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A Right Palaver

Soon after Murdoch bought Times newspapers ... Harry Evans
who had been switched from The Sunday Times to The Times,
was passed a confidential letter from the government’s chief
medical adviser, warning that hundreds of thousands of children
were at risk of brain damage from ingesting the high levels of
lead major front-page story to run in The Times on Monday
morning  but then fell ill over the weekend, leaving it to the
Murdoch chosen editor of The Sunday Times to publish. On
Monday Evans was surprised to see that not only had the story
been played down but The Sunday Times editor was resisting
writing a leader on the story, in petrol fumes. Evans commissioned
a saying that he did not want to go beyond 'normal news values'.
                                                           Nick Davies, Flat Earth News, Vintage books, London 2009

          Outside the glass bubble of the GMC, in Almost-Normal Land, it did look as if
things might be taking a turn for the better. Brian Deer’s next instalment of bile, the forewarning of which was emailed to Dr Wakefield as he prepared his presentation to
the Treating Autism Conference, never materialised in Sunday's paper. In all probability this withdrawal was influenced by the first complaint to the Press Complaints Commission handed in at the end of the previous week. The news that James Murdoch had come out of the closet and publicly accepted an executive position on the Board
of GlaxoSmithKline, in whose interest he now vows to use his good offices to put down community opposition to their drugs, gave some hope that The Sunday Times and Brian Deer would be seen for what they are; there was even a rumour that The Sunday Times was to be renamed The GlaxoSundayKlines. Even the second Treating Autism Conference at Bournemouth, packed with parents who applauded Dr Wakefield till their hands hurt, raised hope that change was in the air. In America, after the recent set backs in the corporation-tinted Omnibus Hearings, there was a second court decision in favour of
the argument that vaccines are implicated in some cases of autism.


A Right Palaver
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