One Click Hacks and Homophobes

22 Feb

As blogged by Anthony at Black Triangle the One Click Group – who say they are:

…a British-based international health advocacy pressure group and worldwide raw news hub…

described Brian Deer and his involvement with the MMR case thusly:

By all accounts a gay man and therefore unlikely ever to have to face the multiple vaccine risk agonised over by parents from around the world in relation to their children…

Nice. Sounds to me like they’re a bunch of homophobic stupidniks to me. As Anthony says:

Even if Deer is homosexual, it does not necessarily mean he has no stake in vaccine safety. Homosexuals are not some mysterious alien presence in our society, they have families which include small children. Homosexuals can even adopt children.

Unless you’re a Daily Mail reading OneClickTwit of course.

They are anti-vaxxers of course and really really don’t like Brain Deer much at all. This makes the JABS loonies recently in evidence in the monumental ‘Wakefield‘ post on this blog big, big fans of theirs naturally. Amusingly, these same JABS loonies have been complaining about the horror of Brian Deer _making_ the news and then _reporting_ on the news regarding Wakefield. Not that he has, but thats how they see it. The amusing thing is that one of the straplines of the OneClickGroup is:

We not only break the news, we also make it.

They also proudly boast of receiving ‘7,000 – 33,000 hits per day’…..woah…big time baby!

Just for fun, I ran LB/RB, JABS and OneClickGroup through the Compete analyser which analyses Unique Visitors (a much more reliable indicator of traffic than ‘hits’):

Sadly, you’ll notice only two lines there. OneClickGroup didn’t generate enough statistics to be measurable.

So, this member of the antivaxosphere, carried on from homophobic attacks on Brian to carrying an alleged ‘out of control’ attack from Brian on their owner/Director/whatever – one Jane Bryant. Here’s how its ‘reported’ on the OneClickGroup website:

Brian Deer Is Out Of Control

On Monday 7 April 2008, with the Defence presentation for Dr Andrew Wakefield at the General Medical Council MMR Vaccine Trial UK concluded, Brian Deer went berserk in the Press Room of the General Medical Council. This incredible aggressive behaviour is not that of a responsible and objective journalist with ethics covering a story in the public interest….I entered the GMC Press Room to discover Deer holding court over what he clearly perceived to be his case with the assembled media. Comfortably sprawled in lounging lizard position

Out of control…went berserk…incredible aggressive…holding court…lounging lizard…

and these descriptives are used before Bryant even _begins_ her description of Brian’s behaviour. Thank goodness for impartial media!

When she does get to that transcript (which has clearly been edited) it reveals _more_ editorialising and less fact.

When asked if Deer was the complainant and if this was his case with the GMC, Deer simply exploded. Springing to his feet, placing his body inches from mine and invading my space, Deer proceeded to threaten, to rant and to jab his fingers close to my face.

Brian Deer: “No! I’ve not complained! I’ve got letters from the GMC saying I’m not the complainant! Ask me the question again! Ask me and I’ll tell you!”

Deer continued ranting: “So, you’ve this, um, dribbling idiot here,” gesturing towards investigative writer Martin J Walker who has exposed Deer’s vaccine activities in the aforementioned Complainant, “pumping out this information and you believe it and this is what this whole MMR thing has been about! Andrew Wakefield enjoys giving evidence! You get these CLOWNS who just MAKE THNGS UP as they go along!”

I wondered if any other members of the press ( the ones Brian Deer was holding court over) had reported on this behaviour from Brian. That of threats, invasion of body space and jabbing his fingers close to Bryant’s face. Funnily enough, the answer is ‘no’ – nobody from the other members of the press Brian was apparently ‘holding court’ over when Bryant arrived noticed this. I can find no record of this behaviour in any mainstream media. And there were plenty there. How odd.

Its also worth noting that Brian was right. He is _not_ the complainant and he _does_ have letters from the GMC to establish that fact.

Next in Bryant’s highly selective account was the issue of who was paying Brian. At the end of which despite not mentioning any intimidation she reports:

At this point, people in the foyer piled in to the doorway of the Press Room to witness a fully grown male journalist attempting to intimidate a press colleague and deploying classic bully boy techniques against a very small woman on her own.

What bully boy techniques exactly? Answering her questions? Or is this more of the finger jabbing and space invasion that only Bryant witnessed and reported on? Lets not forget that Bryant also directly accused Brian of threats (‘Deer proceeded to threaten’) – no sign of a threat so far…lets continue.

Jane Bryant: “Why are you being so abusive?”

Brian Deer: “Of who?”

Jane Bryant: “Of the parents, of the children…”

Brian Deer: “What parents have I been abusive to?”

Jane Bryant: “You have just been abusive to me.”

Brian Deer: “Are you a parent?”

Jane Bryant: “Yes, I am a parent, I’m also press. Why are you being so abusive? Get away from me, Brian! Stay away from me.”

With Brian Deer out of control, Editor Polly Tommey of The Autism File showed support.

Polly Tommey: “Stay away from her Brian, keep away. Look, you’re a journalist, give her some space.”

Is Bryant parent to an autistic child? I can’t find anywhere that says she is.

