Random (deserved) swipes at Jenny McCarthy

Anyone who's read this blog for more than a month knows my dismal opinion of Indigo woo girl, ex-Playboy Playmate, and gross-out comedienne Jenny McCarthy, who since having a child diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder has transformed herself from D-list celebrity to A-list, where the "A" stands for "antivaccine." Her combination of obnoxiousness, the arrogance of ignorance, and a dogged determination to stoke the embers of the discredited idea that vaccines somehow cause autism have endangered public health in this country in the year and a half since she published her first autism book. Worse, hers is the face that launched a thousand quacks, autism quacks, that is, as she has has repeatedly claimed on the Oprah Winfrey show that she "cured" her son Evan with biomedical woo.

Which is why I do so love a good takedown. Two, in fact:

  • The Jenny McCarthy Body Count. Unfortunately, Jenny McCarthy's antivaccine misinformation may very well have a body count before it's all over.
  • Vaccine Denial = Scientific Illiteracy. Definitely NSFW because Jacob Dickerman seems to be channeling Comrade PhysioProf on vaccines, but very amusing and spot on. More amazingly, it's an actual voice of sanity with regard to vaccines on the Huffington Post! Shocking, I know. Scientists had better check to make sure the earth is still spinning properly on its axis. What makes me think that it still is is that antivaccine loons like Nancy Hokkanen have shown up, along with the other antivax hordes who read HuffPo.

More like this

I know, I know. Picking on Jenny McCarthy over her now frequent idiotic statements about autism and her parroting of the myth that vaccines cause autism is like shooting fish in a barrel, boxing a one-armed opponent, playing tennis with a blind man (like the infamous Saturday Night Live sketch from…
Over the last year and a half, Jenny McCarthy has been, unfortunately, a fairly frequent topic of this blog. There is, of course, a reason for this. Ever since she published her first book on autism back in the summer of 2007, she has become the public face of the antivaccine movement and autism…
I don't much like The Huffington Post. My dislike for The Huffington Post goes way, way back--all the way back to its very beginnings. Indeed, a mere three weeks after Arianna Huffington's little vanity project hit the blogosphere, I noted a very disturbing trend in its content. That trend was a…
About four weeks ago, I wrote what I thought to be an amusing piece about how our blog "buddy" J. B. Handley, antivaccine advocate extraordinaire and now second fiddle in the organization he founded (Generation Rescue) to a Jenny-come-lately former purveyor of Indigo Child woo previously best known…

Well, there is a slight wobble..

Nice..... Finally a site that puts this into perspective( referring to the Jenny McCarthey body count).If the antivax crowd are going to argue they're side of the argument with all the grace, reason and objectivity of a jihadist without ever exactly debating fact then it needs to be painted in the simple colors that resonate the most with them.

Are these cases sufficient for a study, yet?
Like a curve that shows whether there's a rise in preventable diseases some time after one of her public appearances, or when another of her books is published?
I wonder for how long this must go on, until there is real evidence for a correlation.

I see from the Generation Rescue site that Jenny has cheduled a new round of media interviews to promote her new book and to spout her antivax propaganda.

*am tomorrow on Good Morning America, and on Friday 3rd April 6:00PM - LARRY KING LIVE (interview with Jenny, Jim Carrey, Dr. Kartzinel and JB Handley)

This comment, I think, is most appropriate:

Is Jenny McCarthy directly responsible for every vaccine preventable illness and every vaccine preventable death listed here? No. However, as the unofficial spokesperson for the United States anti-vaccination movement she may be indirectly responsible for at least some of these illnesses and deaths and even one vaccine preventable illness or vaccine preventable death is too many.

It's impossible to attribute direct responsibility, but, as vaccine-preventable diseases increase, thanks to her efforts, she bears at least a share of the responsibility.

The JM Body Count is excellent, just what the anti-vaxxers will deny is the result of their nonsense.

I had no idea there was a "voice of sanity" on the Huffington Post. Great job, probably one of the best places to counter the anti-vax idiocy, as they seem to live there on the AoA and Kirby sites. Dickerman didn't pull any punches. He did a great job.

Thanks for posting this. I wouldn't have found it otherwise.

Do you know how badly we got fucked by Smallpox? This shit was legendary.

For a moment I thought it WAS Physioprof, but then I noticed an absence of HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! and realized my mistake.

Also, I am so totally stealing that line next time I argue with an anti-vaxer.

Jenny McCarthy is pretty smart, she knows just where the market is in order to make a better profit off her books. All the anti-vaxer's will support her and this book, and be assured they're supporting her bank account. McCarthy is a great example of YOUR money working for HER. I'm starting to feel all fuzzy wuzzy inside.... oops, I was mistaken that's feeling for wanting to puke over how this woman can target a group of people and make a profit off them. Good thing the GR web site is now called "Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey's Autism Organization - Generation Rescue". JB Handley might as well just step aside and just let McCarthy take advantage of people and families.

Other countries threaten bio warfare with Smallpox. I wonder how McCarthy will react to that along with JB Handley?? Didn't any one read the media event of McCarthy's X hubby? Spilling the goods on her?? More can be added to the list of Indigo woo girl. Anyone subscribe for fun to Generation Rescues list serv? Looks to me as if McCarthy promotes excluding Bio father's totally and inserts Jim Carrey as a replacement.

People who live near or in the states where those "anti vaccine loons" are get pretty fed up with them and how little they contribute to other worth while issues, like education and medical coverage.

By just a mom (not verified) on 31 Mar 2009 #permalink

Like a curve that shows whether there's a rise in preventable diseases some time after one of her public appearances, or when another of her books is published?

No, that would be non-trivial to estimate.

But on a related note, there is a straightforward correlation between the debut of Jenny McCarthy's story with the number of monthly reports submitted to VAERS having to do with autism. Same thing, even worse, after the Hannah Poling concession. These things do have an impact.

just a mom:

"Good thing the GR web site is now called "Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey's Autism Organization - Generation Rescue". JB Handley might as well just step aside and just let McCarthy take advantage of people and families."

To JB Handley that is what's known as a shell corporation. He set it up when he was claiming that his son would be non-autistic in no more than 2 years. When that didn't happen, Jen McCarrey slid in like a silicone lubricated hermit crab.

By notmercury (not verified) on 31 Mar 2009 #permalink


Thanks Orac. I am really amazed at what a huge, and rapid, impact my site is having. I figured that some people in the skeptical community would find it interesting, but I never expected to get over 7,000 page views in the first 2.5 days of its existence. I am just stunned.



Derek, that's awesome. You deserve beer.

By Rogue Epidemiologist (not verified) on 31 Mar 2009 #permalink

Hey, you've been visited by psychodave...congrats.

Sure you have Dave, sure you have (snicker).

By Seamus Ruah (not verified) on 03 Apr 2009 #permalink