Jenny McCarthy on CNN: The stupid burns out the Intranets

I guess that since my resistance failed, and I couldn't resist posting yesterday about the burning stupid that is Jenny McCarthy and her arrogance of ignorance in claiming that vaccines caused her son's autism and her campaigning to "Green Our Vaccines" (in reality, a smokescreen to hide her antivaccinationism), I thought why not go whole hog and get it out of my system? Let's just take in a concentrated dose, as the more Jenny talks the more she discredits the antivaccine movement among anyone with a lick of scientific literacy:

Jenny's on fire with stupid! She starts right out saying "without a doubt in my mind I believe that vaccinations triggered Evan's autism," and it goes downhill from there, going on about being a "firsthand witness" to Evan's regression. It's all there, including the "evil pharma" gambit, in which she says there is "such a huge business in pharmaceuticals." The piece de resistance?

In response to a quote about children dying from vaccine-preventable disease, Jenny says:

People are also dying from vaccination. Evan my son died in front of me for two minutes. So you ask any mother in the autism community if we'll take the flu, the measles over autism, any frickin' day of the week. So I think they need to wake up and stop hurting our kids. And we're not telling people not to vaccinate. I don't understand why it's so frickin' hard to comprehend we deserve safe shots and a safer schedule.

Here we go again. I have a message for Jenny: We do have safe vaccines. The current vaccination schedule is safe. The science supporting that contention is overwhelming. You rely on nothing other than pseudoscience and quackery to back up your claims, as you do when you make your claims that Evan was "healed" with biomedical treatment. If he was "healed," why is it that you said you planned on chelating him a few months back?

Of course, Jenny thinks the medical community doesn't want you to know about these "cures":

The reason the medical community has such a problem with this is because we are treating and healing a vaccine injury.

She then blames "greed" for the vaccine schedule. It's again the same old tired whine.

You know, if anything, I think Jenny McCarthy in 2008 is even dumber--if that's possible--than the Jenny McCarthy from one year ago. She's drifted even further into quackery and paranoia; she's in Whale.to country now, and it's not pretty. I show this mainly to demonstrate just how painful it is to watch her arrogance of ignorance these days. Normally, I wouldn't care that much if she were just subjecting herself to such quackery, but she's subjecting an innocent child to it. Not only that, she's urging thousands of mothers eerywhere to subject their children to it as well, while denying them the basic medical care of vaccines.

No, I don't believe for a minute her claim that she is not "anti-vaccine." She's said explicitly that if she ever has another child she won't vaccinate ever. She can't articulate what it would take to "green" vaccines enough to persuade her that vaccines are safe. The reason, of course, is that it's what's in vaccines that actually does the job that scares her.

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Yech. This video ruined an otherwise nice breakfast this morning, only to raise its ugly head once again before bed. I almost had a seizure from how fast the dumb flashed from her head. Feh.

At 0:40, the interviewer asks:

What do you say about why, first of all, they [the American Academy of Pediatrics] were reluctant to talk about any possible link between vaccines and autism?

But she forgot to ask Ms Carthy when the fellows of the AAP stopped beating their wives*.

* Or husbands, partners, etc.

By RedGreenInBlue (not verified) on 02 Oct 2008 #permalink

I have a message for Jenny too..... I'm "any mother in the autism community" of *two* ASD kids (One autistic, one AS) and I'll take autism over measles thanx.
Ask my mom (another "any mother.." of an ASD kid - me) about the terror she felt when I had measles....

A separate question is why do news outlets give a soap box to celebrities and quacks for their pet causes. I rely almost exclusively on written sources for news because that is the only way to avoid the scandal driven, celebrity driven, pablum oozing crap fest that TV insists on calling news

I love how celebrities throw themselves in to some sort of cause when ever their last shred of relevance is about the expire. She could have at least picked a good, reality based cause..

By stevogvsu (not verified) on 02 Oct 2008 #permalink

Orac, she cured autism and will earn a Nobel prize for it. You should be nicer or she won't let you bask in her reflected glory.

As for measles over autism, someone needs to ask her why she would risk death from measles than autism when she's cured it? I mean, I rather have any curable disease, including curable STDs, than measles with can be lethal. But then again, I am pure genius compared to Jenny.

