Anti-Vaxxer Jenny McCarthy May Co-Host The View

Bad Astronomy
The entire universe in blog form
July 9 2013 1:16 PM

The View of Jenny McCarthy

Jenny McCarthy
Jenny McCarthy, anti-vax advocate

Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for NBC Universal

I used to really like Jenny McCarthy. Funny, smart, self-effacing, and willing to do anything for a laugh (a characteristic I’ve always appreciated in an actor).

Phil Plait Phil Plait

Phil Plait writes Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog and is an astronomer, public speaker, science evangelizer, and author of Death From the Skies!  

But then things changed. She became a vocal advocate for dangerous health nonsense, including the idea that vaccines are full of toxins and cause autism.

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Let me be very clear: That’s utter baloney. Vaccines have extremely minimal risk and do an incredible job protecting people from dangerous, and often fatal, diseases. Vast amounts of testing and data show anti-vaxxers to be wrong about this. I’ve written extensively on this topic, as well as on McCarthy’s antics (see Related Posts below for more information).

I just heard that McCarthy is being considered to replace Joy Behar on ABC’s talk show The View. Needless to say, I am less than thrilled by this turn of events. While this is still in the early stages and may prove only to be a rumor, I figure better safe than sorry. So I found the ABC feedback page and sent them a note:

Dear ABC-
I've heard that Jenny McCarthy is being considered to co-host of "The View". I strongly urge you NOT to hire her.
Ms. McCarthy is a vocal activist for highly dangerous health ideas, including the mistaken belief that vaccines cause autism. While the world suffers outbreaks of measles and pertussis, Ms. McCarthy continues to advocate against vaccines. Having her host a respected show like The View would damage its reputation. For more info: goo.gl/hXJos.
Thank you,
Phil Plait

I urge you to send them a note as well. If you do, BE POLITE. Seriously. Note that you are only allowed 500 characters, so brevity is crucial as well. If you can, include a link to more information; a URL shorterner (like goo.gl) will help.

The type of misinformation McCarthy is spreading is incredibly dangerous, and the mainstreaming of her is a tacit acceptance of it. She has the right to believe whatever she wants, but we have the right to condemn her for it and to let the media know about it. The kind of anti-vax propaganda she promotes has an impact, and sadly that impact can fall on infants who go unvaccinated because their parents have been misled. It’s up to us to raise our voices and make sure reality, science, and the health of humanity triumph over nonsense.

Tip o' the protein capsid to Lindsay Goldwert via Seth Mnookin.

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