky, MD
Vice President and Global Editorial Director, MedPage Today http://medpagetoday.com
Co-Founder, Retraction Watch http://retractionwatch.com
Founder, Embargo Watch http://embargowatch.wordpress.com
Adjunct Associate Professor, New York University’s Science, Health, and Environmental Reporting Program
Vice President, Association of Health Care Journalists
Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine, New York University School of Medicine
http://twitter.com/ivanoransky
917-359-2113

On Thu, Sep 4, 2014 at 8:38 PM, <info@autisminvestigated.com> wrote:

Why the silence on BMC’s violation of its own policy?

You clearly did not follow your own comments policy in the way you edited my comment, which I do not approve of. That said, I won’t approve of you deleting it without putting up a corrected version either.

Looks like you and BMC both have trouble following your own rules.

——– Original Message ——–
Subject: Re: Mangled comment misquotes me.
From: Ivan Oransky ivan-oransky@erols.com
Date: Thu, September 04, 2014 5:55 pm
To: “info@autisminvestigated.com” info@autisminvestigated.com
Cc: Adam Marcus <adam.marcus1@gmail.com>

To repeat: You misrepresented BMC’s policy, and you misrepresented the reasons they stated for the removal. You then based the “violation” allegation on your misrepresentations, which made the allegations inaccurate. We then edited your comment so that it no longer included those misrepresentations and inaccuracies.

You are free to post a new comment, as has also been mentioned in this thread, that will also be subject to our comments policy. If that is what you mean by “corrected version,” you’re welcome to submit one. Your choices for the already-posted comment, however, remain the same as they’ve been throughout this exchange.

Ivan Oransky, MD
Vice President and Global Editorial Director, MedPage Today http://medpagetoday.com
Co-Founder, Retraction Watch http://retractionwatch.com
Founder, Embargo Watch http://embargowatch.wordpress.com
Adjunct Associate Professor, New York University’s Science, Health, and Environmental Reporting Program
Vice President, Association of Health Care Journalists
Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine, New York University School of Medicine
http://twitter.com/ivanoransky
917-359-2113

 

Finally, I responded:

Here’s what you said:

“You wrote that removal ‘is only done under the explicit avoidance of ‘threatened legal claims.'” The policy actually gives two other reasons for removal: ‘that material is considered to infringe certain rights or is defamatory.'”

In your priggish and failed attempt to correct me on BMC’s policy for removing articles, you inadvertently showed that the take-down of Dr. Hooker’s article did violate BMC’s policy. BMC provided no such reasons for deleting Dr. Hooker’s article in either statement, even if you count whatever possible concerns that were raised from the reason of “possible undeclared competing interests” as reasons as well.

Don’t expect any more comment submissions from me.

 

I’ve never heard anything back since.

 

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

PLoS Enables Seth Mnookin to Violate Community Guidelines Unchallenged

communityguidelines

Editor’s Note: Below is my rejected guest submission to the Public Library of Science (PLoS) Blogs Network responding to a libelous post that Seth Mnookin had written about me on PLoS last year in violation of PLoS’ own community guidelines listed above.

Jake Crosby Responds to Seth Mnookin

I am responding to the most egregious of the false allegations made on PLoS by Seth Mnookin, July 25th, 2013, that I “jabbed” him “in the chest” and that I also “crashed” his “invitation-only event” at the PRIMR conference in December of 2011. Please refer to the announcement of his event, which still exists on the Duke University website (scroll down to page 2 at 11:45am).

Mr. Mnookin’s event was clearly open to the public – no invitation necessary:

mnookineventtime

These false jabbing and crashing allegations appeared in his first and so far only blog post about me where he wrote (boldface mine):

“Jake, as I told you the first time you accosted me at a talk, in New York City in June 2011 — you remember that, right? It was the time you refused to shake my hand and instead jabbed me in the chest in front of dozens of people…”

What’s so remarkable is that not only does Seth Mnookin’s claim that I jabbed him in the chest instead of shaking his hand contradict what actually happened, but what actually happened was chronicled by me in my article that ran online one week after our exchange. It included this quote from him followed by what transpired, which he did not dispute (boldface added for emphasis):

“’So you aren’t gonna shake my hand, now? C’mon!’