A lot of the stuff she says is completely wrong, but since people are not all that familiar with the science and politics of autism, maybe they buy it. For starters, it's absolutely not true that if you ask "any" mother of an autistic child, they'll agree with her.

Then the notion that her son is recovered has never been verified. It's a subjective claim. A lot of kids on the spectrum pass for normal. Her son was diagnosed at 2. It's not as unusual as people think for children to lose their autism label for no apparent reason. But again, the popular belief is that this never happens, so Jenny's anecdote is somehow impressive.

Jenny says:

People are also dying from vaccination. Evan my son died in front of me for two minutes.

Oh my god, two minutes! You poor thing. I'm sure all the mothers throughout history who have lost their children (forever, mind you) to vaccine preventable diseases really feel you pain. And the children who have been orphaned by vaccine preventable diseases probably also feel you pain. You poor baby - two minutes! What a tragedy!

Holy crap, that woman is just an insensitive #@%&, isn't she?

People are also dying from vaccination. Evan my son died in front of me for two minutes.

*fumes*

I've been to funerals of children before. I've seen the dark, empty looks on the parents' faces. It is NOT the same. Jenny McCarthy is an overprivileged brat who has never had to face any real tragedy in her life. Like an immune system kept naive by an oversterile environment to substitute for childhood vaccines, she therefore reacts out of proportion to what little hardship she does have to endure.

By Calli Arcale (not verified) on 02 Oct 2008 #permalink

Kevin: the reason the "news" outlets give so much time to celebrities and other self-promoters is that the latter's publicists do almost all the work of creating the story; the networks/stations just have to do a little bit of editing in order to run the material provided to them. The two most important words in a TV producer's vocabulary are "budget" and "deadline."

I am equally annoyed with the highly irritating claim that she has cured her sons autism! For gods sakes!!!!
Where is the objective cross examination of that claim???????

She is the media equivalant of a car wreck on the highway. You shouldn't look, you know you should just drive on, yet you always slow down and look.

By Uncle Dave (not verified) on 02 Oct 2008 #permalink

Ask my mom (another "any mother.." of an ASD kid - me) about the terror she felt when I had measles....

But if you weren't vaccinated, how could you possibly be aspie? Everyone knows that autism didn't exist before vaccination.

I agree with Joseph about verification.

1. Children with mild autism sometimes show cognitive and social improvements over time as a certain degree of normal developmental growth and special educational influence.
2. There are varing degrees of autism and is there anything on paper that indicates that her son is even autistic let alone to what degree?
3. In my opinion, if you throw your children into the public arena as she has done (perhaps some degree of narcissism here? Naaaaa..) with claims of autism awareness and a cure, you should be willing to produce developmental testing standards supporting such a claim. Without any scientific support let alone any clear rational discussion ability, it is just another Billy Mays OxyClean commercial disguised as information.

She was on an Entertainment tonight interview where they talked about Barbara Walters getting upset with her (Mccarthy) particulary over her claims of a cure. Apparently Walters had a sister with special needs issues (retardation, autism not sure exactly). It appears that McCarthy is getting under the skin of a lot of people.

By Uncle Dave (not verified) on 02 Oct 2008 #permalink

I found the interview yesterday and couldn't make it past "without a doubt in my mind I believe that vaccinations triggered Evan's autism,"

By Karl Withakay (not verified) on 02 Oct 2008 #permalink

But in 2007 she claimed Evan was CURED!!!!!

Is he cured, in which case why the "germ-free" surroundings and teachers who understand his condition?

Or does he still have a seizure disorder that is under control?

BTW, apparently the seizure disorder was the primary diagnosis ... get that under control and the child will improve.

By Tsu Dho Nimh (not verified) on 02 Oct 2008 #permalink

hey, cnn, wanna lob any other meatball questions to jenny? and probably using the word "freaking" every other sentence does not lend a person much credibility.

I haven't seen the video and was finally ready to fry several dozen brain cells to do so. But the video has been removed. I wonder if CNN was being bombarded by people who were outraged by her stupidity. I can only hope. I know she does not speak for me as a mother in the autism community and it annoys me that she has the arrogance to think she has the right to.

