Respectful Insolence

A reader informs me of a plaintive, heartfelt request from Oprah for help in developing the television show of her new protege Jenny McCarthy:

You’ve seen it all over the news…Jenny McCarthy, one of America’s funniest and coolest moms and Harpo is giving her, her own show.

Here is where YOU come in.

What would you like to see featured on Jenny’s show? What would you like for her to talk about? What are you and your friends buzzing about?

Any topics you’d like for her to tackle? Are there any questions that you have — that you would love for her to answer?

If so — we definitely want to hear from you!

Write to us and tell us exactly what you’d like to see Jenny do.

I think this is a perfect opportunity for a little skeptical activism. My first thought was to suggest things I didn’t want Jenny to do, such as stories about “recovered” autistics whose parents attribute their improvement to various biomedical woo, scare stories about teh vaccines and teh autism–oh, no!–or any show with her consigliere, obnoxious and ignorant blowhard J. B. Handley.

But that’s too easy. If Jenny McCarthy show there must be, what would you tell her you want to see?

Personally, I want to see her try to argue with scientists who know what they’re talking about when it comes to vaccine science and autism. In fact, I’d love to see her try to debate them under fair conditions with a moderator who won’t let her yell over her opponent or mindlessly repeat the same antivaccine line over and over and over. I’d like to see her have parents on her show who don’t blame their children’s autism on vaccines and are willing to argue the point. (Kevin Leitch, anyone?) I’d like to see McCarthy observe how the scientists and physicians she castigates actually do their work. I’d like to see Jenny schooled in the scientific method at a very simple, grade school level, because that’s where she is when it comes to understanding how to do science. I’d like…aw, hell. None of these ideas will make it past the Oprah-tron censors. Nonetheless, I plan on posting some of these suggestions to Oprah’s web form, on the off chance that she and Jenny might see them.

I urge you to do the same and copy and paste your suggestions into the comments here, to be recorded for posterity (or as long as I keep blogging, which ever is shorter). Come on, let’s hear it!

Comments

  1. #1 Go, Jenny!
    May 19, 2009

    Go, Jenny!!!

    We all know by now that vaccines can be dangerous for some children. It’s wonderful that Jenny has been able to spread this information. Parents need to think for themselves instead of listen to doctors who blatantly lie to their faces.

    Yay, Jenny.

  2. #2 J-Dog
    May 19, 2009

    Dear Jenny – Were you a bigger boob when you were posing for Playboy, or are you a bigger boob now, posing as a doctor?

    Thanks for your response.

    ps: Please call DaveScot Springer- He has some Cancer Fightin’ DCA he wants to sell you.

  3. #3 Anon
    May 19, 2009

    Go, Jenny!!!

    Find a short pier, preferably one that leads out over the rim of an active volcano, and Go, Jenny, Go!!! Fast! As far as you can!

    People need to think for themselves–do their own open-heart surgery (after all, who know their heart better–a doctor with a few years experience, or themselves who have lived with their heart all their life?), do their own plumbing (no Joe the Plumber knows my house better than I do), their own auto repair (hey, I drive my car more than any mechanic!)… Hey, Jenny, did you do your boob job yourself?

  4. #4 andrew
    May 19, 2009

    I would like for Jenny McCarthy to take an active interest in the scientific method and talk to respected scientists on her show such as Steven Novella, Orac, Val Jones, or Phil Plait.

    I would also like to hear Jenny take an interest in the many ways human intuition and though can go astray.

    I would like to see Jenny take an active interest in learning.

  5. #5 James Sweet
    May 19, 2009

    Vaccines are a lot like seat belts. While exhaustive epidemiological studies have been performed, it is impossible (not to mention unethical) to do a true double-blind placebo study on the efficacy of either. Both cause mild discomfort for some people. Both were met with suspicion and resentment when first introduced. To this day, there are still people who reject them. And in a very specific and unusual situation, either a vaccine shot or a seatbelt can even kill you (e.g. a relatively low speed collision that causes the seat belt to become jammed and also happens to spark a fire… it’s incredibly rare, but it happens!)

    So, my suggestion is, if all the anti-vaccine activists would just stop wearing their seatbelts…..

  6. #6 Rogue Epidemiologist
    May 19, 2009

    I, for one, would love to see Jenny opine of the conflicts in the Middle East and offer her perspective on how we may ameliorate the tensions between the Israelis and Palestinians.

    DIAF is the other option.

