…but sadly, it’s not. Jenny McCarthy has struck again.


Yesterday, given the release of Jenny McCarthy’s new book espousing antivaccinationism and autism quackery and the attendant media blitz the antivaccine movement has organized to promote it, I predicted that a wave of stupid is about to fall upon our great nation.

Well, the stupid has landed. And how. An interview with Jenny has just been published on the TIME Magazine website in which she “surpasses” herself. In fact, so dense is the stupid emanating from what passes for a “brain” in that empty head of hers that words fail me. Suddenly, my favorite snarky analogies about “black hole of stupid, beyond whose event horizon no intelligence or science can pass,” “waves of neuron-apoptosing stupidity,” or “the stupid, it burns thermonuclear” (or supernova or hypernova) all seem woefully inadequate to the task of describing the sheer magnitude of the stupid that issues forth from the interview.

Here’s a hint. Jenny thinks it’s acceptable that infectious diseases will return because of her efforts and those of her fellow antivaccinationists. She thinks it may be a necessary price:

TIME: Your collaborator recommends that parents accept only the haemophilus influenzae type B (HIB) and tetanus vaccine for newborns and then think about the rest. Not polio? What about the polio clusters in unvaccinated communities like the Amish in the U.S.? What about the 2004 outbreak that swept across Africa and Southeast Asia after a single province in northern Nigeria banned vaccines?

JM: I do believe sadly it’s going to take some diseases coming back to realize that we need to change and develop vaccines that are safe. If the vaccine companies are not listening to us, it’s their f___ing fault that the diseases are coming back. They’re making a product that’s s___. If you give us a safe vaccine, we’ll use it. It shouldn’t be polio versus autism.


That’s right. In Jenny’s warped world, your children are acceptable collateral damage in the cause of promoting her unscientific belief that vaccines cause autism. Here’s a hint for you, Jenny: We already do have vaccines that are safe, and neither you (nor the antivaccine loons) are changing. The government and pharmaceutical companies are listening to you far more than your idiotic pseudoscientific nonsense deserves and even though you are a scientific illiterate. Scientists are wasting millions of dollars studying over and over again the question of whether vaccines are associated with autism and keep finding the same answer: They aren’t.

But it’s never enough for you. No matter how many studies exonerate vaccines as a cause of autism, you don’t believe them. You will never believe them no matter how many studies are done. In fact, I say you are lying when you say that “if you give us a safe vaccine we’ll use it.” The reason is that you have made it very clear that no vaccine will ever be safe enough for you. Regardless of how much evidence is presented, to you your Google University “education” in the dark underbelly of antivaccinationist websites and blogs will always trump science.

I have news for you, too, Jenny: You don’t have much of a record when it comes to scientific issues. After all, you used to think you were an “Indigo Mom” and your son Evan was an “Crystal child,” with abilities beyond that of normal children. Maybe you still do. You were, however, clever enough to know that if you were ever to be reborn as an “autism advocate,” a “mother warrior” fighting to find the cure, all of that “Indigo” woo would have to go. So you scrubbed your website shortly before the release of your first autism book. Too bad The Wayback Machine knows all.

That’s not all of the stupid in Jenny’s interview, however. Let’s take a look at a couple of other choice tidbits:

People have the misconception that we want to eliminate vaccines. Please understand that we are not an antivaccine group. We are demanding safe vaccines. We want to reduce the schedule and reduce the toxins. If you ask a parent of an autistic child if they want the measles or the autism, we will stand in line for the f___ing measles.

No, Jenny. It’s not a misconception at all that “your” Generation Rescue is an antivaccine group. It is, as your “Green Our Vaccines” march proved. No matter how much evidence goes against you, you still insist that it’s absolutely, positively got to be the vaccines. On the Age of Autism blog, any time a problem with a vaccine is found (or GR can make it seem as though a problem has been found), even if it has virtually nothing to do with childhood vaccines or autism (Gardasil, anyone?), it’s trumpeted on AoA as though it’s vindication for your cultish belief that vaccines cause autism. Whenever a claim is demolished (for instance, that mercury in vaccines causes autism), you move the goalposts, as you do in your interview here:

We don’t believe it’s only the mercury. Aluminum and other toxins also play a role. The viruses in the vaccines themselves can be causing it, too.

