Monday, December 24, 2007

Part three

Our third part of the investigation airs tonight. Tell us what you think. You can see it here.
http://www.komu.com/satellite/SatelliteRender/KOMU.com/ba8a4513-c0a8-2f11-0063-9bd94c70b769/0fcbcb66-80ce-0971-014a-e9d7f410a3e1

5 comments:

Kathleen Seidel said...

It is tremendously misleading to describe this series as "investigative journalism." Rather, it is an uncritical regurgitation of the causation arguments of 5,000+ petitioners in the Omnibus Autism Proceeding, and plaintiffs in numerous civil lawsuits. These petitioners and plaintiffs represent a minority of families affected by autism; they are families in which parents have become convinced that their children's disability is iatrogenic, and have chosen to pursue legal action. In the series, neither Ashley Reynolds nor her informants have disclosed to viewers the existence of this ongoing litigation, which includes demands for many millions of dollars in compensation. Has KOMU determined that its informants' legal claims do not create a potential conflict of interest?

For instance, KOMU has allocated an extraordinary amount of air time to broadcasting Linda Weinmaster's speculative assertion that thimerosal in RhoGAM and vaccines "poisoned" her son into becoming autistic, and her unsubstantiated allegations of fraud and misconduct by vaccine manufacturers and public health officials. Why has the station failed to disclose that Mr. and Mrs. Weinmaster's petition to the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (Case 1:02-vv-00920-UNJ) was dismissed in May 2004 due to their failure to establish that their son's condition was vaccine-related? Has KOMU obtained specific evidence of their child's purported vaccine injury above and beyond the evidence they submitted to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims? Shortly after their case was dismissed, Mr. and Mrs. Weinmaster filed an "Election to File Civil Action." This suggests that, having exhausted their administrative remedies, they intend to pursue further litigation in civil court. Has KOMU determined whether they have filed a civil action, or whether they intend to do so?

KOMU has also given a more-than-generous airing to the conspiratorial ramblings of Professor Boyd Haley. Why has the station failed to disclose that Professor Haley is an expert witness to plaintiffs in the Omnibus Autism Proceeding, and that his testimony has been rejected in at two recent Federal court cases? In Doe v. Ortho Clinical Diagnostics, Judge James Beaty concluded that it would constitute an "unacceptable scientific leap" to suggest that Dr. Haley's theories and beliefs could prove the claim that thimerosal in RhoGAM could cause autism. In Redfoot v. Ascher, Professor Haley was offered to support the absurd claim that thimerosal in saline nasal spray caused a child to become autistic, but failed to articulate his ideas in an expert report, and was therefore barred from testifying. Was KOMU aware of these cases prior to airing Haley's interviews, and has KOMU determined whether he is involved in any other vaccine- or mercury-related litigation?

Kathleen Seidel said...

One more question: Ashley, would you be willing to disclose the list of questions that you sent to the CDC, the names of any individuals who may have helped you to draft it, and any other sources from which your questions may have been derived? And would you will be willing to share the actual text of the CDC's response? It would go a long way towards establishing whether their response was adequate and reasonable, or significantly different from what they might send to any other citizen who asked similar questions.

KOMUAReynolds said...

Kathleen,
Yes...we are short staff due to Christmas but I plan to post them on the web ASAP....my questions and the email they sent me.

EFFIIIMD said...

Prospective protocol comparisons for rates of autiommune disease, speech delays/autism scare the crap out of everyone who keeps repeating the mantra that vaccines are 100% safe. SPOOKY SMART

ANB said...

One more question: Ashley, would you be willing to disclose the list of questions that you sent to the CDC, the names of any individuals who may have helped you to draft it, and any other sources from which your questions may have been derived? And would you will be willing to share the actual text of the CDC's response? It would go a long way towards establishing whether their response was adequate and reasonable, or significantly different from what they might send to any other citizen who asked similar questions.

Have you posted the questions yet?