  7. #7 Daniel Rendall
    May 19, 2009

    If I lived in the USA, I would want to see a regular segment on the show called “Jenny’s Vital Statistics”, in which she plots three things on a graph:

    1) % vaccination coverage
    2) Number of deaths due to vaccine-preventable diseases
    3) Current incidence of autism

    Assuming the show has a good long run, we can all watch as line 1 drifts downward, line 2 heads upwards, and line 3 fails to go down.

    Unfortunately I’m unable to recommend this on the form (as a non US citizen), but if anyone feels this would be a worthwhile suggestion, you’re welcome to adopt it.

  8. #8 Landru
    May 19, 2009

    I would like to see Jenny opine about farts. And Botox. And breasts. And the Royal Shakespeare Theatre Company, which would be totally way awesome better if they’d take just acting lessons from her and her boyfriend.

  9. #9 Landru
    May 19, 2009

    And poop! I forgot poop! I’m such a dullard. I guess I’m totally unqualified to advise her.

  10. #10 kathleen
    May 19, 2009

    I’m still fascinated with her blogging…Has her poop been a hit with her fans? She is so absolutely full of it..

  11. #11 humorix
    May 19, 2009

    I would like to see Jenny Mc Carthy reading this:

    http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Minority.Blogs&Issue_id=c478528a-802a-23ad-4faf-543a1e8952e8

    And give his direct opinion!

  12. #12 ballookey
    May 19, 2009

    I have to admit I’m not as well-worded as most people, so I shy away from letter writing like this, but I did send a suggestion. Here’s what I wrote. Hopefully no factual errors or anything:

    “I want Jenny McCarthy to travel back to a time when children were lined up in polio wards. I want her to have to face the parents whose child is being wracked by the throes of whooping cough. I want her to repeat her statement that some people might have to die for her cause to the face of someone whose lost a loved one to chicken pox.

    I want her to tell all these people personally that it’s worth it because killing people is OK, because it serves her need for attention, and her pathological sense of powerlessness to have a woefully mis-led posse lined up behind her.

    Because there’s nothing wrong with the vaccines, and THEY DON’T CAUSE AUTISM.

    Jenny McCarthy should stop jeopardizing people’s lives with her anti-vaccine nonsense. And while we’re at it, she should stop pretending she’s anything other than anti-vaccine. She spouts the same debunked baloney about supposed toxins, claiming that she wants safer vaccines. Meanwhile she freely admits that deliberately getting BOTULISM injections is just fine. So her actions prove that she knows that the whole idea of “toxic” is relative, but she refuses to face the science because she’d have to admit she’s wrong and lose her army. That’s probably her worst nightmare: not to have a mob at her back. I wonder what happened to her to make her need power and attention so much she’s willing to kill children for it.

    I want her to have real educated and schooled medical doctors and scientists on her show and I want her to answer for her persistent and deliberate nonsense rather than spew it unchecked and without regard for accuracy.”

  13. #13 Dr. Steve
    May 19, 2009

    I want to see a thorough piece on the Indigo child movement focusing on why Jenny’s kid isn’t one, er, anymore.

  14. #14 sinned34
    May 19, 2009

    So, my suggestion is, if all the anti-vaccine activists would just stop wearing their seatbelts…..

    The problem is that the anti-vaccine idiots run around cherry-picking anecdotes and pushing pseudoscience to try and get everyone else to stop wearing seatbelts, too.

  15. #15 luna1580
    May 19, 2009

    i sent this:

    I think that Ms. McCarthy’s time would be best spent having a series of highly educated and respected epidemiologists as guests on her show.

    These scientists could explain to her and her audience how diseases such as measles spread through populations, and explain exactly how parents choosing not to vaccinate their children will result in many deaths. I have a first cousin who is now 16 and lives with severe, non-verbal autism, I know how his life and his immediate family’s lives have been shaped by this challenge, so I understand Ms. McCarthy’s desire to prevent autism, but that doesn’t excuse her promotion of false and dangerous anti-vaccination fear-mongering. Wanting to understand how her own son became autistic doesn’t give Ms McCarthy the right to promote dangerous and unscientific “gut feelings” she has about it.

    There is NO LINK between vaccination and autism, and until Ms. McCarthy learns to understand this scientific truth and announces it to her fans, children will DIE from vaccine-preventable illnesses. So, Ms. McCarthy should also do a show about how the only study that ever linked autism to vaccination has been revealed to be fraudulent and composed of falsified data. Please take this into consideration as you plan her subject matter.

    Thank you.

  16. #16 Bronze Dog
    May 19, 2009

    I’d like to hear her describe what it’s like to treat a child as if it were her private guinea pig to go Frankenstein on.

