Science reporter loses job over questionable grasp of science

A solid requirement for being a science reporter on television is a belief in some basic science.

Mish Michaels, a former Boston TV weatherperson (she referred to herself as the “station scientist”), has lost her job with the PBS affiliate in the city because she doesn’t believe in vaccinations, the Boston Globe reports.

“The decision was made that [Michaels] is not a good fit for ‘Greater Boston’ and she won’t be working there,” Jim Braude, host of WGBH’s “Greater Boston” tells the Globe. She was to report science stations stories for his program.

In 2011, she testified before the Massachusetts Legislature in favor of a bill to add parental choice to the list of reasons why some Massachusetts kids don’t have to be immunized as a requirement for attending school.

In her testimony before the Legislature, Michaels said her work as a “trained scientist and environmental reporter” had led her “to ask difficult scientific questions that often [took] me beyond scientific consensus.” She said she and her husband have a family member who “contracted leukemia after exposure to vaccines and pesticides,” and they have many “Ivy League-educated friends” who have autistic children.

“Up to that point, we believed what the media told us, that all vaccines were safe and effective,” Michaels said.

When she became pregnant in 2006, she told lawmakers, she began to “avidly research vaccine safety” and began to “present scientific research that was current and recent and new to news management [at WBZ-TV] and also began to present them with stories of vaccine-damaged children.” But Michaels said her bosses at the station were not interested.

“What I was told time and time again was that there is no story, that the science is settled, that there’s no reason to present stories of this nature on TV because simply these are fringe stories. This was not representing the masses,” she told lawmakers.

“To me, this was surprising because I thought the media was supposed to be the voice of the people, and clearly at that point, in my newsroom, it was not acting as the voice of the people,” she testified.

The testimony was cited in the 2014 book “The Big Autism Cover-Up: How and Why the Media Is Lying to the American Public.”

[Update: She tells the Globe she never said she doesn’t believe in vaccines.]

But Michaels was done in by technology — a YouTube video of her testimony that made its way around the cubicles at WGBH, the newspaper said. The video has since been removed.

The Globe says her website section on climate change said “I do feel strongly that politics has warped the scientific process and natural variation has a much stronger hand than humans do.”

It doesn’t say that anymore, however.

From the archive: Climate change and the TV meteorologist (NewsCut)

  • JamieHX

    I don’t understand this sentence. Is there a typo in here?

    “She was to report science stations for his program.”

  • MrE85

    WGBH made the right call.

  • Heb Ienek
    • Just give us the facts…. oh, …. Nevermind.

      • Heb Ienek

        Your link is broken.

        • which one?

          • Heb Ienek

            The ba dum chh link on “Nevermind”

  • Heb Ienek

    From the link (see, I clicked!)

    “Michaels, who was born in India, received a bachelor of science degree
    in meteorology from Cornell, and a master’s degree in technology in
    education from Harvard”

    Well, there you have it! She referred to herself as the “Station’s scientist”, and only sports a crappy BS in meteorology and a Graduate degree from Harvard.

    No PhD, see? She inflated her credentials….#FakeScientist

    They need to hire a real scientist, like Bill Nye.

    • Well if there’s one thing that makes you an expert on vaccinations it’s a meteorology degree.

      • Heb Ienek

        Right. And Bill Nye will tell you a BSME is the only proper education for climate scientists.

        Look. In all seriousness, I don’t know much about the vaccination deal. But her observation regarding anthropomorphic global warming (politics has warped the scientific process) is absolutely spot on, and factually provable.

        Do you know the story of Nikola Tesla, of what happened to him? He came up against Thomas Edison, a world renowned inventor and scientist, and one time friend, who absolutely ruined him. Not because Edison used the scientific method to prove him wrong (he was 100% correct), but because Edison had the notoriety celebrity to proclaim a consensus and an adoring but utterly ignorant public to back him up.

        Of course the fact that Edison had made huge investments in a competing technology had nothing to do with it.

        Every time I read, or hear someone declare a consensus, I think of Tesla. In science there is only one consensus, and that is we don’t know what we don’t know. Also, the left’s penchant for silencing dissent at all costs doesn’t give me much faith in WGB’s motives.

        • Well, then, it’s still possible we’re all actually living in a storage locker at Grand Central.

          • Heb Ienek

            It’s turtles all the way down, Bob.

        • A very minor nit but if Edison had notoriety, that would’ve been good for Tesla.

          • Heb Ienek

            You’re right. (blush)

            Let’s pretend I said celebrity.

        • Jim E

          Michaels views on global warming apparently had nothing to do with her getting bounced from her position.

          If you are unclear on how consensus works in science I suggest you read Thomas Kuhn’s _The Structure of Scientific Revolutions_.

          • // g apparently had nothing to do with her getting bounced from her position.

            Not sure how it’s apparent but it doesn’t matter. The vaccine testimony is what gave WGBH second thoughts.

