By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media
President Barack Obama has issued a declaration on human sexuality and what constitutes moral and mental health for the nation. He is warning Christian parents that the federal government wants their kids.
This is not how the story is being reported, however. For example, a story in Politico carries the headline, “Barack Obama denounces ‘conversion therapies’ for gays,” with the words “conversion therapies” in quotes, as if to suggest there’s some doubt that homosexuals can return to being straight. This is all too typical of the mentality that grips the major media and is designed to suggest that homosexuality is somehow natural and cannot be changed. But honest journalism, which is virtually non-existent when covering homosexuality, would take a different approach to the topic.
As Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth notes, there are plenty of former homosexuals. Has the Politico reporter Louis Nelson ever met or reported on them? We can’t find any record of that. So if the magazine doesn’t report on them, they must not exist. This is not journalism but cheerleading for Obama and the gay rights cause. It’s also a disservice to the parents of young people who need help and have a right to information about both sides of the story.
Rich Wyler, founder and director of the group, People Can Change, does not exist in a world where the liberal media and the gay rights movement become one and the same. He says that before he found sexual-orientation change therapy in the 1990s, “I was so conflicted over unwanted same-sex attractions that I was suicidal and self-destructive.” He goes on, “Sexual-reorientation therapy saved my life. I was in my 30s; I only wish I’d found this kind of help as a teenager or young adult. It could have saved me years of heartbreak and confusion.”
The other side of the story would include reporting that Obama’s political proclamation in favor of outlawing sexual-orientation change therapy not only constitutes crass exploitation of the terrible suicide of a mixed-up young person named Joshua Alcorn but serves as an indictment of his Christian parents. Joshua was confused about his sexuality and had begun referring to himself as a girl, Leelah. The parents had tried to get help for the troubled 17-year-old before he committed suicide.
The implication of the Politico-style reporting on this topic is that being “homosexual and transgender” is a fact of life that cannot be changed. That’s false. But the media just can’t bring themselves to report the facts.
Politico says the parents in this case found religious therapists who “attempted to convert her [Leelah] back into a boy.” This, too, is false. The child was a boy. Politico calls him “a transgender girl,” another falsehood.
In essence, Obama is proposing to ban parents, on a national basis, from seeking help for their children when they go through confusing times or have sexual problems. This is the totalitarian mind-set of the gay rights movement and its supporters.
This is not just a discussion about media bias. It’s important we understand what’s happening here. Obama’s statement, delivered by Valerie Jarrett on his behalf, is a declaration of war on parents, especially Christian parents who object to the government sanctioning and promoting homosexuality as another “lifestyle.”
From Obama’s perspective, these parents stand in the way of creating an army of “LGBT” young people who will forever be grateful to the President for standing up for their “rights.” Like the dope smokers in Colorado, participating in what Obama calls an “experiment,” these young people constitute another Democratic Party constituency. Obama doesn’t seem concerned, however, about the consequences of their immoral behavior. After all, he was a heavy dope smoker and look what happened to him and where he ended up.
Although Obama’s statement on human sexuality was “not accompanied by any concrete statements of policy,” as Politico put it, two states, California and New Jersey, as well as the District of Columbia, have banned parents from having a role in raising their children in this area of human sexuality. Politico seems to be begging the President to introduce national legislation to put parents in their place. Perhaps that’s the next step.
Like the editors at Politico, Democratic Rep. Jerrold Nadler (NY) also seems to think Obama knows best. Nadler issued a statement declaring, “I believe that licensed mental health professionals should be prohibited from engaging in these deceptive and damaging practices.” So the politicians, including Obama, are going to decide what constitutes “mental health.” This is reminiscent of the approach taken by the USSR’s psychiatric hospitals. Perhaps political dissidents on the issue of homosexuality in the United States will be assigned to the kind of mental hospitals the communists ran in the old Soviet Union.
In other words, a form of “conversion therapy” will be retained, but used on those who resist the homosexual movement’s demands for our children. Believers in the old-fashioned values of one man and one woman marriage will be “re-educated,” or else.
Citing Obama’s declaration on the correct state of mental health, Richard Cohen of the Southern Poverty Law Center has declared, “Our fight for LGBT equality has just received a major boost.” This well-funded leftist group is using the legal system to terrorize groups like JONAH (Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing) from helping homosexuals escape the behavior that puts their mental and physical health in danger.
Cohen declared, “While President Obama has done the nation a great service by speaking out, he hasn’t yet introduced any new policy initiatives. That’s why our work is so important. We’re going to trial [against JONAH] in New Jersey this summer, and we’ll continue doing everything we can to stop the destructive use of conversion therapy across the country.”
JONAH, with the help of the Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund, is fighting back and has affirmed, “We continue our defense of the right of individuals to freely choose the help they believe will allow them to live their lives consistent with their personal and religious beliefs.”
