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Wednesday, February 4, 2015
MRC Buries Its Anti-Vaxxer Ties
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has been working overtime to keep conservatives from taking the blame for promoting anti-vaccination claims. Typical is a Feb. 3 NewsBusters post by Kyle Drennen, who complained that media outlets "jumped on potential Republican 2016 contenders Chris Christie and Rand Paul being sympathetic toward parents skeptical of child vaccinations" while they "ignored Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton holding the same positions in 2008."

Drennen conveniently ignores the fact that the debate over vaccines was much different in 2008, when Obama said in a campaign appearance that the link between vaccines and autism was "inconclusive" (a statement Drennen bizarrely claims is "anti-vaccine rhetoric"). As the Washington Post notes, a Lancet article claiming such a link was hotly debated at the time, but it would be another two years before it would be retracted. Drennen omitted that crucial piece of context from his post.

Drennen also omits the fact that his employer, the Media Research Center, has ties to anti-vaxxers.

We've documented how the MRC engages in its own selective anti-vaccination rhetoric by fearmongering about Gardasil and other vaccines designed to prevent HPV infections that can cause cervical cancer.

Further,  the MRC has become a staunch defender of former CBS correspondent -- and prominent anti-vaxxer -- Sharyl Attkisson now that she has become a reliable anti-Obama activist. While the MRC has criticized her anti-vaxxer rhetoric in the past, it has not done so since she became a right-wing cause celebre.

That makes Drennen's pearl-cluching about supposed (and out-of-context) liberal questions on vaccination more than a little hypocritical.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:22 AM EST

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