          • Heb Ienek

            If I become interested in Thomas Kuhn’s philosophical observations regarding revolutionary science, I will be indebted to you for the lead. But I doubt anyone currently trying to silence honest questions with shouts of “consensus” have any idea about what paradigm shift means, or how it might apply.

            My doubt arising, of course, from the fact no one but yourself is raising it as an argument.

            It may well be that Michaels opinions regarding AGW didn’t weigh in her firing, but the Globe, and Bob, thought enough to bring them into the discussion, so I discussed it.

          • I thought it interesting because she scrubbed her website.

          • Heb Ienek

            It’s not uncommon for people to pull the covers over their heads after being involved in a controversy; it’s especially unsurprising in this case, given the vehemence of many AGW believers. 21st Century America, Bob. I’m not questioning your bringing it up, just explaining why I followed up on it.

        • Jay Sieling

          Tesla was hardly ruined by Edison. He sold his patents to Westinghouse for a million dollars, and today his designs for alternating current power grids are basically what we still use. The war over AC/DC was not always pretty – Edison financed the invention of the electric chair to try to show the dangers of Tesla’s Alternating Current. In the end, AC and Tesla won because the science was better – AC was a better way to deliver large amounts of power to cities. To Edison’s credit, DC is still vital, but we wouldn’t have gotten to our current grid system.

          • Heb Ienek

            Tesla died penniless. It’s true that Edison was not solely responsible, JP Morgan pulled the plug on him (see what I did there?) when he realized there was no money to be made from delivering electricity wirelessly.

            But there is no doubt that Edison’s campaign hurt him badly. In any case, it’s an unimportant anecdote to the thrust of my observation.

            Interesting side note. AC is, in fact not a better way to transmit power, but it is more practical. Power companies have continued to experiment with high voltage DC power systems because it is more efficient.

            In fact, Los Angeles Water and Power still maintains a 3MW DC power line called the Pacific DC Intertie. I once was able to visit Celio station, where it originates. The air blast breakers were nothing less than spectacular.

          • Jay T. Berken

            Tesla died penniless compared to Edison because Edison was more business oriented compared to Tesla. Tesla sold his patents to Westinghouse and consulted. Edison embedded himself in his company and GE. Edison based his life on making money with electric power and his sort patents reflect that. Tesla, although had mental issues, immersed himself in the theory of electric power. Tesla was a visionary of what actually worked best in electricity. Edison worked on the light bulb while Tesla worked on what powers the light bulb…the transformer and its system. AC/DC where known before the Tesla/Edison ‘debate’, but Edison went with DC which was the going trend and made money off it, while Tesla tinkered and theorized with AC. Both approaches very important, but big difference.

            Which brings to the post, Michaels is not Tesla. She isn’t even Edison. She is the establishment fighting to stall science. She is the person believing that gas lamps are more efficient and better than electricity.

          • Heb Ienek

            OK

          • Jay T. Berken

            Are you buying or am I?

          • Heb Ienek

            What you share in preface to your last paragraph is true, but lacks important details and completely skips the point of my original comment.

            I have studied Tesla’s life for years; I find him a fascinating man and I happen to use the fruits of his work every day in mine. The reason I used him as an allegory is that he was often mocked and ridiculed by people who knew he was right, for self-serving purposes.

            His foes enlisted the help of an unformed general public, who joined in the derision although 95% of them had no idea what the hell they were talking about. I see that as perfectly analogous to the AGW debate today. You may disagree, but that is my opinion.

            Your last paragraph addresses the point, but is your opinion.

          • Jay T. Berken

            The link you are drawing in your analogy is that Tesla and people that question AGW are your perceived victims. It has nothing to do with the science. Of course that is my opinion.

          • Heb Ienek

            It has nothing to do with the science.

            Bingo

          • Jay T. Berken

            So your whole diatribe is about hurt feelings!?

          • Heb Ienek

            OK

          • Jay T. Berken

            This sediment drives me crazy. Fine, trivialize Tesla v. Edison; without Tesla AC would have proceeded later in time. Fine, trivialize vaccinations, my child is vaccinated and would only effect me by higher healthcare costs to take care of people that don’t believe and hopefully won’t be in my child’s class. But I do take serious issue of you trivializing climate change because it effects everybody no matter creed or species. You are older than my 3 year old kid and of course have gone through most of life with “normal” climate, but my child is just beginning life, which does not have a say in it, will have to deal with the consequences of our actions or inaction. That makes it personal. My three year old deals with this bullshit, not you.

          • Heb Ienek

            Here is an example of why thoughtful people are not convinced that we are getting the straight scoop re: AGW

            Former NOAA Scientist Confirms Colleagues Manipulated Climate Records

            https://science.house.gov/news/press-releases/former-noaa-scientist-confirms-colleagues-manipulated-climate-records

          • Jay T. Berken

            Your joking, right! You are basing my child’s future on a congressional inquiry about a study “to discredit the notion of a global warming hiatus and rush to time the publication of the paper to influence national and international deliberations on climate policy.” This was nothing about the science of climate change being mostly human induced, but questioning the “playing fast and loose with the data in order to meet a politically predetermined conclusion”.

