P.S. on ‘Concussion’ Movie-MomsTeam Tandem Going From Bad To Worse: Exactly What Mother of CTE Victim Told Newsweek Europe

Behind-the-Scenes Story of ‘Concussion’ Moviemakers’ Smears of CTE Victim’s Mother, Via Marketing Partner MomsTeam — Even Worse Than We Thought
December 31, 2015
ICYMI: Our Series on How the ‘Concussion’ Movie Devolved From a Humanist Project to a Money Grab
January 1, 2016

by Irvin Muchnick



An alert reader whose views I respect told me that our previous post on MomsTeams chief Brooke de Lench’s smears of a CTE victim’s mother to a Newsweek should have included fuller information from the Newsweek Europe article itself.

Though I don’t agree completely, the point is taken and I’m adding some verbatim Newsweek text here. A line with a link will also be added to the previous item.

Our complication is that the piece is behind a paywall. But below we’re reproducing a substantial chunk anyway. If Newsweek wants to complain about a possible abuse of fair use, any missive along those lines will be forwarded to the crack in-house counsel of Concussion Inc. LLP. Part of the response would likely be that I actually believe the Newsweek personnel themselves, the ones who were leaked defamatory information about Kimberly Archie, have the primary responsibility for exposing the ugly-beyond-ugly tactics of de Lench and the Concussion’s non-accountable marketers.

Here’s the excerpt:




Paul Bright was 23 years old [sic] when he died on September 1, 2014, in a motorcycle accident.

A successful chef working for a catering company, Bright was, according to his mother, Kimberly Archie, a “typical all-American boy.” He played American football from 7 to 17, first at junior level, then at high school. Always undersized but never outmatched in terms of courage, Bright’s story is one familiar to hundreds of thousands of children and young adults across America.

But the game he loved slowly killed Paul.

Unbeknownst to everyone—because the disease is undiagnosable until death—Paul Bright had developed chronic traumatic encepalopathy (CTE), the degenerative brain condition named by Bennet Omalu, a neuropathologist who first discovered the disease in the brain of Mike Webster, a legendary former Pittsburgh Steeler.

What happens is this: Every time a person suffers a hit to the head with enough force to make the brain shake inside the skull, the axons, which carry the brain’s messages via electrical impulses, shear. If that happens enough times—and scientists are not quite sure how many it takes—then proteins, called tau, start to build up on the brain, leaving scar tissue. That is the start of CTE. Paul Bright never had a diagnosed concussion, but you don’t need to in order to develop CTE. Enough little shakes to the skull is all it takes. Then come the symptoms, which are similar to Alzheimer’s but arrive far earlier in life.

“As he got older, he had difficulty keeping focus,” his mother recalls, speaking by phone from her home in Beverly Hills, California. “I also noticed some irrational behavior, like he got a ticket on his 21st birthday—they called it a ‘wet and reckless,’ which meant he had been drinking but wasn’t over the limit. I think it was an illegal lane change.

“I had a really bad reaction to that—not that I instantly felt CTE, but I felt something was wrong. We both, his boss and I, told him not to go out on his 21st birthday, to stay off the street. He wouldn’t listen. He died driving reckless on a motorcycle. I knew how but not why. The why was CTE. Look at the previous cases—people with brain issues tend to drive badly.”

Paul Bright’s brain was examined by Dr. Ann McKee at the University of Boston, who found the tell-tale proteins that indicate progressive degenerative brain damage.

On December 25, the Hollywood feature film Concussion was released in theaters in the U.S. (It comes out in the U.K. in February.) The movie is a dramatization of Omalu’s pioneering work. The Nigerian-born doctor is played by Will Smith. Archie, now one of the United States’s most prominent campaigners in the fight against the dangers of repetitive head injuries, was invited to the premiere.

“The movie is well done—people love Will Smith. He will probably win a bunch of awards. He does a really good job. It evoked unbelievable emotions. I never went and saw my son’s dead body—when I went to the movie, I got to see exactly what they did to him [cutting open his brain to examine it]. For me it was horrific, incredibly emotional. I cried through the entire movie.”





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What Is Pop Warner Shill Julian ‘No Youth Football Deaths’ Bailes Doing on the Board of the Bennet Omalu Foundation?

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Concussion Inc. - Author Irvin Muchnick