Friday, August 30, 2013

CBS Provides Glimpse into "Documentary" Defending Autistic Teen Alex Spourdalakis' Killers

NEW!  Sign the petition to have the video and article removed:

CBS News: Take down the video Behind the Tragedy: Mother Murders Autistic Son 

CBS has a film clip and a story about "A documentary produced by <...>* offers a rare and visual prelude to murder as it follows the the tireless struggles of Alex's alleged killers battling a system they felt was ill-equipped to help autistic children."
*[an organization I am not naming as I prefer to not give them free ads. You can search for the article easily enough.]

CBS's article quotes the producer of the film, who says that "Dorothy was like any other autism mother, desperate to get help for her child,"

Any "autism mothers" who have not murdered their children want to take issue with that?

CBS couples the phrase "rare and visual prelude to murder" with "tireless struggles of Alex's alleged killers battling a system they felt was ill-equipped to help autistic children." This, of course, is not an exoneration by CBS of the murder. Or is it?

Because people were struggling tirelessly against "the system" does not mean that a murder was not committed, a murder, recall, that the two women said they had contemplated for a week before carrying it out in grisly, hours-long, fashion.

The film producer then goes on to say Alex's death did not need to be, but, ...oh yes... there weren't services in place. Yes it is awful to not have services. You don't get to murder another human being because you did not get the services you want." "It is not actually clear that "there wasn't anything in place for him." It also is not clear that there was adequate care in place, but, again, that is not an excuse for murder. People can argue back and forth about whether or not Alex was offered, or provided, adequate or appropriate services, and what those services might have been. In the meantime, a child has been murdered, and is dead.

CBS's article then says a doctor told the family Alex's stomach was covered with lesions. Here is a link to a wikipedia article about the doctor:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Krigsman  

Whether or not your child has lesions on the stomach, you don't get to murder him. (Except they did, actually NOT "just like any other autism mother").

The murderer's "suicide note" (except she did not die, so it's not really a suicide note) says that Alex will no longer be "treated like an animal, " although she did kill the cat as part of the gruesome hacking scenario. Ironic, more than a bit.

The CBS post goes on to quote Ari Ne'eman, the voice of rationality in all this: "I think an ideology, a dangerous ideology that preaches that people are better off dead than disabled is what led to Alex Spourdalakis' murder." 

CBS's story sounds a bit like promotional material for the film. The film is being touted as a documentary, but seems to be more like an infomercial, given that it is being developed and produced by these people who think vaccines cause autism: http://leftbrainrightbrain.co.uk/tag/polly-tommey/ . CBS should do some fact checking before touting a film-length advertisement as "a movie <> that provides a factual record or report" (a definition of documentary). You don't go to people who are closely linked to murder suspects to produce an "explanatory film" about the heinous murder of a child. You typically leave that to parties that are at least somewhat disinterested or removed from the direct situation. The producers of this film are in direct contact with the discredited Andrew Wakefield, who is featured sitting at the bedside of Alex Spourdalakis shortly before he was murdered.  In fact, Wakefield and Tommey have teamed up to The producers of this film are in direct contact with the discredited Andrew Wakefield, who is featured sitting at the bedside of Alex Spourdalakis shortly before he was murdered.  Tommey and Wakefield have teamed up to produce short media clips, informercials, etc. (do a search on both names for links, as I won't promote them here). Maybe they have an "in" with CBS? Not ethical. Update: Yes, perhaps they do have an "in" with CBS as the reporter is said to be an anti-vax "player:" http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/anti-vaccine-propaganda-from-sharyl-attkisson-of-cbs-news-2/
 
NEW!  Sign the petition to have the video and article removed:

CBS News: Take down the video Behind the Tragedy: Mother Murders Autistic Son 

In addition to the petition, complaints to CBS can be sent here: 

cbsaudiencenews@cbs.com

CBS Chairman Jeffrey Fager
c/o CBS News
524 West 57th Street
New York, NY 10019



My letter to CBS, if anyone wants a template:
A recent article by one of your reporters, a Sharyl Attkison, promotes a "documentary" created by Polly Tommey, about the grisly murder of Alex Spourdalakis. It is not clear how a film produced by a team that includes the discredited Andrew Wakefield and other anti-vaccine proponents, can be called a documentary. Many of these people are very close to the murder and might fall into the category of people who should be investigated in connection with the murder, not disinterested documentary makers. Andrew Wakefield, Arthur Krigsman ("doctor"), and others associated with both the article and the film, were in close contact with the murdered child's family. Polly Tommey, the producer, also was in touch before Alex died. That is how she obtained footage for the film. 
The article, let alone the future film, violates many, if not most, of the Society for Professional Journalism's Code of Ethics. Of particular concern are:

— Distinguish news from advertising and shun hybrids that blur the lines between the two.
—Avoid conflicts of interest, real or perceived.
— Remain free of associations and activities that may compromise integrity or damage credibility.
— Deny favored treatment to advertisers and special interests and resist their pressure to influence news coverage.

Sharyl Attkison has been connected with the "anti-vaccine movement." It is fine for her to have personal views, but it is highly questionable that she should highlight a film that uses the horrible murder of a child to promote dangerous theories about autism. 


