I wrote an advocacy piece discussing Jenny McCarthy and keeping her off “The View.”
The essay is here.
If you agree with me, please share the essay on all your media formats. This needs to get out there.
Please write ABC a polite note suggesting McCarthy is not appropriate for The View. Here is the ABC feedback page. Phil Plait has a nice template you can borrow.
If you don’t agree with me – why not? I welcome thoughtful discussion (though will quickly moderate trolling right off the site). Please use a name, even a pseudonym, if you want to comment, so we have something to call you.
8 Replies to “Jenny McCarthy – Keep her off the view”
Voices for Vaccines is also hosting this petition: http://www.change.org/petitions/abc-s-the-view-just-say-no-to-adding-jenny-mccarthy-to-the-view
Thank you. I'll tweet it out.
Nice piece! I am, however, confused by your statement, "Religion and science equally fuel this kind of fear-mongering and reckless parenting."
I saw the "religion" opener that you used, and of course you illustrate the one scared parent who has jumped to bad conclusions and used her celebrity to propagate them, but I'm not seeing the illustration of how science is culpable. (I think we've both made it sound add though science is a monolith, whereas we both know it's not.)
Yes, I think that got edited down too tightly and agree with the criticism. The original draft was 1700 words. What I meant is that both religious and scientific ideas can lead people astray in comparable ways. There's a similar (bad) epistemology there.
Thanks so much for posting this, and for the great piece on CNN. I completely agree with you. My 18 year-old son has autism, and I have had people ask me outright how I feel about him being "vaccine damaged".
Despite the fact that science has not found a link between vaccines and autism, I know so many parents who still believe that their children have autism because of the vaccines they were given. This belief is firmly held and not shaken by science or facts.
Many children with autism do quite well with behavioural therapy and dietary interventions. However, for those of us with children who have significant challenges, McCarthy's smartypants attitude is hard to take. Parents of children with autism have so many extra hurdles in life, and we don't need a celebrity telling us we haven't done enough.
Thanks Anne. Indeed lots of kids are doing great, and diet can be part of the discussion. Just not McCarthy's hunches and language of curing.
I'd like to add that when I say some kids do well with dietary changes, it's important to remember that those are anecdotal reports. There is currently no scientific proof that there is a special diet that can treat autism. So far, applied behavioural analysis (ABA) and medication are the two treatments for autism that have peer reviewed scientific research to support their efficacy.
It's worth noting that, while Jenny McCarthy credits the GFCF diet and heavy metal toxin removal for her child's recovery, her son also participated in a home-based ABA program. Research shows that ABA is very effective without any of those other interventions, yet she chooses to focus on unproven theories. There are many parents out there who believe that vaccines cause autism, and belief is very difficult to challenge, so she has fed into the unfounded beliefs of an outraged audience who are happy that she's championing their side.
I do wonder why she why she downplays the behavioural therapy, but then again, I wonder what her overall agenda is with respect to the issue of autism.
What got me the most aggravated was when she went on CNN's Larry King Live show and started touting that she cured her son of autism. I had some co-workers, who obviously didn't know any better, come up to me to tell me that hey "they" found a cure for autism, and why didn't I know about it.
That is exactly the sort of thing that will confuse the general public and then they will start to believe her lies and misinformation. Which is exactly what the autism community does not need.