As I noted in a recent column, a legal brief before the Supreme Court in a same-sex marriage case argues that a ruling against traditional values could result in websites offering information about withdrawing from homosexual behavior being outlawed as “hate speech.”
Not only are the rights to freedom of the press and religion now at risk, parental rights are also in jeopardy. We are now seeing Obama and the progressives, including the homosexual movement, making a raw power grab for our kids. The parents are being labeled as the lunatics.
Yet while the Obama administration opposes counseling for young people who may want to change their sexual feelings from homosexual to heterosexual, they have no problem paying for traitor Bradley Manning to physically “change” from being a “he” to a “she.” It is reported that the Army has agreed to pay for hormone treatments, makeup, and female underwear for Manning, who is serving a 35-year sentence for espionage and other charges, so he can become “Chelsea.”
Obama’s “fundamental transformation” of America is getting downright weird. It appears to be a one-way street away from our Judeo-Christian values. Like so many other policies pursued by this President, it’s difficult to see how this one can do anything but weaken the United States.
By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media
Brian Williams’ “chopper whoppers” about his exploits as a correspondent flying into Iraq are making him look foolish. It’s not clear whether he can survive in the anchor chair. But don’t think the Williams case means that the media are now on guard for misrepresentations and false claims. The controversy over vaccines has been another media low point. We are being told they are completely safe with no side effects. That’s a blatant lie.
Anybody who watches Williams’ newscasts can see who pays the bills: pharmaceutical companies. Commercials for various pills, and even vaccines, are regular fare and dominate the several minutes of time that pay for the newscast itself. You would have to be a fool to think these companies don’t try to exercise influence over what appears on the broadcasts.
Former CBS News reporter Sharyl Attkisson’s book, Stonewalled: My Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama’s Washington, offers evidence of how powerful these companies are. She explains how pharmaceutical companies, their front groups, and public relations representatives work to manipulate news coverage and hide the truth from the American people about injuries caused by vaccines.
Attkisson, an Emmy Award winner who received the Reed Irvine Accuracy in Media Award in 2012, left the network when it became clear that her investigative stories, especially of Obama administration misdeeds, were not welcome. One of the stories she had been covering on a regular basis for many years was the vaccine-autism link. She continues to do so on her own website.
This is an area where the truth affects many people, not just Brian Williams’ career. The developmental disorder known as autism is estimated to affect two million people. It involves difficulties in social interaction and verbal and nonverbal communication. Hiring doctors and therapists to treat the disorder can cost a family $50,000 or more a year. However, there is no cure.
The number of cases have risen from an estimated one in 5,000 in 1975 to one in 64 today, a more than 600 percent increase. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) claims it can’t identify the cause, but has consistently claimed that the disorder is not linked to the growing number of vaccines required for children.
The pro-vaccination side has increasingly resorted to vicious name calling and smears against those favoring informed consent and parental choice on vaccines. The Washington Post published a piece by Arthur L. Caplan, an alleged expert on medical ethics, comparing the opponents of vaccines to Holocaust deniers. He said that doctors favoring choice on vaccines should have their licenses lifted.
There is one name these proponents of mandatory vaccines in the media desperately want to avoid: vaccine victim Hannah Poling. You can search in vain for her name in the recent coverage of alleged vaccine safety.
Attkisson notes in her book that in 2008, the federal government agreed to pay damages to the family of Hannah Poling, “a child who developed autism after multiple vaccinations.” Attkisson explained that the “landmark case” amounted to $1.5 million for the girl the first year and $500,000 each year after. In total, the compensation could amount to $20 million over the child’s lifetime.
The Poling case was just one of thousands of cases filed in the National Vaccine Injury Program. But it was selected as a “test case” to evaluate the arguments underlying most of the other vaccine-autism claims.
Attkisson writes that the case was “ordered sealed, protecting the pharmaceutical vaccine industry and keeping the crucial information hidden from other families who have autistic children and also believe vaccines to be the culprit.” But word leaked out.
At the time, the head of the federal Centers for Disease Control, which assures the public of vaccine safety, was Dr. Julie Gerberding. After insisting the settlement of the Poling case was not an admission of a direct vaccine-autism link, she left the CDC to become president of vaccines for Merck. Last December she was promoted to executive vice president for strategic communications, global public policy and population health at Merck.
Attkisson reported on the Poling case for CBS News on March 6, 2008. She said, “While the Poling case is the first of its kind to become public, a CBS News investigation uncovered at least nine other cases as far back as 1990, where records show the court ordered the government to compensate families whose children developed autism or autistic-like symptoms in children, including toddlers, who had been called ‘very smart’ and ‘impressed’ doctors with their ‘intelligence and curiosity’ … until their vaccinations. They were children just like Hannah Poling.”
