Tag Archives: The Washington Post

Major Opponent of Vaccine Safety Commission Conspired Against Scientists

Former Maryland Secretary of Health Joshua Sharfstein left, with FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb. Twitter of FDA Commissioner

Last year, Joshua Sharfstein wrote an article in JAMA vocally opposing the creation of a vaccine safety commission under President Trump. Entirely undisclosed in his article was the conspiracy Sharfstein led against two scientists for their views on vaccine safety while he was Maryland Secretary of Health. Autism Investigated subsequently contacted JAMA‘s editor-in-chief. JAMA‘s legal counsel responded instead.

From: Jake Crosby
Sent: Tuesday, June 05, 2018 4:41 PM
To: Howard Bauchner
Subject: Joshua Sharfstein’s Undisclosed Conflict of Interest and Conspiracy Against Scientists
Dear Dr. Bauchner,

Last year, you ran an article by Joshua Sharfstein that opposed the Trump Administration’s commitment to vaccine safety.(1) Dr. Sharfstein omitted that as Maryland Secretary of Health, he led state government attacks on two vaccine researchers for their opposition to thimerosal in vaccines.(2)(3) By the time of Sharfstein’s article, a court ruled that the department he led violated their confidentiality by posting public their medical information.(4) Just last February, that same board Sharfstein was in charge of was ordered to pay them $2.5 million for its actions under Sharfstein’s leadership. The ruling judge even compared the actions of Sharfstein’s board members and staff to Watergate:

“If their testimony were to be believed, which the court does not, it is the worst case of collective amnesia in the history of Maryland government and on par with the collective memory failure on display at the Watergate hearings.”(5)

Sharfstein acknowledges in his article that a vaccine safety commission under Trump would also concentrate on scientific integrity. He has much to lose professionally and personally from the formation of such a commission due to his department’s conspiracy against two scientists for their views on vaccines. Given AMA’s organizational stance against the commission, it is all the more pressing for Dr. Sharfstein to disclose his department’s attacks on two scientists for their vaccine skepticism when he defends the existing public health system that he is a part of in JAMA.

Sincerely,

Jake Crosby, MPH

Disclosure: I have done my epidemiology thesis on vaccine safety with the Geiers in 2013 and received funding from Autism Media Channel and Children’s Medical Safety Research Institute. I was also a paid campaign field representative and a volunteer for President Trump and other Republican candidates during the 2016 election cycle. I edit AutismInvestigated.com.

1. Vaccines and the Trump Administration https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2614172

2. In the Matter of Mark R. Geier, M.D.: Order for Summary Suspension of License to Practice Medicine, P. 5, Clause 8. April 27, 2011. https://www.mbp.state.md.us/bpqapp/Orders/D2425004.271.PDF

3. “O’Malley Ousts David Geier from autism commission,” by Frank D. Roylance Baltimore Sun, May 20, 2011.
http://www.baltimoresun.com/health/bs-hs-geier-autism-commission-20110520-story.html

4. “Court rebukes board for publicizing doctor’s confidential info,” Professional Licensing Report, February 11, 2016.
http://www.professionallicensingreport.org/board-in-trouble-for-public-release-of-doctors-confidential-info/

5. “Regulators who targeted anti-vaccine doctor may pay millions for humiliating him,” by Fenit Nirappil. Washington Post, February 3, 2018.

From: Joseph Thornton <Joseph.Thornton@jamanetwork.org>
To: Jake Crosby
Cc: Howard Bauchner <Howard.Bauchner@jamanetwork.org>
Sent: Fri, Jun 8, 2018 7:23 am
Subject: RE Joshua Sharfstein’s Undisclosed Conflict of Interest

Dear Mr. Crosby,

The Maryland Board of Physicians [MBOP] includes 22 members who are appointed by the Governor, not the state’s secretary of health. Complaints regarding Dr. Geier were filed with the MBOP years before Dr. Sharfstein was appointed Secretary. The documents you submitted and the timelines within them do not support the allegation that Dr. Sharfstein “led state government attacks on two vaccine researchers for their opposition to thimerosal in vaccines.”