  17. #17 Mark Marijnissen
    May 19, 2009

    I have copy pasted a part of the blog:

    Personally, I want to see her try to argue with scientists who know what they’re talking about when it comes to vaccine science and autism. In fact, I’d love to see her try to debate them under fair conditions with a moderator who won’t let her yell over her opponent or mindlessly repeat the same antivaccine line over and over and over. I’d like to see her have parents on her show who don’t blame their children’s autism on vaccines and are willing to argue the point. (Kevin Leitch, anyone?) I’d like to see McCarthy observe how the scientists and physicians she castigates actually do their work. I’d like to see Jenny schooled in the scientific method at a very simple, grade school level, because that’s where she is when it comes to understanding how to do science.

    Every bit helps

  18. #18 joel
    May 19, 2009

    @sinned34

    You neglect to mention that anti-vaccine idiots are also actively harming their children. It’s not the anti-vaccine who will suffer, it’s their kids.

  19. #19 jk
    May 19, 2009

    I would love for Jenny to tackle the topic of diseases in other countries. Specifically, the children in India who are getting polio because their parents were told that the vaccines are a conspiracy to sterilize Muslims.

    Maybe she could have some of these very sick children on her show. After hearing their heart wrenching stories, she can turn to the camera and say, “Hey, scientists, if this happens in our country it’s all your fault!!! GREEN OUR VACCINES!!!”

    Then she can send them home with a signed copy of her newest book (retail value = $100) and a DVD of Liar, Liar.

  20. #20 Kev
    May 19, 2009

    I, for one, welcome our silicon and botox enhanced poop talking overlords.

    Not really, but I do thank you for the nomination Orac I’d love to have a chance to have a frank exchange of views with Team McCarrey. They could wear their lovely green our vaccines t-shirts and I could wear my own green t-shirt.

  21. #21 bigjohn756
    May 19, 2009

    Here is my suggestion to Oprium regarding what Jenny should do on her new show:

    “There is one and only one thing I want to hear from Jenny. I want her to totally recant her dangerous, unscientific and irresponsible rant against against vaccines. After she does this, I really do not care what goes on during any show you might provide her with.”

  22. #22 valor
    May 19, 2009

    You know, I’d like to see a series on potential causes of autism, being researched right now. Not vaccinese, which we know are unrelated, but real autism researchers presenting thier theories, and discussing why they are more valid than the repeatedly debunked vaccine theory.
    I’d also love to see some time spent on other childhood diseases. Not that I like suffering, but when was the last time you saw a show focused on Auto-immune diseases? If she’s going to be crusader for sick children, she should get out of her head and look at other people’s lives, and other children’s illnesses.

  23. #23 marygarth
    May 19, 2009

    I can’t decide if I’d rather see Paul Offit debate Jenny McCarthy or watch a group of lawyers explaining what their strategy will be for suing parents of children who were left unvaccinated, resulting in death, disability, and hospitalization to others. As a former malpractice lawyer once told me, “Nothing beats a young, cute, and permanently disabled plaintiff.”

  24. #24 green thumb
    May 19, 2009

    I’d like to see Jenny Mc Carthy in a dunk tank straddled over a pit of poisonous snakes, and every time she spouts her anti-vaccine nonsense, Paul Offit gets to throw a ball at the bull’s eye.

  25. #25 Jake Crosby
    May 19, 2009

    I’d like to see Paul Offit take 10,000 vaccines.

  26. #26 Jake Crosby
    May 19, 2009

    each one administered by Jenny McCarthy.

  27. #27 Whitecoat Tales
    May 19, 2009

    @Jake

    I’d watch that.

    But to be honest, it sounds like a euphemism for something pornographic.

  28. #28 Jake Crosby
    May 19, 2009

    in your mind, it does.

  29. #29 Richard
    May 19, 2009

    I’d like to hear her talk about how useful and healthy it is to get smallpox. The indigenous peoples in the part of the world where I live (British Columbia) could give her some information. Maybe she could have them on as guests! For example the Haida people numbered at least 20,000 before smallpox. The 600 people who survived the outbreak went on to create some great art, so obviously getting small pox was a good thing. And their population has now almost recovered to the size it was in 1820! No problemo.

  30. #30 Jake Crosby
    May 19, 2009

    Smallpox vaccine never contained thimerosal, nor is it a triple-shot. Talk about a straw man.

  31. #31 Jake Crosby
    May 19, 2009

    Kevin Leitch, right. Because NDs really understand science, so much so that they deny any kind of a vaccine-autism connection without acknowledging that autism is even a problem, the first step of the scientific method.

