Saturday, May 09, 2009

Giving a dummy a show.

No it isn't Howdie Doodie Time. But it is damn close.

No Jenny McCarthy goes to TV, again. Now she is going to host...Really...Great.

Sure she spouts bad science on Larry King, she makes unproven claims on Oprah, but now she's like Dr. Phil...Really.

But, she, really, is a smarty. Orac looked at her twittering.


Now, when I first saw it, I thought it had to be a spoof, someone pretending to be Jenny. No one could be as inane as to Tweet things like:

Im inside a hyperbaric chamber. This thing makes me feel amazing.

About to fly to jersey. Security stole my sugar free jelly out of my purse. Boo hoo. I miss evan.

Now Im on the plane. they asked me if I wanted a cinnabun. Im so sad. The chubby guy sitting next to me is slobbering all over his. boo hoo.

Apparently I was wrong.


Marcotte looked at the trouble McCarthy is bringing science, medicine, and child care.

This is a complete disaster. For reasons I can’t quite understand, Jenny McCarthy is dedicated to fighting medical science on multiple fronts on the theory that she, as a celebrity who has given birth, understands way more about disease and biology than mere doctors and scientists, with their facts and their evidence. I know that there was some hope expressed that now that Dr. Andrew Wakefield, who published the study that supposedly showed a link between autism and vaccines, has been exposed as a fraud, the anti-vaccination movement would wither away and die. Unfortunately, I’ve been watching the anti-choice and creationist movements for a long time, so I know that cranks not only don’t care about the facts, scientific evidence against them just redoubles their enthusiasm for the cause, because now they can feel like they’re fighting reality itself. Overcoming a foe like that is a feather in your cap indeed. And McCarthy’s acquisition of a TV show demonstrates that I was right---if they can’t win on the facts, they’ll dominate the media discourse.

The first three blog posts at McCarthy’s blog are the sort of thing that give people who promote healthy eating a bad name. It’s not that she’s wrong to suggest that eating a bunch of sugar isn’t good for you. But this is coming from McCarthy, who actually claims to have cured her son of autism through obsessively monitoring his diet.


Oprah has a lot to answer for for bringing so much of this woo to the forefront, giving it all so much legitimacy. She has gotten rich and famous spouting and promoting, UFO's, crystals, ghosts, mediums, psychics, anti science, pop religion, the Secret, etc. Larry King does much the same. But he doesn't get people there own shows, to begin exponential spreading of this fertilizer. You can only hope Oprah comes to realize how much trouble she has wrought an tries to make things right.

Orac looked further at Oprah's complicity.

And Oprah is about to catapult her to the next level.

Still, when celebrity gossip rags start ragging on you for supporting antivaccine lunacy, you know you have a problem. Oprah has a problem. Not that Oprah cares. She's rich, and she's Oprah. Why on earth should she care if more kids become ill from vaccine-preventable diseases and if some of them even die because she gave a platform to an anti-vaccine loon like Jenny McCarthy to spread her poison about vaccines and frighten parents with pseudoscience, misinformation, and lies? There's money to be made! And if there's one thing Oprah is very, very good at, it's making money.

If the price is a few more dead kids, well what are a few more--or even many more--dead kids to her? She's Oprah, after all.


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