ABC's Primetime Live Report on Autism: Yellow Journalism At It's Worst
Friday April 23, 1:48 pm ET (Source: Yahoo News)
SafeMinds Calls Upon ABC News to Make On-Air Correction; 'Investigative' Report Appears to Lack Even Most Basic Facts
WASHINGTON, April 23 /PRNewswire/ -- SafeMinds -- America's leading scientific organization investigating the risks that mercury-containing medical products pose to our children-is outraged by the biased comments made in last night's Primetime Live Thursday story, "Out of Darkness," that profiled a family with three autistic children. When describing the potential causes of autism, Primetime reporter Elizabeth Vargas stated matter-of-factly that at one time vaccines containing Thimerosal were suspected of being a cause of childhood autism, but "now doctors don't think so."
"This is not only not true, but Primetime's assertion flies in the face of the best current research being performed by the recognized experts in this field," stated Lyn Redwood, RN, MSN, NP, president of SafeMinds. At a February 2004 meeting of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Vaccine Safety Committee, a majority of renowned experts offered their research from the past decade, which continues to show a strong link between Thimerosal-containing vaccines and neurological injury like America's autism epidemic in children.
"Primetime's claim that their story was an 'investigative' report would have been far more believable if it appeared they had even attempted to present the whole story," continued Redwood. "They make the claim that experts do not think that mercury-containing vaccines are a risk to our children when just last week a well-known, highly respected medical doctor-Rep. Dave Weldon, M.D. (R-Fla.)- submitted the bi-partisan bill, HR.4169, to the U.S. Congress. This bill calls for the removal of Thimerosal from vaccines specifically because of the threat it represents to the health of America's children." Dr. Weldon's bill, cosponsored by Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.), is in answer to the CDC and FDA's repeated failure to take formal action on their own recommendations to prevent the potential of vaccine-induced neurological injury.
"We are amazed that a respected hard news operation like ABC's Primetime Live appears to have failed to check their facts before making such a blatant misstatement," Redwood said. "Their mistake has the effect of misleading countless audience members on the very real threat that Thimerosal-containing vaccines pose to their children. We therefore call upon ABC News to make an on-air correction to this glaring oversight." For more information, visit http://www.safeminds.org.
Joe Giganti, 703-928-9695