That’s nothing more than the “toxin” gambit that you like so much. I suppose I should be happy that you didn’t parrot the “formaldehyde in teh vaxines!” gambit. I wonder if Dr. Jay Gordon finally told you to stop it because it’s so dumb.

You also appeal to anecdotal evidence instead of science and hard numbers:

All you have to do is find a schoolteacher or principal and ask them that question. They would say they’ve never seen so much ADHD, autism, OCD as in the past. I think we’re overdiagnosing it by maybe 1%. Now you look around and there are five shadows — kids with disabilities — in every class.

No, Jenny. Studies have been quite clear that broadening of the diagnostic criteria and diagnostic substitution account for most of the increase. Again, anecdotal evidence easily misleads, something I’ve never been able to convince Dr. Jay of. “On the ground,” it may appear that way to teachers, but services are better for special needs children, and I doubt they ever consider whether diagnoses that were once common (mental retardation, for instance) have gone down as autism diagnoses have gone up.

Clearly, Jenny no longer even cares how much of a body count her activities will cause, because it’s now a holy war to her. The Satan vaccines are “stealing the souls from children,” as her the co-author of her newest book once put it; so she must endanger the children and allow some to suffer and even die, all so that they can keep their souls and not become autistic. Because in her world, suffering and death are better than autism; vaccines are the tool of the devil; and science absolutely does not matter in her coming to these beliefs.

Truly, Kevin Leitch was correct to label this McCarthygeddon because it’s all about what is in essence a religious, not rational, belief. It’s certainly not about science or science- and evidence-based medicine.


  1. #1 dt
    April 6, 2009

    The “fever” hypothesis seems to fail, for the reasons tsudohmimh mentions, among others. (Some like to also implicate acetaminophen given for the fever).

    People like EvilDawn like to spout about whatever the latest buzzword is, irrespective of its validity, hence the references to mitochondrial disorders (ie Hannah Poling). Could high fever be a trigger for neurological progression in someone with an underlying mito disorder? Well fever might precipitate oxidative stress and have a detrimental effect, but this is largely theoretical and unquantifiable, and as we know, febrile illnesses in children are ten a penny. It is likely that vaccination (only one chance in ten of fever) is actually a good strategy to avoid what would be a universally-occuring febrile reaction (99 in 100 cases) if a child caught measles, or mumps, or chicken pox etc.

    The mitochondrial disorder/fever hypothesis for autism is therefore one that actually calls for universal vaccination as a means for reducing the risks of autism. Perhaps there is someone who sees sufficient numbers of mito kids who are unvaccinated to do a retrospective “vaccinated vs unvaccinated” study to look at this? Probably not, since the numbers required would be too great, but its something worth thinking about.

  2. #2 The Hypocrisy! It Burns!!
    April 6, 2009

    HCN, so let me get this straight. It’s ok for you and the rest of the deranged sociopaths on this site to insult parents, but when one or more of those parents insults you back, you whine and snivel and say, “Y dey make fun uv me? Y?! I no unnerstan. I haz a sad :-(”

    The Hypocrisy! It burns with the stupidity of a thousand Oracs! It threatens to go thermo-nuclear. The fires of hell threaten to boil forth from the earth and scour all life….Ooo, Dr. Who is on!

    To Caro, you were not too insulting. Good job in trying to point out how hypocritical they are. You say they are trying to overcompensate for something. I think it’s the Freudian sexual attraction to their mothers.

    Orac, your claim that Dr. Healy was a terrible director? I see, so it’s you who judges things like this? Right. Pull your head out of your ass you fucking shithead.

