Jenny McCarthy is not a bad person. She’s genuinely funny, and she seems to be a good Mom. I even asked her to autograph a copy of “Belly Laughs” for my pregnant wife (before Jenny became antivaccine).
But on the subject of vaccines, Jenny is convinced that she is 100% right, and nothing will change her opinion. She let a few bad experiences with doctors during anxious and stressful times turn her into a rampaging mom bent on two sacred cows: that autism can be cured (by Moms) and that vaccines need to be “fixed”.
I’ve written several times before about Jenny McCarthy’s ignorant and arrogant attacks on the vaccine program and the government. I read and reviewed her book about her problems diagnosing and “curing” her son’s autism. Jenny keeps going and going with her nonsense like an energizer playboy bunny, and she rarely, if ever, changes her arguments in the face of new information she receives from experienced professionals in vaccines and infectious disease.
Jenny has a way of sweetly infiltrating mainstream media while sucker punching honest doctors and scientists with various bits of misinformed propaganda that she learned from biased googling. She uses anecdotes as science because actual science doesn’t support her opinion. She uses speculation and accusations because the facts and the experts don’t support her opinion. She writes books with emotional bite and cutesy sarcasm because her actual arguments lack substance.
Jenny McCarthy must be stopped.
A few well-intentioned skeptics have put together a web site called Stop Jenny to put the brakes on the celebrity steam engine that is barreling down the tracks of common sense. I put to them a few questions, and they’ve kindly answered.
Have you read any of Jenny’s books? What do you think of her writing?
We don’t propose to judge her writing or her person. We want to address the information instead. We’ve also studied what she says on talk shows and in magazines. The information in her book is also supported by another seller of cures, Dr. Jay N. Gordon. He claims that children are getting an overdose of aluminum now, since other the mercury containing preservative has been removed. We addressed that claim on the Vaccine information page. There is just no way that children are getting overdoses of aluminum in vaccines. Why do these folks get to profit by selling fear, and then turn around and say that other people are just scaring parents into getting vaccines for their children? Who is really profiting the most? Vaccine makers or book sellers?
Are any of you professional scientists, epidemiologists, pediatricians, or experts in the field? If not, where do you get your information?
…The author of most of the website’s contents has a background in science, but a limited one with part of a Biological Sciences Degree (including microbiology, zoology, genetics, laboratory procedures, etc.). Most of the information about vaccines came from microbiology textbooks. The rest of the information comes from genetics textbooks. Other sources are linked on the website. Original sources of information that aren’t in textbooks are from respected peer-reviewed online sources.
Another contributor has a Masters Degree in Education, majoring in Special Needs Education, including behaviour management
Do any of you have personal experience with autism or vaccines?
….The author of most of the content on the website has a brother with Asperger’s syndrome. He was not vaccinated as a child. The author’s children are all vaccinated, and none of them has autism.
Are you sponsored by the CDC, the FDA, or any pharmaceutical company? Do you receive any type of money or bribes from anyone for making this site?
….No. No money has been offered either. The website has only cost money.
What do you hope to accomplish with the stopjenny site? Do you really want to stop her or just stop her influence?
Ideally, we hope that parents stop being influenced by her. She has received so much media attention.
Primarily the site (much the same as Robert Lancaster’s ‘Stop Sylvia‘ website) hopes to be a useful resource and directory for inquiries towards more proactive information upon the developments and debates in regards to autism.
Do you believe that Jenny is crazy or just misguided or ignorant?
….We don’t have enough information nor feel we can judge this in any way; we deal with arguments raised instead, as this is what matters the most.
Are there any other celebrities that deserve to be stopped? Why choose Jenny in particular?
…Since Jenny McCarthy has been particularly proactive in regards to her claims and garnered media attention via inaccurately reflecting research into autism, we hope that it will at least promote reasoned debate for all stakeholders. We aim not to challenge celebrity, but instead to stop dangerous thinking that hurts populations, regardless of their media profile. This is just a small part of a much greater effort on several fronts by several people and organisations in this regard; we respectfully acknowledge their work via links, quotes and references.
Special thanks to Kylie Sturgess of the Podblack blog and Michael Rosche of Skepacabra blog for making Stopjenny.com and for taking the time to answer my questions. Please head over there and support them by forwarding their html link to antivaccinationist friends or parenting forums. The best way to stop Jenny McCarthy is to get the word out that she is wrong and dangerous.