By Stephen Ericson
Anyone following the drama surrounding the film Vaxxed: From Coverup to Catastrophe who was expecting things to finally be settling down, will just have to get used to being disappointed.
As anyone following the story has to know, the film was pulled from the Tribeca Film Festival only to find success in its opening weekend at the Angelica Film Center in NYC. Later the film was supposed to also be shown at Worldfest Houston International Film Festival, only to be pulled by none other than the Mayor of Houston himself. That a government official would partake in an unbridled act of censorship doesn’t seem to bother too many of the film’s critics in the media, and that in of itself should tell one a great deal about their “journalistic ethics.”
For a film that’s been attacked by a wide swath of media outlets as being based on mostly lies, one truism found on the films poster remains unquestionably intact; it’s “…the film they don’t want you to see.”
To wit: On April 5, The Village Voice sent out a promotional email “Vaxxed Gains 2nd Week at Angelika NYC” celebrating the underdog film’s success. Keep in mind that the Voice made no bones about the fact that the promotional email was just that– a paid advertisment. The ad contained a statement about the film: “In 2013, biologist Dr. Brian Hooker received a call from a Senior Scientist at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) who led the agency’s 2004 study on the MMR vaccine and its link to autism.”
You can read that for yourself over and over again, and it won’t change; it clearly says “the MMR vaccine,” not “vaccines.” There is nothing vague in the wording, nothing that says “all vaccines” or anything like that.
Later the same day, the Village Voice was so concerned with the veracity of the claims of the movie that they were compelled to send out a follow up email explaining their official position in regard to the controversial film:
Our Editor’s Note on the film VAXXED
We want to be very clear that the Voice vehemently disagrees with that position, and believes it to be contrary to the vast majority of scientific information on the subject. We believe vaccinations are an essential safeguard of the public health for New York City and the world in general.
Please forgive the interruption of your day and thanks for reading the Village Voice.
The Village Voice
One wonders if Will Bourne has bothered to not only watch the movie but to peruse the ad copy that appeared under his paper’s banner in the first place? If he had, one would think he would clearly have seen Dr. Wakefield stating sans reservation that he’s not against vaccinations and that he openly encourages parents to continue to vaccinate their children, and only advises that the MMR shot be returned to three separate shots. In the case of the ad copy that his paper promoted, it should have been perfectly clear that Dr. Thompson was reporting on the MMR vaccine and not vaccines in general. Of course that would have required some diligence on his behalf in the first place.
Well, readers of the Village Voice can relax in their fears that their news outlet of choice has been over run with “anti-vaxx” crackpots: They’ve pulled all ads related to the movie. It seems that accepting advertisement dollars from a film reporting the claims of a CDC whistleblower (we at The Truth Barrier patiently, perhaps naively, along with the rest of the civilized world, await congress to subpoena Dr. Thompson so that his testimony be properly recorded) is just one step over the ethical line for the paper who has been accused of profiting from child sex trafficking.
The controversy surrounding those accusations brewed up most noticeably circa 2012, when a Change.org petition was circulated by an Ohio minister named Justin Wassel, pleading with the Village Voice to stop the practice of child sex trafficking on their subsidiary Backpage.com. Even Norman Mailer’s son, (Mailer founded The Voice) joined the protest movement. Attorneys-General from 48 states wrote a joint letter to Backpage, warning that it had become “a hub” for sex trafficking and calling on it to stop running adult services ads. The Attorneys-General said they had identified cases in 22 different states of pimps peddling underage girls through Backpage. While both Backpage and Craigslist.org were accused of being complicit in criminal activity, only Craigslist decided to shutter their adult services section. When that happened, the US Backpage’s revenues jumped 15% the next month. Backpage, rather than responding to the accusations in any remotely humane way, decided to dig in their heels, leading to repeated protests outside their offices, and even celebrities joining the fight.
At one point the Village Voice not only attacked the statistics in the study that was cited in the petition (and actor Ashton Kutcher, noted feminist Gloria Steinem, the New York Times, Salon, Media Bistro, and USA Today among others in the process) they even went so far as to sue the State of Washington when it passed a bill that allows for the criminal prosecution of classified advertising company representatives who publish or cause publication of sex-related ads peddling children, despite the fact that Proof of a Good-Faith Attempt to verify the age of the advertised person is considered a defense under the law.
So, when it comes to their bottom line, the Village Voice will put forth the notion that the world is simply out to get them, and worse, is willing to stand by misleading statistics to do so! Yes, the poor Village Voice, raking in millions a year as a megaphone for pimps on Backpage.com (which is still a great place to find these sorts of services.) 48 states worth of Attorneys-General citing cases in 22 states involving child prostitution didn’t have enough clout to make them take the accusation seriously.
And yet when it came time to review Vaxxed, they said of Brian Hooker: “… attempting to use the CDC’s data “the way it should have been,” “…something it’s hard to imagine a person with no experience in pathology managing to accomplish.”
(It should be noted that Brian Hooker has a doctorate in biochemical engineering.)
If all of this seems duplicitous and self serving to you, consider that the Village Voice is now marching in lock step with the rest of the media that it claimed hadn’t done their homework when it was under attack, only a few short years ago. Such is the tragic condition of our 4th estate. It seems they are the last ones to “get the story.” The story about how done people are, with them.