Robert De Niro talks vaccines – misinformation and ignorance

Robert De Niro talks vaccines

I guess this story won’t die. After the huge kerfuffle with respect to the fraudumentary, Vaxxed, you’d think that I wouldn’t have to read anything where Robert De Niro talks vaccines – but alas, he is still pontificating on vaccine issues where he clearly is clueless.

In case you were on a trip to Ceti Alpha V, missing the whole Vaxxed/Tribeca Film Festival/Robert De Niro story, here’s a quick review:

So that should be the end of the story, right? Those of you who follow the anti-vaccination world understand that a story never really dies. It just becomes a zombie meme.

Continue reading “Robert De Niro talks vaccines – misinformation and ignorance”

Anti-vaccine Robert De Niro morphs into Jenny McCarthy

Anti-vaccine Robert De Niro follows Jenny McCarthy

I thought this story was dead and buried. The Tribeca Film Festival, Robert De Niro’s baby, was going to show the fraudulent documentary (hereinafter, fraudumentary) from the epic fraud himself, MrAndy Wakefield’s, fraudulent anti-vaccination movie “Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Controversy.” Suddenly, the anti-vaccine Robert De Niro has jumped back into the discussion about pseudoscientific link between vaccines and autism.

To quote De Niro’s co-star from the Godfather movies, Al Pacino as Michael Corleone famously stated, “Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.”

I guess I’m being pulled back in.

Continue reading “Anti-vaccine Robert De Niro morphs into Jenny McCarthy”

Mike Adams invents Tribeca vaccines conspiracy theory

I thought I was done with the whole Robert De Niro/Tribeca Film Festival/Andrew Wakefield fraud documentary. De Niro pulled the film, and that was that. Story ends. But I did predict that the anti-vaccination crazies would invent all kinds of crap about this story. And behold, Mike Adams, the anti-science pushing nut behind Natural News, goes full batshit insane to invent the Tribeca vaccines conspiracy theory.

As Michael Corleone says in the Godfather, “Just when I thought I was out… they pull me back in.”

But I refuse to be pulled all the way back – I’ll just pull a few quotes to show you Adams’, the so-called Health Ranger, crazy. Continue reading “Mike Adams invents Tribeca vaccines conspiracy theory”

Tribeca pulls the Wakefield fraudulent documentary

Wakefield fraudulent documentary

Not much to say here – the Tribeca Film Festival and Robert De Niro have chosen to pull the Andrew Wakefield fraudulent documentary, Vaxxed. Here is their statement:

[infobox]UPDATE: 3/26/2016 Statement from Robert De Niro, co-founder of the Tribeca Film Festival, regarding VAXXED at the Festival: “My intent in screening this film was to provide an opportunity for conversation around an issue that is deeply personal to me and my family. But after reviewing it over the past few days with the Tribeca Film Festival team and others from the scientific community, we do not believe it contributes to or furthers the discussion I had hoped for. The Festival doesn’t seek to avoid or shy away from controversy. However, we have concerns with certain things in this film that we feel prevent us from presenting it in the Festival program. We have decided to remove it from our schedule.”[/infobox]

Concerns like Wakefield is a fraud and conman, and the CDC whistleblower controversy is nothing? Or that autism is not linked to vaccines? You mean those concerns?

But to be positive, thank you Mr. De Niro and Tribeca Film Festival for listening to the rational voices, and rejecting those who seek to harm children.

There are literally dozens of articles out there from blogs, journalists (and journalist who have blogs), Facebook memes, and just about every where else, that were opposed to this film. Geez, the Skeptical Raptor and Dorit Rubinstein Reiss have written three articles about the the Wakefield fraudulent documentary in the past few days (see here, here, and here). Short of  places like the Age of Lying About Autism, there is simply no one with a rational mind who cares about the lives of children who think Tribeca and De Niro were right in showing this fraudulent documentary by a conman. No one.

Well, I can’t complain. Like a couple of years ago, when the restaurant chain Chilis took heat for making a large contribution to an anti-vaccine charity,  the vox populi of rational science supporters who know there is no controversy, and there is no debate about the safety and effectiveness of vaccines won the day.

But I know it’s not over, I’ve been battling anti-science cretins for more years than most reading this blog have been on this earth. Cue the whining, conspiracy theories, and hate from the vaccine deniers.



