The thing is that you guys are promoting manipulative journalism. In this case, the goal is benign, but it's corrosive in the end. It makes people trust news sources even less to have such bald non-stories that should have never seen ink in the first place become news for days on end. And then Democracy dies in darkness or whatever.
Again, this guy simply did something as an adult that his mother disagreed with. Every reporter that interviewed him or wrote about the non-story needs to find another occupation. They're simply not in the news business. They're in the advocacy business. In this case the test is rather stark. There is no news to be found here.
I think there's quite a lot of manipulative journalism in many different ways, including how headlines are presented.
They have an intended target audience, and some people just won't learn about certain situations if it weren't for specific stories or headlines that catch their interest.
If they publish a story about a housefire involving pets, could they also be hoping that the readers become more cautious with fire safety as a result? And that it may attract animal lovers due to the headline? Sure.
Though like I said, the fact that what this kid did was legal doesn't take away from the fact that it's remarkable that he had to live for 18 years like that. A lot of people don't know that these things are happening, let alone that it has been going on for that long. And they should know.
@bolded: Probably with the Red Scare and McCarthyism. At the time vaccines were considered a Soviet ploy to socialize medicine and that the profession had been infiltrated massively by Russian doctors. Considering how widespread and engraved the red scare got, I think it all really started there. Add to this some religious beliefs (like the fact that Jehova's witnesses don't allow for blood donations as it makes them "unpure") and some puritan traditions, and you get a perfect storm for anti-vaxxers to even be a thing. The link between vaccines and Autism came only 2 decades later, but is now the driving force against it.
The problem with the news is partly that they need money, so they are incentivised to make their articles as eye-catchy and sensational as possible, especially on their internet presence, hence the clickbait headlines full of half-truths. It also works against them as many people assume the rest of the article just from the headline, so you can say it went horribly right for them, as they get more clicks and thus sponsor money, but undermines their entire profession. Media would need an independent and reliable source of income to avoid these pitfalls, but good luck finding something like that.I really wish people wouldn't just assume the rest from the headlines, but quite a few do, and there ain't much you can do against it.
Another problem is that many who are against these things are actually not dumb or not interested in the matter, quite the opposite in fact as a study found out (would need to dig deep to find that one again). They just are very selective about the information. If there are 100 articles proving climate change for instance and one railing against it, they dismiss the 100 articles before and truly believe the one against it as proof that it's all a hoax. How do you want to fight against that unless the climate changes hits them right into their faces? Unless there would be no misinformation about such things anymore on the internet, which is impossible, they will not change their mind unless somebody else points out the dots and plotholes in the threads they are following.
I was more referring to how the movement resurged in recent times. I would wager many of them are more familiar with Jenny McCarthy's anti-vaxing advocacy on Oprah than McCartyism.
(I was going to post a link to a clip of hers, but I'm not even going to do that on the off chance that someone looking at it gets the wrong idea.)
Diseases that were declared extinct in the early 90's are now back, and it seems like this movement is a, if not the, major culprit.
Yeah, news media (generally, there are some exceptions) primarily focus on making money. Fighting for the truth is secondary, and tends to come down to an individual level from journalist to journalist.
Regarding your third paragraph, unfortunately I know someone like that. In a recent situation, they found a headline from an article they couldn't even read because it was behind a paywall, featuring one of those 1 vs 100000 kind of ideas. I did some research on it, and turns out the opinion featured in it comes from someone who has been highly criticized by his peers after multiple instances where his assessments were found to have errors in them, and he apparently never bothered to explain or defend his conclusions when asked. But that headline was enough for that person to consider their view enforced.