Well, well, well, curiouser and curiouser.

Earlier this afternoon on the Tribeca Film Festival page:

UPDATE: 3/26/2016 Statement from Robert De Niro, co-founder of the Tribeca Film Festival, regarding VAXXED at the Festival:

“My intent in screening this film was to provide an opportunity for conversation around an issue that is deeply personal to me and my family. But after reviewing it over the past few days with the Tribeca Film Festival team and others from the scientific community, we do not believe it contributes to or furthers the discussion I had hoped for.

“The Festival doesn’t seek to avoid or shy away from controversy. However, we have concerns with certain things in this film that we feel prevent us from presenting it in the Festival program. We have decided to remove it from our schedule.”

The link to the movie on the Tribeca website is now dead, although its content is still available through its Google cache—for now. Antivaccine flying monkeys had descended upon the comment section, where they had been flinging poo in the comments for days, resulting in at least a couple thousand comments.

As you might recall, I was quite critical of the decision of the Tribeca Film Festival to screen Andrew Wakefield’s antivaccine conspiracy theory “documentary” Vaxxed and speculated that it might have been Robert De Niro who had approved its inclusion in the Tribeca Film Festival. (He has an autistic son and was in a position to do approve the film.) Similarly, I was not impressed with the excuses of the PR drones who tried to defend the decision to include the film. I was sad to learn yesterday my suspicions had been correct and that it was indeed De Niro who was responsible for letting Andrew Wakefield tarnish the reputation of the film festival he had co-founded. Today, he has taken a step towards admitting error and reclaiming that reputation.

Still, in a way I’m a bit disappointed. De Niro had made a horrible decision, but, once made, I didn’t expect it to be unmade. It would have been great to have some skeptics be among the first to see the movie in a venue that Wakefield could not completely control. I expect now that Vaxxed will probably see its first showing at an antivaccine quackfest like Autism One or a more general quackfest. Meanwhile, antivaxers will see this as yet more evidence of a “conspiracy” to suppress their viewpoint and become even more paranoid. That’s why I’m not sure if this is a victory or not.

Comments

  1. #1 Chemist
    Canada
    March 26, 2016

    Not sure if rational thought or a deluge of criticism brought the festival to see Vaxxed for what it really was, and decided it should be pulled. It will be interesting to watch the fall-out / blow-back that will result.

    Great job Orac, and all others who chimed in to question the nonsense the film represents. One for rational thought for a changed!

  2. #2 Dangerous Bacon
    March 26, 2016

    “Censored from the prestigious Tribeca Film Festival!!!”

    That might sell a few dozen more tickets to screenings at quack houses.

  3. #3 herr doktor bimler
    March 26, 2016

    antivaxers will see this as yet more evidence of a “conspiracy” to suppress their viewpoint and become even more paranoid.

    That was inevitable no matter what happened.

  4. #4 VaccineTruth.co.uk
    UK
    March 26, 2016

    I think this is an excellent statement: the film does not “contribute to or further the discussion”.

    This is exactly the sort of comment that was needed. Making clear that the film has nothing of relevance or importance to say is not only correct, it is rational and free of hyperbole.

    Well played in the end, Tribeca

  5. #5 Dorit Reiss
    March 26, 2016

    Agree with your ambivalence.

    And yet, thank you for working so hard to call this out.

  6. #6 Skeptico
    March 26, 2016

    It’s a victory, in my opinion.

    Antivaxers will see a conspiracy no matter what.

  7. #7 Mario Augusto Puga Valera
    March 26, 2016

    What worries me is how that medical fraud is based upon ableism. The reason we’re afraid of Autism is we can’t accept is as “normal”, we don’t want to fight society to support people who just can’t keep up with social needs.

  8. #8 Frequent Lurker
    March 26, 2016

    I think they would have found a conspiracy somewhere even if it was shown, mainly that the entire “cover up” would be blown apart by the docs everyone can now read, how it would have been pretty much universally panned, etc. When no one listened, which no one really would, that would have been a conspiracy too.

    They’re coming out en mass now, of course, but they’re hardly rational looking.

  9. #9 kfunk937
    March 26, 2016

    Predictable responses from True Believers™ but they were cemented inextricably into their belief systems and defence of Wakefield, already.

    Overall, much less depressing a more encouraging outcome than lending TFF’s imprimatur to dangerous misdisinformation with real public health consequences, not to mention doing nothing for autistic individuals and families.

    Back to business as usual: making popcorn while antivax heads go “:poof!”

  10. #10 Chris
    March 26, 2016

    I am hoping real reason is that when it was noticed by Matt Carey that Wakefield had manipulated to recording of Thompson so say what he did not say, and that accepting it as an entry prevented the inclusion of real documentaries — someone came to their senses.

    It is truly bad form to accept something created with deliberate lies when more honest work is shunned.

  11. #11 titmouse
    March 26, 2016

    Good but I am a little sad. Because I was working those comments hard and I was feeling degrees of success. I realize the odds are low, but I wanted a little more time

    I hit the “Thompson must be totally miserable right now” point pretty heavy.

