Tuesday, April 19, 2011


For years, I’ve had a love-hate thing for Dr. Paul Offit. As a blogger, I loved the fact that he always seemed to come to my rescue when I couldn’t find anything to write about. As if on-cue, Dr. O would say something outrageous and a blog post would practically write itself.

On the other hand, as a parent, I grew so weary of what I perceived to be his arrogance and cavalier attitude toward the victims of the autism epidemic. Beyond all else, though, I have constantly wondered why the mainstream media kept buying the bill of goods this disingenuous salesman was pushing.

Now it seems that someone is catching on.

Back in August, 2008, the Orange County Register allowed itself to be used as a conduit for Offit’s rage directed at Sharyl Attkisson of CBS News, one of the few journalists who was willing to look beneath the surface of the vaccine safety issue. This week, though, the Register (at least in its on-line version) ran a “correction,” having found that “it appears that a number of Dr. Offit’s statements … were unsubstantiated and/or false.”

Specifically, the Register stated:
Unsubstantiated statements include: Offit’s claim that Attkisson “lied”; and Offit’s claim that CBS News sent a “mean spirited and vituperative” email “over the signature of Sharyl Attkisson” stating “You’re clearly hiding something.” In fact, the OC Register has no evidence to support those claims. Further, Offit told the OC Register that he provided CBS News “the details of his relationship, and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s relationship, with pharmaceutical company Merck.” However, documents provided by CBS News indicate Offit did not disclose his financial relationships with Merck, including a $1.5 million Hilleman chair he sits in that is co-sponsored by Merck. According to the CBS News’ documentation recently reviewed by the OC Register, the network requested (but Offit did not disclose) the entire profile of his professional financial relationships with pharmaceutical companies including: The amount of compensation he’d received from which companies in speaking fees; and pharmaceutical consulting relationships and fees. The CBS News documentation indicates Offit also did not disclose his share of past and future royalties for the Merck vaccine he co-invented.

Better late than never. It will be interesting to see if anyone else in the mainstream media takes note.

For Ginger’s take, and a peek at the CBS story that led to all this, go here.


Blogger cookingwithjanecasey said...

You are awesome Wade Rankin! Does he think when he lies that the truth won't come out at some point. And that point is just starting for this character.
Jane Casey

4/20/11, 9:41 AM  

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