Despite my hesitation, I shook his hand.”

His account of my jabbing him in the chest, among other fallacies of his about our encounters, came in a blog post almost two years later – ironically titled:

“Crosby’s labyrinth, or why I couldn’t stop myself from replying to the vaccine conspiracy theorist to end all conspiracy theorists.”

After I wrote a post refuting his allegations titled, Seth Mnookin Claims My Handshake Was Jab in His Chest, Mnookin responded by doubling down on his lie that I jabbed him in the chest with the following embellishment:

“When Jake approached me, I stuck out my hand, which he refused to shake…Then he came back to make a final point about his “proof” that I was on the take — and when he came back, he marched over and jabbed me in the chest.”

Although he is considered a “science writer,” what Seth Mnookin alleged on his PLoS blog is not at all about science, never happened and amounts to nothing more than libel – a violation of the PLoS Blog Network’s community guidelines. Please read my aformentioned article correcting Seth Mnookin’s false statements about me as well as my Age of Autism article titled My Conversation with Seth Mnookin which details my first encounter with him. Those who follow Mnookin’s writings, whether on the PLoS blogs or elsewhere, should not accept anything he writes as factual unless it can be independently verified by a reliable source.

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.

 

Watch Jake Crosby’s AutismOne 2014 Talk

Props to AutismOne’s Teri Arranga for her introduction.

Originally posted on AutismOne

So often, when we think of investigating autism, we think of discovering the physiological underpinnings. But what about the sociological forces that perpetuate the autism epidemic? Politics from without? Or – surprisingly – politics from within? In this startling lecture, Jacob Crosby, MPH, discusses the obstructionist forces that have hampered progress within the autism advocacy arena.

Jake Crosby, MPH

Jake Crosby is editor of Autism Investigated. He is a 2011 graduate of Brandeis University with a bachelor’s degree in both history and health and a 2013 graduate of The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services with a master’s degree in epidemiology. He currently attends the University of Texas School of Public Health where he is studying for a PhD in epidemiology. For nearly five years, he was contributing editor to Age of Autism.

Originally posted at AutismOne

AutismOne is a non-profit charity organization 501(c)(3) started by a small group of parents of children with autism. Parents are and must remain the driving force of our community, the stakes are too high and the issues too sacred to delegate to outside interests. AUTISM IS A PREVENTABLE/TREATABLE BIOMEDICAL CONDITION. Autism is the result of environmental triggers. Autism is not caused by “bad” genes and the epidemic is not the result of “better” diagnosis. Children with autism suffer from gut bugs, allergies, heavy metal toxicity, mitochondrial disorders, antioxidant deficiencies, nutritional deficiencies and autoimmune diseases – all of which are treatable. THE KEY IS EDUCATION The AutismOne Conference, AutismOne Radio, AutismOne Outreach and Autism in Action initiatives educate more than 100,000 families every year about prevention, recovery, safety, and change.

Originally posted at AutismOne

 

Addendum: See AutismOne Slides

Forbes’ Matt Herper Cites Misleading Gardasil Press Release

articleabstract

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.

Seth Mnookin Claims My Handshake Was Jab in His Chest

abc_besser_mnookin_110105_wg

By Jake Crosby

This fallacious and bizarre new allegation of Seth Mnookin’s came in his first and only blog post about me in which he wrote (boldface mine):

“Jake, as I told you the first time you accosted me at a talk, in New York City in June 2011 — you remember that, right? It was the time you refused to shake my hand and instead jabbed me in the chest in front of dozens of people…”

And yet, in my article about our June 2011 encounter which he did not dispute, I wrote (boldface added for emphasis):

“He [Seth Mnookin] continued about how I’m not going to convince him of my views and he won’t convince me of his, then he put out his hand, which I felt was merely the pinnacle of his suck-up ploy.