    There’s always “freedom” comments and I hit those with, “misinfo robs people of an opportunity to make freely *informed* choices. Why do you hate America’s freedoms?”

    I explained that Wakefield misrepresented his patients in his paper. The whaleto guy kept saying that was a lie, Brian Deer is ebil, but I said many other people checked as well and that discrepancy is scientific fraud. There was no comeback.

    I gave some dox of bigpharma’s major role in the Natural Products Associaton. I imagined Scudamore’s head asploding. And then I was going to point out that the profit margins on supplements are huge while vaccines not so much, so no wonder BigPharma is paying anti-vaxxers to fight vaccines while pimping supplements. But that opportunity was stolen from me, dammit!

    The other point I like to make is how everybody is exposed to zillions of foreign antigens daily so a few from vaccines is a drop in the bucket.

    Ah I was having good fun.

  12. #12 Jockaira
    BCS, México
    March 26, 2016

    My feeling is that De Niro took a good look at the criticisms uncovered during the outcry against “Vaxxed”, considered new evidence against Wakefield thus uncovered and apparent, and logically decided that the Festival shouldn’t be a party to criminal propaganda.

  13. #13 Dorit Reiss
    March 26, 2016

    @titmouse: if you are on Facebook Tribeca’s Facebook page thread is still open and going.

  14. #14 Chemmomo
    So many comments, so little time
    March 26, 2016

    I’m with Orac and Chris (@10, but will it stay numbered this way?) and Narad (different thread) on this.

    I’m not sure it’s a win, and I would have like to see Wakefield answer questions from folks who are not part of his fan club – assuming they were allowed in to the screening

    Reposting the link to LBRB with Matt Carey’s analysis of the trainler
    http://leftbrainrightbrain.co.uk/2016/03/22/andrew-wakefield-releases-the-trailer-for-his-william-thompson-video-slick-production-and-dishonesty/

  15. #15 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    March 27, 2016

    I too share the ambivalence and would have preferred that since the decision was made to show this that at least a discussion panel not stacked with fawning Wakefraud acolytes would have ensued. However, DeNiro seemed to have turned to the right people for advisement and made his decision for which he should now be applauded lest the poor fellow left with ‘damned if I do and damned if I don’t’.

  16. #16 Politicaialguineapig
    March 27, 2016

    Titmouse: I hit the “Thompson must be totally miserable right now” point pretty heavy.

    He deserves whatever he gets. I’m surprised the CDC hasn’t fired him yet-if he’s too incompetent to do a google search on the guys he was talking to, he really shouldn’t be working at a prestigious organization. If he was in a horror movie, he’d be the guy who cops it in the first five minutes by doing something embarrassingly stupid. How he ever got a degree from a legitimate college- let alone managed to impersonate an intelligent man for nearly thirty years- is beyond me.

    Sciencemom: However, DeNiro seemed to have turned to the right people for advisement and made his decision for which he should now be applauded lest the poor fellow left with ‘damned if I do and damned if I don’t’.

    Any way you slice it, DeNiro’s lost a lot of fans with this stunt- including me, who made the mistake of considering him an intelligent, funny actor, although recently making a lot of bad career decisions.
    It’s a huge disappointment to realize he’s just another “autism parent” in the mode of the hundreds of Autism Speaks/ Drinking mums and Age of Liars ‘autism parents’ who are only parents and intelligent lifeforms in the strictest biological and physical sense.
    I hope his kid managed to escape the home and makes a life where he will be appreciated- because his father certainly doesn’t appreciate him and has basically publicly said that he thinks his son is a disappointment and a burden. Any parent of an autistic child who supports Wakefield hates their kid.

  17. #17 Politicalguineapig
    March 27, 2016

    Also beyond me is how I managed to misspell my name that badly. I should be in bed. I’ve been getting up at 5 ish for the past few days to see cranes, and I have one mother of a sleep deficit.

  18. #18 Brian Deer
    March 27, 2016

    Likewise with Chemmomo above, I’d recommend everyone to read Matt Carey’s recent analysis. I know he doesn’t think that mere scientists should use their doctorate in their title, but Dr Carey’s work on this issue has been remarkable in its fairness and accuracy.

    http://leftbrainrightbrain.co.uk/2016/03/22/andrew-wakefield-releases-the-trailer-for-his-william-thompson-video-slick-production-and-dishonesty/

    I will only add that the Thompson/Posey documents have now been around for months, seen by any number of journalists, including myself, and you had better believe that if they contained evidence of fraud at CDC you would have seen this on the front of flagship world media.

    I’ve nailed CDC doctors in the past, and would be more than happy to do it again. So, somebody, somewhere, show me credible evidence of fraud at CDC. Please.

  19. #19 Lawrence
    March 27, 2016

    The response by the anti-vax brigade should merely reinforce the notion, among the mainstream (and vast majority of people in general), that these folks are entirely unhinged.