Anyway, notice how Tommey of the antivax magazine ‘The Autism File’ also chimes in. These two poor cowering ladies who are in terror of a man answering their questions. I’ll say it again. I can find nowhere else that reports on the eminently newsworthy story of two women being threatened by an out of control Brian Deer – other than OneClickGroup itself. In a room full of the media no one takes notes, no one turns on their dictaphones and no one turns on their cameras. The _only people_ who capture this threatening, out of control Brian Deer are a couple of anti-vaxxers. What an amazing coincidence.

At this point in the proceeding, Brain Deer calls for security. He has to call them again later that day.

Later on in her piece, Bryant accuses Brain Deer of damaging the equipment of Polly Tommey.

Interestingly, the only person’s equipment that got damaged that day was that of Polly Tommey, Editor of The Autism File. Having left her belongings in the Press Room whilst she went to conduct an interview in the foyer, two of the recordings destined for Autism One Radio were purposefully deleted by someone. I will leave One Click readers to surmise just who the perpetrator might be, who had the access and the motive.

She also says:

The GMC has now categorically on the record refused to deny Brian Deer’s complainant status. They will simply not comment on Deer. So much for Deer’s GMC back up

Which, as we know is simply incorrect. I look forward to Bryant’s correction on her massively popular website.

If you want to see the depths and lengths that St Andy’s fan Club will stoop to, look no further than this. The word of a homophobic woman who seems to mislead people about her status as parent to an autistic person (assuming I’m right about that) and who wants to paint a man as an out of control tyrant when I suspect he was just a bit pissed off.

163 Responses to “One Click Hacks and Homophobes”

  1. Janet Rossington March 4, 2009 at 14:05 #

    Sullivan on March 4th, 2009 01:22:11

    “The reports weren’t provided because the experts who wrote them didn’t give permission.”

    Dedj on March 4th, 2009 01:22:45
    “the people who keep the reports ‘under wraps’ – a usage of terms which implies a deliberate action to keep the reports secret – appear to have been the authors’ of the reports.”

    Sullivan has a quick and legalistic grasp of the massive OAP paper work. Is the claim that the UK claimants refused permission to release their expert reports an assumption or fact? If fact, would you please cite documentary sources. I checked the sources you gave me earlier, but couldn’t see any reference to the UK claimants refusing access. But happy to be corrected.

    Justice Keith placed the expert reports from both sides under wraps when the case was wound up. In June 2007 he released the expert reports listed above following the defendants’ request but would not allow other reports to be released. If the petitioners did not request UK claimants’ reports presumablythey assumed J Keith would refuse – possibly because of his decision in 2007. This decision can’t be laid at the claimants door as there were no claimants in 2008: the case had ended.

    I’m not aware of any factual basis for the claim that the UK claimants refused access to the US petitioners.

  2. One Queer Fish March 4, 2009 at 14:11 #

    Quite simply if your all so cock sure of your Deerism and Bustinism as with Sir Roy Meadowism ,simply why be bothered about a support group run by parents. Obviously Mr Deer seeks approval from the parents on JABS based on his Deerism beliefs which hasn’t happened. Observation is a great thing especially when you listen to the parents and autistic kids (AKA the evidence )and tie that in with clinical studies which Bustin and Deerism does not do….but Dr Wakefields studies do ,do the science or lack of it is just part of the story..

  3. JABS-watcher March 4, 2009 at 14:55 #

    Anecdotes and observations are often wrong. They are not verifiable and are subject to all kinds of biases – including, inter alia, the human need to try and find some external causation for tragic events, and also the peer pressure of “support groups” that offer cult-belief-like certainties.

    Scientific claims are verifiable, as they can be CHECKED by other people.

    Much of the history of science consists in identifying, exploring, and trying to avoid, the human biases in anecdote and observation.

  4. John Stone March 4, 2009 at 16:39 #


    Or it could be that there are very good systems for denying damage. Even severe adverse reactions are unlikely in my experience to be recorded or monitored. NHS advice is to ignore such events. Of course, it is very easy for an unbiased scientist, or even Brian Deer, to go back over records and find no mention of an event – but this does not mean a parent’s memory is an error or that they are lying.

    I have cited this many times and even tried to persuade the NHS to take this ghastly skeleton down:

    but there it still is! So they urge parents to bring their children back for the second dose when they have had severe reaction to the first. What would Brian Deer advise (after all he is the expert now)?

  5. Dedj March 4, 2009 at 17:35 #

    “But happy to be corrected”

    Quite simply, you’re looking for the wrong thing, and have been told what to look for a total of three times now. There is no excuse, or evidence, to continue insisting that a refusal was made.

    The March document that you have already read indicates that the PSC’s own representative states that the reports needed the authours permission to be released, which was unlikely to be obtained. The July document indicates that the PSC decided not to make an application, on the basis of the March advice.

    No one has claimed that the UK claimants ‘refused permission’ for their expert reports to be released – no request was made – but it is claimed that some groups sympathetic to them tried to stop the release at court.

    I hope this will end your confusion, and you will stop interchanging ‘expert’ and ‘claimant’.

