Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Why Jenny McCarthy?

Why did the producers of the ABC show, The View, hire Jenny McCarthy to replace Elizabeth Hasselbeck on their panel?

Michael Specter makes the case against McCarthy in The New Yorker:

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. Presumably, those executives have decided that the revenues Jenny McCarthy might generate are worth more than the truth. That’s their right. But it’s a strike against reason and progress and hope. That is a cost that the network won’t be able to afford for long, and neither will the rest of us.

Let’s assume that the executives at ABC know about McCarthy’s denialism and her fear mongering. Perhaps that was why they hired her. By making her a national spokesperson for a conservative point of view they will be able to trash all conservatives as anti-science and anti-children.

They did not choose McCarthy because they wanted to provide her with a platform. They chose her because they wanted to discredit conservatives.

If that was not their reasoning, the only other plausible explanation is that Meghan McCain was not available.


Sam L. said...

Why would anyone take McCarthy for a conservative?

Mark said...

I hold no brief for McCarthy or chelation therapy, but it's not anti-science to view the pervasive pressure to omni-vaccinate as unhealthy.

1. Dissenters from omni-vaccination are treated like AGW skeptics, ie 'deniers' in your vocabulary.
2. I completely accept the validity of Jenner's work and the probably need for mass vaccination during public health emergencies, especially in societies with poor hygiene and malnutrition.
3. It is scientifically likely that the robustly evolved human immune system is the best epidemiological defense . Therefore the social question is how best to develop individual immune systems. Persistent mass interference by omni-vaccination of undeveloped immune ystems is a therefore at least suspect. In fact The Hygeine Hypothesis is now much more than hypothesis and it's good science that the healthiest populations were well-nourished who have caught all the usual childhood diseases - like me and my children.

n.n said...

Her "denialism" (that's become a marketable term, hasn't it) is not a "conservative" point of view. Her perspective is actually healthy when properly moderated.

Why does Specter encourage people to defer their dignity and judgment to "experts"? This is the problem with contemporary societies. People seek to escape responsibility for their actions, and people like Specter condemn those individuals who exhibit any evidence of critical thought.

Vaccines are not without risk, including causing mental and physical defects, and even death. They are also not all created equal, and each variant carries its own risks, which must be evaluated against its purported benefits.

Larry Sheldon said...

Some of this tripe would be funny if the millions dying of preventable disease were not part of it.

I am not a doctor, no training in medicine except from my mother (we couldn't afford much professional doctoring) and then proceeding to live to 74 so far. And raising three active, athletic girls.

But the stuff about "letting the robust human immune system do its thing" is criminally wrong.

Do any of you understand how "the immune system" works?

If you did not say "no", I think you have convicted yourself--I don't and I get from the doctor folk I see that they don't either.

But I think some things I do know. Somehow the body, when it detects a disease and identifies it as such launches "antibodies" that attack and damage or kill the invader.

The detection is the key. How does the detection thing get started? Some comes through in the DNA, apparently, but my understanding is that most comes from past dealings -- having survived previous invasions.

I am (we believe) immune to smallpox because as a small child was infected on purpose ("vaccinated") with cowpox--much less dangerous that smallpox but apparently closely related enough for the antibodies to be useful.

When I was a child people around me in large numbers were injured by and died of poliomyelitis. Want to talk about terrorism?

Fortunately, before I got it, Dr. Salk and Dr. Sabine had figured out how to kill (in one case) or attenuate (in the other) the virus so that when vaccinated, the recipient would develop the antibodies without developing the disease.

Left to its own robustness, our immune system would kill us from the diseases for which there are vaccinations available.

I shall not be very surprised, if I live long enough, to hear that anti-cancer vaccines have been developed.

Larry Sheldon said...

I visited (with my mother) a friend of hers that "lived" in a ward like the ones pictured here:


Mark said...

Larry Sheldon, It's easy to rebut your rant with science, but I'd rather just mention that your tone exactly harmonizes with the tone of Warmists when reasonably challenged.

Larry Sheldon said...

Mark, have at it. Put up or shut up.

CatherineM said...

Jenny McCarthy is not a conservative. She's a huge lib aligned with RFK Jr.

Stuart Schneiderman said...

True enough, but I doubt that it will prevent them from making her into one.