Sincerely,

[Description: cid:image001.png@01CF9202.5B3F03C0]

Joseph P. Thornton, JD
Editorial Counsel
AMA Plaza, Suite 39300
330 N. Wabash Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611-5885
312-464-4609
joseph.thornton@jamanetwork.org

________________________________

From: Jake Crosby
To: Joseph.Thornton <Joseph.Thornton@jamanetwork.org>
Cc: Howard.Bauchner <Howard.Bauchner@jamanetwork.org>
Sent: Fri, Jun 8, 2018 5:53 pm
Subject: Re: Joshua Sharfstein’s Undisclosed Conflict of Interest

Dear Atty. Thornton,
 

Maryland’s Secretary of Health plays a direct role in the appointment of the majority of board members (boldface mine):

“11 practicing licensed physicians, including 1 Doctor of Osteopathy, appointed by the Governor with the advice of the Secretary of the Department of Health (MDH)”

“1 physician representative of MDH nominated by the Secretary(1)

 
A vaccine activist filed a complaint against the board in 2006, but the board suspended Dr. Geier’s license in 2011 only months after Sharfstein’s appointment. That timeline absolutely implicates Sharfstein’s role. The suspension also cites the Institute of Medicine’s 2004 report that attacked Dr. Geier’s research. Sharfstein writes about IOM in his JAMA article:
 
These reports blunted national concern and were one reason why the major outbreaks that occurred in Europe around that time (and since) have not been seen in the United States.
 
Sharfstein also leaves out of the article, his JAMA bio and disclosure statement that he was elected a fellow of IOM in 2014. 
 
Not only does the timeline of Sharfstein’s appointment correlate with Dr. Geier’s suspension, but Sharfstein’s resignation correlates with court decisions against the board. He announced in July 2014 that he would step down at the end of the year. According to the Professional Licensing Report article I cited, a board representative stood up a deposition by the Geiers’ attorney in June of 2014. The court would then grant the “ultimate sanction” in favor of the Geiers in December 2014, two weeks before Sharfstein actually stepped down.(2)
 
Joshua Sharfstein is completely conflicted. The kind of behavior his department engaged in and the fact that AMA’s and other physician groups’ positions are influenced by people like him is exactly why we need an independent commission to look into vaccines. Until that happens, I think the public should oppose them entirely. 
 
Sincerely, 
 
Jake Crosby, MPH
 
1. About the Board, Maryland Board of Physicians, Maryland Department of Health. Accessed June 8, 2018.
 
2. Anne Geier et al. v. Maryland Board of Physicians et al. Md. 371761-V, 1-11 (Circuit Court for Montgomery County, MD 2014)
 
 

CNN Attacks Trump’s Vaccine Truths To Bolster Fired FBI Chief

Jake Tapper and Ronna McDaniel, CNN

Autism Investigated Note: Check out LyinComey.com for an inside look at James Comey and the swamp our president is up against. Contact the White House and demand President Trump form an independent vaccine safety commission to stop the poisoning by the vaccine state.

Fake News Network’s description:

With all the bombshell reporting about members of the Republican National Committee, CNN’s Jake Tapper asks Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel about launching a full-scale attack on former FBI Director James Comey and integrity.

Jake Tapper has mentioned Trump acknowledging vaccines causing autism as one of the “false claims” the president has told to attack his credibility and defend fired FBI chief James Comey. This is the same Comey who withheld from Trump that the fake dossier accusing him of paying prostitutes to douse him in urine was funded by the Democratic National Committee. Props to RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel for doing such a great job responding to a professional liar like Jake Tapper.

Just recently CNN lied that a survey of autism families showed that autists were less likely to be fully vaccinated. Their chief medical correspondent routinely says vaccines don’t cause autism. Ten years ago he interviewed the father of a child whose autism our government admitted was caused by vaccines.