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Wakefield, Tribeca Film Festival – old claims new package

wakefield, tribeca film festival

In the words of my young son, it appears that Tribeca Film Festival made a bad choice (thumb down). It apparently decided to screen a problematic film by a man with a problematic history. Let’s look at the Andrew Wakefield, Tribeca Film Festival “partnership” for this “documentary.”

It was, appropriately, called to task for it by science bloggers, and journalists from several sources, for example Jezebel, LATimes, and others. Especially after it provided a very problematic non-response response to the criticism.

Observers pointed out that even the trailer included misrepresentation of facts, as have previous pronouncements on the issue by its two top anti-vaccine actors, Andrew Wakefield and Brian Hooker.

This post isn’t going to repeat these points. Instead, I want to remind readers that there’s nothing new in this; it’s old news in a new package, and it’s not anymore true now than it was in the past. Tribeca’s bad choice and Andrew Wakefield’s bad movie do not change the basic facts. MMR does not cause autism (nor do vaccines more generally). There is no massive conspiracy to hide vaccine harms; and Andrew Wakefield’s past actions still discredit him as a scientist and as a source of information on vaccines and autism.

The Wakefield, Tribeca Film Festival partnership should be judged carefully by the examination of evidence.

Continue reading “Wakefield, Tribeca Film Festival – old claims new package”

Robert De Niro and Wakefield’s propaganda film – Vaxxed

wakefield's propaganda film

Several sources report that Robert De Niro was the power behind the throne that got Mr. Andy Wakefield’s propaganda film, about a so-called CDC whistleblower, on the Tribeca Film Festival’s lineup. Many of us had an inkling that De Niro was involved, because he has an autistic child. But I was skeptical until just a while ago.

Earlier today, the ethereal Orac received an email from Tribeca Film Festival that confirmed De Niro’s participation:

[infobox icon=”quote-left”]I wanted to provide you with following statement from Robert De Niro, co-founder of the Tribeca Film Festival, regarding Vaxxed at the Festival:

“Grace and I have a child with autism and we believe it is critical that all of the issues surrounding the causes of autism be openly discussed and examined. In the 15 years since the Tribeca Film Festival was founded, I have never asked for a film to be screened or gotten involved in the programming. However this is very personal to me and my family and I want there to be a discussion, which is why we will be screening VAXXED. I am not personally endorsing the film, nor am I anti-vaccination; I am only providing the opportunity for a conversation around the issue.”

Thank you,

Tammie[/infobox]

I am sympathetic to De Niro’s personal association with the autism issue. But there are no “discussions” about vaccines and autism. Vaccines are absolutely not related to autism – science speaks in black and white, and in this case, there is no debate.

What this propaganda film does is cause people to not vaccinate their children, putting them at risk of many vaccine preventable diseases. Wakefield is a fraud – that has been established by boatloads of evidence, including his inability to get a judgement against his accusers who have stated that fact.

If De Niro thinks that vaccines cause autism, then he should take is millions of dollars that he’s earned from his movies, and fund a great autism research center that relies upon science and evidence to speak to what causes autism.

Instead, he’s going to allow the cunning fraud, Andy Wakefield, lie to an audience with the passive, or more probably, the active support of one of our generation’s greatest actors.

As the elegantly subtle Orac says:

[infobox icon=”quote-left”]I almost feel sorry for Mr. De Niro. Almost. He’s about to be besieged by antivaccine cranks, who will now look at him as a hero and try to get him to support all sorts of wacky quack and pseudoscience causes. I hope he likes his new admirers.

Actually, I do feel a bit sorry for Mr. De Niro. He’s now finding out the hard way why those of us who’ve studie him say that Andrew Wakefield discredits anything he touches. That now includes the Tribeca Film Festival.[/infobox]

I actually don’t care what celebrities say. In general, they are uneducated fools whose purpose in life is to create an illusion for the audience. But I have a policy – I do not pay a penny to any actor who tries to intentionally harm people through their ignorance and foolishness. Vaxxed will hurt children.

Even if only one child isn’t vaccinated because of the pseudoscience and lies in this fake documentary, that’s one child too many. Is Robert De Niro willing to risk one child based on a fraud and conman’s lies?

Thus, I will never watch another movie by De Niro. He’ll still get millions for each movie he does, no one will care about me.

But I’m on the side of science and truth. He’s not. Children will lose in the long run.

Tara Haelle just wrote an article saying that Robert De Niro “just broke my heart.” Yeah. That.

Update

Unless you aren’t closely following this story, Robert De Niro and the Tribeca Film Festival removed the documentary from the schedule. They listened.



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