A lot of you were expecting to see on the TODAY show yesterday. Honestly, I was expecting to see me on the TODAY show yesterday!
I want to tell you the full story about what happened (from my perspective) and then offer a little bit of a response to the segment that did air. If you’d like to comment on the show’s decision not to have me on (I didn’t even know until about an hour before air that they weren’t going to use me at all — I had been told they’d use clips from my previous interview), you can head to their Facebook page. Just please keep it respectful. I believe they felt caught between a rock and a hard place here.
As of 12:30 PM on Tuesday, I was preparing for our flight to NYC. They had emailed to clarify my position on vaccines around 10:45 AM. I replied with:
My children have not been vaccinated at all. We don’t plan to vaccinate in the future. My oldest two are school age (K/1) but are homeschooled. We are concerned about the sharply increased schedule, the lack of safety testing of that full schedule, and ingredients especially aluminum. Also the recent CDC whistleblower situation and the possible corruption in the research that is out there (which has always been a potential concern; this is the most recent example).
At that point (1 PM) I was told that I would not need to come to NYC because the segment had been cut short, and that there was a slim chance of doing a remote interview, but that they would probably use clips from my previously taped interview.
I found out around 8 AM on Wednesday that they were not going to use me at all. Their official reason was because my children are homeschooled, and their segment was about parents opting out as their children are going back to public school.
What Happened Next
The segment ran as planned in the 9 AM hour (around 9:35) with Dr. Alanna Levine, who is extremely pro-vaccine and stated that the “anti-vaccine” (vaccine choice) position “seems logical to parents who don’t understand.” Balanced reporting, it was not.
My community, thus far, has been very unhappy with this decision! Most of the day yesterday they have been posting on the TODAY Show’s Facebook page. They submitted an article about it (also correcting the doctor’s many incorrect statements) to iReport on CNN and that’s been shared quite a bit. I’m so appreciative for my community supporting me that way, and so grateful that you all stayed respectful in those discussions.
It’s really so important that, no matter what happens, we stay above the fray of the nastiness and the insults. We are for both sides of the story being told. We are for parental choice. We are not for one-sided nastiness. (And yes, that includes towards parents who choose to vaccinate. That is their choice and I don’t support nastiness towards them either.)
What Happens Now
Many of the statements that were made by Dr. Levine were extremely poor. It was very unfortunate that she did not appear to believe in parental choice, and instead took a hard-line view of “vaccines for all.” In this day and age where many families are consciously opting out for a variety of reasons, there’s no excuse for that. That’s not science, that’s elitism. “I know because I’m the doctor. Parents are too stupid to get it.”
But parents aren’t stupid. And we’re done with elitism.
We, the parents, make the decisions. Period. We can sit here all day and say “My science is better than yours! You cherry-picked yours and engaged in rhetoric and you don’t have a position!” and all the other nonsense that is the vaccine debate. But that’s all useless. Really.
Because you choose what goes into your body, and your child’s body. It doesn’t really matter exactly which choice is more or less risky (although there’s lots of data you might want to read if you’re still in the decision-making process). What matters is what you, in your situation, choose. Your body, your choice. I know, I know, many of you still think there’s “one right answer” but there’s not. There is no across-the-board policy. (And if you tell me there is and call me stupid I’m just going to delete it.)
I’ll be appearing on Freedomizer Radio show on Thursday, September 18th at 7:30 PM. I promise this one won’t get canceled and they won’t cut me off or make me look crazy. 🙂 (Because the host agrees with me, lol.)
I’d also like to put this out there: any mainstream TV show that would have me on, and promise to allow me to talk and present a balanced view point (I promise I won’t say vaccines are evil and no one should get them; I’m all about freedom of choice and access to information), I’ll go on if I possibly can. It might have to be a remote appearance, because my family needs me too. But I’ll go, and I’ll speak, to anyone who is interested in honestly representing the other side. Who wants me?!
If you’re interested in a breakdown of the mistakes Dr. Levine made, you can see them here. (Contrary to what some of the commenters said, I had nothing to do with that. I don’t even have an account over there. I also didn’t tell anyone to do it, or share it. That all happened organically.)
How You Can Help
Are you frustrated yet?
The media’s in an unenviable position here. If they talk about vaccines and only state the official lines, they’ll hear about it from the vaccine choice community (…a lot). But if they share the vaccine choice position and present a balanced view, they’re looking at anger from a lot of people in the mainstream, including medical professionals and their sponsors. It’s safest to steer away from the topic entirely, and second safest to simply repeat the same old pro-vaccine lines. (For my readers who vaccinate, pro-vaccine in this case = people who push vaccines on everyone.)
You can help.
This isn’t about being anti-vaccine. This isn’t about making decisions for others. This is about peoples’ right to access truthful, unbiased information. This is about their right to make their own decisions without harassment. We want you to stand with us if you believe that all families should have that right, no matter what decision you personally make. Will you do it?
Contact Your Congressmen
At the state level, write to your congressmen and let them know that you want vaccine exemptions to be in place for those who want to use them. If your state offers all three choices (medical, religious, philosophical), thank your congressmen for that and let them know how important it is that they keep them (and without restriction). If your state doesn’t offer all three, write to ask them to offer the one(s) that they don’t. Let them know, respectfully, how important freedom of choice is.
Hear Me on the Radio
I’ll be on Freedomizer Radio on Thursday, Sept. 18, at 7:30 PM EST talking about vaccine choice. You can listen live and over the internet.
Another Announcement Soon!
I’m working with some other advocates on something major. I’d hoped to be able to announce it today but we’re not quite ready. Look for that soon!