  20. #20 Angela H.
    March 27, 2016

    There’s a Change.org petition up already, trying to bring “Vaxxed” back to Tribeca.

  21. #21 Michieux
    Australia
    March 27, 2016

    I put in my tuppence; worth on the YT site. There is no ‘controversy’ regarding vaccines and autism, just as there’s no controversy regarding the theory of evolution.

    Glad to see this faux doco’s been removed.

  22. #22 Cam the Cat
    Somewhere out there, eating gelt
    March 27, 2016

    I personally feel as if the most damning end-effect of the film being aired at such a prestigious film festival would have been the reactionary jerk-knee resulting in funds diverted away from meaningful studies examining possible etiologies into autism towards fruitless endeavors chasing that mythical white whale.

    And also perceived Wakefield vindication & legitimization.

    Ultimately I feel this is a smashing victory overall, as the timing, critical internet response, & sharp turnaround couldn’t have played out much better. And it certainly has put a whole heaping pile of egg on Wakefield’s face this most blessed Easter morning.

  23. #23 Cam the Cat
    March 27, 2016

    FOX News just aired a brief 10-second piece on the recent Tribeca happenings, & I must say, someone in their writing department is good at plays on words, as I particularly enjoyed their title:

    “V’Ax’xed”

  24. #24 has
    March 27, 2016

    Huh. Considering Tribeca’s initial entrenchment, I was just about to suggest petitioning other filmmakers to withdraw their own documentaries to show they do not stand by Wakefield’s malicious sales pitch, but I see they beat us to the punch.

    Still, while I understand Tribeca’s decision to do what’s right for them, I’m likewise a bit disappointed as this will also rack up the Sainted Andrew’s acolytes’ paranoid persecution complex something awful, and it’s clearly only a matter of time before its most unhinged members work themselves up into hurting others. Tribeca could’ve publicly owned their mistake and kicked it out of the Documentary category, and still shown it while acknowledging that speech is a total sack of lies. That would’ve put them more in the ACLU category of ensuring, say, neo-Nazis are able to speak openly without approving that speech themselves.

    But hey, it’s Tribeca’s own soapbox and they’re not constitutionally obliged to share it with anyone they don’t choose to. Due credit to Matt Carey and others who worked to provide the evidence that removed the blinkers from their eyes. And who knows, perhaps if the De Niros now realize just how cruelly they’ve been scammed, there may yet be some positive bridges to build past the end of this mess.

  25. #25 has
    March 27, 2016

    Of course, it’s also possible that after reading their own comments thread Tribeca realized there isn’t enough plastic in all the world to cover their theater seats adequately, and so did it for the furniture. I hope someone managed to capture that document for posterity, as nothing defeats Andy’s Army quite like their own mouths.

  26. #26 Dangerous Bacon
    March 27, 2016

    If the Wakefield camp is to be believed, they’d been looking forward to critical comments at the film’s screening.

    “A statement from Wakefield, the film’s director, and Del Bigtree, its producer, decried De Niro’s decision, saying they didn’t get a chance to defend themselves against critics of the film.

    “We have just witnessed yet another example of the power of corporate interests censoring free speech, art and truth,” the statement read. “Tribeca’s action will not succeed in denying the world access to the truth behind the film ‘Vaxxed.'”

    http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/wireStory/de-niros-tribeca-festival-pulls-anti-vaccination-film-37956060

    No doubt Wakefield et al will be eager to admit pro-vaccination critics (excuse me, Corporate Interests) at whatever showings of his film ultimately take place, and will encourage tough questions afterwards.

  27. #27 Brian Deer
    March 27, 2016

    # 24 @has

    I can see Tribeca’s perspective. Much of the criticism was founded along the lines that Wakefield shouldn’t be allowed to spread anti-vaccine propaganda, because this posed a risk to children etc.

    Framed like that, the dispute becomes a free speech issue.

    The other line of attack, which Penny Lane took up, and surprisingly few others was that elements of the documentary were provably false and that the authorial voice – Wakefield – could not be trusted.

    These elements went to undermine (or, as I would say, contaminate) the integrity of the entire documentary tradition of storytelling. The credibility of countless filmmakers, toiling away trying to honestly tell untold stories in new and compelling ways would be damaged.

    Having myself been a victim of Wakefield’s crooked associates, who framed me in a video by fraudulently intercutting to make it look like I was saying something I wasn’t, I today think there’s much merit in popping that bubble, and for people to suspect a lot of these documentaries.

    That’s what I think would have gotten to Tribeca. As can be seen in a bunch of spoof titles for other films they might have liked to screen in the future. It’s pretty hilarious:

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/cbpolis/science-twitter-drags-de-niro-15-funniest-future-29a0x

  28. #28 Denice Walter
    March 27, 2016

    Two reactions:

    ” Censoring of the VAXXED film is proof that it was compelling, persuasive and DANGEROUS to the vaccine establishment”
    Mike Adams, Natural News

    ” And there is nothing that people want to see more than a film that has been BANNED”
    Zooey O’Toole ( Professor, TMR)

    Personally, I’m glad that it’s gone despite responses like these: if it were shown, it would have been heralded as being selected by a prestigious film festival which would be used as a selling point ( as though film festival committee members can understand and judge SBM). Indeed another anti-science loon trumpets his own amateurish documentaries as being official selections and prize winners at lower rung festivals.