  3. #3 Joseph C.
    April 6, 2009

    The Hypo,

    Why so angry? I thought the perception is that Jenny McCrazy’s 1890312310th Larry King Live appearance was an epic win for the anti-vaccine cult.

  4. #4 Mu
    April 6, 2009

    Hypo, so let me get this straight. It’s ok for you and the rest of the deranged sociopaths on this site to insult parents, but when one or more of those parents with an understanding of science insults you back, you whine and snivel and say, “Y dey make fun uv me? Y?! I no unnerstan. I haz a sad :-(”

    Fixed that for you.

  5. #5 HCN
    April 6, 2009

    Hello, Common Sue.

  6. #6 ababa
    April 6, 2009

    Common Sue, you claim that Dr. Healy is not a terrible director? I see, so it’s you who judges things like this?

    Just getting a head start on your favorite tactic of answering questions with other questions.

    If I didn’t know better, based on your foul language I’d place even money on the possibility that you were Jenny McCrazy herself. You certainly seem to be about as intelligent. Do you eat your own vomit like she does as well?

  7. #7 K. Alexander
    April 6, 2009

    Caro, wait, what? The entire point is that the burden of proof rests upon the shoulders of the claim-maker. All reasonable and vetted research performed to date fails to establish a link between vaccines and autism. If, as you say, “vaccines aren’t off the hook”, neither are Gummy Bears or wool sweaters, or any random possible vector you could dream up. What’s so special about vaccines?

  8. #8 Yagotta B. Kidding
    April 7, 2009

    All reasonable and vetted research performed to date fails

    Fixed that for you.

    What’s so special about vaccines?

    Needles make Baby Jesus cry.

  9. #9 Aquaria
    April 8, 2009

    During the teen growth spurt, my uncle caught polio pre-vax. My grandmother got him through it, but he’s had health problems ever since. One arm stopped growing; it’s shorter than the other.

    But he’s the lucky one. Five other kids who contracted it at that time died, one after years of suffering. People lived in absolute terror of this disease, and for good reason. Does she understand where the March of Dimes came into being?

    Oh–wait. She’s too fucking stupid to know anything worthwhile.

    She is a waste of oxygen.

  10. #10 Aquaria
    April 8, 2009

    Oh, and by she from the second paragraph on, I meant Jizzy McCrazy.

  11. #11 K.R
    April 9, 2009

    Jenny McCarthy needs to be stopped. I hate the fact that when people hear the word autism they will think of this bloody idiot! Lets put the spot light on a real family dealing with autism. How about a family that struggles everyday to just survive? How about a family that has lost their home or bankrupted their assets to pay for therapy? How about a family with more than one child or more than one autistic child? How about a family that doesn’t have a nanny to look after their child? The therapies that do help children are being ignored because of her(and others like her) lies and the thousands she has deceived into believing her. People need to accept the fact that their genetic makeup is the cause of their child’s affliction. I know it’s hard to accept this fact….believe me….we still struggle with this realization everyday, knowing that we’re the cause of our sons’ autism.

  12. #12 Bryan
    September 19, 2009

    Ok, I dn’t know what an “Indigo” individual was a second ago. I just looked it up. From the marketing definition: “characteristics include: creativity, high energy, hypoglycemia, nonconforming behaviors, physical and emotional sensitivity, and intuitive nature”

    So… that describes me from young kid to present day. They’re characteristics of an above average intelligence child. The “intuitive nature” is the ability to make very fast logical connections between disparate concepts in short time. “Nonconforming behavior” more or less stems from that: we “get” things that others don’t, and as a result react differently to such stimuli.

    Now, this kind of annoys me. The site is essentially marketing for a bullshit, antiscience book on how to raise “indigo” kids: essentially cripple them intellectually with crystal healing bullshit.

    Your kids are smart. Why not encourage that, rather than ruin them with nonsense?

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