  32. #32 Jake Crosby
    May 19, 2009

    Hey Orac, you want woo? How about Ari Ne’eman’s fear of a eugenics movement against autistic genes when there is no evidence that autism is a genetic disorder, yet here you are promoting one of his biggest supporters in the autism parent community.

  33. #33 Skemono
    May 19, 2009

    Hey Orac, you want woo?

    You mean woo like “there is no evidence that autism is a genetic disorder”?

  34. #34 Jake Crosby
    May 19, 2009

    There isn’t.

  35. #35 Jake Crosby
    May 19, 2009

    No gene variants in autistic people have ever been isolated from the control population.

  36. #36 Broken Link
    May 19, 2009

    Jake – slow down with those comments. It’s better to think a bit before you hit return.

    Yeah, there’s no indication that autism is genetic. Just the scientific consensus that it is among the most inheritable of disorders.

    So now you think it’s only triple shots that cause harm? Is that the meaning of the response to the smallpox comment? I thought that even J. B. Handley admitted that MMR was a useful shot to get. Get your story straight.

  37. #37 Broken Link
    May 19, 2009

    Jake wrote: “No gene variants in autistic people have ever been isolated from the control population. ”

    Jake, how about Fragile X, which is strongly associated with autism?

  38. #38 Skemono
    May 19, 2009

    There isn’t.

    Or, to put it another way, there is.

  39. #40 Jake Crosby
    May 19, 2009

    “Yeah, there’s no indication that autism is genetic. Just the scientific consensus that it is among the most inheritable of disorders.”

    Hundreds of genetic studies find nothing, yet you consider genetics the factor. Meanwhile, no vaccinated vs. unvaccinated study has ever been done, but vaccines are not to blame?

  40. #41 Whitecoat Tales
    May 19, 2009

    @Jake
    Orac’s Law!
    And we’re on Orac’s blog so that’s like getting a triple word score in scrabble.

  41. #42 Jake Crosby
    May 19, 2009

    “So now you think it’s only triple shots that cause harm? Is that the meaning of the response to the smallpox comment?”

    Nope, just that the smallpox vaccine is irrelevant to the autism controversy, especially since it’s not even given anymore.

    “I thought that even J. B. Handley admitted that MMR was a useful shot to get.”

    Yeah, only divided into 3 separate shots!

  42. #43 Richard
    May 19, 2009

    Jake, so do you recommend the small pox vaccine? If so, why?

  43. #44 Jake Crosby
    May 19, 2009

    Well, right now Orac is supporting Kevin Leitch, an ND who fears a non-existent autism eugenics movement. So perhaps we should laugh Orac off his own blog.

  44. #45 Jake Crosby
    May 19, 2009

    Of course not! No vaccine for a disease that does not exist outside of secure labs is necessary! Do you?

  45. #46 benandcoopersdad
    May 19, 2009

    Well, I decided to put something out there O and JM might actually call me on, so I submitted this under “tell us your story.” (BTW, I barely touch on it, but I’d like to see someone acknowledge the Autistic community as well as the Autism community):

    When my 2 yr old son regressed to nonverbal, and we learned he had autism, we tried everything at once, including therapy from Kennedy Krieger’s Center for Autism and Related Disorders, and a gluten and casein free diet. We were amazed at how quickly his words and communication came back after we started the diet. But our doctor asked us to briefly put him back on milk and bread, so he could be tested. When he went back on a normal diet, we discovered that the diet had nothing to do with his improvements. It was ALL about his hard work and the expertise of the therapists at Kennedy Krieger.

    My son is now six, and he’s worked hard for 30+ hours each week since he was 2 1/2, and the result is that, with a shadow and supports, he can assert himself in a typical kindergarten classroom. I’m proud of him and what he’s accomplished. I want him and my neuro-typical four-year-old both to continue to work hard and improve their abilities, but I don’t want them to change they are.

    My son has autism. Because of his hard work, he has found his own unique ways of showing that he loves me. He has a difficult time making eye contact, but when I look in his eyes, I see a strong and vibrant soul.

    I’d like for Jenny to sit down with parents who disagree with her claims of cures, functioning adults who have autism, and doctors and research scientists who are investigating genetic causes for autism and who have moved past vaccines as a trigger for more than a few children. I’d like to see an honest and open discussion, in which all participants listen to others and attempt to learn about other perspectives. That would be worth seeing.

  46. #47 Jake Crosby
    May 19, 2009

    benandcoopersdad,

    I appreciate your story. I have no known problem with gluten, but I do with dairy. I tend to avoid the stuff, it gives me massive brain fog. It’s normally after consuming larger quantities of dairy products like drinking glasses of milk, though.