            Do you still believe that the earth is still flat? It is in the Library of Congress: http://www.loc.gov/rr/scitech/SciRefGuides/flatearth.html

          • Heb Ienek

            Yeah well, I said thoughtful people consider these things. Not everyone.

          • Jay T. Berken

            Still a junk release. It tells me nothing about climate change.

          • Heb Ienek

            Tells observant readers that climate change “science” is full of holes. Real scientists don’t rely on shenanigans and doctored data.

            You speak of flat Earth, as if believers don’t take AGW as a matter of faith. But they are every bit as fervent in defending their beliefs as fundamental Christians are in defending theirs. “We’re right, facts be damned”.

            If an issue cannot withstand critical review on it’s merits, I’ve always garnered doubts.

          • Jay T. Berken

            My question to you is, why do you care? What is your angle to first bring up AGW and then argue about it?

          • Heb Ienek

            It was brought up in the original post.

          • Jay T. Berken

            “Right. And Bill Nye will tell you a BSME is the only proper education for climate scientists.”

            Nye talks about it, but has he published any scientific papers on Climate Science? Has Gore published on Climate Science. Do they claim to be Climate Science experts? If not, then why do you care if they talk about Climate Change? What is your argument?

          • Heb Ienek

            https://www.amazon.com/Bill-Nye-Global-Climate-Change/dp/B007XOI01M

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dkR3TI6xyzU

            https://www.algore.com/news/al-gore-apha-climate-reality-harvard-global-health-institute-and-others-to-fill-gap-left-by-canceled-cdc-climate-health-meeting

            Gore and Nye are a couple of shysters and yes, they are presenting themselves as experts…listen to Nye. Both are using AGW pseudo-science to make a buck. Nothing odd about that, but I’m not buying.

            My argument is simple. Climate is changing. Climate has always changed. Climate will continue to change. Is human activity accelerating change? Maybe, but there is no definitive proof.

            And if it turns out AGW is a thing, no one has any idea if that a good thing, or bad. Will longer growing seasons help feed the world? Will warmer winters result in less energy being burned? Who knows? we’ve got Polar Bears balancing themselves on melting icebergs!!

            In the absence of proof, we have people like Nye, Gore, and a host of others making or supplementing their incomes out of thin air.

          • Jay T. Berken

            So what. They can’t talk about Climate Change. Its there First Amendment right. They are not the source of the data, just regurgitating it. You must hate TED talks. How about science books written by none scientists!? I wrote papers in college about a number of different items which I didn’t come up with the original data, are you going to come after me in some post crying that I’m “presenting themselves as experts”.

            What is your point? Why do you disregard all the Climatologists that studied and published studies showing climate change is mostly human induced? What is your agenda?

          • Heb Ienek

            My agenda is the truth. We don’t have it. Not likely to get it anytime in the near future.

          • Jay T. Berken

            More like “truth”.

          • Jay T. Berken

            From Wikipeadia under An Inconvenient Truth:

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/An_Inconvenient_Truth

            Scientific basis[edit]
            A graph shows carbon dioxide concentrations steadily increasing in the atmosphere, from about 315 ppm in 1958 to about 395 ppm in 2013.
            Gore presents the Keeling curve, which shows a pattern of steadily increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere since 1958
            The film’s thesis is that global warming is real, potentially catastrophic, and human-caused. Gore presents specific data that supports the thesis, including:

            The Keeling curve, measuring CO2 from the Mauna Loa Observatory.
            The retreat of numerous glaciers is shown in before-and-after photographs.
            A study by researchers at the Physics Institute at the University of Bern and the European Project for Ice Coring in Antarctica (EPICA) presenting data from Antarctic ice cores showing carbon dioxide concentrations higher than at any time during the past 650,000 years.[35]
            Instrumental temperature record showing that the ten hottest years ever measured in this atmospheric record had all occurred in the previous fourteen years.
            A 2004 survey, by Naomi Oreskes of 928 peer-reviewed scientific articles on global climate change published between 1993 and 2003. The survey, published as an editorial in the journal Science, found that every article either supported the human-caused global warming consensus or did not comment on it.[36] Gore also presented a 2004 study by Max and Jules Boykoff showing 53% of articles that appeared in major US newspapers over a fourteen-year period gave roughly equal attention to scientists who expressed views that global warming was caused by humans as they did to global warming “skeptics” (many of them funded by carbon-based industry interests), creating a false balance.[37]
            The Associated Press contacted more than 100 climate researchers and questioned them about the film’s veracity. All 19 climate scientists who had seen the movie or had read the homonymous book said that Gore accurately conveyed the science, with few errors.[38]

