Wednesday, March 18, 2009

NYT Bias

Here was my response to Mr. McNeil – he used Age of Autism as his source but did not quote or credit us, in his effort to discredit JB Handley. The bias in the Times is non-stop. We’ve covered the Somali question extensively at Age of Autism. David Kirby went to Minneapolis to meet with families – their children are falling to autism at an alarming rate. These are kids of educated people – not poor immigrants. They deserve better than a “fluke” write off.

Good morning, Mr. McNeil. In your article on the Somali autism spike, you mention an anti-vaccine conference. I believe you were referring to Autism One. Here is the agenda for the conference, which covers everything from education, to legal issues, to adult care options to treatment. You tarred a valuable learning opportunity with a very narrow brush. Perhaps you can attend Autism One in Chicago, meet the parents and providers and realize we are not anti-vaccine zealots, any more than parents in MADD are in favor of alcohol prohibition.

Yours,

Kim Stagliano, Managing Editor of Age of Autism, the site from which you took JB’s information and mother of 3 girls with autism. Mia, Gianna and Bella. They are human beings. Not statistics, sir.

From www.autismone.org. (The Entire Agenda followed.) Here's a bit of the Times article. I won't link them. Not giving them the clicks.

March 17, 2009An Outbreak of Autism, or a Statistical Fluke? By DONALD G. McNEIL Jr.MINNEAPOLIS — Ayub Abdi is a cute 5-year-old with a smile that might be called shy if not for the empty look in his eyes. He does not speak. When he was 2, he could say “Dad,” “Mom,” “give me” and “need water,” but he has lost all that. He does scream and spit, and he moans a loud “Unnnnh! Unnnnh!” when he is unhappy. At night he pounds the walls for hours, which led to his family’s eviction from their last apartment. As he is strapped into his seat in the bus that takes him to special education class, it is hard not to notice that there is only one other child inside, and he too is a son of Somali immigrants. “I know 10 guys whose kids have autism,” said Ayub’s father, Abdirisak Jama, a 39-year-old security guard. “They are all looking for help.” Autism is terrifying the community of Somali immigrants in Minneapolis, and some pediatricians and educators have joined parents in raising the alarm. But public health experts say it is hard to tell whether the apparent surge of cases is an actual outbreak, with a cause that can be addressed, or just a statistical fluke....

5 comments:

K Fuller said...

Reporters now report from their desks. The need to get off of their asses and get out and see for themselves. Hearsay is not reporting. What are they teaching in journalism classes? How to search google?

Kim Stagliano said...

Reporters on vaccine issues are now reporting from AAP press releases and Dr. Offit's book. Pathetic. Dan Olmsted has a smashing piece about this tomorrow on A of A. KIM

Laura said...

Ugh. It's gotten to the point that if it involves autism and is not from a non-mainstream source (or as the mainstream would call - an anti-vaccine source - yeah, right) it's not worth reading. Just makes me crazy. Thank god for Age of Autism! Thanks for all the hard work you do, Kim!

nhokkanen said...

Thanks, Kim, for spotlighting the bias of TNYT's Donald McNeil Jr. I was aghast reading his comments to J.B. Handley on a study of vaccinated vs. unvaccinated people, which he thinks is immoral. Reporters aren't supposed to lead with their emotions -- their job is to examine all the available science.

Kim Stagliano said...

Ah, this isn't morals though. It's money, dogma, ad dollars, public health brainwashing. Morality would cast a spotlight brighter than the sun on the autism epidemic - and yet, we're still on the dark side of the moon with mainstream media - it's a sin.

I also sent a brief letter to the editor, which I doubt will get pubbed. I'll run it on A of A.

KIM