Tribeca Film Festival Defends Screening of Anti-Vaccination Film by Discredited Researcher

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Post by Guest on Sat Mar 26, 2016 5:45 pm

When the Tribeca Film Festival takes place a month from now, it’ll include a movie called Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe. It’s essentially an anti-vaccination propaganda film.

Tribeca Film Festival Defends Screening of Anti-Vaccination Film by Discredited Researcher VaxxedFilm

The director of the 91-minute documentary is Andrew Wakefield, the researcher whose fraudulent paper (later retracted by The Lancet) led to the belief that vaccines cause autism.
The film appears to center around claims from “CDC whistleblower” William H. Thompson, a scientist who told Brian Hooker, a bioengineer and anti-vaccine crusader, that the CDC manipulated data in a 2004 study that found no link between vaccines and autism.
Hooker then used a variety of statistical techniques that have been widely questioned by other scientists to “reanalyze” the data, and claimed to discover an association between the MMR vaccine and autism in African-American boys. The paper was criticized and retracted from the journal that published it.
It makes you wonder: What the hell are the organizers at Tribeca thinking?
The filmmakers have every right to make whatever movie they want — there are plenty of documentaries that don’t tell you the real story — but by showing it at Tribeca, the film is getting an undeserved stamp of approval from a respected festival. It’s the same sort of unearned credibility Wakefield got from The Lancet when they published his original paper.
In a statement to the L.A. Times, a spokeswoman for the festival said: “Tribeca, as most film festivals, are about dialogue and discussion. Over the years we have presented many films from opposing sides of an issue. We are a forum, not a judge.
But there aren’t “opposing” sides to this issue. There’s an objectively accurate one — which says no link has ever been found between vaccines and autism — and there’s the bullshit promoted by Wakefield that has been repeatedly debunked by scientists.
Just look at the description of Wakefield on Tribeca’s website to see how biased all of this is:
Andrew Wakefield, MB.BS., is an academic gastroenterologist who practiced medicine at the Royal Free in the U.K. publishing over 140 scientific papers. In 1995, he was contacted by parents of autistic children with stomach issues; he learned that these conditions often occurred immediately following an MMR vaccine. In pursuit of this possible link, Dr. Wakefield led an initial study of twelve children with both stomach and developmental issues. The report, published in The Lancet, would catapult Wakefield into becoming one of the most controversial figures in the history of medicineVaxxed: From Cover-up to Controversy is his second film.
There’s nothing in there about how his theory is discredited, how he committed fraud in that report, and how he had his medical license taken away.
They also don’t tell you what The Lancet later said about his paper:
“It has become clear that several elements of the 1998 paper by Wakefield et al. are incorrect, contrary to the findings of an earlier investigation. In particular, the claims in the original paper that children were ‘consecutively referred’ and that investigations were ‘approved’ by the local ethics committee have been proven to be false. Therefore we fully retract this paper from the published record.”
There’s supposed to be a panel discussion about the film following the screening, but the panel doesn’t include a single vaccine expert who represents the scientific community. I’m surprised the moderator isn’t Jenny McCarthy.
I’m all for provocative, even offensive films that are well made and further discussion. But what does this movie add to the vaccination debate? It’s not a film about howWakefield duped gullible parents into harming their children and communities. It’s a film that (apparently) makes a connection that just doesn’t exist.
What else is Tribeca screening? A movie by Mark Regnerus about how gay parents aren’t as good as straight ones? How about a film about how President Obama was born in Kenya? Or one saying the Holocaust didn’t happen?
At what point do you say, “You have a right to believe that nonsense, but we don’t have to amplify your voice”?
Robert De Niro, the actor who co-founded the Festival, made things worse when hedefended the film’s screening on Facebook:
Grace and I have a child with autism and we believe it is critical that all of the issues surrounding the causes of autism be openly discussed and examined. In the 15 years since the Tribeca Film Festival was founded, I have never asked for a film to be screened or gotten involved in the programming. However this is very personal to me and my family and I want there to be a discussion, which is why we will be screening VAXXED. I am not personally endorsing the film, nor am I anti-vaccination; I am only providing the opportunity for a conversation around the issue.
Again, the only conversation that’s possible to have with this film is whether Wakefield’s research is legitimate. It’s not. We know this. By giving his film a boost, Tribeca organizers are suggesting he has an opinion worth listening to — it’s a belief that has already led to the deaths of thousands of people around the world. Wakefield is welcome to post the film online or market it himself. But to help him promote it without simultaneously denouncing it? That’s just awful judgment. This isn’t a “free speech” issue. It’s a question of what films Tribeca believes are worthy of selection into its festival. If they’ll take this one, what does that tell you about the quality of all the other ones?
De Niro may not be anti-vaccination, but his actions show that he believes it’s a subject worth debating. That alone is a disturbing commentary on how far Wakefield’s lies have traveled.


http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2016/03/26/tribeca-film-festival-defends-screening-of-anti-vaccination-film-by-discredited-researcher/

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Post by Ben Reilly on Sat Mar 26, 2016 6:36 pm

Shameful. I totally agree with the filmmakers' right to make the movie, but nobody should be putting it on a pedestal.
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Post by Guest on Mon Mar 28, 2016 4:54 am

Bowing to enormous public pressure, Robert De Niro has yanked a controversial anti-vaccination film from his Tribeca Film Festival, while at the same time defending having what he’d hoped was a “conversation around an issue that is deeply personal to me and my family.” The film, Vaxxed, is the work of Andrew Wakefield, who immediately responded with cries of censorship. “We have just witnessed yet another example of the power of corporate interests censoring free speech, art, and truth,” read a statement on the film’s website from Wakefield and Producer Del Bigtree, who promised to find another way to reach the masses. “Tribeca’s action will not succeed in denying the world access to the truth behind the film Vaxxed.” De Niro’s decision was welcome news to Arthur Caplan, head of the Division of Medical Ethics at New York University, who called the film “nonsense on stilts.”


http://www.rawstory.com/2016/03/de-niro-reversal-on-anti-vaccination-film-hailed/

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Post by 'Wolfie on Mon Mar 28, 2016 10:18 am

Tribeca Film Festival Defends Screening of Anti-Vaccination Film by Discredited Researcher 1284863816 
Robert de Niro's only proving what a moron he is, by defending anti-vaxers...
He probably took too many punches to the head back in the 1960s and 1970s, when he was making his more violent movies..

By claiming "..the power of corporate interests.." at work, filmaker Andrew Wakefield seems to be inferring that even the most stupid, wrongful and damaging opinions should be giving equal weight with truthful and factual stories (much the same irrational argument that the odious Creationist/I.D. mob uses to justify their own brand of rubbish..).

ALONG  WITH vegan propagandists and peddlers of creationism, 'anti-vaxers' should be lined up against a wall, shot, and their remains cremated.   That way, at least, they would be making one last productive contribution towards the wider community.
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Post by Raggamuffin on Mon Mar 28, 2016 10:21 am

So it's basically an anti-MMR video, not an antivaccine video?
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Post by Guest on Mon Mar 28, 2016 10:22 am

Raggamuffin wrote:So it's basically an anti-MMR video, not an antivaccine video?


http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/pages/mmr-vaccine.aspx


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