  29. #29 Frequent Lurker
    March 27, 2016

    Except it’s not “banned.” They’re more than welcome to put it up on YouTube.

    Why don’t they get that?

  30. #30 has
    March 27, 2016

    For those who could use some refreshment at the end of a long week, there’s a lovely life-affirming thread currently running over on Jezebel:

    http://jezebel.com/wow-i-m-surprised-isn-t-jezebel-about-women-just-lik-1767291375

    It starts with some muppet (Oh brother) whining about Jezebel siding with nasty Male Science over Mommy Instinct, gets instantly rebutted, and for a while it’s just slicing and dicing the usual canards on sight. And then Learn2Fly and other autistics arrive to speak for themselves, and it just gets better and better from there. Requires a bit of clicking to expand the entire thread as it’s epic length stuff, but well worth it.

  31. #31 Cam the Cat
    March 27, 2016

    I’m thinking of masterfully crafting a gripping documentary about the many benefits of not wearing seal belts on the brains of our youth. I wonder who I could cast for my line-up…Is O.J. Simpson available yet?

    I also saw on the Vaxxed Facebook page in the comments that supporters now have a petition formed online which has almost met its goal of 10,000 signatures in a feebly naive attempt to force Tribeca to premiere the film.

    Clearly Wakefield’s loyal supporters do not understand the whole free speech issue either, much less censorship, as freedom of speech does not supersede freedom from compelled speech, & if the issue becomes framed in that way, they will devastatingly lose that argument too.

  32. #32 Jazzlet
    March 27, 2016

    According to the Guardian De Niro’s autistic child is a girl.

    I too am ambiguous, but given the way the film apparently distorts what Thompson said I don’t think they had any choice, but they should have said they were dropping it because it appears to distort what was said. I guess they were afraid of being sued.

  33. #33 has
    March 27, 2016

    Brian Deer@27: Yep, although to be fair to those protesting the general harm done by pandering to the anti-vax movement, most of those are just regular MOPs expressing their concern as best they could, nor was there a lot of publicly available information with which to build a case against the film itself. Wakefield was smart enough to keep the film itself away from scientists, journalists, and anyone else who would’ve torn it apart on sight. Had he not deceptively recut Thompson in the trailer—an absolute no-no—perhaps he might just’ve gotten away with it long enough for the file to screen had Tribeca chosen to double down.

    But it sounds like Tribeca finally ran their own checks and found there was more than sufficient grounds to reject it as #notadocumentary, which was no doubt handy for them as their credibility would’ve been completely screwed otherwise whether they screened it or not. Still, makes you wonder what due dilligence they exercise on other documentary works they screen. No doubt a bit of a story in there for film hacks to dine out on in future…

  34. #34 has
    March 27, 2016

    One other general observation, while the pro-science lobby is wiping off its forehead and patting its back, happy that public health has been saved another day, it might want to take this opportunity to think about the other group that suffers silently because of this anti-vax culture: autistic children themselves.

    There is a heartbreaking and utterly scandalous story to be told of the heart of the moment, of parents’ rejection of autistic children as “broken”, of unethical “experimentation” and abuse in the name of making them “normal again”, of the toxic paranoid narcissicim that drives its True Believers and the rotten core of predatory sociopaths and fraudsters that are feted and empowered to operate with impunity within it, in face of social and governmental ignorance and apathy.

    If the anti-vax movement wants a full open public discussion, how about starting with what really goes on behind its walls, and all the harm and horror its culture, practices, and individuals wreak on children whose only sin was not to be born as the perfect vicarious proxy object their owners so rightfully deserve?

  35. #35 has
    March 27, 2016

    p.s. @Brian: Hah, them’s some fine Tweets. I briefly considered something along the lines of “Fred West Adoption Agency or Jimmy Saville Kindergarten: Opinions Vary on Standard of Care”, but I don’t think those would’ve travelled transatlantic so well, plus even I get nauseous at the thought. And to be scrupulously fair to Andrew Wakefield, even he hasn’t quite sunk to such levels of utter depravity (although I’d still pay good money to see how he and his fellow riders enjoy an involuntary bleach enema sometime).

  36. #36 Keith Bell
    United States
    March 27, 2016

    Back to biological plausibility for vaccination causing adverse events including autism and epilepsy based on microbial predisposition. The vaccine industry remains in complete disregard of microbes present at time of vaccination as if the womb were sterile. Colonization begins in the womb, here’s the latest paper:
    “Human gut colonisation may be initiated in utero by distinct microbial communities in the placenta and amniotic fluid”
    http://www.nature.com/articles/srep23129

  37. #37 TBruce
    March 27, 2016

    I’d like to credit Robert DeNiro for admitting his error publicly and withdrawing his promotion of this film. This is a rare event in this era of narcissism (looking at you, Donald Trump).

