…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.