"We, who are not scientists, are entitled to have opinions, so we are entitled to express them. So the BBC, and any other news organisations, are OBLIGED, not just entitled, to present them."
This is a quote from John Humphrys on the Today Programme, BBC radio, on 12th September 2017. He was interviewing Steve Jones, Emeritus Professor of Human Genetics at University College, who had reviewed the way the BBC reported science. Scientists, he said, were once 'God-like figures' who were not questioned by journalists. Now, so the argument went, they are questioned, and doubted, often in a hostile manner. Several examples were given about how, why and when science should be questioned.
- Nuclear power, in the 1950's. We were told that the first nuclear plants were producing electricity, but we were not told that the main reason for their existence was to produce nuclear bombs.
- John Gummer, a Tory minister, who tried to persuade us that beef was safe to eat, and gave his daughter a beef-burger to prove it.
- Andrew Wakefield and the MMR controversy. The Smith/Humphrys verdict was that this was "not scientific" and led the many parents refusing to vaccinate their children, "a complete disaster", a "car crash" of science reporting!
- The Tobacco industry, which denied for many years the connection between smoking, lung cancer and health.
- The current debate on climate change with climate change deniers.
We can all have opinions - and news organisations like the BBC are OBLIGED (not just entitled) to report it. Otherwise, Humphrys stated, "there is no debate".
The Health Debate
Well, there is undoubtedly no debate about health issues, nor has there been for at least the last 20 years! Indeed, the BBC have refused to engage in a debate about health since the time of the Wakefield controversy! I wrote seven blogs on the non-existed health debate back in 2012, and since then the situation has not changed. The mainstream media refuses to discuss important health issues that are constantly being ranged, but are not heard.
So, as usual, Wakefield was dismissed out of hand by both Smith an Humphrys. As a result of the controversy people refused to vaccinate their children, and the implication (as always) was that vaccinations are good! Autism was mentioned, Smith commenting that 'autism was just being talked about at that time'.
Yes, indeed it was. And during the intervening years, autism has grown to epidemic proportions.
So if Wakefield was wrong (and Humphys is quite entitled to his opinion) what has caused this epidemic of autism. Conventional (sometimes called scientific) medicine still does not know apparently. This is what NHS Choices says.
So the science of Smith and Humphrys has condemned one explanation for autism, but is still quite unable to supply another. Genetic predisposition? Autism was unknown before the 1940's, so where did these genes suddenly appear from? A natural tendency? Is this really the best that medical science can come up with?
So, Mr Humphrys, I disagree. And, as you say, I have a right to my opinion. Actually, I am far from alone in having this opinion. Nor do I think that vaccinations are a good thing, as I do not believe in injecting myself (or anyone else) with poisons like mercury, aluminium, and other noxious subjects. So are the BBC is obliged to know about these opinions? If so, why are our opinions never aired on the BBC, or any other mainstream media source?
- I can understand that conventional medicine might not want to admit the link between vaccines are autism (and ADHD, Allergies, and Alzheimers, and much else). But I cannot understand why the mainstream media, including the BBC, refuse to put forward and question the views of anti-vaxers.
- I can understand that the commercial media does not want to 'bite the hand that feeds them', the pharmaceutical companies are massive advertisers on which media companies have become almost completely dependent. But the BBC?
So, Mr Humphys, just as you said, when someone's opinions are ignored there is no debate. One side, medical science, is reported, ad nauseam - new miracle drugs, wonder cures, life changing breakthroughs in treatment. But anyone concerned about the impact of toxic pharmaceutical drugs are vaccines are never heard, and conventional medical spokesmen are never asked why, despite these regular breakthroughs, autism, and most other chronic diseases (cancer, diabetes, arthritis, and many, many more) are now running at epidemic levels.
- When will journalists have the courage to ask what I want them to ask - when, with all the money are resources being poured into conventional medicine, can we expect a decline in the incidence of disease?
- And more important, are the pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines we are regularly told are so good for us causing these disease epidemics through their so-called 'side effects' and 'adverse reactions?
More specifically, when will the mainstream media inform us about medical events that demonstrate that we are dealing with a deeply fraudulent medical system? For instance, when will it be reported that the scientist who led the medical research that 'proved' there was no link between MMR and Autism has actually admitted that he destroyed important data that would have proven the link?
I have asked the BBC about this, and blogged about it in 2016. They told me that it was not newsworthy! Fraudulent medical science, not newsworthy? A medical system in denial about a serious link between disease and vaccines, not newsworthy? It would appear that it is okay for the BBC to report favourably on medical science, but any unfavourable news is to be censored!
So, Mr Humphrys, there is, indeed, no debate. My opinions, and the opinions of an ever-growing proportion of the public, are not being heard. You might says that we are 'entitled' to know about opinions contrary to science. But it would appear that the BBC does not feel 'obliged' to tell us about them. And in the meantime, the rates of Autism continue to rise.