Autism Investigated will now take this opportunity to demand President Trump reaffirm his commitment to stopping the havoc that vaccination continues to wreak on children. Autism Investigated endorsed you, voted for you, defended you from criticism on our own side that you weren’t doing enough. Now you must act.

Do not listen to unthinking doctors or money-grubbing Autism Speaks. Do not listen to your ignorant and untrustworthy public health bureaucrats. Do not listen to a drop-out who told you he did his homework but never did. Do not listen to that drop-out’s unelected, unappointed pharma mentor who feels entitled to tell those who serve under you to revolt against your authority.

Listen to the parents. Listen to the people who are suffering. Heck even listen to Dr. Ben Carson who said too many vaccines are being given after admitting, “it hasn’t been adequately revealed to the public what is going on.”

The vaccine state is the deep state. It needs to be brought to its knees.

America needs an independent vaccine safety commission. Honor your pledge, Mr. President, to drain the swamp and Make America Great Again!

New CDC Director Misstates Influenza Vaccination Effectiveness

Robert Redfield INSTITUTE OF HUMAN VIROLOGY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND SCHOOL OF MEDICINE

According to The Washington Post, the new CDC director reportedly told his new employees, “We have got to get the American public to understand that vaccination is important and needs to be fully utilized.” This was reportedly after he cited 130 child deaths from flu season, implying they all could have been saved by vaccination.

The reality is that a quarter of them were vaccinated. The majority of American children and adults were not vaccinated for the flu anyway. And those 130 children are almost certainly not representative of the overall population of children. But that doesn’t stop Redfield from misrepresenting flu vaccines like he did an experimental AIDS treatment a quarter-century ago. The difference there was that he at least provided data on most of the subjects who got the treatment. In the case of flu vaccines, he just implied 130 deaths could have all been prevented with vaccination without giving evidence that even one of those deaths could have been stopped.

Both the FDA and CDC chiefs have misstated the effectiveness or safety of vaccination. Yet both would not have been in their positions were it not for the president, who had claimed to have never gotten the flu or the flu shot.

WAPO: Med Board Ordered to Pay Millions for Conspiracy Against Dr. Geier

Autism Investigated Note: The Maryland Board of Physicians has been ordered to pay $2.5 million for its Watergate-like conspiracy against Dr. Mark Geier. Read The Washington Post story below for details. (pro-vax tone aside)

Regulators who targeted anti-vaccine doctor may pay millions for humiliating him

 February 3 at 5:19 PM 

Mark Geier built a medical practice in Rockville and a national reputation for propagating the discredited theory that vaccines cause autism. The Maryland Board of Physicians suspended his license seven years ago because he was treating autistic children with a drug considered dangerous for young people and not known to alleviate symptoms of the disorder.

But the regulators who stripped Geier’s credentials are now in the hot seat, ordered to each personally pay tens of thousands of dollars in damages by a judge who says the board abused its power in an attempt to humiliate the doctor and his family. The board posted a cease-and-desist order on its website in 2012 alleging that Geier had improperly prescribed medication for himself, his wife and his son while his license was suspended. In an unusual move, the order named the drugs in question. Online critics of Geier took notice, mocking the doctor and his family in blogs and comments for their use of the medications.

The Geiers say the state publicized those details for vengeance, to punish a doctor with unconventional ideas. State officials say it was an honest mistake.

But Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge Ronald B. Rubin sided with the Geiers, awarding them $2.5 million in damages. He called the order a significant breach of medical privacy and accused the board and its staff of failing to preserve emails related to the case and pleading ignorance about the order on the witness stand.

“If their testimony were to be believed, which the court does not, it is the worst case of collective amnesia in the history of Maryland government and on par with the collective memory failure on display at the Watergate hearings,” Rubin wrote in a December opinion.