    Also to Keith Bell: Go be tedious and stupid someplace else.

  38. #38 Julian Frost
    South Africa
    March 27, 2016

    has @33:

    One other general observation, while the pro-science lobby is wiping off its forehead and patting its back, happy that public health has been saved another day, it might want to take this opportunity to think about the other group that suffers silently because of this anti-vax culture: autistic children themselves.

    This. So much this and thank you for saying it.

  39. #39 Narad
    March 27, 2016

    In case it hasn’t already been noted, Wakefraud has responded in vague and incoherent fashion.

  40. #40 Denice Walter
    March 27, 2016

    @ has:

    I think that most likely the film wouldn’t have got into the film fest at all if not for RDN’s approval at the start.

    Why do I say this?

    Crappy production values first.
    Possible fraud.

    Also, because I survey alt med proselytisers, I know for a fact that at least one so-called documentarian has had his underlings working very hard to get his films accepted at ANY film fest though aiming at the big ones ( like TFF and Sundance) but has to this date NEVER been considered whilst these masterworks have become ‘Official Selections’ and even won prizes at a plethora of small, mostly unknown festivals in the US, UK, AUS, RSA and around the globe
    .
    Actually, the names of the festivals themselves are quite entertaining and try as I might I wasn’t able to identify even one. ( all of this at his website- Gary Null.com- compleat with ribbons announcing ‘Official Selection’, ‘Director’s Award’, “Audience Choice’ “Best Documentary’)
    It is simply hilarious though it impresses the marks I suppose helping sales.
    Similarly, I doubt that the films we’ve discussed here ( ‘The Greater Good’, “Trace Amounts’ ) were accepted at any festivals of merit because it would have been announced loudly and seals of acceptance would be plastered about.

  41. #41 TroubleMaker
    March 27, 2016

    I’m trying to imagine how this played out behind the scenes. Under the circumstances (having a child with autism, personally intervening on the film’s behalf in an unprecedented way), it seems unlikely that DeNiro didn’t know Wakefield personally on some level. For him to stick his neck out so publicly, and then reverse himself publicly within a day or so, is pretty remarkable and kind of embarrassing for him. He must’ve been under intense pressure from key sponsors or maybe someone actually got through to him on Wakefield’s true nature and pulled the scales from his eyes. Either way, he’s got to be feeling pretty well burned by Wakefield. Particularly since Wakefield’s throwing him under the bus on the film’s website.

    Hope Wakefield’s other celebrity sycophants are paying attention to what kind of treatment they can expect from him in return for their support.

  42. #42 has
    March 27, 2016

    Denice@39: Absolutely, no doubt. De Niro pushed them to do it, and they would’ve felt powerfully obligated to please him. Crappy production values shouldn’t have been an issue if the content itself was sound, but they still should’ve exercised their own due dilligence on the latter as ultimately it was their own reputation (plus the credibility of other documentary contributors), not De Niro’s, that’s on the line. Just goes to show how people in positions of influence and power can make the same dumb mistakes we’re all prone to making, only with far more damaging and widespread consequences. It’s a lesson for all.

  43. #43 has
    March 27, 2016

    Keith Bell@35: Right.

  44. #44 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    March 27, 2016

    @Keith – as soon as you find some research that actually links adverse vaccine reactions to the microbiome, being specific about what the reactions were and what in the microbiome was responsible, please feel free to share.

    So far, you haven’t done that.

  45. #45 a-non
    March 27, 2016

    Hate to be the dissenter here, but all Tribeca’s decision does is feed into the mythology that Wakefield is the brave maverick doctor being silenced by the establishment. Having their anti-vax lunacy out there for public consumption and humiliation on a big stage would’ve been more productive in the long run.

  46. #46 Denice Walter
    March 27, 2016

    Because I enjoy making Orac’s minions laugh:

    I selected some of the aforementioned film festivals ( FF) including those designated International ( IFF) in not totally random fashion – although believe me there are plenty of low hanging fruit..

    Red Dirt IFF
    The Indie Gathering
    Cincinnati IFF
    Davis FF
    Ritz Theatre FF
    Burbank IFF
    Hoboken IFF
    Ft Myers FF
    Toronto IFF
    Chagrin Documentary FF
    SF Black FF
    West Wales IFF
    Black Earth FF
    Women’s IFF
    White Sands FF
    Heart of England IFF
    Central Florida IFF
    Prince Edward Island IFF
    Australian IFF
    Boulder Asian FF
    La Femme FF
    Dixie FF
    Mother Baby FF
    amongst others.

  47. #47 has
    March 27, 2016

    Julian Frost@37: You’re welcome. And might I point out that I have all the perceptiveness of a housebrick, so if even I could see it how the heck did everyone else miss it?

