NPR, Air America Nix Autism/Vaccine Book

19 Corporate Crime Reporter 17(1), April 21, 2005

National Public Radio wants nothing to do with David Kirby.

Air America cancelled him.

But the Christian Broadcasting Network wants him on.

Kirby is the author of the hot-selling new book, Evidence of Harm: Mercury in Vaccines and the Autism Epidemic: A Medical Controversy (St. Martin’s Press, 2005)

The book is sympathetic to parents of autistic children who believe that mercury in vaccines is responsible, in part, for the recent upward spike in autism cases – from one in 5,000 in 1987 to one in 166 today.

Kirby, a former assistant to New York City Democratic Party officials, including former City Council President Carol Bellamy and former Mayor David Dinkins, says that “the right wing press has been all over this, and the left wing press won’t touch it.”

“NPR and the Public Broadcasting System get a lot of money from drug companies,” Kirby told Corporate Crime Reporter. “And they need whatever money they can get, so they are not going to offend any advertiser – ever. Whereas the major commercial networks have a little more leeway and play. They take more risks. The conservative press is anti-government, whereas the liberal press is so pro-public health – it is like the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) can do no wrong, doctors can do no wrong. It’s like – the liberal Democratic Party establishment created this public health system that we are so proud of, and we are not going to attack it.”

“On the left, support of government public health programs trumps hatred of drug companies,” Kirby said. “And the right is a little more divided. You have the pro-business right – the Bill Frist and the Wall Street Journal editorial side – who are defending the drug companies at all costs. And then you have the real anti-government and anti-bureaucracy types who fear and distrust government and think this [the mercury/autism link] is entirely plausible.”

Kirby said that while he has been interviewed by local NPR affiliates like WNYC in New York and WHYY in Philadelphia, “the national NPR has ignored this book, hung up on me, written me back and told me to take them off my mailing list.”

“Never in 15 years as a journalist have I ever been treated like this by anybody – except for the CDC,” Kirby said. (For a complete transcript of the 11-page interview with Kirby, see 19 Corporate Crime Reporter 17(7), April 25, 2005, print edition only).

In the interview, Kirby said that lawyers representing autistic children suing the vaccine makers will announce soon a new legal theory that the lawyers believe will allow them to proceed in federal court and bypass the federally mandated vaccine injury compensation program.



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