“So you aren’t gonna shake my hand, now? C’mon!”

Despite my hesitation, I shook his hand.”

What’s so remarkable is that not only does Seth Mnookin’s claim that I jabbed him in the chest instead of shaking his hand contradict what actually happened, but what actually happened was chronicled by me in my article that ran online one week after our exchange. His account of my jabbing him in the chest, among other fallacies of his about our encounters, came in a July 25th, 2013 blog post about me ironically titled:

“Crosby’s labyrinth, or why I couldn’t stop myself from replying to the vaccine conspiracy theorist to end all conspiracy theorists.”

That’s right – according to Mnookin, I’m not just the vaccine conspiracy theorist to end vaccine conspiracy theorists, but “to end all conspiracy theorists.” He responded to a comment I left on one of his blog posts slamming Jenny McCarthy for her views on vaccines after she was confirmed by ABC to co-host “The View” this fall.

His response was basically fictitious accounts of our past encounters that are directly contradicted by actual, verifiable facts that I detailed shortly thereafter. His description of our handshake as a jab in the chest was only the beginning.

Seth’s fiction
I accost him.
He asks me to shake his hand.
I refuse.
I jab him in the chest.

What really happened
He slanders Dr. Andrew Wakefield.
I defend Dr. Wakefield.
Mnookin shouts at me.
He verifies who I am.
He tells me who he is (even though I already know who he is).
I apologize for not introducing myself initially.
He asks me to shake his hand.
I shake his hand.

Not only does he give a false account of what happened during my first encounter with him, but also my second encounter with him where he booted me out of the room starting with his claim that the event I attended was “invitation-only.”

In summary, the contrast between what Seth Mnookin said happened and what actually happened goes like this:

Seth’s fiction
I crash his invitation-only event.
I introduce myself to his televised image and begin my “monologue.”
In the middle of my “monologue,” he disconnects.
While he’s disconnected, I’m asked to leave (presumably because I was not invited).
His connection comes back on.
By the time it does, I’ve already left.
The first thing he says after his connection is up is that I shouldn’t have been removed.

What really happened
I try to sign up for his event online.
I’m put on a waitlist.
I’m let into his event off the waitlist.
I introduce myself to his televised image and begin asking my question.
Suddenly he disconnects.
He returns and repeats the last words he heard me say.
I continue my question.
He cuts me off and accuses me of disrupting past events of his.
I’m ejected.
As I’m being ejected, he proceeds to answer my question unchallenged.
He’s still rambling even as I’m walking out the door.

After giving a heavily fabricated account of what happened at his event where I was ejected, he then attempted to address my very first article about him: “Seth Mnookin, Bob’s Your Uncle!”

He tried to play down his uncle Robert Mnookin’s connections to the mother-in-law of vaccine industry front group/“autism charity” president and founder Alison Singer, as well as to a board member of her organization.

Seth’s fiction
His uncle is presumably just a professor specializing in negotiation and mediation at Harvard Law School.
Alison Singer’s mother-in-law only taught mediation there “at various times.”
Her colleague, an Autism Science Foundation board member, has no direct connection to Harvard Law School.
To have known of Seth Mnookin, Singer’s mother-in-law and her colleague would have had to have looked “into the backgrounds of everyone they’ve ever worked with, served on a board with, or had professional dealings with.”
Seth Mnookin took a huge professional risk by parroting the talking points of a front group for a highly profitable and partially taxpayer-funded branch of the pharmaceutical industry.

