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BREAKING Petition the NYT: Let Whitaker respond to Kramer

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cinephile

It's about time voices like Whitaker's were heard in mainstream media outlets like the NYT.

 

I just received a most interesting email from Mark Foster. It is copied below. Read it, and obviously participate and sign the petition at http://tinyurl.com/3wkta74 ! This is a great idea, and a most fair one.

 

**PS: I just signed the petition. It was easy and took 5 seconds.

 

-----------------

Greetings, friends--

 

I hope this find you all well.

 

I have helped in creating a petition entitled, "A Petition to the NY Times requesting an opportunity for Robert Whitaker to respond to Dr. Peter Kramer" and wanted to see if you would consider adding your name.

 

The issue is this: Last Sunday, the New York Times pubished on the front page of its review section an article authored by Dr. Peter Kramer, "In Defense of Antidepressants." This unsubstantiated article contained misinformation and misinterpretation of studies. It was designed to marginalize critics of unwarranted medication usage for mental distress, and to reassure readers that the drugs are safe and effective. This article has been widely circulated, and became the most emailed article of that date.

 

Everybody has a right to an opinion. But it is incumbent upon the world's leading newspaper to provide balanced coverage of opposing viewpoints, especially on such a controversial issue. This petition is to ask the NY Times to provide comparable space for a rebuttal. Signing it is not saying that you disagree with all psychiatric medications (I am not anti-medication, but rather support a limited, short-term use of them in very select cases with patients being fully informed of their risks and withdrawal effects). Signing is indicating that you support a balanced approach and accurate representation of facts in the mainstream press.

 

Robert Whitaker has written an excellent rebuttal, which we would like the NY Times to reproduce within its own pages. You can read it here:

 

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/mad-in-america/201107/the-new-york-times-defense-antidepressants-0

 

Our goal is to reach 1,000 signatures and we need more support. You can read more and sign the petition here:

 

http://www.change.org/petitions/a-petition-to-nyt-requesting-an-opportunity-for-robert-whitaker-to-respond-to-dr-peter-kramer

 

Please consider posting this on facebook and forwarding this to any friends who might have interest.

 

Thanks for the support!

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summer

I signed it.

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cinephile

Excellent! Thank you Summer. Every signature counts!

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susan

I just signed it. Thank you for posting this! ;)

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compsports

I just signed it. Thank you for posting this! ;)

 

I signed it too.

 

Thanks god for folks like Mark Foster and Bob Whitaker. When I am down about things, thinking about what they have done to advance our cause brings a smile to my face.

 

CS

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Baxter

Signed it! I saw that article last week and I seethed. Kramer did a lot of people a lot of harm, IMO.

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Altostrata

Wow! Psychiatric survivors unite, indeed!

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Punarbhava

Cine....

 

thank you for this news alert.

 

 

I just signed the petition.

 

 

I hope EVERYONE on this site takes a few minutes out of their day to sign this petition. Our signatures have the power to allow Whitaker to set the record straight regarding psyche drugs.

 

 

This can save many lives! Please do your part and sign the petition.

 

 

Punar

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Phil

Signed.

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ajay

I spent some time trying to come up with compelling comment to add with my signature... I decided it was better to sign just my name rather than wait until I could add a clever statement.

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Eliotsmum

I signed it and e-mailed it to a few of my friends....

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Rhiannon

I signed it and e-mailed it to a few of my friends....

 

Ditto me! Be sure to email it to anyone you know who cares about the subject. I'd love to SWAMP them with signatures!

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alexjuice

I signed as well.

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Altostrata

It's up to 649 signatures, goal is 1,000.

 

SurvivingAntidepressants.org got a shout-out from the petition organizer in the Petition Activity section. Thank you, Susan Kingsley-Smith.

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Phil

I've sent this to a few friends, hopefully will add a few more signatures.

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compsports

On a list I sent this to, someone posted this link:

 

http://nyti.ms/r3LoIp

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/17/opinion/sunday/l17dialogue.html?pagewanted

=all

 

They are published letters from psychiatrists, patients and others responding to Peter Kramer's article. One of the letters came from Dr. Marcia Angell, (not a full length letter).

 

Does this kill the chances of the petition succeeding in your opinion? I am worried that it does.