He ordered 14 board appointees, the board’s lead attorney and the lead investigator on the Geier case to pay half of the damages out of their own pockets, between $10,000 and $200,000 apiece, depending on their net worth.

A spokeswoman for the state health department, which oversees the board, says the agency tries to balance privacy with a responsibility to inform the public of risks.

The defendants, who are appealing the decision, mostly declined to comment or did not respond to interview requests. Three of them told The Washington Post that the judge’s version of the facts was wrong, and accused him of coming down too hard on volunteers who were donating their time.

“I felt Judge Rubin had a bone to pick with the Board of Physicians. Some of the stuff he came up with is outlandish,” said Jonathan Lerner, who left the board last year. “He set the tone for the future that no one else would want to serve on a board.”

Raquel Coombs, a spokeswoman for the Maryland Attorney General’s Officewhich represents the board, said of the ruling: “We believe there are serious errors in both the facts and the law and will vigorously pursue those on appeal.”

Controversial views

Dr. Mark Geier in 2011 (Jed Kirschbaum/Baltimore Sun)

Mark Geier developed a national following and drew widespread criticism — for espousing his belief that thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative formerly used in childhood vaccines, contributes to autism.

Multiple medical groups and judges dismissed his research as seriously flawedand the vaccine-autism link has been repeatedly debunked. But a growing movement that sees vaccine requirements as an intrusion on parental rights has taken hold in California, Texas and other states, emboldened by President Trump’s embrace during the 2016 campaign of the discredited vaccines-and-autism link.

Public health experts consider “anti-vaxxers” a grave threat to one of the most significant medical developments in human history. Some Facebook users share Geier’s videos to urge against flu shots, even amid the worst flu outbreak in nearly a decade.

But it was Geier’s treatment of autistic children that caught the attention of the Board of Physicians in 2006.

Geier believed mercury from vaccines caused early puberty, aggression and symptoms of autism, and that suppressing testosterone with the drug Lupron — which is approved to treat prostate cancer, endometriosis and fibroids, but also is also used to chemically castrate sex offenders — would reverse those effects.

No credible medical research showed this treatment to be effective for autism, the Board of Physicians noted. The board suspended Geier’s medical license in 2011 and revoked it the next year, citing his methods and saying he had misrepresented his credentials. Several other states also revoked Geier’s medical license, and regulators targeted his son for practicing medicine without a license.

Maryland officials continued to track Mark Geier’s activities, according to the lawsuit the Geiers filed in 2012.

Many of the case records remain under seal. But Rubin’s order shows that board staff were tracking blogs and news articles chronicling Geier’s downfall, mocking him and his son in emails and reveling in their humiliation.

When they got a tip that Mark Geier may have still been prescribing medication, they vowed to look into it. Before holding an evidence hearing, board attorney Victoria Pepper drafted the cease-and-desist order.

Rubin described the decision to name the drugs in the order as an extraordinary breach of privacy for an agency that should know better than anyone else the importance of confidentiality in the medical profession. He pointed to emails sent later on during the probe as evidence of the board’s motivation to embarrass the Geiers.

Pepper referred derisively to the Geiers as “Daddy G” and “Baby G” in emails to Josh Shafer, the board investigator leading the probe of the Geiers.

“Maybe we can help make it a bad month” for the Geiers, Shafer wrote back, using a derogatory reference to the drugs they were using.

Timeline

April 27, 2011: Maryland Board of Physicians suspends Mark Geier’s license

Jan. 25, 2012: Board posts order accusing Geier of prescribing drugs to himself and his son while his license was suspended, naming the drugs in question.

Feb. 5, 2012: Attorney for Geiers sends board letter objecting to publication of private medical information

Feb. 22, 2012: Board removes private information from Geier order, but original still accessible online.

