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What

What's the story? Anti-semitism or Covid vaccine adverse event denial?

Today the BBC posted an article entitled: 'Andrew Bridgen suspended as Tory MP over Covid vaccine comments' Andrew Bridgen suspended as Tory MP over Covid vaccine comments - BBC News

The artilcle includes a video of disgraced MP Matt Hancock claiming that Bridgend's comments were a 'disgusting, anti-semitic, anti-vacc conspiracy theory' and the Prime Minister stating that the comments were a part of a 'scourge of anti-semitism'.

Without presenting or analysing any evidence the article announces that the vaccine claims are 'baseless' and 'rhetoric'.

The article also contains this paragraph:'Posting a link to an article on vaccines earlier, he said: 'As one consultant cardiologist said to me, this is the biggest crime against humanity since the Holocaust.'

And states: 'Extensive independent research shows that Covid vaccines are extremely effective at preventing deaths' without referencing this research.

The challenge of professional journalism

When reporting anything journalists have to make a range of choices, including how to frame the story and what to include and exclude. And they are professionally obliged by their Code of Ethics to seek balance and to be accountable.

In this case the focus is on 'anti-semitism' - from a quote - when it could and arguably should have been about the credibility of Bridgen's claims about the dangers of the vaccines, but this aspect is ignored, though there is no shortage of sources that might have been explored, for example: https://www.austintexas.gov/edims/document.cfm?id=364942; https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-vaccine-adverse-reactions and https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/36055877/. The latter paper states:

'Discussion: The excess risk of serious adverse events found in our study points to the need for formal harm-benefit analyses, particularly those that are stratified according to risk of serious COVID-19 outcomes. These analyses will require public release of participant level datasets.'

It is proposed that neither the journalists nor the politicians have any professional credibility

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