Monday, May 04, 2009
The cure for woo.
While I have written about the issue of vaccines here and here, I don't know if I've ever specifically made clear my contempt for the pseudo-scientific ramblings and dangerous tracts of Jenny McCarthy and her boyfriend Jim Carrey about the whole vaccine issue.

Jenny McCarthy believes that her son, Evan's autism was caused by receiving childhood vaccines. There is no science to back this up.

In June 2007, McCarthy began promoting anti-vaccination rhetoric. She has appeared on several television shows and has published multiple books advising parents not to vaccinate their children. This has led to a dramatic increase in the number of vaccine preventable illnesses as well as an increase in the number of vaccine preventable deaths.

Now mainstream media has picked up on this movement of unscientific claims by people utterly unqualified to utter them.

Recently, the Huffington Post published an article by Jim Carrey on how children should not be vaccinated and then last week Arianna published an article by woo-meister herself, Marianne Williamson on how we should pray away swine flu and how all of our "bad thoughts" about Mexico's drug cartels caused the swine flu to occur.

The head. It wishes to explode.

Oprah, that monster of the media, in addition to promoting the Secret, in which you shouldn't look at fat people as it will make you fat and in which disease is caused by thinking bad thoughts (mmm, I always thought it was viruses, bacteria, fungi, etc.) has now taken Jenny under her wing, inking a deal with HARPO productions and giving her a substantially wider audience to spread her misinformation.

I am furious with the spread of woo. Fine. Sell your product and make a mint off of people who are willing to believe that the universe will bring them a Mercedes. It's been done for millenia. But when you are blaming people for having diseases by not being cheerful enough, which causes them to smile and think good thoughts while avoiding any personal responsibility, not to mention shame for getting sick, not getting said Mercedes and encouraging people to ignore science and not get their children vaccinated, while putting other preschoolers at risk, I want to take some action.

Not one to rest too much on any laurels, I have started a new website. It's called "Is it Science?". I look forward to getting questions and when questions aren't coming in, I plan to have a few notes about things like the panic over the pandemic that wasn't and other problems with relying on mainstream media and "this guy I know" for news. ENJOY!

Also, if you want to do something about the Jenny/Oprah marriage made in hell, here's a suggestion from Skepchick, one of my favorite skeptical websites.

Since sending mail to Oprah herself has been futile in the past, at least in my experience, sending a letter to her target audience might be more effective so the following is their sample letter to your mom. Happy Mother's Day!!!

Dear Mom,

I know how much you enjoy Oprah, and I also know how much you enjoy children not dying. That’s why I’m sending you a quick heads-up that Oprah is about to make a big mistake by giving a lot of money and publicity to a terrible person: Jenny McCarthy, who is trying to convince people not to vaccinate their children because she mistakenly thinks vaccines are harmful. Her actions have directly led to injuries, deaths, and the spread of diseases like measles that were previously considered to be eradicated in the United States thanks to the vaccination program.

You may want to avoid McCarthy’s new ventures and maybe even let Oprah know how you feel about this.

Your loving daughter

I'll also be sending a letter to Oprah herself. Mostly because I'm a glutton for punishment. Or just a glutton.

Anyway, if you feel encouraged to do so, here's her address:

Oprah Winfrey
Harpo Productions
PO Box 909715
Chicago, IL 60690

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Blogger WineGrrl said...

I've added your new blog to my blogroll...

Jenny McCarthy claims her son is "cured" via diet, detox, and vitamin supplements....I didn't know that autism was/is curable.

Blogger dizzy von damn! said...

this is a really sensitive issue obviously, but i wonder what her having posed for playboy has to do with any of it.

Blogger LzyMom said...

I was nervous about getting my first child vaccinated but her doctor was really cool about explaining that the suspected link between vaccinations and autism was mercury and that they no longer used that in children's medicines.

I still can't help but wonder at all the myriad of possible causes out there. Maybe just more children are getting a diagnosis of autism...?

Anyway, when I got shingles last month, I was extremely pleased to find out that I couldn't pass the virus to my daughter because she'd already been vaccinated. Suck that, Jenny McCarthy.

Blogger Faith said...

You're right Dizz. That was from the Skepchick letter but it doesn't belong on my site and I'm removing it.

Blogger Faith said...

Lily's mommy -

The mercury-containing preservative, thimerosal, has been used since the mid-1930's. Its use was discontinued in childhood vaccines. According to the FDA "Since 2001, all vaccines manufactured for the U.S. market and routinely recommended for children ≤ 6 years of age have contained no thimerosal or only trace amounts (≤ 1 microgram of mercury per dose remaining from the manufacturing process), with the exception of inactivated influenza vaccine."

We should have seen a drop in autism since 2001 but there has been no evidence of that. In fact, according to the group "Fighting Autism" the opposite has occurred. See this link for more info.

Blogger LzyMom said...

I knew that the vaccinations for kids no longer contained mercury - but I didn't know that the rate for diagnosing autism had increased. So is that why Jenny M is still crusading against vaccines?

This autism/vaccine "link" has been going on for a few years now, right? So since there are fewer children being vaccinated, shouldn't there be a drop in autism over the last few years, or are the children still too young for that diagnosis? Because if fewer children are being vaccinated but the rate of autism is increasing, then can't we rule out the vaccinations as a cause?

I hope that made sense.

Blogger dizzy von damn! said...

thanks, love. i knew you'd see it.

Blogger Natalie said...

she bugs


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