Dec. 29, 2012: Geiers file lawsuit against Maryland Board of Physicians

July 11, 2013: Board removes original order from website

Dec. 7, 2017: Montgomery County judge awards $2.5 million to the Geiers

At trial, Pepper said she knew the Geiers’ private medical information would be online as a result of the order, but didn’t think it would be embarrassing. She said she named the drugs to clarify that they weren’t dangerous controlled substances and named the recipients to clarify that Geier wasn’t prescribing the medication or juveniles. The judge called those reasons “fabrications,” adding that “Pepper viewed Dr. Geier and his practice to be so abhorrent that she was willing to do ‘whatever it took’ to tarnish his reputation.”

Pepper, who still works for the board, did not return repeated emails seeking comment.

All but one member of the Board of Physicians who voted to approve the cease-and-desist order on Jan. 25, 2012 later told the judge they didn’t actually read it.

“It is sort of like looking out an airplane window watching the pilot walking around kicking the rubber and pulling on the metal. I don’t have to go behind him and pull it. I trust the pilot to do his job,” testified Paul Elder, an anesthesiologist from Anne Arundel County who was appointed by former governor Robert L. Ehrlich (R) in 2003 and chaired the board at the time of the Geier investigation. “I trust the Board staff to do their job and construct a document that was ready for signature.”

Elder, who is no longer on the board, did not return repeated messages left at his medical practice.

A legal battle

The Geiers were horrified when they saw their private business was now available for the world to read. Their then-lawyer Jay Schwartz sent the board a letter calling the disclosure of private medical information illegal, and confronted Elder after an unrelated hearing in Annapolis to underscore his point.

The board uploaded a new version of the orderwith the personal information removed. But the original could still be found by a simple Google search, and was uploaded online by a local television station covering the board’s probe of Geier.

The order stayed online even after an administrative law judge decided the allegations it was based on were without merit — Mark Geier didn’t prescribe the drugs, his son David did and the family threatened to sue.

It was not taken down until July 11, 2013, a day after Rubin held a hearing in the lawsuit.

Mark Geier’s wife Anne, who died in October 2014, said during a deposition a few months earlier that she was “humiliated” by the contents of the order.

“How would you feel if somebody put your medical records up and then they laughed at you and made fun of you?” she said. They humiliate you. The whole thing has just ruined my life.”

Mark and David Geier, who moved to Florida in 2012, declined to comment.

Several board members acknowledged in court that posting private medical information was inappropriate, but said they didn’t take any steps to make sure the order was taken down from the website. In what Rubin dubbed “colossal amnesia,” some board members also said they barely knew Mark Geier — who had been the subject of one of their most high-profile cases.

“The Board of Physicians is not an ornamental office. It is a serious public trust. It was breached horribly in this case,” Rubin wrote in his opinion. “They knew, the court finds, that the problem had not been fixed. The court finds they simply did not care.”

Lerner, one of the former board members, said the reason they didn’t follow up was far simpler.

“We trusted the staff member and IT staff members when they said it was taken down,” he said. “I don’t think I’m responsible to go do a Google search.”

Rubin also criticized the board for failing to turn over key emails about the case, many of which were apparently lost when the agency changed email servers in 2012 or overlooked because officials didn’t properly search their private accounts.

“The negative and unprofessional tone and tenor of the few preserved e-mails is manifest,” Rubin wrote. “It is not believable that other e-mails, had they been preserved, would fare better.”

Only one of the 14 board members ordered to pay the Geiers still serves on the board: Beryl J. Rosenstein, who did not return a message left at his medical practice.

Jim Love, an attorney for the Geiers, suggested his clients were targeted for a simple reason.

“Everyone hates the Geiers because they say bad things about vaccines,” Love said. “I don’t know why it’s so personal.”

Paul Offit, Top U.S. Vaccine Doc, Misrepresents His Credentials

Paul-offit.com

CBS News has called vaccine developer Dr. Paul Offit one of “the most trusted voices in the defense of vaccine safety”. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has called him the vaccine industry’s “principle spokesperson”.