            William H. Schlesinger, dean of the Nicholas School of Environment and Earth Sciences at Duke University said “[Gore] got all the important material and got it right.” Robert Corell, chairman of the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment was also impressed. “I sat there and I’m amazed at how thorough and accurate. After the presentation I said, ‘Al, I’m absolutely blown away. There’s a lot of details you could get wrong.’…I could find no error.”[38] Michael Shermer, scientific author and founder of The Skeptics Society, wrote in Scientific American that Gore’s slide show “shocked me out of my doubting stance.”[39] Eric Steig, a climate scientist writing on RealClimate, lauded the film’s science as “remarkably up to date, with reference to some of the very latest research.”[40] Ted Scambos, lead scientist from the National Snow and Ice Data Center, said the film “does an excellent job of outlining the science behind global warming and the challenges society faces in the coming century because of it.”[41]

            One concern among scientists in the film was the connection between hurricanes and global warming, which remains contentious in the science community. Gore cited five recent scientific studies to support his view.[38] “I thought the use of imagery from Hurricane Katrina was inappropriate and unnecessary in this regard, as there are plenty of disturbing impacts associated with global warming for which there is much greater scientific consensus,” said Brian Soden, professor of meteorology and oceanography at the University of Miami.[38] Gavin Schmidt, climate modeler for NASA, thought Gore appropriately addressed the issue.[42] “Gore talked about 2005 and 2004 being very strong seasons, and if you weren’t paying attention, you could be left with the impression that there was a direct cause and effect, but he was very careful to not say there’s a direct correlation,” Schmidt said.[42] “There is a difference between saying ‘we are confident that they will increase’ and ‘we are confident that they have increased due to this effect,'” added Steig. “Never in the movie does he say: ‘This particular event is caused by global warming.'”[42]

            EPICA and Vostok ice cores display the relationship between temperature and level of CO2 for the last 650,000 years
            Gore’s use of long ice core records of CO2 and temperature (from oxygen isotope measurements) in Antarctic ice cores to illustrate the correlation between the two drew some scrutiny; Schmidt, Steig and Michael E. Mann back up Gore’s data. “Gore stated that the greenhouse gas levels and temperature changes over ice age signals had a complex relationship but that they ‘fit’. Both of these statements are true,” said Schmidt and Mann.[43] “The complexity though is actually quite fascinating…a full understanding of why CO2 changes in precisely the pattern that it does during ice ages is elusive, but among the most plausible explanations is that increased received solar radiation in the southern hemisphere due to changes in Earth’s orbital geometry warms the southern ocean, releasing CO2 into the atmosphere, which then leads to further warming through an enhanced greenhouse effect. Gore’s terse explanation of course does not mention such complexities, but the crux of his point–that the observed long-term relationship between CO2 and temperature in Antarctica supports our understanding of the warming impact of increased CO2 concentrations–is correct. Moreover, our knowledge of why CO2 is changing now (fossil fuel burning) is solid. We also know that CO2 is a greenhouse gas, and that the carbon cycle feedback is positive (increasing temperatures lead to increasing CO2 and CH4), implying that future changes in CO2 will be larger than we might anticipate.”[43] “Gore is careful not to state what the temperature/CO2 scaling is,” said Steig. “He is making a qualitative point, which is entirely accurate. The fact is that it would be difficult or impossible to explain past changes in temperature during the ice age cycles without CO2 changes. In that sense, the ice core CO2-temperature correlation remains an appropriate demonstration of the influence of CO2 on climate.”[40]

            Steig disputed Gore’s statement that you can visibly see the effect that the United States Clean Air Act has had on ice cores in Antarctica. “One can neither see, nor even detect using sensitive chemical methods any evidence in Antarctica of the Clean Air Act,” he said, but did note that they are “clearly recorded in ice core records from Greenland.”[44] Despite these flaws, Steig said that the film got the fundamental science right and the minor factual errors did not undermine the main message of the film,[44] adding “An Inconvenient Truth rests on a solid scientific foundation.”[44]

            Lonnie Thompson, Earth Science professor at Ohio State University, whose work on retreating glaciers was featured in the film, was pleased with how his research was presented. “It’s so hard given the breadth of this topic to be factually correct, and make sure you don’t lose your audience,” Thompson said. “As scientists, we publish our papers in Science and Nature, but very few people read those. Here’s another way to get this message out. To me, it’s an excellent overview for an introductory class at a university. What are the issues and what are the possible consequences of not doing anything about those changes? To me, it has tremendous value. It will reach people that scientists will never reach.”[42]

            John Nielsen-Gammon from Texas A&M University said the “main scientific argument presented in the movie is for the most part consistent with the weight of scientific evidence, but with some of the main points needing updating, correction, or qualification.”[45] Nielsen-Gammon thought the film neglected information gained from computer models, and instead relied entirely on past and current observational evidence, “perhaps because such information would be difficult for a lay audience to grasp, believe, or connect with emotionally.”[45]

            Steven Quiring, climatologist from Texas A&M University added that “whether scientists like it or not, An Inconvenient Truth has had a much greater impact on public opinion and public awareness of global climate change than any scientific paper or report.”[46]

          • Heb Ienek

            You are citing Wikipedia, which is acknowledged to be an excellent stopping point for any discussion, but never so much as with a contentious issue. Let’s move on.

