Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Jenny McCarthy's Anti-Vaccine Autism "Bulls**t"

Jenny McCarthy was recently on CNN's Larry King Live to talk about her experiences raising a child with autism. Apparently, it was Autism Awareness Week on CNN, and she is the national spokesperson of Talk About Curing Autism. Needless to say, she blamed her child's disease on vaccines. To be honest, I only watched the excerpted portions, not the whole program. However, from what I caught, McCarthy seemed to be relying on her personal story, stories from other parents, and uncited "statistics." I suppose this is a problem with cable news in general. In an effort to show both sides of any issue and have "balance," both parties are reduced to using sound bites without citing any true data, and viewers are left without any sense of which argument actually made more sense.

In the second half of the program, two pediatricians came on the program to discuss their viewpoint that there is no such link. That's when McCarthy unleashed her vast parenting and medical knowledge on them:
In the second half of the program, two pediatricians joined the program who didn't believe that there was a link between vaccines and autism, and McCarthy wasn't having any of it. "Are we considered acceptable losses?" she asked dangerously after a point was raised on the cost-benefit of vaccinations, and what they offered in terms of prevention. "Give my son the measles! I'll take that over autism any day." It was also around that point that she called the standard vaccination program "bullshit" without missing a beat. CNN deleted the expletive in the transcript but not on air, because they don't call it "Larry King Live" for nothing.
Hmm... who are you going to believe, two pediatricians with decades of experience, or a woman who is famous for showing her hoo-ha's in magazines and hosting a TV dating show and dating Jim Carrey (I think?). It's sad that I know that much about her actually. While her child's condition is unfortunate, McCarthy's lashing out at pediatricians and vaccines is a sign of denial and a desire to assign blame. The very idea that measles is somehow vastly preferable to autism makes no sense. Clearly, McCarthy is not familiar with some the complications of measles, like
subacute sclerosing panencephalitis. While the rise in autism is a cause for concern and further serious study is required, such sensationalization does more harm than good.

Still not convinced? Keep reading about the crusade against vaccines, or other interesting articles related to autism spectrum disorders.


  1. I agree that Jenny McCarthy is misguided, her beliefs have no basis in science, and her contention that autism can be "cured" is an affront to all the parents in the world with an autistic child or adult child.

    From a mother of a 22 year old son with autism.

  2. I think you are part of the problem. You are developing an opinion from sound bites and making a complete and utterly wrong assumption as to what Jenny was saying on Larry King. First of all, Jenny did not lose a child. Autism did not kill her son. Secondly, Jenny has not only gathered several stories from other parents (that happens to support her own experience), she also works closely with several DAN doctors and other experts that see a direct link between vaccines and Autism. If you had taken the time to actually watch the whole show and perhaps read one of her books on the subject, you would see that she is not anti-vaccine, but is trying desperately to work to prevent more children from suffering this same fate by cleaning the vaccines and developing a better schedule which would include preventative testing for infants before receiving inoculations.

  3. other then vaccines leading to autism it is also known that vaccines destroy the immune system which in turn we can get other types of diseases

  4. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-f-kennedy-jr-and-david-kirby/vaccine-court-autism-deba_b_169673.html

  5. Interesting link. Although I think the 'autism' issue is still overblown, it is still imperative to address cases in which vaccines truly were the cause of harm and try to remedy these. My issue here is not one of blindly defending vaccines, but rather the view that vaccines as an agent are harmful. If the public comes to believe that 'vaccines' in general as a concept are harmful, I think that is much more damaging than these unfortunate individual, isolated incidents. Any harm is clearly sad, but from society's standpoint, the risk of ignoring the benefits of vaccines seems too great.

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