Accuracy in Media

A recent Gallup poll found that most people still find that the major media have a liberal bias. It was demonstrated in an October 8 report on ABC News about those about parents refusing to get their children vaccinated. The story by correspondent John McKenzie didn’t even pretend to give both sides, except for a brief interview with a parent who said she stopped giving her child vaccines when he developed serious adverse reactions to a shot. Those reactions were fever, vomiting and seizures.

The parents were depicted as misguided zealots who were not only threatening their children but others. The McKenzie piece implied that states should not permit parents to have their children opt out of vaccines on a religious or philosophical basis. What ABC News did not mention was the evidence that states are increasingly requiring vaccines that are not necessary or even effective for most children.

A good example is the hepatitis-B vaccine, which is now required in most states for infants. Hepatitis B, however, is a disease that mostly affects people who inject illegal drugs or engage in promiscuous sex. Homosexual men are at the greatest risk of getting the disease. The only infants who stand a chance of getting the disease are those born of mothers infected with it. But rather than target those at risk, governments have required it for all newborns, on the theory that they may grow to become sexually active teenagers, use drugs, or become homosexual. Like all vaccines, this one has some potential adverse reactions.

Dr. Judith Reisman notes that this is the first government-mandated vaccination for a sexually transmitted disease. Parents are being led to believe that hepatitis B is something that is highly communicable and infectious. In fact, it is spread much like HIV and is found in blood, semen and vaginal secretions. It’s not a surprise that some parents would object to forcing this vaccine on their children. They would prefer to raise children in a context of traditional moral or religious values so they do not choose the risky behaviors that would expose them to the disease.

On the very day that ABC News aired its report on the fear of vaccines, the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative held a news conference demanding more money for an AIDS vaccine. Some behind this effort want the government to require an AIDS vaccine for all children as well, even though this disease?like hepatitis B?mainly affects the sexually promiscuous, especially homosexuals. Another required vaccine in many states is chicken pox. But only about ten years ago, it was not required. Children got the disease, were isolated at home, and then developed natural immunity. The chicken-pox vaccine can lose its effectiveness over time, and adults may then be at greater risk of getting the more serious disease, shingles.

This is a complicated issue that deserves a thoughtful and not a simplistic analysis. Clearly, ABC News doesn’t trust parents to make the right decisions. That’s another form of liberal media bias. They’re not pro-choice on this issue.

Ready to fight back against media bias?
Join us by donating to AIM today.


Comments are turned off for this article.