AD/HD Group Files FCC Complaint Against CBS

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

HIGHLAND PARK, Ill., Sept. 9 /PRNewswire/ — Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Association (ADDA) president Michele Novotni, Ph.D., filed a complaint on Friday, September 06, 2002, with the FCC regarding the CBS report “Out of Control,” which appeared on the program 48 Hours on Friday, September 06, 2002.

In the complaint, ADDA charges CBS with “knowingly and willfully misrepresenting the facts about AD/HD.” Novotni was especially critical of the producer’s decision to leave out interviews with nationally recognized experts in the AD/HD field and any of the millions of people who are successful in the treatment of AD/HD. “The exclusion of AD/HD experts and research in the AD/HD field is unconscionable,” Novotni stated.

According to Novotni, the 48 Hours story has an emphasis on isolated, sensational, abnormal situations leaving viewers to make generalizations without providing balanced information. For example, an individual’s reaction to an AD/HD medication (Adderall) left viewers with the impression that medication for the treatment of AD/HD is unsafe and ineffective, while research points to the contrary. The National Institute of Mental Health had recently completed a large scale study indicating the effectiveness of medication management for the treatment of AD/HD and a multitude of studies exist on the safety of medications used to treat AD/HD in the overwhelming majority of situations.

ADDA, the nation’s leading organization for providing information and resources for adults with AD/HD, has contacted CBS and demanded that the network produce and present a report that includes credible experts in the field. “ADDA is more than willing to provide nationally recognized experts in the AD/HD field as well as adults who live with AD/HD,” said Novotni, “but they don’t have to come to us. The National Institute of Health and the Office of The Surgeon General of the United States are both on record as recognizing the validity and seriousness of AD/HD. The research from the AD/HD field needs to be represented,” Novotni stated in the complaint.

“We’re not asking CBS to present ADDA’s opinion,” Novotni said. “We are demanding that CBS practice responsible journalism by not excluding valid scientific research.”

The complaint comes on the heels of efforts of Children and Adults with AD/HD (CHADD) and ADDitude Magazine who initiated a massive letter writing campaign to CBS in an effort to have the network re-examine factual errors in the report. Parents of children with AD/HD and adults who have the disorder have joined doctors and medical experts in requesting that CBS pull or amend the story.