But what about Offit’s official title? His personal website, his Wikipedia page, his linkedin profile, his Autism Science Foundation bio, a new medical textbook he co-edited and an endless array of both mainstream and social media sites state that he is the “Chief of Infectious Diseases” at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). There’s just one problem: he’s not, nor has he been for the last three years.

According to CHOP’s website, Offit has been demoted from “Chief” to “attending physician.” It also clearly shows the role of “Chief” belonging to someone else. Yet Offit’s bio on both the homepage and “About” page of his own website call him “Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases” at CHOP, as does his resume linked from his homepage. How long has he misrepresented himself? Dig deep enough, and the story comes to light.

Buried in his second resume – a 32-page CV downloadable from his website -Offit is listed as “Chief, Division of Infectious Diseases, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia” for the years 1992-2014. That means Paul Offit knowingly misleads visitors to his site about his current role at CHOP. Few would find the news of his demotion buried in his CV, but virtually everyone visiting his site would see his bios prominently misidentifying him as “Chief of Infectious Diseases at CHOP.”

Even worse, the creation date of his CV is November 21st, 2016. That means that for more than two years after he lost his title, there was absolutely nothing on his site that contradicted his bio falsely stating his CHOP role. Archived webpages show that the title of “Chief” was the very first title listed in Offit’s “About” bio on his website. Then in early-2015, Offit temporarily removed the “Chief” title from his “About” page bio (his homepage bio never changed). But then sometime in late 2016 or early 2017, he added the title “chief” back into his “About” bio where it remains as of this writing.

The implications of Offit’s fabrication are far-reaching. Reports falsely saying Offit is the “Chief” of infectious disease at CHOP continue to be cranked out: CBS NewsNBC NewsCNNThe New YorkerThe Washington PostPBS FRONTLINEThe LA TimesThe Philadelphia InquirerScientific AmericanC-SPANForbesAlterNetThe Daily BeastThe Huffington Post and Politico to name a few of dozens.

Several times, Offit was introduced on video with his former title of “Chief of Infectious Diseases,” yet he did not correct the people introducing him. When the president of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia introduced Offit as “Chief of Infectious Diseases” on C-SPAN2 in 2015, Offit simply said “Thank you for that kind introduction.”

He did not react the same way, however, when he had to sit right next to the moderator for Scientific American who stated Offit’s false credentials, just prior to his talk as part of a videotaped lecture series. That time, he was visibly uncomfortable being introduced as “Chief,” and even struggled to get words out initially when it was his turn to speak. But just as with the C-SPAN video, Offit failed to correct the person who introduced him.

The misrepresentations have continued as recently as last summer. In an article for STAT News dated August 21st, 2017, Offit was described as the “head of infectious diseases at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.” Offit still has not corrected anyone and why would he? He has gotten away with it for three years.

What he has gotten away with for much longer, however, has been his unchallenged misrepresentations about vaccine dangers and the media’s culpability. He relies on studies he privately admitted were garbage to declare the debate on vaccine safety over. To deny that vaccines cause autism, he actually claims that autism diagnoses cause children to be vaccinated. And of course he has infamously stated that an infant can safely handle 10,000 vaccines, later upping the number to “closer to 100,000.”

One of the big ways Offit has been able to lie with such impunity about vaccine dangers has been to flaunt his supposedly impeccable credentials. Perhaps that’s why he lied about being the “Chief” of infectious diseases at CHOP long after he wasn’t.

Credentials, not integrity, are all that matter in Offit’s world. They matter so much that it’s even worth lying to claim credentials he no longer has.

Ari Ne’eman Helps Fellow Autistic Muppet Off The Short Bus at Sesame Street

ari

Ari Ne’eman, real-life Muppet with autism

Julia may be the first Muppet with autism to appear on Sesame Street, but the first Muppet with autism has been around long before the back of the short bus caught any PBS producer’s attention.

