When it was announced that Vaxxed was to be screened at the Tribeca Film Festival – as if on command—the mainstream media delivered a barrage of vitriolic attacks against Robert De Niro, the festival’s co-founder. The attacks by ABC, CNN and MSNBC, the UK’s Guardian, Time Magazine, the Washington Post, the LA Times, the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Vanity Fair, Vogue, Rolling Stone, Variety and many others were delivered a uniform message; vilifying Dr. Wakefield as a dangerous influence who must be silenced. The reporters and broadcasters of the major media, who had not seen the film, appeared to follow a script; they used the same phrases, quotes and sequence in their statements.
“What responsible reporter, with any degree of journalistic integrity, would judge a film based upon a three minute trailer? … It should be comforting to know that all of these publications and news bureaus are on the ready to report simultaneously en masse as this story develops.”
De Niro defended his decision to screen Vaxxed on March 25th amidst the fury of attacks by the media against him. He stated:
“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… 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.”
Under immense pressure, De Niro pulled the film the following day. The spectacle of Robert De Niro, the father of an autistic son, being pressured to withdraw the film from its single scheduled screening at the Tribeca Film Festival, ignited wide public interest in Vaxxed. An online petition on Change.org demanding the movie’s reinstatement at the film festival garnered more than 30,000 signatures.
The Tribeca Film Festival backers have deep ties to Big Pharma (identified by Gary Barnes at TruthKing.com).
These stakeholders used their muscle to prevent an open discussion about the issues surrounding the causes of autism; their effort back-fired.
- De Niro’s co-founders of the Tribeca Festival is real estate investor Craig Hatkoff, the brother-in-law of billionaire equity mogul Alan Patricof, the founder of Apax Partners, one the world’s largest private equity firms that invest heavily in pharmaceutical and biotechnology; many focusing on vaccines, vaccine delivery systems and vaccine trial contracting business.
- Jon Patricof (son of Alan) is the President and CEO of Tribeca Enterprises, which owns the Tribeca Film Festival.
- Among the festival’s largest sponsors is the Alfred Sloan Foundation has awarded the festival $500,000; indeed the Sloan Foundation has infiltrated the independent film industry, using its vast resources to grant awards to all major film institutes and thereby to gain control of the portrayal of science / scientists in film. The Sloan Foundation gave $6 million to the Wikimedia Foundation. [Alfred Sloan’s pivotal contribution to the Nazi regime is well documented. See, Wikipedia; Edwin Black, Hitler’s Carmaker, 2006; The Washington Post, 1998]
- Another is the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
- The biggest smoking gun who sits on the Tribeca Pharma tie is Peter Kim, former president of Merck’s Research Laboratories who was directly responsible for launching Merck’s HPV Garadsil vaccine, Zostavax to prevent shingles.
- Paul Offit is most unabashed promoter of vaccines and the CDC vaccine schedule, holds the patent for the rotavirus vaccine, Rotateq. Dr. Offit sits on the Tribeca Foundation’s Board of Trustees. Gary Barnes at TruthKing.com
Dr. Paul Offit, Chief, Division of Infectious Diseases, Director, Vaccine Education Center, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and a Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania’s Medical School, is the unabashed promoter of vaccines to whom the media turns to as an “authoritative, trusted expert.”
Dr. Offit has gone so far as to baldly state in an article in the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Pediatrics: “healthy infants could safely get up to 100,000 vaccines at once” Dr. Offit has both a professional and lucrative financial stake in vaccines – untold millions of dollars for his patent for the mandated rotavirus vaccine, Rotateq – told CBS News that pulling the film from Tribeca “is the right and honorable thing to do.” He claimed “It’s built on a false premise…and would only have the chance of scaring the American public and causing some parents to make a bad decision based on bad information.” CBS noted that Dr. Offit “has only seen the trailer for the film.”
Dr. David Gorski [“Orac”] took credit as having played a major role in getting Vaxxed pulled from the Tribeca Film Festival. Dr. Gorski had reached the mainstream media with a highlighted quote in a Los Angeles Times article, then bragged on his blog, Science Based Medicine, on March 28, 2016:
“The beauty of it is that I played a major role in bringing the story to public consciousness, followed the story as it evolved, and now can provide a fairly complete recounting.”
“Science-Based Medicine” (Gorski’s other web outlet) is unabashedly a forum for promoting the practice of corporate medicine that sneers at any holistic, individualized, medicine whose practitioners utilize non-invasive therapies wherever possible. The website baldly states:
“We at Science-Based Medicine often describe “integrative medicine” as integrating quackery with medicine.”
The UK Guardian reported in detail how a “well-oiled” coalition of vaccine promoters springs into action:
“Within half an hour of Robert De Niro’s Tribeca film festival posting on Facebook that it had scheduled an April viewing of Vaxxed, the highly controversial anti-vaccine documentary, a well-oiled network of scientists, autism experts, vaccine advocacy groups, film-makers and sponsors cranked into gear to oppose it.