  47. #48 luna1580
    May 20, 2009

    everyone who’s taken the time to right a logical and heartfelt opinion about autism, vaccines, etc. here please take the time to let oprah know. even just copy and paste your blog comment to her here:

    https://www.oprah.com/plugform.jsp?plugId=1985511&referer=http://www.oprah.com/index

    harpo studios needs to know what “the public” actually wants.

    thank you.

  48. #49 ababa
    May 20, 2009

    Jake Crosby said: I’d like to see Paul Offit take 10,000 vaccines.

    Using JB Handley math, that’s what, about 4 total injections?

  49. #50 Kev
    May 20, 2009

    Jake – did you ever wonder why you got to write the AoA hit piece on Ari? You’re their bitch boy.

    Look at you with all these troll bait hit n run comments. Its sad mate, it really is.

  50. #51 jennymemebotNOT
    May 20, 2009

    i would like to see jenny learn about memes and what it means to be a memebot

  51. #52 BB
    May 20, 2009

    When’s the poo episode on? I want to record that one.
    (I’m married to a microbiologist)

  52. #53 MartinM
    May 20, 2009

    I’d like to see her have parents on her show who don’t blame their children’s autism on vaccines and are willing to argue the point.

    Some high-functioning autistic adults would be good, too. I think we’re pretty well placed to argue the point.

  53. #54 Joseph
    May 20, 2009

    Hundreds of genetic studies find nothing, yet you consider genetics the factor.

    @Jake: Hundreds of gene loci studies have found little of note, true. But it’s not true that ‘genetic studies’ in general have found nothing. There are several twin studies, sibling studies, family studies and parental age studies that have found a lot.

    I’d speculate that trying to find specific gene loci that have statistically significant associations with autism will not yield very useful results. It’s really a computer science problem, rather than a statistics problem.

  54. #55 Dr. Steve
    May 20, 2009

    From a review on the genetics of autism published in Pediatrics. (Pediatrics. 2004 May;113(5):e472-86.)

    The concordance rate in monozygotic (identical) twins is 60%, compared to 0% (rounded) in dizygotic twins (non-identical).

    That is strong evidence that genetics is the primary contributor to autism. It is just not a single-gene disorder. Rather, it is multigenic like epilepsy.

  55. #56 brook
    May 20, 2009

    I asked them to resurrect Bill Nye the Science guy. If that isn’t possible I told them to stick to how to break into the soft porn industry and snag a celebrity boyfriend.

    If she must do science I suggested she interview Natalie Angier, or Jessica Snyder Sachs, or Olivia Judson. Or maybe Isis would be willing to appear. I bet she’s got some great Jenny kicking shoes

  56. #57 Scott
    May 20, 2009

    Jake,

    To rephrase a bit what others have been trying to tell you: Not knowing which specific genes are involved is NOT evidence that it is not genetic. Twin studies and the like can very effectively address whether or not a condition is genetic. Figuring out which genes are relevant is an ENTIRELY different question.

  57. #58 Pablo
    May 20, 2009

    Has anyone ever found the “left handed” gene? Last I heard, none had been discovered.

    Yet, is anyone silly enough to suggest that “handedness” has some external cause? If so, there are a lot of fathers with sons would love to know what it is (left handed pitchers have a big advantage)

  58. #59 Joseph
    May 20, 2009

    Has anyone ever found the “left handed” gene?

    Left handedness is not that heritable, I believe. That comes to show that whether a condition is considered pathological or not is not exactly related to whether it’s environmentally-caused.

    Something interesting I found the other day is that you can’t really know someone’s race by looking at their DNA. That’s a more analogous problem, in my view. I mean, you can find out where your mother-line ancestors came from, but this doesn’t necessarily tell you your race. This guy explains it.

  59. #60 JohnA
    May 20, 2009

    I posted this:

    “I would like to see Ms McCarthy spend time explaining how she has come to change her viewpoint on autism, from it being a gift (Indigo children) to atutism being the scourge of vaccination. I would love to see her talking to leading scientists about the issue with an open mind. I would love to see close-ups as she realizes that her pithy arguments about vaccination are leading to the illness and death of children all over the country.

    Optionally Oprah could also be on for that show, since she will now share in this blame. Make sure to have a buffet on standby.

    A few swimsuit spreads would be kinda cool, too. If she’s going to poison our minds she can at least titillate the senses as she does so.