          • Jay T. Berken

            Wikipedia page with citations of studies on Climate Change which the An Inconvenient Truth movie is based on which you lambasted Al Gore of “presenting themselves as experts”

          • Heb Ienek

            And as I’ve shown, those studies have been manipulated, time and again. We’ve come full circle.

          • Jay T. Berken

            You did not cite anything except for a Congress release that someone from NOAA said that a report was fast tracked. Where are your other citations? What says they are manipulated? Was the raw data manipulated? Please expand on your talking points.

          • If only there was evidence of a warming planet.

          • Jay T. Berken

            If only…in the mean time, I’m going swimming in Lake Nokomis this weekend, and it is not considered a polar plunge.

          • AutismDadd

            What has made polar ice melt?

          • Jay T. Berken

            Since you are well verse on Tesla, i do not have to remind you that Tesla studied as a Civil Engineer and not an Electrical Engineer which then puts you in arguing with yourself that one can not be taken seriously if they did not study in that field such as Nye and Gore. What you argue then is that Tesla’s working body should not be used because he is not an electrical engineer. We should keep finding the “truth” then about AC power.

            Nye and Gore still use others studies to claim Climate Change is mostly human induces.

          • John

            what, exactly, does Tesla dying penniless have to do with the validity of his science?

            What does Edison hurting him (professionally) have to do with the validity of his science?

            The fact remains that, in the end (at least for now) the AC vs. DC question was settled in favor of Tesla’s system. The science won. Tesla won. Small comfort to his decayed corpse, but I digress.

            Ultimately, science will win in the vaccine and climate change arenas as well. Of course, if the current theories hold true, and we ignore them, we may not be around as a species to know that the hypothesis was correct. Cold comfort indeed.

          • Heb Ienek

            There is an answer for all of your questions in the preceding thread.

          • Jack Ungerleider

            If you are going to invoke history make sure your context is correct. At the time of the battle between Westinghouse and Edison AC wins because there is no convenient way to transmit DC over long distances with out significant power loss. Its why Edison never was successful beyond the Pearl Street Station (and the success of Pearl Street can be debated). Eventually GE licenses the Tesla patents and joins the AC crowd.

            The ironic twist in all this something I look at as “Edison’s Revenge” is the growth of decentralized power, some of it DC when generated (Solar cells) that gets converted to the AC to feed the large scale main grid. (Included in this but further off topic is the rise of the electric car.)

            Also as long as we’re talking Tesla he is the real life model for many cinema “mad” scientists.

          • Heb Ienek

            The issue with DC power transmission wasn’t power loss, the issue at that time was there was no method to boost and control
            DC voltage at the load. Tesla had invented the AC transformer, which solved the problem.

            I do this stuff for a very comfortable living.

        • Rob

          Tesla did indeed get hosed big-time, but what has that got to do with the fact that humans play a bigger role in climate change than natural variation does?

          • Heb Ienek

            It’s an allegory intended to illustrate how ignorance and peer pressure can lead people with no knowledge of the subject, to declare a thing relevant to the subject a fact, in the absence of incontrovertible scientific proof.

            Edison used the electric chair to “prove” to uneducated lay people that AC was more lethal than DC (it’s not; both will kill you); Al Gore has wet Polar Bear on melting ice burg memes.

      • AutismDadd

        If you had to define what a vaccine expert is, what would you look for?

    • AutismDadd

      But the station hired her to be their Puppet didn’t they? They just didn’t like her act.

  • Will

    I have a friend who is a doctor and is very sure that some vaccines are dangerous. I question his logic but he holds up a single flawed study, he wants to believe it so he has refused to listen to any other data. He is also anti GMO, which I think is a linked mentality, it stems from the idea that natural is good and man-made is bad. Intervention is seen as bad because if something does go wrong you are to blame. Faulty logic but it is far too common today.

    • Al

      Once again, proof that not all doctors understand public health research.

      • Will

        A lot of people don’t understand statistics, even doctors.

        Freakonomics did a great 3 part series on Bad Medicine http://freakonomics.com/podcast/bad-medicine-part-1-story-98-6/

        • Al

          My favorite health-news helper: http://www.healthnewsreview.org/

        • rosswilliams

          This is a great story about the thermometer. Its also complete nonsense based on the notion that doctors never noticed that there was a variation in people’s temperatures. Its essentially the media debunking its own media created urban myth.

          • Media is a plural.

          • rosswilliams

            Isn’t that Media ARE plural then.

          • The use of media as a plural is a strategy to help create the illusion that the “it” is part of a conspiracy and a collective, which, of course it is. There’s no way the media and correct its own myths, for example, unless the organization doing it is the one making the correction. In your example, Freakonomics is not doing that.

