NPR not Allowed to say "genital warts" ?
Whatever happened to the journalist's obligation to inform the public? I listened to this interview conducted by NPR's Linda Wertheimer with Dr. Jeanne Santoli of the CDC and came away stunned at how they could omit the two most obvious and important points of the whole story.
1) There is a vaccine for Human Papilloma Virus, also known as HPV, also known as "genital warts" or "warts". However, neither woman uttered the word "warts" or "genital" at all. It went like this:
WERTHEIMER: Now, HPV is spread by sex, right?
SANTOLLI: Yes, it is a sexually transmitted disease.
That was it. One of them could have added, for the benefit of less informed listeners, that it is also known as warts or genital warts, but they didn't. I could sense they were going out of their way not to say those words.
The public needs to know that kids who get this vaccine will virtually eliminate their chances of getting genital warts later in life when they become sexually active. If people heard it expressed this way, they would be more likely to get the vaccine, which would improve public health in general, as genital warts are believed to be linked to cervical cancer in women. Is the puritannical religious right influencing NPR? Or worse, causing them to self-censor to avoid complaints from fundamentalist groups?
2) There was a discussion about how some people are against all vaccines, however, Wertheimer never asked the expert WHY people are against vaccines? Obviously a story about vaccines that mentions that people are opposed to vaccines for their children should explain why those people feel that way and why they're willing to put their children's health and lives at risk by not giving them vaccines.
Three new vaccines help to protect pre-teens against whooping cough, meningitis and human papilloma virus. Dr. Jeanne Santoli of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, speaks with Linda Wertheimer.