This film, that was started before a murder and then continued to develop a "documentary" that presumably will get attention for the "anti-vaccine" cause? If I were CBS I would be doing some investigative reporting of another kind.

Regards,
Paula C. Durbin-Westby

Shortly after the film announcement came out, Issy Stapleton's mother attempted to murder her. She, too, is being held in jail with no bond: Walk In Their Shoes: Attempted Murder of Autistics: Issy Stapleton

Links to other articles decrying CBS's lack of responsibility toward the disabled community: 


Another one I wrote: CBS Touts Film Preying on Murder of Autistic Teen Alex Spourdalakis

http://thepoxesblog.wordpress.com/2013/08/30/it-is-now-okay-to-kill-your-child/

Sharyl Attkisson and CBS News: Lying by omission about the murder of autistic teen Alex Spourdalakis

http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2013/09/02/sharyl-attkisson-and-cbs-news-an-epic-fail-in-reporting-on-the-murder-of-autistic-teen-alex-spourdalakis/

http://www.mediaite.com/tv/cbs-news-must-retract-report-excusing-mothers-murder-of-autistic-child/ 

EXCELLENT source for all the known links and a comparison of Autistic community and supporter commentary vs. "mercy killing support" commentary.

http://lizditz.typepad.com/i_speak_of_dreams/2013/09/cbss-sharyl-attkisson-this-time-an-apologist-for-murder.html
Screen capture of search on "CBS film autistic teen," which shows my blog post here second on the list after the CBS News post.

 


Alex Spourdalakis, running, when he was alive 

8 comments:

BiolArtist said...

Here is some detailed analysis of the backstory that makes her look even worse: http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2013/06/14/autism-biomed-and-murder-of-alex-spourdalakis/

Apparently, she was a curebie who went off the rails. She rejected appropriate treatment and demanded INappropriate treatments. He was in the hospital to treat the results of her abuse, and the forces of anti-autism rallied around her to demand further medical abuse. When this failed, she spent a week plotting to murder him outright.

This case wraps up so many types of abuse against autistics. How typical of the media to sympathize with the killer/abuser because we're not really people in their minds.

Chronicles of a Boy With Autism and Then Some said...

As the mother of an Autistic son, the quote "Dorothy was like any other autism mother, desperate to get help for her child,", makes me sick to my stomach. There is NO EXCUSE for the murder of a child. Never, ever. I agree with your article, and the media needs to stop playing into the culture of pity the parent now. The tragedy is the murder, not having an Autistic child.

Liz said...

The despicable "reporter" Sharryl Attkisson also lied about ASAN's funding,

"Ari Neeman, who heads up a government-funded autism self-advocacy group" -- to the best of my knowledge, all of ASAN's funding is from individuals and foundations.

Attkisson has extremely questionable journalistic ethics.

http://lizditz.typepad.com/i_speak_of_dreams/2008/07/sharyl-attkisso.html

My contempt for her knows no bottom.

Shannon Des Roches Rosa said...

Thank you for writing this, Paula. I've been sick to my stomach all day.

To protest directly to CBS, I've been told you can write to:
cbsaudiencenews@cbs.com

or write to:
CBS Chairman Jeffrey Fager
c/o CBS News
524 West 57th Street
New York, NY 10019

Amy Caraballo said...

Amen, Paula. There is nothing about desperation that drives one to murder. There is much about selfishness that could. It's a shame someone didn't find "interventions" for Alex's mom, because indeed, she was the one who needed help.

McDutchie said...

As I just posted to Facebook:

I'm so very tired of this. It's so profoundly depressing. It's the same thing every time, like clockwork:

1. Autistic kid murdered by desperate parent because desperate parent doesn't get any sympathy.

2. Murderer now receives torrents of sympathy online, in mass media, etc. (while the autistic victim's perspective is utterly erased from the narrative, because autistics are non-persons).

3. Other desperate sympathy-starved parents of autistic kids watch torrents of sympathy being doled out and get ideas.

4. GOTO 1

Jennifer said...

I am writing to say how utterly disgusted I am by CBS choosing to air this piece:

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505263_162-57600751/film-provides-glimpse-into-life-of-autistic-teen-killed-by-his-mother/

I have been following this story. People who believe that vaccines cause autism have been exploiting a vulnerable young man. How would you feel if you had been photographed naked on a hospital bed? With the story slanted so that sympathy was given to the person you trusted most in your life - your mother - had killed you? And that she had given permission for you to be photographed in this vulnerable position?

This "mother" killed Alex. She tried to poison him. And then she stabbed him and tried to cut off his hand. Now people with a twisted, non-evidence based agenda (which includes the disgraced Andrew Wakefield) are seeking to exploit this horrible death to further their own objectives. This is terribly wrong.

Please write to ask CBS to remove this video.

Leslie Calloway said...

You fight for your children..... You fight even harder for your children...... My son will be successful in life because I will fight for him while also teaching him to fight for himself. You sacrifice for your children..... You sacrifice even more for your children...... My son will be successful because I sacrificed my needs to ensure he had his needs. He will always have Aspersers and that is embraced and makes him amazing. It may be a battle at times but when it's not he shines brighter than most. I don't want to read anything further about this women. The only peace I will move forward with is the peace in knowing Alex is now treated like the angel he has always been.

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