          • rosswilliams

            Lets be clear, the idea the media needs some kind of “conspiracy” to create common sets of “known” facts and common narratives is ridiculous.

            “In your example, Freakonomics is not doing that.”

            Of course it is. They set up a straw man and knocked it down. You can argue they didn’t invent the straw man, but they don’t have much of a story without it, so they repeated it.

            I don’t think you can find a single doctor or nurse who relies on “normal” temperature to make any decision. Given that, the story is as interesting as discovering “Washington didn’t really chop down a cherry tree.”

          • Jay T. Berken

            So the media is the straw man argument in your post?

          • rosswilliams

            What makes it a straw man? Are you saying Freakonomics isn’t part of modern media?

      • AutismDadd

        Do any?

    • Heb Ienek

      I’m not disputing the study you reference is flawed, I can’t because you didn’t provide a source, but how is it you know it’s flawed? What warrants your logical argument against his? Are you an MD or a researcher?

      • Will

        I’m no expert on that topic, just an engineer that is constantly listening to all news outlets, all media and I form my ideas around what I hear. I have offered to have a full debate on the topic and we could bring our evidence to discuss this issue but he never took me up on the debate. This forum makes it difficult to have a full debate, just typing on my phone right now.

        • rosswilliams

          “I’m no expert on that topic, just an engineer that is constantly listening to all news outlets, all media and I form my ideas around what I hear. ”

          “If you don’t read a newspaper you are uninformed, if you DO read a newspaper you are MISinformed.”

          Mark Twain, former newspaper editor

          The media is in the business of creating interesting stories that attract an audience, not informing it. Mostly they channel easily available propaganda created by various “sources”. Whatever conclusions you draw from that propaganda ought to be highly preliminary and tentative because they often will fit another adage, “garbage in, garbage out.”

          • Jay T. Berken

            “The media is in the business of creating interesting stories that attract an audience, not informing it.”

            I agree with your first assertions, but the ending comment is very ill advised and dangerous. Bob can correct me, but I see the media as mediators, or translators, between the facts and the people whom are the experts/specialist on the facts in their giving practice and us, the public or non-experts. The media, in true practice, may misinterpret, be short on the facts and be biased, but they are not the experts on what they are publishing. The media interprets to what is presented to them in a forum that is interesting to the listener. That is what comments like yours need to reflect on.

          • I don’t even bother “correcting” on that particular point anymore. People who’ve never spent a minute in a newsroom pretending to have expertise on the subject aren’t the sort of thing I can spend a lot of time on in my declining years left.

            They’ve got Google, time on their hands, and a set of beliefs. I can’t compete with that just using reality .

          • Jay T. Berken

            I toured MPR, aka NewsCut World Headquarters. Does that count!? Otherwise I got nothing.

          • rosswilliams

            I grew up in a news room and read 4 newspapers every day when I was a kid. My father was a reporter. But its an interesting notion that someone who reads the paper can’t actually evaluate the content and should just trust what they read.

            Today, my local Duluth newspaper had a Reuters story about Trumps conversation with Putin. It was sourced by “two US officials and on former official with knowledge of the call..” Now attach names to people who would have had to have been on the call to be a source for what was actually said.

            Now imagine the names are Steve Bannon, Michael Flynn and someone they made “familiar” with the conversation. Of course we have no idea who those people were, but those two would fit the description provided as well as anyone. But would you necessarily believe their account? No? Would a reporters refuse to publish a story based on their account? No. But he would probably share their interest in not identifying them, A story about what Trump said is a whole lot more interesting than a story about what his staff claim he said.

          • FallsAngel

            The interpretation is only as good as the interpreter, though. I hate it when general assignment reporters report on vaccines. They almost always get something wrong. Little mistakes I don’t mind, like being off a bit on what age a vaccine is recommended. But sometimes there are some real whoppers that get passed on, and they become “urban legend”. All this garbage about the vaccine court and how much they pay out (with no mention out of how many doses of vaccine given) is extremely misleading, to give one example.

        • Heb Ienek

          So, it might be more accurate to say the study appears to be flawed to you, rather than it is definitively flawed.

          Does your doctor friend ever want to argue Thevenin’s theorem with you after a couple of scotch & waters? 😉

    • rosswilliams

      Will –

      “I have a friend who is a doctor and is very sure that some vaccines are dangerous. ”

      If you add, “to some people,” he is almost certainly correct. It is not that there is NO danger from vaccines, but that the benefits far outweigh those dangers.

      Part of the issue is that vaccines are a PUBLIC health measure, designed to protect everyone, including people who aren’t vaccinated or whose vaccinations don’t take. Your kid isn’t vaccinated, goes to school with the chickenpox and some adult ends up blind from exposure.

      • forvaccinesafety

        some physicians choose not to vaccinate their families.

        • FallsAngel

          Not very many. Do a search through my posts, Grace, or is it Cara? You’ll find a study that shows that 96% of docs vaccinate their own kids according to schedule. I believe the number is higher for pediatricians.

