by Brett Smith
A memo did the rounds a few weeks back at News Ltd. Ease up on the ‘antivaxxers’. News Ltd. was getting nervous about the pro Bad Pharma, pro vaccine campaign they had been running in tandem with the US Government since the bogus Disneyland measles scare campaign back in 2013. Mission accomplished guys (sorry I mean girls, only poor old Claire Harvey and Jane Hansen had signed on for the mission, no real journalists required), let’s focus our attacks now on the Food Babe or Paleo Pete, acupuncturists and homeopaths, then we’ll move on to the herbalists and naturopaths.
At first I didn’t take much notice, you hear plenty of rumours in these increasingly paranoid days, but then along came The Age. Surely must be Fairfax’s turn to shoulder this urgent & heavy load. Talk about making up for lost time.
DEC 10, 2015
Headline almost says it all in regards to attitude and bias. It’s the meaty story however that catches the attention.
“One in four of the children who attend a Brunswick school that calls for tolerance for vaccine dodgers has contracted chickenpox.”
Jesus Wept!! One in four! Horrifying! But wait, hang on, a few sentences later,
“The Department of Health was first notified about the chickenpox cases on November 26.
“There are no firm figures on the number of students who have contracted the illness since then, but we’ve been advised that over the period there has been an absentee rate of about 25 per cent on any given day,” a department spokesman said.”
Oh, so you have no idea how many have chicken pox? Some parents may even be keeping their children home so as not to have any chance of contracting chicken pox maybe? Early holidays? A cold? No idea?
“Given the time of year, there are a number of other reasons which would lead to a higher than usual absentee rate.”
Oh, maybe the only piece of real journalism in the ‘story’? So there could be other reasons? So maybe 1 in 4 don’t have chickenpox?
Then it’s the poor old Principal’s time for a bit of name and shame with the vague hint that the “school” had previously asked for tolerance of those with “differing opinions on immunisation.” Guess this is how we came up with the “vaccine dodgers” headline?
What unbalanced pro vaccine story could you publish without a quote from the inept Victorian Health Minister Jill Hennessy.
“We’re significantly concerned about the myth makers who go out encouraging people not to immunise their children,” Ms Hennessy said.
“Get your advice from a doctor, not from some quack who’s opposed to vaccination based on dodgy science.”