We Don’t Like Your View
I don’t watch The View on ABC, but it’s hard to avoid hearing about the show now that Jenny McCarthy has been named as the person to replace Elisabeth Hasselbeck as co-host. I personally have always liked McCarthy; she’s funny and sexy and always quick on her feet. I’m not an avid fan that follows her every move, but I usually enjoy her when I see her on TV or in movies. Unfortunately for her, The View’s audience and various analysts hardly feels the same way. Michael Specter of the New Yorker stated that “executives at ABC should be ashamed of themselves for offering McCarthy a regular platform on which she can peddle denialism and fear to the parents of young children who may have legitimate questions about vaccine safety.”
McCarthy is vocally opposed to child vaccinations, stating that her 11-year-old son’s autism was a direct cause of the vaccinations he received in his early years. Dr. Shilpi Agarwal, M. D. stated that “Jenny has used her celebrity status to publicize medical claims that have not been proven by the literature. While it is understandable that she has her own views on immunizations given her child, she is going to be in front of impressionable young mothers and influencing their decision on immunizations and child care. Multiple studies have shown that there is no link between childhood immunizations and autism, but she continues to publicize the grave ‘dangers’ of vaccinations. While Jenny cannot deliver direct medical advice, she is definitely influencing many young mothers as to what is ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ in terms of child care and immunizations.”
People are angry not only because they disagree with McCarthy’s views on vaccinations, but because she is, in their opinion, responsible for the deaths of young children who have parents who heeded her advice and steered clear of vaccinations. There is even a website called JennyMcCarthyBodyCount.com where you can see the number of deaths and illnesses that were preventable but were a result of a lack of vaccinations. These deaths as listed on this site are attributed to McCarthy and her advice and opinions on child vaccinations. The site also shows a count of the number of autism diagnoses that are specifically linked to vaccinations: 0.
Jenny McCarthy’s career started in 1993 when she began modeling for Playboy; she was Playmate Of The Year in ’94. She co-hosted MTV’s Singled Out from 1995 – ’97, followed by her own program, The Jenny McCarthy Show. She’s acted in Scary Movie, Scream 3, Two And A Half Men, and written two books about her pregnancy and her child. She has worked as an activist on behalf of the autism-related organizations Talk About Curing Autism and Generation Rescue. The important thing to note is that at no point did McCarthy dive into the medical field. She is not a doctor. She is not any kind of expert in anything related to vaccinations. She is simply a mother with an autistic child who is desperately searching for answers.
I’m not defending anything McCarthy has said; I personally think it’s foolish to ignore the advice of doctors and not vaccinate your child. But I find it ridiculous to blame her for the deaths of children. If a parent is listening to a Playboy model and actress and taking medical advice from her as opposed to an expert, who is at fault? There is a reason we go to the doctor when we are feeling sick and not to our local radio station to ask the DJs what they think we should do about our symptoms. Being a public figure does not make someone an expert on everything life has to offer. McCarthy does not have the proper qualifications to offer anything to us other than her opinion.
The decision on whether or not to vaccinate your child is a very serious one. There was never any doubt in my mind that my son needed (and still needs) his vaccinations. I received mine with no adverse side effects and I’m grateful for it. If I did feel that there was a danger in vaccinating my child, the last place I would turn to is a comedian who I used to see burp and fart on MTV. It makes sense to look to McCarthy for ideas on fun activities for mommy and child. It is foolish to look to McCarthy for advice on the heath and well-being of your child, especially when it comes to disease prevention. It is also foolish to blame her for the illnesses and deaths of children across the country.
Celebrities are not special. They are not role models and they are not experts. They are not people we need to strive to emulate. They are here to entertain us in various ways. They make us laugh, cry, and occasionally inspire us in some way. If you see McCarthy and decide to pursue a career in comedy or try to get yourself in Playboy, more power to you. If you are amazed at the love she has for her son and vow to spend more time with your kids, that is awesome. If you are getting medical advice from her, you are an idiot.
It is inappropriate to blame McCarthy for illnesses and deaths and silly to boycott The View because she will join the cast. Rather than attack her for her OPINION, why don’t we take a look at the parents who are choosing to ignore DOCTORS in favor of a COMEDIAN? Why don’t we try to educate these lost souls and steer them in the right direction? It’s amazing to me that people aren’t worried about the fact that these parents are so ignorant that they are taking advice from a Playboy model. It’s just as bad as going to a Wal-Mart cashier for advice on your child’s health. When it comes to your children, you go to expert sources. If McCarthy pushes someone to do some research, that’s fine. But to take her at her word and instantly decide that vaccinations cause autism is simply ignorant.
If you don’t like McCarthy’s opinions and don’t wish to listen to her, it’s easy to avoid doing so. If you want to start some sort of movement to show that vaccinations and autism are not linked, go for it. But it’s grossly unfair to blame this woman for illnesses and deaths and unfair to attack a network for putting a comedian and actress on a show that she is well suited for. She’s not joining The View because the producers also agree that vaccinations are horrible. she was cast because she’s witty and can bring a lot to the table. When I heard her opinion on vaccinations, my thought was “well, that’s stupid,” and I moved on with my day. Everyone else needs to do the same.