Jenny McCarthy’s Nakedly Stupid and Dangerous ‘View’ on Vaccines

Jenny McCarthy’s Nakedly Stupid and Dangerous ‘View’ on Vaccines

We live in the information age, where the internet supplies answers for us from the simple (“what was that actor’s name?”) to the obscure (“what is Landau-Kleffner syndrome?”).  We also live in an age where misinformation spreads more quickly than ever before.  Mark Twain is attributed with saying “A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.”  That’s not the case anymore.  A lie can now travel twice around the world, be retweeted a hundred times, and have ten blog posts written on it before the truth even wakes up to get dressed.

Enter Jenny McCarthy.


If you will recall, Jenny McCarthy started her rise to stardom by being naked in Playboy Magazine.  She turned that into a celebrity career, but everything changed after her son Evan was born.  After first turning to New Age pseudoscience to declare herself an “indigo mom” and her son a “crystal child,” she then turned to a much more legitimate branch of pseudoscience and became an anti-vaccination proponent, convinced that her son was on the autism spectrum and that vaccines are the cause.  Seizing upon the now-discredited and debunked research of British doctor Andrew Wakefield, McCarthy began convincing legions of scared parents to not vaccinate their children, even while she claimed that she had “cured” her own son of his autism with chelation therapy (yet another piece of junk science) after trying multiple “alternative” therapies.

And because there are just enough people to believe anything if a celebrity says it, or if it is on the internet, the lie that vaccines cause autism caught wildfire.  And it is a lie.  There has never been a legitimate scientific study to support that theory.  And I happen to have a vested interest in what does cause autism, as I live with the effects of autism every single day.  My oldest son is approaching his eighth birthday.  Right before his fifth birthday, he was diagnosed with autism.  He has an older sister and two younger brothers.  My daughter is, as they say in the autism spectrum disorder world, “neurotypical” – meaning developmentally “normal.”  My two little boys are involved in a research study at one of our local universities that will watch them until they are five years old, measuring their cognitive and speech development, and even doing MRI scans on their developing brains.  What the study that my little sons are involved in is finding that it is all about brain development – specifically, white matter – that changes the wiring of the brain from a “neurotypical” one to an “autistic” one.

Conservatives, who have been wrongly stereotyped for years as “anti-science,” have gained steady ground over the years among those who respect science.  Conservatives aren’t winning the abortion debate on moral grounds – we’re winning it on scientific grounds.  Vaccination rates are slowly beginning to rise again, but only after devastating resurgences in diseases like whooping cough and measles.  These diseases, the scourge of my grandparents’ childhoods, have come back to try and claim their great-grandchildren’s generation, all because people heard a celebrity claim that it would give their child autism – insultingly claiming that an autism diagnosis was a fate worse than possible death by measles or whooping cough.

And why does Jenny McCarthy matter now, when science is turning so definitively against her?  Why, because she is now going to have a daily platform on network television from which to spread her loony ideas.  It was just announced that McCarthy will be joining “The View” now that Elisabeth Hasselbeck has left.  Will she continue to advocate her anti-vaccination dogma on the show?  If ABC is smart, they will ask her to avoid the subject, because if even one child should die because of her “advice,” I am sure that some enterprising lawyer will find a way to sue the network.

Oh, wait.

And if you happened to be wondering, “Well, what is Landau-Kleffner syndrome?”

It is the rare childhood neurological disorder that Jenny McCarthy’s son actually has, not autism.  But she says she still wants to be the “voice” of autism.

ASD parents don’t need you, Jenny.  We don’t need your pseudoscience, either.  And you don’t deserve a national platform from network television to spread your anti-vaccination lies.

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  • Catherine says:

    Outstanding, Deanna….and I would add that while every parent will chase a dream of a cure for a child that has a disability or a disease to the ends of the earth (and I know this as well as you…with a daughter who has endured 56 surgeries) there comes a point where you accept and modify your hopes and dreams to accomodate the “difference”. Because in that “difference” you find the most amazing cure of all….unconditional love.

  • Nina says:

    I have a very good friend who has an autistic son. He will be 21 later this year. She has raised him by herself with little to no resources. Finally this year she is in a metro area that has so many resources she’s overwhelmed in a good way. She’s an amazing person and her son is pretty cool! And she DISLIKES jm like you wouldn’t believe!!

    Oh and jm’s vaccination crap??!!! I have 3 nephews who aren’t vaccinated. Pisses me off to no end that they aren’t. Oldest nephew had a fantastic running career ahead of him. Went to Jr Olympics and placed high enough to be asked back the next year (he was 11 at the time). His mother (my sister) exposed all 3 boys to whooping cough!! Screwed his running career royally. Screwed their stamina royally. And they were a danger to my child and other children in our family for quite a while because of it. And don’t get me started on her – ‘hey we are all gluten intolerant for 16 months . . but NOW we are cured!!’ GRRRRRR!!!!!

