Witch Hunting Jenny McCarthy for Vaccine Talking

Jenny McCartney at Ravioli Eating ContestBy Barbara Loe Fisher (NVIC)

Now that it looks  like ABC-TV executives are backing Barbara Walters’ hire of celebrity Jenny  McCarthy to join the popular daytime talk show The View,1 the blood spilled on the ground of the Fourth Estate during 10 hot days in July  is beginning to dry. It was fascinating to watch the well-orchestrated response  by online mainstream media, which took on the frenzy of an old fashioned witch hunt  to burn a heretic at the stake.

Reviewing 29  articles published in major print and broadcast media outlets  between July 9 and July 18, 20132  with 19 of them written by males, it became  obvious that some of them are really upset about “blonde” girls expressing  politically incorrect opinions about vaccine side effects, a topic that has become  the biggest taboo talk in America. Several media outlets used her gender to  take the first punch with headlines such as “Putting Jenny McCarthy on the View:  Good Sex Over Bad Science”3 and “ View’ Host Jenny McCarthy’s Vaccine-Autism Claims: Beauty vs. Science.”4

“The Pretty Idiot” or A Threat to the  Survival of Mankind?

Some tried to  bash McCarthy’s brain by focusing on her body. Cat calls like “buxom physique:  – “blonde bombshell” – “sex symbol” – “object of teenage boys fantasies” – “  bleached blonde hair” – “pulchritudinous” – “ the pretty idiot” – “Playboy  Playmate of the Year”– and so on were effortlessly tossed into the story.5 6  7 8 9

Once the boys  club firmly established that she is really only good for one thing, they moved  on to alleging that if she is allowed to open her mouth and talk on ‘The View,’  she will in fact and without question threaten the very survival of the human  race. One of them took bizarre name-calling to new heights by hurling the  epithet “homicidal maniac” at her.10

I am not sure  how presumably well-educated men expected people to swallow the vacuous  argument that the woman is both a dumb blonde and a threat to mankind but for some inexplicable reason that is exactly  what they tried to do. And, further embarrassing themselves, they desperately tried  to persuade all the rest of us to be as emotionally invested in her hire on  ‘The View’ as they are and immediately write to the bosses at ABC to express  our shock and horror.11 12

A Call to Muzzle Vaccine Talking Moms

It could have  been amusing summer entertainment watching guys fall all over themselves to up  one another with hysterical hyperbole, but it quickly became obvious that it was  about much more than slapping around a celebrity Mom because she has talked publicly  about her son’s vaccine reaction and how she helped him get better.13

Way more.

And, although  males outnumbered females in suggesting that mothers should not be allowed to  talk about vaccines in public unless the script is pre-approved by a  politically correct M.D. or Ph.D., a few of the female writers going after  McCarthy and ABC were just as adamant about the urgent need to muzzle vaccine  talking Moms challenging the status quo.14 15  16

Four of the 29  headlines featured the word “dangerous.”17 18  19 One apocalyptic headline screamed “Dear ABC: Putting Jenny McCarthy on ‘The  View’ Will Kill Children”20 while an article written by a female pediatrician used the same threatening approach:  “ABC’s Hiring of Jenny McCarthy: A Decision That Could Cost Lives.”21

The collective  howl of indignation escalated when Barbara Walters and ABC did not flinch. Using  poison pens and heavyweight media platforms, the writers ridiculed the intelligence,  values and beliefs of mothers like McCarthy taking matters into their own hands  when a healthy child suddenly develops brain and immune system dysfunction after  vaccination, a condition doctors can’t explain and often label “autism” but dismiss  as “just a coincidence” or bad parental “genes” without looking any further.22 23 24

Century of Medical Literature: Yes, Vaccines  CAN Do THAT

Never mind  that there is more than a century of medical literature documenting the fact  that vaccines can cause:

  • brain  inflammation;
  • chronic  nervous system dysfunction;
  • seizures;
  • arthritis;
  • vaccine  strain viral infection;
  • shock  and “unusual shock-like state;”
  • protracted  inconsolable crying and
  • death.