    Furthermore, if I might make a proposition:

    Wakefield may just have inadvertently opened a rare – and brief – window of opportunity for other autistics, their families, and supporters to draw public awareness to the all too invisible mistreatment and abuse of autistic children by this toxic tumor within the larger autism world. The best defense is a good offense, and this one has to come from you, and right now too, before this debacle is quickly forgotten. Get yourselves a #NotInMyName tag and make your outrage at Wakefield and his fellow abusers heard en-masse, and you might just do more to end them than any number of popular appeals to public health ever will.

  48. #48 MarkN
    March 27, 2016

    has @33 is probly the take home message of this entire fiasco.

  49. #49 has
    March 27, 2016

    Oh, and since AVers love narratives, how about this one: Andrew Wakefield is a modern day Jim Jones, seducing vulnerable, distressed families with a simple pleasing narrative, isolating, turning them against the rest of the world, betraying and perpetrating further horrors upon autistic children as a result, all for his own greater glory and power.

  50. #50 Narad
    March 27, 2016

    It gets better: Wakefraud dropped a line to good ol’ Celia Farber.

  51. #51 Guy Chapman
    United Kingdom
    March 27, 2016

    May I propose a word defined in my Quackford English Ductionary:

    CROCKUMENTARY (n.), a film which purports to be a documentary but is in fact a crock of shit (e.g. Zeitgeist)..

  52. #52 Denice Walter
    March 27, 2016

    Anti-vaxxers demand De Niro step down from TFF
    ( well, Sherri Tenpenny does. see Truth KIgs.com/ Natural News)

  53. #53 Denice Walter
    March 27, 2016

    Truth Kings.com

  54. #54 Leigh Jackson
    United Kingdom
    March 27, 2016

    Bravo De Niro.
    When in a deep hole of one’s own making stop digging and climb out immediately. This shows intelligence and prevents the possible harm which could have resulted from screening the film. I refuse to use the term documentary. The attempted neutral public interest stance was hopelessly misplaced in this case. The only possible beneficiary from the showing of the film was its instigator.
    Subsequent critiques brought to bear by medical authorities might or might not weigh much compared with the personal standing and apparent endorsement by De Niro of a hero of antivax lunacy.

  55. #55 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    March 27, 2016

    Well nothing says legitimacy like HIV-AIDS denialist Celia Farber.

  56. #56 SBP
    March 27, 2016

    Brian Deer @27;
    Yes, I think the crux of the issue isn’t the fallacy of the AV’s raison d’etre, but the fact that it was established Vaxxed is not a documentary. A documentary can record controversial and abhorrent content, and capture vile people espousing vile beliefs, but it is still documenting reality. When the filmaker manipulates the process to distort reality, it is no longer a documentary, but a work of fiction.

    If a filmmaker uses CGI technology to show Simon Wiesenthal stating the Holocaust never happened, it hardly is entitled to classification as a documentary.

  57. #57 Denice Walter
    March 27, 2016

    Interesting how hiv/aids denialists turn up and support anti-vax.

  58. #58 TBruce
    March 27, 2016

    Interesting how hiv/aids denialists turn up and support anti-vax.

    Turds of a feather…(not a typo, BTW)

    http://americanloons.blogspot.ca/2015/07/1422-kelly-brogan.html

  59. #59 Narad
    March 27, 2016

    Well nothing says legitimacy like HIV-AIDS denialist Celia Farber.

    She got in on the ground floor.

  60. #60 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    March 27, 2016

    Heh, yeah I remember. But if you’re trying to get some salve for your butthurt (as I believe you say) then you don’t go to a nutter like Celia Farber. Although I do think I know what Wakefraud is playing at which is using confederates to broadcast the information and trashtalk without dirtying his own hands.

  61. #61 Beth S
    March 27, 2016

    has @ 33. Spot on.

    [blockquote]One other general observation, while the pro-science lobby is wiping off its forehead and patting its back, happy that public health has been saved another day, it might want to take this opportunity to think about the other group that suffers silently because of this anti-vax culture: autistic children themselves.[/blockquote]

    About 10 days ago, pre this crisis, WaPo ran a story on a study finding that people on the spectrum suffer from premature mortality significantly—across all diseases— suicides was prominent in some subgroups.

    I have the full paper and can email it to anyone interested.

    http://bjp.rcpsych.org/content/208/3/232

  62. #62 jsterritt
    NYC
    March 27, 2016

    This is a tidy win — an accomplishment of communication that worked. TFF didn’t “cave” to outside pressure, but did listen to the amount and volume of that pressure. The result? De Niro and the selection committee members actually watched the movie. Once they did that, they saw a piece a sh!t propaganda/advocacy doc/vanity project and dropped it like a hot potato. Wakefield’s MO is to insinuate his work into legit outlets (like the Lancet and TFF) only to have that work roundly retracted. This is an embarrassment for Wakefield and his zealous, mindless acolytes — no matter how they try to spin it. Thanks, Orac, for speaking out, speaking loud, and being heard. Well done.