  60. #61 Stacy
    May 20, 2009

    I’d like to see Jenny McCarthy visit countries where people cope with measles every day of the year. I’d like see her visit countries where vaccination is rightfully seen as a public health measure. I’d like to see Jenny McCarthy visit countries that have children die every second from vaccine preventable illnesses.

    Most of all I’d like to see Jenny McCarthy attend a biology class or a chemistry class or an anatomy class. And have her lips taped shut with crazy glue until she can pass a few exams in any of those subjects.

  61. #62 RJ
    May 20, 2009
  62. #63 Kula
    May 20, 2009

    I’d like to see her share the stories of these people and invite them (or their surviving family members) on her show so she can tell them how toxic the vaccine is that could have prevented their suffering:

    http://www.nmaus.org/programs/education_initiative/video/getting-it256K_Stream.mov

    (If the link doesn’t work, try going to http://www.immunize.org and search the VOTW archives for the video for the week of February 9-15.)

    She could invite these parents too:
    http://familiesfightingflu.org/

  63. #64 Monado
    May 21, 2009

    Just under 2000 characters:

    Guest: Paul Offit to explain his 2002 paper about children and vaccinations. The number of proteins in vaccines was 200 in 1900, then rose to over 3,000 in the 1940s to 1960s, and is now about 125 since the 1980s (graph).

    Explain why a 95% reduction in antigens causes more autism, while reducing the number of diagnoses for other developmental problems by a proportional number. (Look up the research.). Explain why autism is rising in Canada when it removed thimerosol in the 80s. Discuss how Andrew Wakefield was paid to file anti-vaccine suits and sells an alternative vaccine. A guest can explain about the body’s natural levels of formaldehyde—low, but higher than in current vaccines

    Here’s the paper: “Addressing Parents’ Concerns: Do Multiple Vaccines Overwhelm or Weaken the Infant’s Immune System?”

    Review the newly noticed correlation between Vitamin D deficiency and aytusn.

    Get someone on the show to describe disease in the bad old days and the odds of dying of a natural disease vs. the odds of dying of a vaccine.

    Interview parents of children who have died of diseases that we vaccinate for, because they or other parents decided not to vaccinate or didn’t bother. She can explain that it’s OK that their children died if it makes people realize that Vaccines are Dangerous. She can start here: Families Fighting Flu. I would like her to realize that she is morally responsible for some deaths. Then she can have a good cry and start to figure out how to repair the damage.

  64. #65 Monado
    May 21, 2009

    Guest: Paul Offit to explain his 2002 paper about children and vaccinations. The number of proteins in vaccines was 200 in 1900, then rose to over 3,000 in the 1940s to 1960s, and is now about 125 since the 1980s (graph).

    Explain why a 95% reduction in antigens causes more autism, while reducing the number of diagnoses for other developmental problems by a proportional number. (Look up the research.). Explain why autism is rising in Canada when it removed thimerosol in the 80s. Discuss how Andrew Wakefield was paid to file anti-vaccine suits and sells an alternative vaccine. A guest can explain about the body’s natural levels of formaldehyde—low, but higher than in current vaccines

    Here’s the paper: “Addressing Parents’ Concerns: Do Multiple Vaccines Overwhelm or Weaken the Infant’s Immune System?”

    Review the newly noticed correlation between Vitamin D deficiency and aytusn.

    Get someone on the show to describe disease in the bad old days and the odds of dying of a natural disease vs. the odds of dying of a vaccine.

    Interview parents of children who have died of diseases that we vaccinate for, because they or other parents decided not to vaccinate or didn’t bother. She can explain that it’s OK that their children died if it makes people realize that Vaccines are Dangerous. She can start here: Families Fighting Flu. I would like her to realize that she is morally responsible for some deaths. Then she can have a good cry and start to figure out how to repair the damage.

  65. #66 dusonfnp
    May 21, 2009

    So, childhood immunization has been the biggest part of a Tanzanian healthcare initiative that has decreased the child mortality rate by 24% between 2000 and 2004! And now Tanzania has changed from tetravalent to pentavalent vaccine, which provides coverage for Hib, which we can anticipate will decrease the incidence of pneumonia in infants which will further improve the kids’ chances of living past 5 years of age. This I learned during a trip to Tanzania as part of Duke’s MSN program. Meanwhile, guess who spoke at Duke’s graduation? That would be Oprah, who is giving Jenny McCarthy more of a platform for her anti-vax nonsense.

  66. #67 Pablo
    May 21, 2009

    Left handedness is not that heritable, I believe. That comes to show that whether a condition is considered pathological or not is not exactly related to whether it’s environmentally-caused.