In a September 10, 2010, story on the vaccine-injury court award, Attkisson reported, “Hannah was described as normal, happy and precocious in her first 18 months. Then, in July 2000, she was vaccinated against nine diseases in one doctor’s visit: measles, mumps, rubella, polio, varicella, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, and Haemophilus influenzae. Afterward, her health declined rapidly. She developed high fevers, stopped eating, didn’t respond when spoken to, began showing signs of autism, and began having screaming fits.”
Not surprisingly, Attkisson reports in her book, the vaccine makers didn’t appreciate her stories. She said that after word leaked out about the government’s settlement in the Poling case, “vaccine makers and their government partners” worked hard “to controversialize and tamp down all news coverage of the facts.” She notes that their strategy included “a full-forced attack on me and my ongoing reporting.” She learned in June 2008, after the fact, that “PR officials and a top attorney for vaccine maker Wyeth have managed to get a private meeting to spin two Evening News senior producers in New York about my reports.”
Attkisson names one of the pharmaceutical PR officials as former ABC and CNN reporter Eileen O’Connor, who now works at the State Department under President Obama.
Attkisson comments on the pressure campaign: “It’s wrong on so many levels, in my opinion. Improper for the meeting to be conducted without my participation or knowledge. Unethical to offer the powerful corporate interests—who are also advertisers—special access, while those on the other side aren’t given an audience to be heard. Inappropriate because the producers haven’t been in the chain of command on any of my vaccine-related stories.”
She notes in the book that some of the “hardest pushback” she ever received for a story came after CBS Evening News Executive Producer Jim Murphy assigned her to look into the reported cover-up of adverse effects of various prescription drugs and military vaccinations. She writes, “That series of reports leads to me to investigate related stories about childhood vaccinations and their links to harmful side effects, including brain damage and autism. At the time, the Bush administration is marching in lockstep with the pharmaceutical industry in denying problems with the prescription drugs at issue as well as both military and childhood vaccines.”
She writes, “It’s one thing for them to want their side of the story told: that’s understandable. But it’s quite another for them to want the stories censored entirely. They’re trying to keep them from airing altogether.”
She reports that just minutes before one of her first stories about childhood vaccinations and autism was to air, a spokesman for a nonprofit group called Every Child by Two called CBS in New York. “The spokesman evokes the name of former first lady Rosalynn Carter, who cofounded the group,” Attkisson says. “The call reaches Murphy, who then calls me on the hotline that rings directly into the Washington bureau newsroom. I’m preparing for my live shot. ‘Why is some group called Every Child by Two, supposedly fronted by Rosalynn Carter, calling me about your story?’” Murphy asks.
Attkisson responded, “I have no idea,” and said she had never heard of the group. She then learned that it “promotes children getting fully vaccinated by age two and rejects the idea of investigating harmful vaccine side effects that could injure the very youngsters they purported to protect.”
Attkisson recounted how she also later learned that Every Child by Two is funded by the major vaccine manufacturer, Wyeth, and a Wyeth spokesman was listed as the group’s treasurer. She writes that she wondered “how they knew we planned to air a story on the news that night.” Nevertheless, CBS went ahead with the story.
In a 2011 story, “Vaccines and Autism: a new scientific review,” Attkisson cited an article in the Journal of Immunotoxicology entitled, “Theoretical aspects of autism: Causes—A review.” It was a review of studies finding cases of autism following vaccination.
You don’t have to be a scientist to notice this pattern. I have heard from several parents who have seen it for themselves. One told me, “Our son was affected by vaccines and there are too many out there with the same story. I’m sick of hearing and reading news reports saying there is no correlation between autism and vaccines.”
On her website, Attkisson is described as an investigative journalist “who tries to give you information others don’t want you to have.” That certainly is the case with vaccine safety. She’s one of the few journalists with national stature willing to tackle this issue.
As we have recently commented, the media across the political spectrum seem unwilling to cover vaccine-related injury cases. Many reporters and commentators are mindlessly spouting claims about “vaccine safety” and dismissing a vaccine-autism link without even mentioning cases like that of Hannah Poling.
Attkisson has vigorously defended her stories. Indeed, when challenged by CNN reporter Brian Stelter about her stories linking vaccines to autism, she replied, “…those were some of the most important stories I’ve done and I would like to continue along those lines, at some point. It continues to be a very important debate.”
Now a senior independent contributor to the Heritage Foundation’s The Daily Signal, Attkisson continues to cover the vaccine problem on her own website and is now quoting CDC’s immunization safety director as saying it’s a “possibility” that vaccines rarely trigger autism but “it’s hard to predict who those children might be.”
Attkisson comments, “It is a significant admission from a leading health official at an agency that has worked for nearly 15 years to dispel the public of any notion of a tie between vaccines and autism. Vaccines are among the most heralded medical inventions of our time. Billions of people have been vaccinated worldwide, countless lives have been saved and debilitating injuries prevented. The possibility that vaccines may also partly be responsible for autism, in individual cases, is not something public health officials are typically eager to address.”