  63. #63 Politicalguineapig
    March 27, 2016

    has: If the anti-vax movement wants a full open public discussion, how about starting with what really goes on behind its walls, and all the harm and horror its culture, practices, and individuals wreak on children whose only sin was not to be born as the perfect vicarious proxy object their owners so rightfully deserve?

    It’s a good idea, but it’s a problem with no solution. I have been shot down in the past for suggesting that autistic children should be raised in creches, rather than by their parents. But if only two out of ten autistic children are likely to be born into loving accepting families*, where does that leave the rest? At least day cares have screening, and a day care attendant who tried *any* of the things these parents do would be fired, at minimum, and would probably face legal action. Whereas, if parents do it, it’s completely fine and legal.
    * I know a few of these families exist, but outside of the minions, I fear actual loving parents of autistic children are so rare that they’d make California Condors look numerous.

  64. #64 Liz Ditz
    Great State of California (well, Colorado right now)
    March 28, 2016

    St. Andy on Tribeca removing the Vaxxed film from the lineup:

    To our dismay, we learned today about the Tribeca Film Festival’s decision to reverse the official selection of Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe.

    Robert De Niro’s original defense of the film happened Friday after a one-hour conversation between De Niro and and Bill Posey, the congressman who has interacted directly and at length with the CDC Whistleblower (William Thompson) and whose team has scrutinized the documents that prove fraud at the CDC.

    It is our understanding that persons from an organization affiliated with the festival have made unspecified allegations against the film – claims that we were given no opportunity to challenge or redress. We were denied due process.

    We have just witnessed yet another example of the power of corporate interests censoring free speech, art, and truth.

    Tribeca’s action will not succeed in denying the world access to the truth behind the film Vaxxed.

    We are grateful to the many thousands of people who have already mobilized including doctors, scientists, educators and the autistic community.

    We will be pressing forward and sharing our plans in the very near future.
    Onward!
    – Andrew Wakefield (Director) and Del Bigtree (Producer)

    To which Dr. Carey penned a mighty reply:

    Wakefield responds to his film being pulled by the Tribeca Film Festival. And it’s very classic Wakefield

    But all this said, let’s bring this back to the biggest irony of Wakefield’s response–his outrage at the lack of “due process”.

    Yeah, all he had was Robert De Niro picking this film for TFF. And an hour of a sitting Member of Congress lobbying Mr. De Niro. We weep for the lack of opportunity Wakefield had, don’t we?

    I think as I go forward in responding to the Wakefield – Tribeca brouhaha, I’m going to follow Brian Deer’s line, as I paraphrase:

    “Passages in the documentary represented as factual were provably false. Wakefield’s authorial voice cannot be trusted. These elements contaminate the integrity of the entire documentary tradition of storytelling. Accepting the Vaxxed film as a documentary, anywhere, would catastrophically damage the credibility of all the documentary filmmakers who faithfully work to honestly reveal untold stories in new and compelling ways.”

  65. #65 titmouse
    March 28, 2016

    Congressman Bill Posey spent an hour on the phone pimping Wakefield’s movie? There has to be something seriously wrong with that guy.

  66. #66 titmouse
    March 28, 2016

    I remember the wrong thing with Senator Harken was Herbalife and chiropractors. But Posey I know not. One Internet awarded to anyone who finds out.

  67. #67 John Phillips
    on the other side of the channel from somewhere else.
    March 28, 2016
  68. […] moment I learned that Robert De Niro had reversed himself and decided to pull Andrew Wakefield’s dishonest antivaccine propaganda […]

  69. #69 Helianthus
    France
    March 28, 2016

    OT
    (well, still speaking of movies related to medical matters)

    For the francophones around here, I would like to strongly recommend a French movie released this week-end in France, “Médecin de campagne”. (approx. ‘country physician’)
    I hope a version in English will be done. The story may appeal to the regulars’ interests.

    Topics: healthcare access in remote areas, cancer, elderly care, autism, and French people dancing on Country.

  70. #70 shay simmons
    March 28, 2016

    Congressman Bill Posey spent an hour on the phone pimping Wakefield’s movie? There has to be something seriously wrong with that guy.

    On the other hand, one hour on the phone with Posey and de Niro may have realized what a huge mistake he was making.

  71. […] probably missed all the commotion over ex-Doctor Andrew Jeremy Wakefield’s anti-vaccine film being utterly rejected from the Tribeca Film Festival. Seriously, his 1998 case study of a handful of children which concluded that vaccines do not cause […]

  72. […] film by Andrew Wakefield for screening at his prestigious Tribeca Film Festival followed by his decision to drop the film like the proverbial hot potato upon being shown just how full of misinformation, distortions, and […]

  73. #73 1588d
    Miami
    April 1, 2016

    Just found this site. What a bunch of assholes.

  74. #74 1588d
    Miami
    April 1, 2016

    Do all of you work for the pharmaceutical industry?

  75. #75 1588d
    Miami
    April 1, 2016

    Are all of you on the Bill Gates eugenics gravy train?

