CBS fails to fulfill the promise of broadcasting

Last week, I was in New York City, rocking the NECSS groove, and I made a point to go see one of my favorite murals, Barry Faulkner’s 1933 “Intelligence Awakens Mankind,” which adorns the centerpiece of Rockefeller Center, the old RCA (now GE) Building.

Barry Faulkners "Intelligence Awakens Mankind" 1933

It is a mural that expresses optimism about the dawning age of mass communication (it was the RCA Building…get it?). In the center, Intelligence, personified as a woman, sends out golden beams, or “thought”, via the Spoken Word and Written Word:


Radio waves, personified as angels, speed through the air carrying messages about fields such as “Philosophy,” “Biology,” and “Hygiene.”

Allegory! Its like telling two stories at once!

The information from the various fields of knowledge form a sort of force field, a protective barrier, if you will, around citizens:

See? Good information protects people!

Now that they people are protected, demons like “Ignorance” and “Fear” can’t reach them, and they explode into flames:

Suck it, Ignorance!

This, then, is the ideal that workers at NBC (who know occupy the old RCA Building) encounter every morning when they arrive at work.

No matter what NBC champions, enlightening and protecting people through knowledge, however, is simply not what CBS stands for.

Elyse Anders recently started a petition to ask CBS Outdoor to take down a highly deceptive advertisement on the JumboTron on 42nd street in Times Square that suggests vaccines are somehow risky. The man paying for the ad, Joe Mercola, is as far I can tell the worst self-described medical expert ever to not leave a roll of gauze in a patient.

How bad is Mercola? So bad that the FDA sent him a letter demanding that he stop making illegal claims. As far as I can tell, he’s not getting better at what he does. Stephen Barrett of has found that Mercola’s long history of fake medicine includes declarations that fluoride is unsafe. He opposes mammograms and amalgam fillings. Joe Mercola is a public health menace, and CBS is his willing and informed business partner.

CBS is now allowing this crank to put out misleading information that hurts children and the immunocompromised. CBS, in a real sense, is promoting things that only hurt its audience.

And they have not even responded to the torrent of letters protesting this filthy deal.

Vaccination is safe. It is effective. It is deeply unethical to take money to allow others to suggest otherwise. It is profit gained from a willingness to see children suffer. It is profit gained from a willingness to see people suffer from vaccine-preventable diseases.

It’s amazing how cheap CBS’s reputation was.

Writing letters (including a protest by the American Academy of Pediatricians) seems not to have an effect on CBS’s practices, so it’s time let the public know what CBS is doing.

Tweet @CBSOutdoor and @CBSTweet with the hashtag #VaxCBS to tell them how you feel about them running this ad. Maybe #justinbieber while you’re at it.

You might also write a letter to the relevant CBS executives:,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

I appreciate it, folks.


8 Responses to CBS fails to fulfill the promise of broadcasting

  1. Narad says:

    So bad that just last month the FDA sent him a letter demanding that he stop making illegal claims.

    I’m not seeing this either at the Quackwatch link or by search.

    • Bob says:

      Got it, and ammended. When I looked up Mercola on Google, I saw that the quackwatch page had the date 11 March next to it. I jumped to the conclusion that that was when it was written and that the FDA letters were only a month old. Indeed, I think the quackwatch page was only updated (possibly archived by Google?) then. Thanks for the heads up!

  2. David Gerard says:

    In Britain, the Advertising Standards Authority would slap down such an ad quick-smart. And they’re not even government – they’re an advertising industry self-regulation body, whose rulings are obeyed so the government doesn’t really slap bad ads down.

    Is there really no equivalent in the US, or would ads like this be presumed to be protected free speech rather than dangerous lies?

  3. Bob says:

    I don’t know why it’s not more stringently regulated, honestly. It seems too important. I mean, if you want to pay the stupid tax, that’s fine, but you shouldn’t force me to pay your stupid tax too.

    Oh for sanity.


  4. Carole says:

    Honestly, I just happened to stumble upon this site through a link. You state that “Vaccination is safe. It is effective.” And for many it is. But tell that to a mom like myself who’s child had a life changing reaction to a vaccination – for my child and many others, it was not safe at all!

    I understand – I have heard many arguments pro and con about the vaccination debate, but when it affects your family and your child directly, it becomes a different story. Never would I want anyone else to suffer like my child has. No parent would.

    Parents owe it to their children to do research and then make an informed decision regarding these vaccinations. I wish now that I had access to more information of the potential side effects before allowing my child to be vaccinated.

    Mammograms, amalgam fillings and vaccinations were developed to help, but in many people they end up doing harm. It has become hard for me to trust the “experts” and even the FDA as I no longer feel that they always have the public’s best interests at heart.

    So far,after reading many of his articles, I have not found Dr. Mercola to be quite the “quack” that you think. However, we all have the freedom to our own opinions. Thank you for listening to mine.

  5. Bob says:

    Mercola is feeding on your child’s suffering. I have nothing but contempt for him and better never meet him face to face.

    There is no “vaccination debate,” Carole. That is not an opinion, just people feeding your fears of “experts” and exploiting that fear.

    God, I hope you haven’t trusted your kid to Mercola.

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