On Tuesday, May 22, ABC’s local KEYE-TV broke a startling piece of news: nearly half of Austinites consider community water fluoridation to be a waste of money. The announcement by respected anchor Judy Maggio aired at 10 p.m. during the “Waste Watch” segment – following a telephone survey commissioned by the station itself – and was billed as a Top Story. Then it proceeded to disappear.
The saga really began back in early April, when a KEYE reporter contacted me for an interview. The reporter, who also interviewed a local dentist with a fluoride-free practice, was well aware of the health hazards of fluoride and strongly committed to doing the piece. I was glad to be part of it, though privately I had my doubts that such a story would ever air in Austin. I suspected it would be spiked – old timey newspaper parlance for forgotten, buried, killed, kaput – somewhere along the way to the broadcast studio.
I was told only that it would run “some time” in May. Weeks went by. Then, on 5/22, a day when I happened to be out of the country, it finally came up on the 10 p.m. news. By the time I reached an Internet cafe, the survey results had been edited out of the videoclip. Within the next day or two, the clip itself vanished, replaced by a still shot of giant teeth:
As of today, we have been informed that the original video was “deleted” and is no longer available! A most extraordinary step for KEYE to take.
Clearly someone (or more than one) in a position of power did not want that information out there. But the genie of truth, once released, is not easily put back in the bottle. It exists in KEYE’s chart – captured in a screen shot (top) and the edited transcript, still available online (below):
Fluoridated City Water: Is It Worth The Added Expense? K-EYE Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Every time you take a drink of city water, or eat vegetables rinsed off in your kitchen sink, or eat pasta boiled in city water, you