          • AutismDadd

            A bogus study of course.

      • AutismDadd

        Ask those families who unfortunately win at vaccine roulette how that feels. In their cases there was little benefit.

        • Ken S., As Seen On Watch Lists

          “Unfortunately win?” 🤔

    • jon

      There is a war on experts.

      We won’t listen to climate scientist because we know better.
      Won’t listen to medical researcher because we know that distilled water that once touched something will fix or health problems.
      We won’t listen to people who do math, we know better.
      Instead we make up facts that fit our life style and run with it.

      Heck we are getting to a point where Christians won’t listen to the Bible or biblical scholars, even straight up red letter portions of the Bible, because they know better.

      When you claim more infallible than your own deity something has gone horrible amiss with you psychi… But a good chunk of the country is headed that way…

      Experts, what do they know that I can’t make up something that I think is more true about.

  • Marianne

    I thought you folks believed a woman should have control over her own body.

    Furthermore, no true science considers itself “settled.” Science is always questioning, seeking better answers.

    • kevins

      Ok I’ll bite…who is “you folks”?

      • No.

        • kevins

          ?.

          • That’s bait. See Saturday’s post.

          • kevins

            I saw the post, but is it not reasonable to ask for clarification?

          • A woman’s right to control her body is irrelevant to the conversation. It’s bait.

    • Journalists Don’t testify before Legislatures and then join a TV station to report on the subject.

      If you want to testify, fine. But you shouldn’t work in a newsroom

      • forvaccinesafety

        TV reporters are not entitled to the rights of citizens?

        • The government was not involved in the hiring/firing of the reporter. News organizations are under no constitutional obligations here.

          • forvaccinesafety

            So anyone aspiring to a future journalism position should refuse to participate in democracy?
            You seem to be applauding indoctrination over dialogue.

          • That’s the way the business works, We, for example, aren’t allowed to participate in political caucuses.

            That’s the nature of the business. Nobody should go into journalism who doesn’t understand that.

          • forvaccinesafety

            It is the nature of business to succumb to market pressures, especially from pharma.
            But journalism doesn’t exist only for business.
            Its okay to talk about Vioxx, but somehow we are not permitted to discuss the problems published quarterly in adjudicated settlements in Vaccine Court, settlements Ms Michaels referenced in her testimony, from the study of legal scholar Mary Holland.

          • No idea what that means. Journalism doesn’t exist for business. It exists to provide information with credibility, and credibility comes from not being involved nor having a conflict of interest in the subject being covered (See Hannity, Sean).

            This isn’t a hard concept.

          • forvaccinesafety

            Political reporting is always prone to bias.
            There is a broader issue here.
            The discussion of vaccine policy is being actively discouraged, as reporter Martha Rosenberg recently being censored by Huffington Post for her article on vaccine safety. Ms Michaels firing was not a singular event.

            Discussion of vaccine safety is being suppressed.

          • She was a “science” reporter. Not a political reporter.

          • forvaccinesafety

            You made the inferences to political reporting.
            I was trying to bring the focus of the discussion back to censorship of dialogue on vaccine safety.

          • I was responding to your assertion that reporters aren’t allowed to participate in democracy.

            Sometimes, no, they’re not. People who find that to be a problem should find another line of work.

          • forvaccinesafety

            Your perception of the issue of vaccine safety as a single entity, for or against, is problematic, as was Ms Michaels firing.
            Unanswered Questions, as Ms Michaels referenced from the Pace Environmental Law Review, discussed actual cases from the vaccine court.

          • AutismDadd

            You expect anyone to buy that? Our paper is the world’s largest sales flyer. If it wasn’t about profit it wouldn’t be.

          • FallsAngel

            Snort! As I just said: http://disq.us/p/1g6m09d

          • AutismDadd

            I’ve seen stories masquerade as information stories and even a book review full of mainstream propaganda. Its sly but its no accident.

          • AutismDadd

            No political bias in the news? Har dee Har

          • AutismDadd

            Any idea who owned the News agency? I’ll throw one out, maybe its true. Fox News owned by Rupert Murdoch?

      • AutismDadd

        Brian Deer worked for the British Medical Journal and was paid to attend the Wakefield trial. The BMJ is owned and operated by the General Medical Council that charged Wakefield. Brian Deer was an accuser. The BMJ was at the time largely funded by MMR makers GlaxoSmithKline and Merck. So basically Deer worked for these MMR makers. James Murdoch surprisingly was appointed to GSK’S board of directors after the trial concluded. His knowledge and familiarity with Brian Deer is certainly interesting.

    • FallsAngel

      Do you think the earth is round? Do you believe in germ theory? Does gravity exist? Yes, science is always changing. But vaccine science is pretty darn settled. Vaccines have been around for 219 years now.

    • AutismDadd

      But not her brain. Informercials control that.

  • Anna

    Men who contract mumps have an increased risk for sterility because mumps doesn’t always stay in the parotid glands (spit glands) in the cheek. It can “drop”: to the testicles where sperm are produced.