    Twin studies show a large correspondence in handedness (similar to autism, I think). I don’t know if there is any parental correlation. There is some non-twin sibling correlation, I think.

    I don’t understand your second sentence. What are the environmental factors that cause handedness?

  67. #68 Autodidactyl
    May 21, 2009

    I’d like to see Jenny canceled.

    Soon.

  68. #69 Joseph
    May 21, 2009

    Twin studies show a large correspondence in handedness (similar to autism, I think).

    Well, see this and this.

  69. #70 Dedj
    May 21, 2009

    I would dearly love to see where Kev leitch has expressed fear of a ‘non-existant’ eugenics movement. I’m not saying he hasn’t, just that he has repeatedly demonstrated enough abstract functioning to be able to deal with the concept of the autgenics movement being a paradign shift, without any individual or group within that movement adopting a shared identity, role or objective, or even being aware of any other member of that movement.

    Are there people that view autistics as defective? You bet.

    Are there people who think we’d be better off if these people weren’t autistic? You bet.

    Are there people looking for a genetic link to autism? You bet.

    Are there people who would use a gene-therapy if it could cure autism? You bet.

    Are these people coherent and contigent enough to identify and consolidate as a movement? You bet they aren’t.

    Just because there is no self-identified autgenics movement, doesn’t mean we can’t oppose the core concept, or rather, the values expressed in defence of the concept.

  70. #71 Dedj
    May 21, 2009

    “without acknowledging that autism is even a problem, the first step of the scientific method”

    Well, you’ve kind of got it backwards here.

    Is autism a problem? Well, no, the same as diabeties. It’s the consequences of having autism (or diabeties) that are the problem, a distinction you continuously fail to grasp, despite having it explained to you in simple terms multiple times by multiple sources, including several that routinely deal with people with autism.

    Given just how many of the ND movement are involved in autism services at some level, or involved in seeking appropriate services for people with autism (Arnold, Stanton, Turner, Taylor, Chew, Millar, Murray etc) it is a ridiculous and factually unsupportable posistion to claim that a core belief of ND’s is that people with autism do not have problems.

    If you fail to grasp what the ND posistion actually is, why should we pay any attention to what you have to say about it?

    As I’ve said before, all major medical and health professions that I’m aware of operate on a client-centered, needs-led basis for determining assessment and intervention. Merely having autism would not be considered clinical evidence for assessment or intervention. A diagnosis led intervention would likely be unethical and grounds for dismissal under relevant standards of practice.

  71. #72 benandcoopersdad
    May 21, 2009

    @Pablo re: environmental factors affecting handedness

    If you are a left-handed parent, you carry your baby on your left side more often, leaving their left hand free in front of you to reach for things (right hand behind you). These kids would grow to prefer their left hand, as they used it to handle objects more often as a baby and toddler.

    No research; just taking a stab at it to say it’s possible.

  72. #73 borealys
    May 21, 2009

    I’d like to see Jenny chat with that Australian couple whose 4-month-old daughter died of whooping cough and are now receiving hate mail from antivaxers because they’ve spoken up about the importance of vaccines. Let’s see her get away with shouting at *them* on national television.

    Also, I agree with those who said she should bring on some autistic adults.

  73. #74 Jen
    May 21, 2009

    “She can start here: Families Fighting Flu.”

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090519172045.htm

  74. #75 HCN
    May 21, 2009

    She could perhaps interview the children of Roald Dahl. They can discuss what happened to their older sister.

  75. #76 Dedj
    May 22, 2009

    “Or not.
    http://www.ageofautism.com/2009/04/latest-autism-gene-studies-findnot-very-much.html#more

    SNORT! Steve Novella is a significantly more relevantly qualified and experienced commentator than Mark Blaxill is.

    Anyone who describes CNV’s as ‘immaculate mutations’ is either a: someone who can’t understand the processes involved and therefore assumes that scientists can’t either, or b: deliberately trying to mislead their audience through rhetoric.

    Either way, that hodge-bodge of a piece does not look good for Blaxill, nor does it reflect well on you for referencing it.

  76. #77 Rozagy
    May 31, 2009

    When I was a child, I spoke early, walked early and was apparently bright and intelligent (although I walked on my toes and had terrible tantrums). Then I had selective mutism brought on by stress of being bullied by other kids at school. My father thought I should have been born a boy because I climbed everything, run and jumped up and down and never stopped. I did not have a tripple vaccine with themiserol. I’ve had a lot of difficulties in life despite completing two university degrees and only when I was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome 3 years ago aged 35 things started to get better because I understood what was wrong and started learning how to help myself. But my difficulties didn’t stop me from getting married and being a mother to two boys, both on the autistic spectrum. They did not have a tripple vaccine either, they had single vaccines.

