File this under another “better late (as in after Christmas) than never.”
Remember Elyse Anders? Remember how she successfully rallied skeptical activists to try to put the kibosh on an effort by the anti-vaccine group SafeMinds to infiltrate theaters with their commercials desguised as public service announcements over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend? Remember how she actually had considerable success, particularly with AMC Theaters? Well, it turns out that our job might not yet be done:
Last night, after I had a glass of wine and a delicious butter pecan cupcake, I got a disturbing text from fellow Skepchick Maria.
She was at Studio Movie Grill in Holcomb, Ga, and was about to enjoy some Christmas Eve movie wonderfulness when… BAM… in her face, 70 ft x 30 ft of nauseating news:
The Safe Minds PSAs, the ones we had pulled from AMC last month, are still playing in other theaters. (This may not be the exact PSA running, but the message is the same.)
An update indicates that SMG won’t be playing these faux PSAs anymore, but it’s clear that we need to be on our guard, which is why Elyse asks:
If you do see these ads, please leave a comment here, or if you’d rather not leave a comment, contact me using the Link? Question? Comment? link on the left side bar or email me at elyse(at)womenthinkingfree.org.
Once we have a list, we can work on writing letters, making phone calls and organizing our boycott. Jamie Bernstein of the WTFF is working on compiling a list as best she can… which is difficult without calling every single theater in the country today.
I’ll also point out something I’ve noticed. SafeMinds and the anti-vaccine movement are also trying to get their message out through outlets other than movie theaters. They’ve hit on what they apparently believe to be a winning propaganda talking point that they’re trying to get media personalities to repeat. For example, as my wife and I were driving about on Christmas Day, I heard the DJ on a Sirius/XM station (I think it was the ’70’s station) say that there are two types of flu vaccines and that you should make sure to ask for the “mercury-free” version. If you hear this sort of stuff on the radio or TV, please complain. If you see this sort of propaganda in an op-ed article, write a letter to the editor refuting it. SafeMinds will of course claim that it’s simply trying to promote “safe vaccines,” but in reality what it is doing is trying to poison the well and dissuade people from taking the flu vaccine at all. The problem is that that their messages imply that somehow the thimerosal-containing flu vaccines are somehow unsafe (they aren’t). I fully expect that SafeMinds will continue to do so as long as it can get away with it, which means it’s up to us to make sure such messages don’t go unanswered.