I have to ask, other than on Larry King (and we all saw how well she handled herself there when the doctors began talking) has she ever been on a panel or had someone on with her to counter her claims? I wouldn't be surprised if her publicist, or somebody, tells the staff only she can be on and only certain questions can be asked or worded a certain way since she can't hold her own when confronted with actual scientific evidence.

Uncle Dave, I wouldn't lump Jenny McCarthy's claims in with Billy Mays and OxyClean. I use OxyClean in my laundry, and my whites have never been whiter.

Autism cures? Not so much.

By Rogue Epidemiologist (not verified) on 02 Oct 2008 #permalink

Rogue Epidemiologist,

OK, I suppose hydrogen peroxide, sodium hydroxide and sodium hypochlorite could make your whites whiter than white however, please forward data on improved whites.

By Uncle Dave (not verified) on 02 Oct 2008 #permalink

Rogue Epidemiologist,

OK, I suppose a highly alkaline powder composed of hydrogen peroxide, sodium hydroxide and sodium hypochlorite could make your whites whiter than white however, please forward data on improved whites.

By Uncle Dave (not verified) on 02 Oct 2008 #permalink

The real criminal here is CNN for allowing her to spue her vomit without criticism and for not matching her with a vaccine advocate such as Amanda Peet or, preferably, DR. OFFIT! It's not like she doesn't have any opposition.

interesting, the comments here seem pretty judgmental and few of you seem to be the parents of autistic children who stay with them full time. I think it is much easier to criticize than to do the hell work of fighting for someone's life. Who cares how damn smart you are! Help find a a cause or cure and stop bitching.

By sunnyvale mom (not verified) on 03 Oct 2008 #permalink

few of you seem to be the parents of autistic children who stay with them full time.

Some of us are autistic adults who really resent the implication that we're defective or a terrible burden to our parents. True or not. If you feel that unhappy staying home with your autistic child, why don't you find someone to stay with him/her for a while and go do something else part of the time?

The woman who claims to be a mother says:

"interesting, the comments here seem pretty judgmental and few of you seem to be the parents of autistic children who stay with them full time. I think it is much easier to criticize than to do the hell work of fighting for someone's life. Who cares how damn smart you are! Help find a a cause or cure and stop bitching"

People who are really parents of autistic children, like I am, can spot fraudsters a mile away: they all claim that people who really care will try anything to help; in reality of course, parents who really care want facts from smart people, not desperate guesses from people who claim to "care". Go away until you meet the minimum standards of decency; I'm just thankful that you probably don't have any children at all.

If you can afford to hire someone to be with your child, but you choose to spend all your time with them, then you may actually be doing your child a great disservice, especially if your child develops prompt-person dependancy (which I've seen happen).

It may hurt to pull away (and it may be such a part of your own routines that the idea is actually incomprehensible) but sometimes the best thing is to take a step back and let the 'smart people' step in.

It's a catch 22 situation, you're damned for not paying for the proper services, but then you're damned for not being a 'caring' mother if you're not with them 24/7. The one thing you have to remember in all of this is that your child comes first, not your self-image as a 'proper mother'. Ditch the idea of how much care you can give and focus on how much care they get.

That's a very good point, Dedj. It took some serious self-examination before I realized that I needed to take a step back from my own daughter, who has learning disorders. (The school district calls it "autism spectrum" but we'll be getting an actual medical diagnosis on Wednesday for what, precisely, to call it.) I realize now that my mothering was *smothering* in many respects, and she was not learning things which she needed to learn because I was always there to interpret for her. It wasn't until she got into group speech therapy classes, where I was not present, that she began to speak in complete sentences, use pronouns appropriately, etc. Around me, she didn't need to. Oh, I'd correct her, but she knew I understood what she meant, and didn't feel any real motivation to stretch.

And you are right, Dedj, so right, that our pride can be the biggest impediment our children face. Being a selfless parent doesn't mean martyring oneself, as some groups seem to think. It just means putting the child first.

By Calli Arcale (not verified) on 06 Oct 2008 #permalink