David Kirby’s superb, even-handed account of the investigation into this ongoing, high-stakes controversy is fascinating and compelling
Bernard Rimland, Autism Research Institute; Autism Society of America
Kirby doesn’t offer his own verdict on the debate…
Polly Maurice, The New York Times Book Review
Walking the middle line, Kirbyâ€™s book remains one of the most thoroughly researched accounts of the thimerosal controversy thus far…
Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) ***
Evidence of Harm explores both sides of this controversy…
All quotes available on EOH.
So, according to himself, David Kirby is a thorough, impartial, dedicated boy-scout of a reporter. He offers an ‘even handed account’ that ‘doesn’t offer his own verdict’ and which ‘walks the middle line’ and thus explores ‘both sides’ of the controversy.
All these things are what you would expect from a journalist with some amount of ethics – after all, what is journalism that is one sided but fancily spun propaganda? – and so it must be something of a relief to most that such an important issue as the cause of autism is entrusted to such a thorough and ethical journalist.
So it comes as something of a surprise (well, no, it doesn’t really) to find that actually, despite good PR to the contrary, David Kirby is neither ethical nor impartial in his role as a journalist. He is in fact simply a partisan hack.
David Kirby’s website is ‘designed’ (and speaking as a web designer myself I use that phrase in its loosest possible sense) by ‘Wendys Webs‘. Interested to see who had done such an, um, _interesting_ design job on Kirby’s site, I performed a WHOIS on the domain and the owner was revealed as one Wendy A Fournier.
‘Well, so what?’ , I hear you ask. For an answer to that question you’ll need to head on over to the National Autism Association but make sure to use Internet Explorer as whoever (ahem) designed and built their website made it unworkable in Gecko based browsers.
And there on the Listed Directors page you will find Wendy Fournier – the President of the National Autism Association. Lets read her brief biog:
When Wendy’s youngest daughter was diagnosed with autism, doctors gave her little to hope for. She began to research treatment options via the internet. Here she discovered that there is indeed a great deal of hope. Hope comes in the form of biomedical treatments, therapies, enlightened medical professionals, a few brave politicians and an amazing group of parents around the world who are fighting for their children.
Aha, biomedical treatments, therapies, enlightened medics and brave politicos. Sound familiar at all? These are all code for ‘mercury causes autism’. Here’s how impartial Wendy Fournier is:
Wendy Fournier (Portsmouth, RI), parent and president of NAA, asks [referring to Mercury/Thimerosal], “Why would Shih, Johnson or any parent deliberately give their child a substance that’s label contains a Jolly-Roger symbol?”
…according to Aventis, removal of Thimerosal from the flu shots may present vaccine shortages and a higher risk for a flu outbreak. Parent Wendy Fournier says when you look at all the information, you quickly realize it’s a weak excuse. “They’ve had years to create mercury-free batches. Thimerosal is cheap — that’s why they want it in there,” she says.
So, David Kirby’s (who offers an ‘even handed account’ that ‘doesn’t offer his own verdict’ and which ‘walks the middle line’ and thus explores ‘both sides’ of the controversy remember) website is designed and built by someone who blames mercury for autism. How very impartial your propaganda is turning out to be Mr Kirby.
I’m also aware that at some point in the past the domain evidenceofharm.com was listed as being owned by SafeMinds. These details have been changed now but it is another nail in the coffin of Kirby’s impartiality. I wonder how much he was paid by Safeminds for his propaganda and I wonder how much of that came from charitable contributions?