    There was no measles/mumps/rubella, MMR, vaccine when I was growing up and I had all three as it spread among my five other brothers and sisters. My father also got mumps when it was going around the family.

    Measles can cause blindness and deafness in very young babies.

    If you would like to strangle to death, you can skip your diptheria/pertussis/tetanus DPT and catch diptheria, always a lovely experience or you can suffocate by catching tetanus and have your breathing muscles become paralyzed. How about a brain hemorrhage from the severe coughing from pertussis, otherwise known as whooping cough?

    And then there’s the infamous polio, that laid one of our greatest presidents low and confined him to a wheelchair. There are still adults out there confined to an iron lung because their ability to breathe on their own never returned.

    There are always a few patients that will have a rare, unforeseen reaction to a medication or vaccine but if we tried to eliminate every possible side effect there would be no preventive medicine or allergy treatments at all and our life expectancy would return to the pre-antibiotic, pre-vaccine, and pre-antihypertensive era.

    You and your doctor have to decide if the benefit outweighs the risk.

    What angers me is pharmaceutical companies who release a drug knowing it had problems in human trials and cover it up. Those are the guys you should be angry with. Why do you think the FDA comes out with black box warnings to physicians?

    Speed up the approval process as President Trump wants to do and you speed up the possibility of fatal side effects.

    ” A little learning is a dangerous thing.”—-Alexander Pope

    This is your brain on Google. Any questions?

    • Jens_disqussion

      People are getting mumps because the MMR does not work. Merck is in court for having falsified mumps efficacy data to keep their license and essentially their monopoly.

      Also, mumps in childhood is when you should get it. Then you have life long immunity. If you’re vaccinated you have to repeatedly take the vaccine with it’s accompanying risks or risk getting the disease when the vaccine wears off and you are in a more vulnerable age to complications.

      And the measles vaccine is disabling babies who are getting it at the age it appears to be most dangerous based on some CDC data (hid from the public, subject of Vaxxed documentary). If their mothers had life-long immunity (because had measles naturally rather than getting the vaccine) they would be protected until old enough to safely handle the disease.

      Doctors are taught very little about the downside of vaccination. In fact they often think they know things that aren’t true. So, the average parent today has to use Google and read the existing medical literature, but maybe there will be demand and impetus soon for medical students to get a thorough vaccine (and safer disease management) education.

      Some data in third world countries is seeing higher mortality in those given the DPT or (dtap maybe) than those who didn’t get it. What about here? The mortality of vaccination hasn’t been studied, but it appears that killed viral vaccines increase your risk to general infection while they are active in your system. Harm from DPT is the main reason liability was removed from manufacturers and doctors and the vaccine schedule tripled for infants. And the U.S. infant mortality ranking is worse than 30+ other developed nations. Maybe we should stop trying to provoke with poisons a partial immune response (often setting up individuals for life-long chronic immune mediated health problems) and look at boosting immune system supporting nutrition, clean water, etc.

      • Ken S., As Seen On Watch Lists

        Since when does Merck have a monopoly on MMR?

  • Gary F

    She committed a Thought Crime. Members of the Inner Party shall not commit thought crimes. Back to your five minutes of hate.

    • I get that’s intended to stir up the joint here, but to reach that conclusion, you have to ignore a lot of facts.

      Like this one: Journalists shouldn’t be testifying on issues before a Legislature, and then covering those issues.

      But: details.

      • Gary F

        And especially not that issue. No dissension allowed on that issue.

      • AutismDadd

        Excuse Me??? Brian Deer did just that.

    • Jack Ungerleider

      No “of” its just the Two Minutes Hate. 8^)

      • Gary F

        From what I’ve seen in the last few weeks, Trump is causing that number to go up. Palin and W only needed two minutes.

        • Jens_disqussion

          What about George Soros? Shouldn’t he get the credit he deserves?

  • forvaccinesafety

    There are very serious concerns about the vaccine safety program.

    The same agency is simultaneously responsible for both vaccine uptake and vaccine safety, thus, inherently conflicted.
    Vaccine safety is so problematic that this country passed the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act in 1986.

    It is long past time time to give vaccine safety proper and through scrutiny via the RFK commission.

  • FallsAngel

    Not if she smokes.

  • AutismDadd

    Big surprise she is attacked for her belief. Standard reaction ( Wakefield et al , Dr William Thompson) Censorship is at the heart of the cover up by Vaccine Proponents who rely on Medical Consensus to defend their horrible mistakes. 19 countries have Vaccine Injury Compensation Programs that were NOT set up by Jenny McCarthy, Andrew Wakefield or others who speak out. These programs were set up to pacify victims and their families so the dogma and status quo could continue unabated. But these programs are treating victims like criminals, denying their version of events because Vaccine Proponents demand to be the one and only form of information. They create this mess, create the agencies that handle it. Create narrow definitions with cut off points and if you don’t fall into a pigeon hole off you go.