What really happened
Seth Mnookin’s uncle chairs Harvard Law School’s Program on Negotiation.
The mother-in-law of the founder of Autism Science Foundation, a vaccine industry front group that poses as an autism charity, taught mediation in the program for 25 years according to her professional bio.
One of the mother-in-law’s colleagues co-taught mediation with her for that same time period.
That colleague also serves on the board of the Autism Science Foundation.
Seth Mnookin writes a book that echos the pharma talking points of the Autism Science Foundation.
In exchange, he gets rewarded with two years of media appearances, speaking engagements, book awards, a forum at PLoS blogs and even an MIT professorship.

Seth Mnookin’s accuracy at reporting events is truly dismal, as his own blog post about me shows. His year-and-a-half to two-year-after-the-fact accounts of what happened during our encounters are not only contradicted by what actually happened, but by what I wrote actually happened within a week of those encounters. Not surprisingly, his denial in his blog post that he specifically called my question to him at Harvard four months ago “insigificant minutia” that is “devoid of facts” is blatently false.

Of all his fictitious accounts in his blog post about our encounters, however, his suddenly claiming two years after the fact that our handshake was me jabbing him in the chest takes the cake. In fact, it takes the whole bakery.

Addendum, July 30, 2013: Seth Mnookin has now further embellished his sham account of what he falsely claims was my refusal to shake his hand and instead jab him in the chest in New York City. He said he stuck out his hand offering me to shake it when I first approached him, saying I refused to shake it. Not only did I shake his hand, but our handshake did not happen until well into our conversation. This was after he told me he agreed with me that there weren’t enough services for people with autism, in contrast to his claiming I disagreed with him on that point. At no point in our encounter did I discuss any “proof” of him being on the take, nor did I jab him in the chest as he repeatedly claims. Details of our encounter can be found in the article I had written one week later: “My Conversation with Seth Mnookin.”

Seth Mnookin
then discusses my ouster from Age of Autism, insinuating I was banished for claiming Age of Autism is conspiring with government officials to cover up vaccine injury. The latest article stemming from my ongoing investigation into the congressional activities of Age of Autism sponsors can be found in the following post: “Mark Blaxill Publicly Attacks Critics.” Nowhere in this article or in any article of mine written prior do I allege that those who hijacked the congressional autism hearings conspired to do so with those who have covered up vaccines’ role in causing the autism epidemic in the first place.

Addendum, August 2, 2013: 
Age of Autism’s UK Editor John Stone took Seth Mnookin to task in the comments of his blog over his fictitious accounts of our past encounters, specifically Mnookin’s bogus claim that I jabbed him in the chest.

It is appalling that a serious scientific publisher would give houseroom to such a column, which has nothing to do with scientific argument. I have had one or two disagreements with Jake but I don’t believe that he jabbed you “in front of witnesses”, and why mention it now instead of taking action at the time? A slight matter of character assassination aside it is a non-sequitur and ad hominem.

Whatever, Jake made a material point about how the Institute of Medicine selected its evidence – he did not even get into how they pre-arranged it (IOM closed meeting 12 Jan 2001) –

http://www.putchildrenfirst.org/chapter6.html

before we also note the fundamental problem that IOM preferred highly flawed statistical analysis to case studies of injured children (some of whom have received awards quietly from the VICP as they admitted to Sharyl Attkisson).

“The government has never compensated, nor has it ever been ordered to compensate, any case based on a determination that autism was actually caused by vaccines. We have compensated cases in which children exhibited an encephalopathy, or general brain disease. Encephalopathy may be accompanied by a medical progression of an array of symptoms including autistic behavior, autism, or seizures.”

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-31727_162-20016356-10391695.html

An identical statement was given to David Kirby, reported in Huffington Post.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-f-kennedy-jr-and-david-kirby/vaccine-court-autism-deba_b_169673.html

What we are really dealing with here is journalist led science. Anyone who steps out of line has to be taken out: Wakefield, McCarthy, Crosby…If I may say so it seems me that with all the hatchet work across the media on Jenny McCarthy the real issue is that she is a parent who stood up and called a spade a spade. And the things that she described happen: they’ve even been compensated on the quiet.

 

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.