Eli Stone: It’s not about autism

Unlike officials at the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and many pro-vaccination bloggers, I've had a chance to watch the entire pilot episode of ABC's fictional comedy/drama "Eli Stone."

The already controversial program, which debuts Thursday at 9 p.m. and subjects viewers to fanciful scenes involving pop singer George Michael, depicts a lawyer who argues in court that a mercury-based preservative in a flu vaccine made a child autistic.

The AAP, after watching a seven-minute trailer of the show and reading media reports, was so outraged a sacred cow had been attacked that it demanded that ABC cancel the episode. Ironically, the move is drawing even more attention to the show.

While the program includes statements that science has refuted any link between autism and vaccines, the AAP complained that "the episode's conclusion delivers a contrary impression; the jury awards the mother $5.2 million, leaving audiences with the destructive idea that vaccines do cause autism."

I disagree.

For starters, the AAP ought to give television viewers a little more credit. Like most television, this is supposed to be entertainment. Will we, for example, really believe Eli Stone is a prophet who hears songs by George Michael every time he has a vision?

(Source: Chicago Tribune)

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