I had some of the kids gathered around to listen to what Mr. De Niro shared, too. They were impressed. They were also thankful. It isn't every day that someone on TV gets a chance tell the whole world what you've been saying for years.
Ever since they were old enough to understand Ronan's vaccine injury, my kids have questioned vaccines. They've also question the media. They hear from the media that "the science" is clear and that vaccines are safe and effective. Hearing that being said bothers them because they know the opposite to be true.
If vaccines are so safe, why do kids get hurt from them?
If vaccines are so effective, why do they sometimes not work to prevent disease?
If a vaccine is so life saving, why did someone die after getting one?
What's being said and advertised on TV, in magazines, and by some medical people doesn't match up to what happened to their brother. Because of that, my kids have learned to question news sources. They especially do that when they hear a reporter read straight from the from the carefully crafted 'vaccines don't cause autism' memo that circulates whenever a vaccine segment goes on air.
"Mom, please. Why are we listening to this?" one of the kids will ask, "They have no idea what they're talking about."
To which I reply, "I know, dear. It's sad, isn't it."
Yes, it is.
The media tries so hard to be an authority on the subject. Someday they'll figure out that they are not.
So tomorrow, when the media turns to to squash all that De Niro said earlier today, get your BINGO cards ready. Keep tabs of how many times you hear the usual words like Discredited, Anti-Vaccine, and Debunked.
You'll surely be able to fill out 4-in-a-row on Thursday morning. I bet you'll get a Blackout before the anchor on the evening news signs off. Whatever you do, while you hear those same old, same old recycled words, don't lose hope.
I never imagined he'd say as much as he got to today, but I had a feeling that we'd hear from Robert De Niro again. Good on him for keeping the vaccine conversation going. I'm looking forward to hearing more of what he has to say.