Cathy Newman

From Anne May Close: My reply to Channel 4 Dispatches reply to my complaint
re last night's programme...sorry it's long!

Dear Aaron,

Thank you for your standard reply regarding my complaint. However, I totally refute that this documentary adhered to Section 5.4 of the OFCOM Code as it was neither fair nor balanced as should be the duty of an impartial broadcaster.

On further investigation I can see that the section you refer to in the OFCOM Code (news) is section 5.4 rather than section 3.4 as you quoted me. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

I would like to further point out the following observations from watching the documentary: 'Trump, The Doctor & The Vaccine Scandal' and would be grateful if you or your team would answer my questions below to clarify the matter.

1. Can you please tell me in what way Dispatches considers below to be an 'impartial and balanced' view ?

Firstly, the programme title was inflammatory and intended to suggest ridicule: 'Trump, The Doctor & The Vaccine Scandal'.

Secondly, the language used by Cathy Newman, including the manner of her reporting was, in my opinion, derogatory, aggressive and completely biased against Dr Andrew Wakefield in particular her links between him and Trump.

Opening comments deliberately set bias in the minds of the viewers regarding Trump: "Blunt, Brash & preaching bogus science" and then on to Wakefield: "The disgraced Dr Wakefield" including: "peddling discredited theories", "spouting alarmist theories" "re-invented himself", " Still inspiring devout support" and "no matter how wacky he sounds". Plus frequent references and links to 'conspiracy theories'. This ridicule continued throughout the programme.

2. I have personally read published research papers showing the link between inflammatory bowel disease and autism. They corroborate the link that Dr Wakefield and his researchers found in 1999. Dr Wakefield did not blame the MMR vaccine for this, at the time of their research findings, along with Professor John Walker-Smith, said that their research team needed to investigate this further. Furthermore, it was the Dept of Health, not Dr Wakefield, who created the measles scare by withdrawing single vaccines from the NHS thereby creating panic among parents. Yet Cathy Newman stated the opposite which was untrue.
As an interested member of the public, I can easily access these papers and so I have to assume Cathy Newman would have come across them in her 3 months of investigative journalism for this programme. If so, why were they not mentioned and why were the authors of these papers not interviewed? 

3. Can you please give me references to the '17 major studies' that Cathy Newman claims to have read? 

Below I copy you 2 such published papers and am happy to forward your research team many more research papers should they require them for future reference.

4. Dr Robert Kennedy Jr is one of the US's most prominent environmental lawyers. He was named by Time magazine as one of the 'heroes of the planet'. Why did the programme not recognise this?

5. Why did the programme complain about Dr Wakefield's earnings in his non-profit, the Strategic Autism Initiative, yet failed to mention Dr Offit's earnings from the vaccine industry which are exponentially larger with a massive conflict of interest?

6. What are the lethal diseases CN mentions in the documentary? What illnesses are lethal and from where did she source this information?

7. In what way were the protagonists given an opportunity to respond to the allegations made against them?

8. The programme claimed that the HPV vaccine was one of the safest. Why was that claim made when data secured by the UK's Independent newspaper from the UK's medicine's regulator, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), under a freedom of information request, suggests that it has by far the highest rate of recorded adverse effects, including young girls being paralysed and premature ovarian failure?

9. Does Channel 4 receive funding/advertising from the pharmaceutical industry? If yes, how much?

I would suggest that in order for Channel 4 Dispatches to stay within the OFCOM Code guidelines in 'giving the main differing views their due weight', they will be bringing out a follow up to this documentary. I would expect this to include the following:

Interview the many parents of vaccine injured children suffering from autism who have exactly the same story as the one that Cathy Newman mocked Trump for, i.e. "A beautiful child went to have the vaccines and a week later got a tremendous fever, got very, very sick and now is autistic", 
interview the authors of the above research papers who reached the same conclusion as Dr Wakefield, 
investigate the meaning of informed consent for parents prior to vaccination, investigate the Yellow Card reporting system, the MHRA and the vaccine damages payments, 
investigate why American children have the highest vaccination rates and look at the chronic ill health of its children, 
investigate why the USA has the highest first-day infant mortality in the industrialized world, 
investigate why babies in the USA (and from this year the UK from 2 months of age) are given Hepatitis B vaccine on first day of birth when all pregnant women are screened for Hep B during pregnancy, while you're there also ask why babies would require this vaccine at birth assuming they haven't had sex nor have they needle shared drugs, 
investigate why the Dept of Health refuses to do a comparison study between vaccinated and unvaccinated children, (there are plenty of unvaccinated children within the community to be able to compare, so no need to 'deprive' a group of children of vaccines as they suggest is preventing such a study), 
investigate why vaccine manufacturers need indemnity from liability, 
investigate the sky rocketing numbers of new (untested) vaccines that have been added to the children's vaccine schedule following this indemnity, 
investigate why the Vaccine Injuries Compensation Board paid out $3.6 billion ( this is the tip of the iceberg as parents have to jump through legal loops to be considered for this) 
investigate robustly the whistle blower from the CDC, senior scientist, Dr Thomson, who conducted the CDC study that proved the MMR causes autism but who was told to manipulate the data to 'settle the science forever that vaccines do not cause autism', who asked Congress to subpoena him and is still waiting for them to do so, 
investigate the group of anonymous researchers within the CDC calling themselves SPIDER (Scientists Preserving Integrity, Diligence and Ethics in Research) who have written to the CDC's chief of staff, I quote them here for you "“We are a group of scientists at CDC that are very concerned about the current state of ethics at our agency. It appears that our mission is being influenced and shaped by outside parties and rogue interests. It seems that our mission and Congressional intent for our agency is being circumvented by some of our leaders. What concerns us most, is that it is becoming the norm and not the rare exception.” 
investigate the financial links between Merck and Prof Paul Offit who was interviewed by Cathy Newman and spoke up for the safety of vaccines, Offit holds the patent for the vaccine Rotateq, he also is chief advisor to paediatricians in the USA on vaccine safety, despite his very strong financial links to the industry and his conflict of interest, Offit also suggested it was perfectly safe for babies to recieve 10,000 vaccines in one shot, (healthy for his bank account I'd suggest), 
investigate the scientist who dispelled the link between vaccines and autism for the CDC, he's a fugitive, on the run from the FBI as we speak, a link below should help your investigative team, 
investigate the ingredients that are contained within vaccines including thimerosal , aluminium, (both of which are neurotoxic and accumulate rather than leave the body of a baby, according to the WHO a baby should receive no more than 34.5 mcg of aluminium when in one single Dtap vaccine there can be between 170mcg and 625mcg of aluminium) formaldehyde, polysorbate 80, aborted foetal cells, monkey kidney cells, pig virus, bovine extract, please also investigate if this concoction, being injected into the blood stream of young children in ever increasing doses is creating robust health in our children or chronic ill health, poor immune function and neurological developmental damage.
investigate the safety of pregnant women being vaccinated with no safety studies ever carried out on the effects on the unborn child.

I suggest Channel 4 be brave and stand up and do the job you were trained to do. INVESTIGATE with IMPARTIALITY.

Again, I could continue with above suggestions but I suspect there should be sufficient to keep you going for a follow up programme to redress the imbalance of the one you have shown. Should Channel 4 Dispatches have no intention of doing so, you leave me no option but to take my complaint directly to the broadcast regulator Ofcom.

Please find some links below which I trust will better inform your research team.

In the meantime if I can furnish your researchers with any more information please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours sincerely,

Anne Close