Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Is there a vaccination against Jenny McCarthy's anti-scientific bullshit?

By Michael J.W. Stickings

Normally I wouldn't care what goes on at The View. I don't watch it, I don't want to watch it, and on the whole it just adds to the cultural pollution that envelops America. (Yes, it's generally liberal, but really it's just a squawk-fest of superficiality. It's good to see women in positions of influence, sure, but this is generally more embarrassing than enlightening.)

But it's hard not to care when it hires as new co-host a complete fucking idiot like Jenny McCarthy, giving her a significant platform from which to spew her bullshit.

And I say that with all due respect. She may well be, for the most part, a lovely person. But her one issue, the one thing she seems truly passionate about, the one thing other than her personality she's bringing to the show, is a completely unscientific view of vaccination. As Slate's Phil Plait writes:

McCarthy's views constitute, in my opinion, a threat to public health. She is loudly against vaccines, claiming they cause autism, claiming they are loaded with toxins, and claiming her own son became autistic after a vaccination and that she subsequently cured him with a gluten-free diet.

To phrase it delicately, none of her claims has any medical merit at all. Vaccines have an incredibly small risk compared to their extremely large benefit. Polio, measles, pertussis... these diseases and many more have infected, sickened, and killed far fewer people than they used to due to the development of vaccinations against them. Smallpox alone killed hundreds of millions of people, and it's gone because of vaccines

Vaccines have been tested exhaustively to see if they cause autism, and it's become overwhelmingly clear: There is no good evidence that they do.

Yet despite these facts McCarthy has gone everywhere and anywhere protesting vaccinations.

And now she's going to a very popular daytime show where there isn't exactly rigorous debate. You do the math.

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  • I don't blame the producers. The conservative movement has gone off the rails. It is hard to find conservatives who aren't stupid, nutty, or both. Now, I'm not sure that McCarthy is conservative. But clearly the producers are looking to replace one ill-informed idiot for another. Can she be any worse than Elisabeth Hasselbeck?

    By Anonymous Frank Moraes, at 12:34 PM  

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