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Monday, April 8, 2013
MRC Bashes Fearmongering About Vaccines, Ignores Its Own
Topic: Media Research Center

Julia Seymour writes in an April 3 MRC Business & Media Institute item:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found further evidence that childhood vaccines and autism are “not related,” in spite of high profile anti-vaccination voices like actress Jenny McCarthy and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

The mainstream media had helped spread fears of vaccination several years ago. In 2005, Kennedy’s scary claims about vaccines were reported on ABC, CBS, in Time magazine and in other media outlets as well. It took until 2008, for some media outlets to do an about face on the issue.

Seymour, of course, makes no mention of anti-vaccine fearmongering in conservative media, where WorldNetDaily serves as a leader.

Further, Seymour makes no mention of the MRC's own anti-vaccine fearmongering, particularly on the subject of anti-HPV vaccines like Gardasil that help prevent cervical cancer.

In a 2007 MRC Culture & Media Institute item, Kristen Fyfe declared that she would not allow her teenage daughter to get the vaccine because HPV "is not passed through casual contact, like measles, mumps, chicken pox or any of the other diseases for which mandatory vaccination makes sense.  No matter how germ-infested my child's classroom is, one germ she won't catch there is HPV."

A 2008 CMI article complained that the media was "ignoring reports that some women have suffered convulsions, paralysis and death after being vaccinated" with Gardasil, citing fellow fearmongers WorldNetDaily as evidence. For all its fearmonger, the article provided no evidence that the rate of serious side effects of Gardasil is any worse than any other vaccine; instead, the fearmongering continued, declaring that "The media continue to keep quiet about the side effects associated with the drug even when young girls' health and lives are at stake."

A 2009 CMI article declared that a media report on Gardasil filed to menion that "the only reason to administer the vaccine is the assumption that girls will be sexually active. It is an assumption that they are incapable of abstinence. In fact, nobody in the segment mentioned that abstinence is the only 100 percent effective way to avoid HPV."

A 2010 CMI article declared Gardasil to be "an unnecessary risk," huffing, "What's truly a failure is calling Gardasil a cervical cancer vaccine and not reporting all the side effects." It also referenced claims about side effects by the National Vaccine Information Center, failing to mention that the NVIC has an anti-vaccine agenda.

Apparently, it's OK to fearmonger against vaccines at the MRC when a moral case can be devised.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:55 PM EDT

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