 

CS

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Altostrata

This was just posted on the Facebook page for the petition:

 

 

Dear Courageous Petitioners:

 

Thank you all for your willingness to join with us in petitioning the New York Times to grant comparable space for Robert Whitaker and others to present a rebuttal to Dr. Peter Kramer's opinion piece, "In Defense of Antidepressants."

 

The global response and your heartfelt comments have been overwhelming. If you haven't had the opportunity to scan through the comments, we encourage you to do so.

 

We wanted to share with all of you some updates:

 

First, the NY Times staff has responded to our petition.

 

Here is what they said:

 

Thank you for your interest in Peter D. Kramer's article "In Defense of Antidepressants" (Sunday Review, July 10). We welcome comments and letters responding to articles, but we don’t publish op-eds that are written solely as a response to other op-eds.

 

Please note the extensive discussions about the Kramer article that The Times has already published:

 

http://community.nytimes.com/comments/www.nytimes.com/2011/07/10/opinion/sunday/10antidepressants.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/17/opinion/sunday/l17dialogue.html

 

In addition, you are welcome to send additional Letters to the Editor to letters@nytimes.com.

 

The Op-Ed Staff

 

The New York Times

 

 

 

Cordial enough, We would encourage you to write to them (although their site says that this issue is closed to further comments.)

 

But printing small letters on back pages of websites doesn't address the fundamental problem here. The NY Times granted Dr. Kramer, writing as an expert in his field, an unusually prominent, lengthy, front-page location in the Sunday paper, which he utilized to present unopposed, biased and misleading information on a vital and controversial public health issue, something that affects tens of millions of Americans. We do not consider this as having been a typical fact-based opinion piece, but rather as a piece of apologetic antidepressant propaganda. The negative effects of SSRIs, the withdrawal problems, the suicides, the conversion to bipolar states, the deaths of children, the black box warnings, all of the harm and anguish that many of you have endured or witnessed . . . none of this was mentioned. Trusting readers not privy to outside information undoubtedly took this article at face value, and left with the impression that all is well in antidepressant land, no cause for concern.

 

It is the right of NY Times to allow Dr. Kramer to express his dangerous and unfounded opinions in premium print space. It is also their ethical obligation to not let those opinions stand unopposed.

 

Due to the visibility of the original article, the magnitude of its circulation, the controversy it has generated, and its serious public health ramifications, we are not satisfied with the NY Times' editors retreat to a blanket statement of policy as their means of dismissing our earnest call for balance in their journalism. We intend for this petition to continue to grow above and beyond the 1,000 signature mark, hopeful that the NY Times will then begin to take our request more seriously. We are currently approaching other major media outlets about their interest in pursuing this story, both the issue at hand (giving Robert Whitaker and others a prominent space for a point-by-point rebuttal), and now also a tangent story: Why is the NY Times unwilling to provide balanced journalism on this vital public health issue? Why did they allow Dr. Kramer such prominent space for a rebuttal to Marcia Angell's book review, but are now claiming that policy disallows Robert Whitaker a similar opportunity? What interests or biases might be persuading them to print the propaganda but dissuading them from printing the counterpoints? It will be interesting to see how the NY Times responds when other major media outlets begin digging into these questions.

 

We have only just begun. Please continue forwarding this petition, reposting it on blogs and social networking sites, and helping us strive for 1,000+ signatures.

 

Finally, we would like to say that in undertaking this petition and reading through your comments, we have been moved. It is apparent that a deep well of community courage, wisdom and purpose has been tapped. Thus we are creating a Facebook page for this group of petitioners and any others of a like-mind so that we can continue to raise our voices together: consumers, professionals, family members, and concerned citizens uniting in common cause. The sponsor for this link is ClearMinds, Inc, a new non-profit co-founded by Amy Smith and myself, with Susan Kingsley-Smith as a founding board member. The mission of ClearMinds is public education and advocacy to promote alternatives to psychopharmacology. Here is the link the facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/groups/229579757082422 We hope you will consider joining this group, so that we may continue to communicate as together we seek to bring about real system change in mental health care.

 

 

Best regards to all,

 

Dr. Mark Foster, DO

 

Susan Kingsley-Smith

 

Amy Smith

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