The first autistic Muppet was born 10 years ago, when a pimply teen with Asperger’s started a campaign against the NYU Child Study Center. It was not a campaign against the center’s interim director whoring herself out to the federal vaccine program to help it exonerate itself against the families of yet more children it permanently brain-damaged. Rather, the entire campaign was simply against NYU’s advertising related to autism because the ads had offended him. And thus the mainstream media’s own autistic Muppet was born in the baby face of the autistic feelings campaigner named Ari Ne’eman, who could be trotted out at any time to praise the virtues of autism and advocate censoring discussion of the disorder on the pretense of offensiveness. His most recent media appearance was to help fellow autistic Muppet Julia off the Magic Short Bus and into the impressionable minds of young Sesame Street viewers.

Like the Sesame Street Muppets, Ari Ne’eman’s simplistic role and nebbishy look never changed. The dull-but-soft-spoken, chubby-but-clean-cut face of the autism acceptance ideology known as neurodiversity remains as it had in the past with the same talking points and nothing new to offer. In this world of make-believe, autism is normal and there is nothing wrong. It would all be so great, if it weren’t all such a lie.

Julia, like Ari, represents a caricature of the fastest growing childhood neurological disorder in the country. Both send the message that autism is merely a case of social awkwardness as opposed to the debilitating lifelong disability that has robbed so many innocent children of their ability to speak by vaccination. Both send the message that people with autism can just “be themselves” and society and other people will just accept them, no matter how socially off-putting people with autism can be. And both ultimately give people with autism a cop-out excuse – use the mantle of autism to make people feel sorry for you and absolve yourself of any personal responsibility.

Julia and Ari do a disservice to everyone with autism – the really severe whose experiences are simply neglected, and the higher-functioning who are discouraged from taking personal responsibility for their behavior. But unlike Ari, the explanation for Julia can at least be partially explained by ratings.

No young child wants to watch a Muppet who can’t speak and has diarrhea 10 times a day, nor does any such child want to see some awkward Muppet getting bullied into fitting in by bigger, meaner Muppets. Balancing entertainment with reality in this instance is virtually impossible.

Mainstream media has no such excuse for trotting out its own autistic Muppet by the name of Ari Ne’eman for the last decade in order to paint a rosy, unrealistic portrayal of autism. Unlike the ratings-generated Julia, Ari is a Muppet used purely for purposes of spreading propaganda. There is virtually nothing about him that viewers would find genuinely appealing to watch.

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

static2.politico

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

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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.

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

Jill Stein: “I’m not aware of evidence linking autism with vaccines.”

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Thinking of going Green this election cycle? Think again.

Presumptive Green Party nominee Jill Stein has just tweeted that she is “not aware of evidence linking autism with vaccines.” Her comments came days after a Washington Post interview where she punted a question about whether she believes vaccines are linked to autism, but it now appears that she has finally caved:

Her comments are not entirely surprising for someone who invited Bernie Sanders to take over her own presidential ticket. Sanders has said the evidence against a vaccine-autism connection was “overwhelming” and criticized GOP nominee Donald Trump for acknowledging a connection. In stark contrast to both Stein and Sanders, Trump is very aware of evidence for a connection that they won’t acknowledge exists – bringing out the issue not only in his tweets but also in a presidential debate for the very first time and continuing to speak out on the campaign trail as recently as four months ago. Trump has been outspoken about the issue for years long before running for president.

The choice in this election could not be clearer. Crooked Hillary Clinton mocked skepticism of vaccines and proclaimed in her nomination speech, “I believe in science,” to imply Trump does not. Also this summer, Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson called Barack Obama a “good guy” and Crooked Hillary “wonderful” – in stark contrast to saying he could never support Donald Trump because of “all the things he had said”. Even more nauseating, Johnson’s running mate Bill Weld described having a “bond” with her.

Of course, voting for a third-party candidate is basically the same as not voting at all and letting Crooked Hillary win anyway. Even still, there is only one candidate on the right side of this issue and his name is Donald Trump.

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.