The  indisputable fact that vaccines can do  that has been acknowledged by the  Institute of Medicine in a series of peer-reviewed reports published between  1991 and 2013.25 26 27 28 The last one pointed out that there is not enough scientific evidence to  determine if the current recommended schedule of 49 doses of 14 vaccines  between day of birth and age six29 is or is not associated with the  development of a whole host of health problems in children – everything from  autoimmunity, allergy, asthma, epilepsy, ADHD and learning disabilities to –  yes – autism.30  31 32

The  indisputable fact that vaccines can hurt people and that doctors still don’t  know which individuals are more biologically susceptible to suffering vaccine damage33 was codified into law by Congress in the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act  of 1986.34 That law has awarded more than $2.7 billion dollars to Americans harmed by  vaccines in exchange for shielding drug companies and doctors from vaccine  injury lawsuits in civil court.35 36

With vaccine  failures among highly vaccinated children playing a big role in outbreaks of B.  pertussis whooping cough,37 38 the hype about Jenny McCarthy joining ‘The View’ could be just a red herring. But  it is going to take a lot of red herrings to distract millions of parents from  talking about why 1 child in 6 in America is learning disabled,39 1 in 9 suffers with asthma,40 1 in 50 develops autism41 or why there has never been a large, well-designed study comparing the health  outcomes of highly vaccinated children and those remaining unvaccinated or using  fewer vaccines.42

Media: Non-Medical Degrees, PR, Politics,  Marketing & Other Expertise

Most of the  writers who wrote stories about a vaccine talking celebrity Mom joining ‘The  View,” including those calling for censorship and the gutting of journalistic  standards that ensure fair balance – when it comes to writing stories about  vaccination43 – are journalists by profession.  28 of  the 29 articles were written by individuals without medical degrees, although  one is a pharmacologist, one is an astronomer and one has a PhD in biological  sciences. The majority have degrees in Journalism, English, History or  Political Science with some also listing expertise in public relations and  communications, marketing and fund raising, political media campaign  management, TV and entertainment.44

Even though  these writers do not have medical degrees, the U.S. Constitution guarantees  them the liberty to express their views about Jenny McCarthy, Barbara Walters,  ABC and vaccines, just as the media outlets publishing their opinions are protected  by the First Amendment. That legal right to engage in critical thinking and to hold  personal beliefs and to exercise free speech, belongs to every American – not  just to those articulating talking points made or approved by citizens with  M.D. or Ph.D. written after their names.

Public Talking About Vaccine Safety  Since 1982

Parents,  doctors, legislators and journalists started talking publicly about vaccine safety  issues in America in 1982,45 16 years before a paper about MMR vaccine and autism was published in The Lancet. Mothers were talking about what  happens to their children’s health after vaccination long before the Library of  Medicine was posted online and the world wide web became the biggest talk show on  the planet.

Vaccine talk will  continue in the kitchens and on the smart phones and tablets of critical  thinking women, who are using the brains and mother’s instincts they were born  with to make informed health care choices for their children. Vaccine talk will  continue because, today, many more mothers either have a child or know a child  who was healthy, got vaccinated and was never healthy again.

Evangelistic doctors  should stop trying so hard to shut down vaccine talking and just do the  credible science that will answer the question on everybody’s mind: what  exactly is causing the 1 child in 50  $126 billion dollar a year46 public health disaster doctors call autism but still can’t agree on how to  define it or how often it happens. One thing doctors say they know for sure is  that vaccines don’t have anything to do with autism because the earth is not  flat, there is nothing more to be learned about vaccine side effects and autism  cannot be cured, so parents should just forget about it.

That empty rhetoric  is not flying these days with thinking Moms and Dads digging deeper and learning  that good health is about more than using lots of vaccines to prevent  infections.

