| Needles are scary|
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“”What if there were a vaccine to prevent wrinkles? Then what, Jenny McCarthy?
Jenny McCarthy is an American celebrity who has, since around 2005, become the poster model for the anti-vaccination movement. While she rose to fame as a Playboy model and actress, as well as the girlfriend of actor Jim Carrey, she is now most prominently known for this vigorous opposition to vaccinations, attributing rising autism rates and other illnesses to the practice. And in turn, rising rates of preventable diseases (such as measles and hepatitis A) have been attributed, in part, to her activism.
To all appearances, McCarthy is a sincere, hard-working, and very upset mother who has the IQ of soap and difficulty with coherent lines of thought. This sincere, deeply-held wrongness leads to tragedy all round.
In 2013, she gained a substantial audience for her crank views when she became a host on the popular ABC television show The View, where she contributed with the benefit of her self-proclaimed "degree" in autism from the "University of Google." Unsurprisingly, McCarthy was fired in less than a year.
In addition to her unscientific scaremongering on vaccines, she has also made disturbing comments about HIV following the revelation in 2015 that her former co-star Charlie Sheen suffers from the condition. McCarthy's comments suggest that she thinks HIV can be transmitted by kissing (though she later denied this) or that people interacting with an HIV-positive individual have a 'right to know'.
Vaccines are Satan
Her involvement in publicly creating hysterics around vaccines began with her son, Evan. At first she opined that she was an indigo and her son was of the crystal persuasion after being told this by a random stranger, but then she discovered the vaccine hysteria and latched on to that instead. She later claimed that her son's autism was caused by the mumps, measles, rubella vaccine but that it was cured through chelation therapy. She wrote a book Louder than Words: A Mother's Journey in Healing Autism and has appeared on Oprah and Larry King Live advocating quackery and marketing false hope.
Years later, it was revealed by TIME that her son had probably never had autism to begin with but Landau-Kleffner syndrome, which is commonly mistaken for autism. Despite this, Jenny has not backed down from her anti-vaccine position.
On April 2014, in a Chicago Sun-Times column, she denied ever having been against vaccination:
“”I am not "anti-vaccine." This is not a change in my stance nor is it a new position that I have recently adopted. For years, I have repeatedly stated that I am, in fact, "pro-vaccine" and for years I have been wrongly branded as "anti-vaccine."
Then, in that same column, she said:
Although Jim Carrey has split from Jenny McCarthy, he still is a big promoter of the anti-vax position. His concoction of a conspiracy theory against Andrew Wakefield is no less mind-boggling.
- Age of Autism — the nonsense-factory that hosts her blog
- Appeal to celebrity — the general malady
- Joseph McCarthy — seriously, McCarthy is a popular last name
- Jenny McCarthy counts for something, Bad Astronomy
- Celebrity-based science and the decline of journalism, Nature
- NPR's Bob Garfield loses his mind at the prospect of Jenny McCarthy joining The View
- A relatively old website that tallied up preventable illnesses and deaths
- (Yes, someone's a fan of botox.)
- One such example
- "Jenny McCarthy to join "The View", Knight Science Journalism at MIT
- Sherri Shepherd and Jenny McCarthy Are Leaving The View, TIME
- "Jenny McCarthy Applies Her Anti-Science Quacktivism to Charlie Sheen’s HIV Status", Slate, November 20, 2015.
- "Children of the New Earth: Insights of an Indigo Mom - A Mother's Awakening"
- Jenny McCarthy’s Son May Not Have Had Autism After All, Hollywood Life
- Jenny McCarthy: "The gray area on vaccines", Chicago Sun-Times
- Jenny McCarthy says she isn’t anti-vaccine. Here are some other things she has said about vaccinations, Washington Post