  6. PLR March 4, 2009 at 19:01 #

    Janet – I’ve managed to find one judgement for you. There was also another case where the claimants came and opposed, when Merck applied for Prof O’Leary’s report for a case in Pennsylvania.

    I hope this helps

  7. Janet Rossington March 5, 2009 at 00:30 #

    Dedj on March 4th, 2009 17:35:24
    “but it is claimed that some groups sympathetic to them tried to stop the release at court.”

    It is not claims that interest me, but documentary evidence. The case you do give is where Justice Keith’s assented in June 2007 to the US Government’s request for the four manufacturer experts’ reports. Here a claimant’s friend sought unsuccessfully to bar the US Government’s application. But the above discussion thread is about the US petitioners’ attempt to obtain the UK claimant’s expert reports in 2008. The petitioners didn’t pursue the matter because of the secrecy J. Keith insisted on in June 2007 (apart from his releasing the 4 reports to the US gov). To repeat, in 2008 there were no claimants around to object to the US petitioners’ requests, had they been made.

    PLR on March 4th, 2009 19:01:18
    “There was also another case where the claimants came and opposed, when Merck applied for Prof O’Leary’s report for a case in Pennsylvania.”

    It’s true the claimants opposed this on the grounds that this would allow the manufacturers to cherry pick, whist the claimants couldn’t. At the end of the day both sides agreed to secrecy; but for different reasons. The defendants so that no one got hold of their MMR safety studies; the claimants to preserve their evidence for when they had the resources to resurrect their case. Of course in June 2007 this secrecy was breached in favour of the manufacturers.

    I can’t help reverting to what some of you may object to: there is a blatant imbalance in the power and resources wielded by the manufacturer defendants compared to the claimants/petitioners in both the UK and US. Of course this leads in a different direction about the politics of science and litigation. But for now we’ll leave it there.

  8. Dedj March 5, 2009 at 00:53 #

    “The petitioners didn’t pursue the matter because of the secrecy J. Keith insisted on in June 2007”

    Which seems nonsensical, given that the wrap order was well in place before they began their application, which was to obtain the reports from the sealed file.

    As far as I’m aware, they didn’t make the application because (as mentioned in the documents above) their own representative said that they would need to get the experts permission, which was unlikely to be given.

    The issue of jutice Keith not giving permission appears to have originated with – and only been mentioned by – you.

    There appears to have been no attempt by the PSC to obtain the reports, thus it seems rather unfair to talk about ‘breaching’ if both sides had access to the same process of obtaining the documents. It also seems unfair to talk about an imbalance of power when one side exercised their power and the other side chose not to.

    Sullivan may have read Jst Keiths original wrap order. I will wait until they have spoken before assessing whether or not your interpretation of it is correct. Going on all available evidence that is unlikely.

  9. WMP March 5, 2009 at 13:53 #

    Sullivan on March 4th, 2009 01:22:11

    “The reports weren’t provided because the experts who wrote them didn’t give permission.”

    The shocking difference in this case is that it was an exlitigant who was trying to obtain a copy of an expert report by Dr Wakefield. (section 15)

    Wendy Stephen v IC
    Additional Party The Legal Services Commission

  10. vaccine believer March 14, 2009 at 22:55 #

    it is unfortunate that in the main the people on this blog , do not have children who are vaccine damaged , i saw my son regress into Autism after the MMR Vaccine and he has a bowel condition , what you people are failing to hear is that we are not anti-vaccine we had our children vaccinated so how prey tell are we anti vaccine

  11. Dedj March 15, 2009 at 00:17 #

    If you believe in vaccine induced autism, then yes, there are several people – including the ‘owner’ of this blog – who may have ‘vaccine damaged’ children or a ‘vaccine induced’ condition themselves – myself included.

    We hear “We are not anti-vaccine” all the time , yet the actual behaviour observed is either openly anti-vaccine or the people make unvalidated demands that vaccines have some ill-defined ‘standard of safety’ , all of this backed up by arguements from unproven personal experience or clearly biased reading of the literature.

    There are several ways of making vaccines safer, which – coincidence I’m sure – the “We’re not anti-vaccine” people appear to overlook, instead preffering to act suspiciously like anti-vaccine people would.

  12. Kev March 15, 2009 at 00:46 #

    vaccine believer – two questions:

    1) Are you aware there is no valid science connecting vaccines with autism?

    2) Would you recommend to friends and neighbours to get their kids vaccinated?

  13. Journal Checker May 27, 2010 at 21:17 #

    Oh my goodness, coming back to this after more than a year. Lancet article retracted. And the homophobic attacks on Brian Deer too. What drives these people? Is it some sort of fear of their own possible partial genetic guilt, though of course unwarranted because how could they have influenced it. Except by not allowing vaccination.

    By the way read what John Stone said in the BMJ Instant Responses on 13 February 2002.

    “I am a parent of an autistic child, who has been seen at the Royal Free hospital paediatric gastro-enterology department but who has not been diagnosed as suffering suspected MMR vaccine damage. I view the MMR debate from a disinterested position although I have a deep “interested” concern in the cause(s) of the rise in autism generally.”

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