Become  educated about diseases and vaccines. It’s your health. Your family. Your  choice.


6 Michael Specter. Jenny McCarthy’s  Dangerous Views.  New Yorker July 16, 2013. Michael Specter BIO.

11 Phil Plait. The View of Jenny  McCarthy.  Slate July 9, 2013. Phil Plait BIO.

12 See Reference #7.

13 Jenny McCarthy. Louder Than Words: A  Mother’s Journey in Healing Autism. Dutton:  The Penguin Group 2007.

14 Mary Elizabeth Williams. Don’t Put Jenny  McCarthy on ‘The View.’ Salon.com July  11, 2013. Mary Elizabeth Williams  BIO.

16 Margaret Sullivan. Just the Facts, No  False Balance Wanted Here. New York Times  July 17, 2013. Margaret Sullivan BIO.

17 Paul Thornton. Jenny McCarthy – Dangerous At Any Volume. Los Angeles Times July 16, 2013. Paul Thornton BIO.

18 Brendan Nyhan. When ‘He Said,’ ‘She  Said’ is Dangerous. Columbia Journalism Review July 16, 2013. Brendan Nyhan BIO.

19 See References #6 and #9.

20 See Reference #7.

22 David M. Perry. Destabilizing the Jenny McCarthy  Public Health Industrial Complex. Atlantic  Monthly July 11, 2013. And David M. Perry.  Jenny McCarthy and Fear-Based  Parenting. CNN July 17, 2013. David Perry BIO.

24 See References #5, #6, #8, #9, and #14.

25 Institute of  Medicine Vaccine Safety Committee. Adverse Effects of Pertussis and Rubella Vaccines. Washington,  DC. The National Academies  Press. 1991.

26 Institute of  Medicine Vaccine Safety Committee. Adverse Events Association with Childhood  Vaccines: Evidence Bearing on Causality. Neurologic Disorders. Washington, D.C. The National Academies Press  1994.

27 Institute of  Medicine. DPT Vaccine and Chronic Nervous System  Dysfunction: A New Analysis. Washington, D.C. The  National Academies Press 1994.

28 Institute of  Medicine Committee to Review Adverse Effects of Vaccines. Adverse Effects of Vaccines: Evidence and  Causality. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press 2012.

31 Institute of  Medicine Committee on the Assessment of Studies of Health Outcomes Related to  the Recommended Childhood Immunization Schedule. The Childhood Immunization Schedule and Safety:  Stakeholder Concerns, Scientific Evidence and Future Studies. Washington, DC: The  National Academies Press 2013.

32 Ibid. Review of Scientific Findings. Chapter 5: Pages 69 – 88.

35 Health  Resources Services Administration. National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program  Statistics Report. June 26, 2013.

38 Liz Szabo.  US Whooping cough may be becoming  resistant to vaccines. USA Today Feb. 18, 2013.

39 Boyle CA,  Boulet S et al. Trends in the Prevalence of Developmental Disabilities in US  Children 1997 – 2008. Pediatrics. Published online May 23, 2011.

41 Blumberg SJ,  Bramlette MD, Kogan MD et al. Changes in Prevalence of Parent-reported Autism  Spectrum Disorder in School-aged U.S. Children: 2007 to 2011-2013. National  Health Statistics Reports 2013; 65: 1-11.

42 Fisher BL. The Safety of the Childhood Vaccine Schedule: A  Public Perspective Institute of  Medicine Committee on the Assessment of Studies of Health Outcomes Related to  the Recommended Childhood Immunization Schedule Feb. 9, 2012.

43 See References #7, #16, #18.

44 See Reference #2.

45 Coulter HL,  Fisher BL. DPT: A Shot in the Dark. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich  1985 (Warner 1986, Avery 1991, Penguin – current).

46 Jonathan Berr. How Autism Can Cost  Families Millions.  MSN Money Mar. 25, 2013


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