At the center of the network was a listserv group email list of more than 100 prominent individuals and science research bodies run out of the Immunization Action Coalition (IAC) based in St Paul, Minnesota. The listserv acts as an early warning system that sounds the alarm whenever the potent conspiracy theory that autism can be caused by vaccination surfaces.
Through the listserv, conference calls were quickly organized among top scientists across the country to discuss how to respond to the news that what was seen as a scurrilous and misleading film was to be given a high-profile airing. Leading figures in the documentary world were also enlisted to add their objections to the showing of Vaxxed”
Dr. Ian Lipkin, director of the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, indicated that De Niro had consulted him “in a 45-minute phone conversation… I recommended that the festival withdraw the film.” Dr. Lipkin rendered his professional advice without having seen the film. In a scathing opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal, titled “Anti-Vaccination Lunacy Won’t Stop” (April 3, 2016), Dr. Lipkin clung the mantra “science knows”: “as a documentary it misrepresents what science knows about autism, undermines public confidence in the safety and efficacy of vaccines, and attacks the integrity of legitimate scientists and public-health officials.”
“The anti-vaccination movement has long been depicted as more or less a crusade of the idiot fringe by most mainstream media — in a memorable 2009 episode of “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” for example, a crusading D.A. actually pressed charges against the mother of an unvaccinated boy who fatally infected another child — so this feature-length confirmation of worst fears could be viewed as welcome and overdue counterbalance….to be fair, it does serve as a kind of one-stop-shopping source for anyone seeking to know just what the anti-vaccination crowd is all fired up about.” (Joe Leydon, Variety)
The Guardian had multiple venomous reviews that focused on Dr. Wakefield’s demonization — never mind the High Court having strongly rebuked the disciplinary panel of the General Medical Council that had revoked his medical license: Justice John Mitting admonished the panel for its: “inadequate and superficial reasoning” and “wrong conclusions.” He ruled: “The panel’s determination cannot stand. I therefore quash it.” (Read more here)
For many, especially those skeptical of vaccines’ safety, ostracizing Vaxxed from the Tribeca Film Festival appears to have validated the film’s conspiratorial conclusions, that “Big Pharma” doesn’t want it seen.
Jordan Hoffman acknowledged something positive in his commentary:
“Whereas other conspiracies are easily shrugged off, the fact this revolves around protecting children has given the film more attention, even though the research behind it has been thoroughly debunked.”
“If Vaxxed has any central thesis, it is that we shouldn’t be upset when our pediatricians and familiar faces like CNN’s Dr Sanjay Gupta tell us not to worry, and that vaccinating our kids is safe. It’s that they have been lied to, because research by the Centers for Disease Control has been either shoddy or intentionally falsified or both. The movie trudges through a quagmire of recorded conversations with Dr William Thompson, the so-called CDC whistleblower. He claims that research done by the CDC brought back problematic data that didn’t fit the narrative that vaccines are safe, and was later junked. It all leads to the obvious place: there’s billions of dollars to be made in maintaining the current rate of vaccination, and the cherry on top is that the former CDC director Dr Julie Gerberding now has a top position at Merck.
Circumstantial evidence, to be sure, but it is effective. Similarly effective are the numerous testimonials of parents who say their babies were fine and dandy one minute, but as soon as they got their mumps, measles and rubella (MMR) vaccine they had seizures, lost their use of speech and began exhibiting signs of autism. These repeated sequences, often featuring before and after videos, are heartbreaking, but eventually one wants to hear from someone, anyone, with a differing opinion about the sharp rise in autism rates.”
“I think what’s going to happen is it’s going to raise a lot of questions that the CDC is going to have to address, about excerpts of what Bill Thompson is reported to have said to the film-maker’s investigator.” (The Guardian)
“We have just seen almost every single major news outlet in the entire country tell the public to not see a movie (Vaxxed) that they have not seen themselves.” – Philippe Diaz, Chairman of Cinema Libre Studio
Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe had its first screening at New York City’s Angelika Film Center, April 1, just days after organizers of the Tribeca Film Festival dropped the film after outcry from “concerned scientists”… Beth Portello, a spokeswoman for Cinema Libre Studio said “scientists’ outcry is unwarranted, since they hadn’t seen the film…”
Read review by Avi Offer who actually saw the entire film!
Until the film is shown in your locality, see the uncut (12 minute) ABC interview with Del Bigtree, a science journalist, director/producer of The Doctors/ CBS from 2008 to 2015. He left CBS to produce Vaxxed, which he recognized as “the biggest story of my career.”
See, Dr. Andrew Wakefield video talk before the Society of Chiropractors, Dec. 2015 (1 hr, 39 min) Youtube