MEDIA DISCRIMINATION FUELS VACCINE DEBATE
California’s Senate Bill 277 (SB277) mandatory vaccination bill was passed with a promise from author Sacramento Senator Richard Pan that citizens could still get an exemption from doctors in the state. Meanwhile, a behind-the-scenes witch-hunt was initiated in an attempt to neutralize California doctors who wrote vaccine exemptions. Despite Senate floor assurances during SB277’s hearings, the LA Times ran cover by continually attacking anti-vaxxers and producing articles like 2017’s Why Hasn’t California Cracked Down on Anti-Vaccine Doctors. The Boston Herald went further in the same year after a Minnesota community held an open forum to debate vaccines. The Herald said of the meeting, consisting of parents and a handful of speaks, that it “ought to be a hanging offense.”
Fast forward to present-day where a moderated debate was held in the CDC’s hometown of Atlanta. The viewers and participants were anticipating a real discussion beyond the name calling and limited bumper sticker talking points allowed by corporate media. After initially confirming, all those who agreed to defend the safety and science of vaccination cancelled turning the debate into five hours of fact-based presentations comprised using actual data, information and statements of US regulatory agencies, health institutes and vaccines manufacturers to make their arguments. No mention of the debate or the facts presented during the course of it appeared in the mainstream, corporate media.
The 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act put the US Health and Human Services (HHS) in charge of doing continued safety and quality monitoring of the vaccines comprising America’s increasing schedule. HHS was supposed to prepare and produce periodic reports describing what actions are being taken to fulfill their mandate. However, on June 27, 2018 the agency was forced to admit under legal pressure that after “conducing a thorough search” it “did not locate any records.” The majority of media so quick to discriminate against anti-vaxxers went silent on an important, factual story granting it near-zero coverage.
The base of everyday people comprising the multifaceted discussion around questioning vaccines is growing fast. Where is the other side? Is there even an organic, active pro-vaccine base of people? Are regular citizens taking to social media for years to extol the virtues of that one flu shot they received at their local pharmacy? Are regular citizens suddenly so passionate about industry-funded vaccine studies claiming to show safety that they are taking large parts of their days reading and posting the results with vigor online? Without the financial backing of special interests or the continued indoctrination of their career, what would drive a pro-vaccine base of regular people to actively take to social media in droves daily to defend a shot they received? Seemingly one such person goes by the name ZDoggMD online claiming the need to “promote science and promote more knowledge.” Recently, while “promoting more knowledge” ZDoggMD did a live-stream at UMC of Southern Nevada where he jokingly told a flu vaccine recipient they will be really good at math because they “will be fully autistic instead of just partially” after their flu shot. After receiving complaints, UMC CEO Mason VanHouweling issued a response stating he was unaware of the “tasteless jokes made during the live broadcast” and that his hospital “does not support jokes made at the expense of people with autism.”
The push-pull media demonization of those who pose questions about vaccines or the injuries and deaths they have caused has done little to move the needle on the legislative side of things. The vaccine industry ranks among lawmakers’ most generous patrons, yet in a 2018 Annual Report on US State Vaccine Legislation, the non-profit charity National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) reported that during this year’s legislative session, no state eliminated or restricted existing medical, religious and conscientious or philosophical exemptions for daycare or school attendance. During the 2018 legislative session, NVIC analyzed, tracked and issued positions on 143 vaccine related bills in 36 states through the NVIC advocacy portal. NVIC writes, “This is the third year in a row that state legislatures have rejected the efforts of vaccine industry lobbyists to persuade more state governments to do what California did in 2015 and eliminate the legal right of citizens to exercise freedom of thought, conscience and informed consent when making vaccine decisions for themselves and their children.”