I recently saw a news report on NBC Nightly News that discussed how more and more families are choosing not to vaccinate their children. On the surface, this seemed like a very interesting report, so I eagerly awaited the segment. However, after viewing the report, I was left very angry and frustrated with the bias of the report.

It interviewed one mom who is choosing not to vaccinate her 3 year old. I say ‘interview’ with a grain of salt because they had edited her comments to almost nothing at all. They proceeded to say that the number of unvaccinated children had risen to 2.5 % from 1% since 1990. One doctor said that the reason for this increase was because of the belief that vaccines cause autism. Also, NBC showed a map of those states who allow parents to opt out of shots for religious or personal reasons.

Then they paraded a series of experts and doctors to drill down their point of view that all children should be vaccinated. One doctor said how there has been an increase in the number of diseases that vaccines prevent such as measles in his hospital. Another expert asserted how these children are endangering those in society most susceptible to diseases such as the elderly, sick, and those with low immune systems.

Then the report ended with no real conclusion or action steps.

My first thought was how many parents out there they scared with this report who ran to their doctor the next day to get all of the required shots, which I believe was their intent. It was obvious that the news story was meant to emphasize how every parent should get their child vaccinated.

In my opinion, this was a one-sided story. NBC peppered the story with the aforementioned statistics and facts to make it seem credible so you will be swayed to their side. There was no mention of the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 that compensates parents if their child becomes brain damaged or dies due to a vaccine injection. Furthermore, the news media (who is supposed to be non-biased) did not even encourage parents to do the research for themselves and decide what is right for them. They did not even allow the interviewed mother to say that for them. Instead, they injected their beliefs, using experts and doctors (people who we are supposed to not question); in order to make us, the viewers, believe a certain way.

No parents with children with autism were interviewed. The one comment on autism in the report only said that there is no concrete proof that vaccines cause autism. Well, we all know this. I also know that the parents with autistic children who believe that vaccines caused autism are adamant in their beliefs. They have no doubt in their minds. Just because science can’t back up their opinions doesn’t mean they believe any different.

Recently, I have become a fan of Bill O’Reilly, who stands up for children and those who don’t have a voice. He always talks about how the media is biased and liberal leaning. I had been skeptical of this until I saw this report.

In conclusion, my warning to parents is: you cannot believe everything you see or hear on the news. The same goes for studies. Every study seems to contradict the previous study or prove it wrong. It is always a sound bite you hear on the news “Such and such a study says you should do such and such”. Then they move on to the next topic with not a single flick of the eye. No one knows what to believe any more.

In my first book, “How to Have a Baby Your Way,” I encourage women and parents to think for themselves when it comes to rearing your children. When it comes down to it, you are responsible for your child’s health, not society or whoever else wants to subject an opinion upon you. If you hear, see, or read something that contradicts your beliefs or knowledge on a particular matter, then jump on the Internet and start searching for yourself. No other time in history has it been so easy to find information on anything you want to know. Talk to trusted experts and doctors to find out the facts on the topic and then decide for yourself what you believe in your heart to be true.

The media, who used to have an obligation to report just the facts, increasingly thrusts their opinions on the trusting public. When it comes to my family’s health, I take advice from those I trust and who I know have no vested interest in the matter and then learn and decide for myself what is in my family’s best interest. Shouldn’t you do the same?

Author's Bio: 

By: Jennifer Dionne. Her website is www.loveofparenting.com, a comprehensive view of pregnancy and parenting. She is a stay-at-home mom who is passionate about helping other moms through the challenges of motherhood. She is the author of “How to Have a Baby Your Way”, which discusses vaccines and baby’s health in depth. It is currently available through her website.