  • Dave says:

    She is going to fit right in with the retarded hags that are marching quickly to irrelevance over the View.

  • Robin H says:

    It’s amazing that we even listen to people who’s only claim to fame is taking off their clothes. How do these people even get a voice in the media? They should be relegated to the cable network shows aired at 2 in the morning.

  • Jen says:

    Ms. Nina,
    As someone who IS gluten intolerant I can tell you that the only “cure” is to abstain from gluten for the rest of your life. This will be the refrain I sing inside my head the next time I visit Paris, France and the hotel brings those delectable croissants my way. As the mother of a small boy and the wife of a microbiologist, I share your utter disdain for Ms. Jenny. She is FOUL and DANGEROUS.

    Great posting Deanna, welcome!!

  • VikingMomSD says:

    Let me throw out my credentials on this topic. As a credentialed Special Education teacher I have worked with the Special Education community for over 15+ year with a focus on Autism Spectrum Disorder and Emotional Illnesses.
    Does Autism exists? Yes
    Does having a strict gluten free diet help cure autism? No. But it does however significantly reduce the severity of symptoms and side effects.
    Are vaccines the cause of autism? NO!
    If vaccines were a primary cause of autism then there should either a be a more balanced boy to girl ratio or statistically more in the total population. Since neither conditions are present in the total population of vaccinated people therefore vaccines in and of themselves do not cause autism.
    That being said, there are always exceptions to the rule. 1 in 100, 1 in 1000, 1 in 1000000. The numbers are different for EVERY medication. There are extreme examples of adverse reactions to any medication. These exceptions can be caused by:
    1. Genetic predisposition (the condition was there but not active)
    2. Interactions with other chemicals. This is a post in itself.
    3. Over medication of a symptom causing autistic like qualities. Not a popular topic in a society that looks for a magic bullet to correct a behavior.
    When I started teaching in 1998, our department of 210 “Special Ed” students had 1 student with Autism. Jump to 2013, and in a department of 300 students we now have 30 students with diagnosed Autism and another 20 on the “Spectrum”. I have a personal opinion based on observation and professional experience as to why there is an increase in numbers BUT VACCINES ARE NOT THE CAUSE FOR THE RISE.
    If Jenny McCarthy’ s claim about her son has validity it is (see above) a tragic anomaly. (See above) However, for the 99.999% vaccines have NO autistic effects and dramatically increases the health of the vaccinated. Jenny McCarthy’ s 15 minutes of fame occurred during the time when the cause of autism was still unknown. Her vitriolic soap box BS is damaging and shallow. Her true nature will show and the Nation will discover she is nothing more then an ignorant boob using her son to maintain her fame.

  • Xavier says:

    Jenny McCarthy’s son was never autistic. He had Landau Kleffner Syndrome, got proper anti-epileptics and recovered the language lost during uncontrolled seizures. Good for her and him, but that wasn’t autism. How in the world so many people didn’t stop and think that within 3 years, Jenny had announced his alleged autism, jumped on 25 talk shows, did 33 interviews and then, wait, I”m almost out of breath imagining how quick this went….then, then she managed to write a few BOOKS to tell us her son was CURED…all in 3 years. How stupid of all of us mums who must not have the special powers McCarthy has. And U know what, we don’t. We don’t have her cultic like charisma and manipulative skills to jump on somebody else’s bandwagon, so it would generate more attention and celebrity as she did. Her son never had autism which explains why we never see or hear about him much anymore. She’s done exploiting his alleged autism. Now it’s back to exploiting herself.

  • lisa says:

    I will never tune in to the view as long as shes on it.

  • George J says:

    What has always amazed me about Jenny McCarthy’s son’s alleged autism is the fact he was “cured” so soon and as soon as he was “cured” she hit the talk show circuits and wrote a plethora of books, yet we now, today, seldom hear anything about her so called autistic son as if his autism was just temporary. Nothing could be further from the truth. A child with autism doesn’t just suddenly “become cured” after a few years and their mum writes a few books and talks to celebrities. This is such hogwash. Apparently, the media is so ignorant about what autism really is and what other diagnosis mimic autism that they don’t even question the so called “cured” autistic children like Jenny McCarthy’s. How sad and utterly reckless. While McCarthy’s son had seizures, it is perfectly understandable that upon him receiving anti seizure medication treatment he “was cured”. It has nothing to do with vitamin shots or gluten free diets, or vaccines as McCarthy alleges in her books and talk show interviews. IT’s time time people realize that McCarthy’s son never really had autism and that is the sole reason she has remained “mute” on this alleged autism after her alleged “cure” of her son’s autism.

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