The major media are not eager to address it, either. But the people are demanding that the truth be told. They do not believe the media’s declarations of vaccine safety and effectiveness.
Whatever the fate of Brian Williams, the credibility of the media will continue to nosedive.
By: T F Stern
T F Stern’s Rantings
A recent news item had to do with the Goochland County Public School Board demanding home schooled children justify their religious beliefs. When I read this on the internet my first reaction was, “Really? This could become very interesting”.
“A policy approved by the Goochland County School Board in 2013 has several parents who home school their children upset.
The policy requires children ages 14 and up who want to be home schooled to provide a statement about their religious beliefs to the school system.
As part of that, the board reserves the right to bring the child and his or her parent in for a hearing.”
It should be pointed out that the Goochland County School Board has no ‘rights’; rather, they have ‘powers’ given them by the citizens who have placed this board in charge of their school district. Their assumed or presumed responsibility to govern all aspects of family life beyond what is taught in classrooms becomes a can of worms.
Paul Newman played the part of a washed up ambulance chasing lawyer looking for a chance to redeem himself in, The Verdict. His client sought damages for negligence against two doctors who treated a patient, a patient who died as a result of their being too tired to read the patient’s admission chart. During the course of the trial the lawyers for the hospital and doctors began asking questions to a nurse who’d been on duty the night of the incident; but the answers she provided were unexpected and all but buried the hospital and the doctors for having been incompetent and negligent.
My reason for bringing up this up, as the Newman character pointed out, “Never ask a question for which you do not already know the answer”.
What purpose would it serve the Goochland County School Board to obtain answers about any student’s religious beliefs, much less singling out home schooled children and their families?
The supposed purpose of any school board is to administer the secular teachings of children, costs of education, maintenance of buildings and other property associated with such schooling. There really is no function of the school board which provides any governance with regard to a family’s religious beliefs or lack thereof.
Looking beyond their poorly worded ‘right’ to demand the ability to interrogate home schooled children and their parents, what is the school board afraid of?
It is a given that the school board represents the all powerful State; but at what point is the State interfering with the sanctity of the family unit? Are they afraid that a clear line would be established, a line separating where the authority of parents and educators was shared or flat out ended?
“Sir William Blackstone, in 1769, captured this shared responsibility when he articulated the doctrine of in loco parentis, literally “in the place of the parent.” Blackstone asserted that part of parental authority is delegated to schoolmasters.”
Many schools have thrown in with Common Core as the foundation for all aspects of teaching, and by design, Common Core is nothing more than communist indoctrination, a method of transforming our society into a totalitarian Utopia wherein the State replaces the family unit, something which has been deemed a threat to the state, no longer necessary or wanted.
Indeed, family values constitute a threat to government agencies that usurp powers never granted nor intended by the citizenry.
As of January 16, 2015, the Goochland County School Board reversed its decision to have home schooled children and their parents justify their religious beliefs; but, “the school board still maintains the right to demand a hearing with homeschooling families”.
Just for fun what could/would happen in such a hearing?
If the school board demanded a child account for his religious teachings at home, perhaps a child from an LDS family, a child who had been taught proper principles as found in church handbooks? There’s a strong probability that the youngster would explain the need for a moment of prayer and supplication to the Lord prior to moving forward.
“I’d say that when you start a meeting that way (with prayer), people aren’t stuck up with the pride of their opinions. You pretty quickly come to an agreement as to what ought to be done in any situation.”
I can’t imagine the members of any school board sitting still and listening to a young person in such a manner; it violates elitist arrogance, their demanding a ‘right’ they never had to begin with. What an opportunity to teach the Plan of Happiness, the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
Another movie comes to mind, People Will Talk, where a prominent doctor and member of the teaching staff had been accused of an unsavory and even criminal behavior. During the ‘informal hearing’, a hearing which would be used to remove the good doctor from his teaching position, the board directed the accused to voluntarily make an accounting of his actions. Dr. Praetorius calmly explained that he had no intention of voluntarily explaining anything and that he considered ‘this trial to be a trial’.
Can you imagine the home schooled child of a local attorney pointing out to the school board that they were in violation the law, that they never had the power to do anything other than regulate the secular education of any child, much less interrogate anyone about their religious beliefs?
No, it wouldn’t do to be shown up by some kid who’d been home schooled, not good at all. So what are they afraid of?
They are afraid everyone would find out that home schooled children are receiving a well rounded education, one which meets or exceeds anything the State can provide.
Members of public school boards which attempt to shut down home schooling are afraid that their ‘powers’ really are limited, at least for now, they are restricted from interfering with the family unit and its sanctity.
This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal, a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.