  76. #76 1588d
    Miami
    April 1, 2016

    Let me get this right. For one to believe that vaccines can be safer, this means they are anti-vaccine? You people are fucking morons.

  77. #77 1588d
    Miami
    April 1, 2016

    Vaxxed is not about Andy Wakefield. “Vaxxed” is about the CDC and William Thompson, Ph.D.

  78. #78 Julian Frost
    Gauteng East Rand
    April 1, 2016

    Do all of you work for the pharmaceutical industry?

    Nope.

    Are all of you on the Bill Gates eugenics gravy train?

    Nope.

    Let me get this right. For one to believe that vaccines can be safer, this means they are anti-vaccine?

    Lovely strawman. Make sure to keep it away from flames. No. Ignoring solid evidence that vaccines are very safe, very effective and do not cause autism means you are antivaccine.
    HTH. HAND.

  79. #79 LouV
    France
    April 1, 2016

    @1588d

    Do all of you work for the pharmaceutical industry?

    No.

    Are all of you on the Bill Gates eugenics gravy train?

    No. And Bill Gates never supported eugenics, it’s a stupid misinterpretation of a sentence taken out of context of a 30 minutes TED talk on a completely different subject.

    We are pretty familiar with the CDC whistleblower affair. It didn’t do anything to make vaccines safer.
    Here is a summary, tell us if something is missing : http://www.harpocratesspeaks.com/2014/09/mmr-cdc-and-brian-hooker-media-guide.html

    I support initiatives that do make vaccines safer, such as replacing the OPV by the IPV, or the whole cell DTP by the acellular DTP. I don’t support people repeating debunked lies, especially when you out as a “whistleblower” someone you recorded without their knowledge and consent.

  80. #80 has
    April 1, 2016

    1588d@73: “Just found this site.”

    Well done you. Best of luck finding your ass next; remember to use both hands.

  81. #81 Chris
    April 1, 2016

    A special song for 1588d:

    Trollin’ Trollin’ Trollin’
    Trollin’ Trollin’ Trollin’
    Trollin’ Trollin’ Trollin’
    Trollin’ Trollin’ Trollin’
    Rawhide!
    Trollin’ Trollin’ Trollin’
    Though the threads are swollen
    Keep them comments trollin’,
    Rawhide!

    Move ’em on
    (Head em’ up!)
    Head em’ up
    (Move ’em on!)
    Move ’em on
    (Head em’ up!)
    Rawhide!
    Cut ’em out
    (Paste ’em in!)
    Paste’em in
    (Cut em’ out!)
    Cut ’em out
    Paste ’em in,
    Rawhide!
    Keep trollin’, trollin’, trollin’
    Though they’re disaprovin’
    Keep them comments trollin”,
    Rawhide
    Don’t try to understand ’em
    Just rope, laugh, and ignore ’em
    Soon we’ll be discussin’ bright without ’em

  82. #82 Rich Bly
    Ocean Shores
    April 1, 2016

    has, 1588 would need to use radar to find his ass.

  83. #83 Keith Bell
    United States
    April 4, 2016

    O’Brien #44, I’ve provided plenty of evidence and it keeps rolling-in, here’s the latest published last week about gut dysbiosis increasing mortality with major implications about vaccination:
    “An impact of GIT dysbiosis on the intrinsic function, differentiation, and maintenance of Teff and memory T cells could have important implications. For example, infants may not be maximally protected if they receive their first vaccines or are infected during a period of GIT dysbiosis.”
    http://www.jimmunol.org/content/early/2016/04/01/jimmunol.1502322.abstract

  84. #84 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    April 4, 2016

    If I read the abstract right (I don’t have access to the full article), if a young mouse’s gut microbiome is dominated by Enterococcus faecalis then they are more likely to die if infected with vaccinia virus, and are less able to fight off viral infections.

    That would indeed seem to say that gut bacteria affect your immune response, and shows one way that it can reduce the response (assuming it works in humans as it does in mice). That would suggest, as I’ve proposed before, doing work to test for a bad mix of gut bacteria and adjusting it.

    However, the line you quote does not say anything about an adverse vaccine reaction, merely reduced protection.

  85. […] that I had been blogging about almost nonstop for a week reached its conclusion when Robert De Niro decided to pull the antivaccine movie Vaxxed: From Cover-up to Catastrophe from the Tribeca Film Festival, of which […]

  86. […] fraudumentary), VAXXED: From Cover-up to Catastrophe screened at Tribeca. Ultimately, De Niro was forced to withdraw VAXXED from Tribeca because of the furor its inclusion caused, even admitting that he did it because he […]

  87. […] festival he founded, bypassing the regular submission and judging process. Ultimately, the festival yanked VAXXED, and antivaccinationists, who had viewed its inclusion in the festival as a vindication, went […]

  88. […] was two days after Wakefield’s film was pulled from the Tribeca Film Festival. First, Jane Rosenthal is the co-founder, along with Robert DeNiro, of the Tribeca Film Festival […]

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