    I achieved success in my career despite it being a long struggle to get there and my son does very well academically (the other one is still a baby) even though he struggles socially but it’s getting better as he’s learning about interaction intellectually and he’s popular for his gymnastics abilities.

    I want to see people like me and my son on Jenny’s show, I wish I could see them before my doagnosis, yesr ago, when I struggled like crazy and was at breaking point, thinking I was different because I was cursed. I’ve met so many people in my life who bullied me and so many who took me under their wing and protected me – for the same reason, my autism, I’m sure of it, as bullies sense our vulnerabilities others sense it too and give a hand, without even realising why they are doing it.

    I’ve also been fortunate to be surrounded by friends who are also now finding out that they too are on the autistic spectrum. Some of the most creative people I know turned out to be autistic and that’s what media should be writing about (but they never do, they’d rather scare us with ‘autism disease’…)

    Jenny is showing all the signs of OCD and her obsessive interest in this falce belief that vaccines cause autism and that people can ‘recover’ from autism (why would anyone want to? that’s crazy. Maybe the negative other symptoms that sometimes – but not always – come with autism should be helped with but not autism, surely, I like my focus and tenacity and my high intellect, I don’t want to ‘recover’)… What I’m saying is Jenny is a mother of autistic child (yes, he’s still autistic, even if she believes she’s ‘trained him out of it’) and she is absorbed in her crazy beliefs almost to the exclusion of all other interests…. well that’s Asperger’s, undiagnosed and unsupported. Just because she’s rich and famous doesn’t mean that people should pussy-foot around her and not say anything. TELL HER! TELL Her that she may be autistic herself – no ‘normal’ person gets so obsessed about anything.

    But my gut feeling is that this show will never make it on air…

  77. #78 Rozagy
    May 31, 2009

    When I was a child, I spoke early, walked early and was apparently bright and intelligent (although I walked on my toes and had terrible tantrums). Then I had selective mutism brought on by stress of being bullied by other kids at school. My father thought I should have been born a boy because I climbed everything, run and jumped up and down and never stopped. I did not have a triple vaccine with themiserol. I’ve had a lot of difficulties in life despite completing two university degrees and only when I was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome 3 years ago aged 35 things started to get better because I understood what was wrong and started learning how to help myself. But my difficulties didn’t stop me from getting married and being a mother to two boys, both on the autistic spectrum. They did not have a triple vaccine either, they had single vaccines.

    I achieved success in my career despite it being a long struggle to get there and my son does very well academically (the other one is still a baby) even though he struggles socially but it’s getting better as he’s learning about interaction intellectually and he’s popular for his gymnastics abilities.

    I want to see people like me and my son on Jenny’s show, I wish I could see them before my diagnosis, yesr ago, when I struggled like crazy and was at breaking point, thinking I was different because I was cursed. I’ve met so many people in my life who bullied me and so many who took me under their wing and protected me – for the same reason, my autism, I’m sure of it, as bullies sense our vulnerabilities others sense it too and give a hand, without even realising why they are doing it.

    I’ve also been fortunate to be surrounded by friends who are also now finding out that they too are on the autistic spectrum. Some of the most creative people I know turned out to be autistic and that’s what media should be writing about (but they never do, they’d rather scare us with ‘autism disease’…)

    Jenny is showing all the signs of OCD and her obsessive interest in this false belief that vaccines cause autism and that people can ‘recover’ from autism (why would anyone want to? that’s crazy. Maybe the negative other symptoms that sometimes – but not always – come with autism should be helped with but not autism, surely, I like my focus and tenacity and my high intellect, I don’t want to ‘recover’)… What I’m saying is Jenny is a mother of autistic child (yes, he’s still autistic, even if she believes she’s ‘trained him out of it’) and she is absorbed in her crazy beliefs almost to the exclusion of all other interests…. well that’s Asperger’s, undiagnosed and unsupported. Just because she’s rich and famous doesn’t mean that people should pussy-foot around her and not say anything. TELL HER! TELL Her that she may be autistic herself – no ‘normal’ person gets so obsessed about anything.

    But my gut feeling is that this show will never make it on air…

  78. #79 Navi
    September 28, 2009

    I’d seriously like her to talk about real controversies. Why are there so many expensive therapies, and so little research to back them up? Why is it the only evidence based therapy only helps some of the people with autism. Why is it that we only talk about early intervention? Why is it that people and therapists give up if the child isn’t talking by six?