Tell Oprah what you think

By Phil Plait | May 22, 2009 2:00 pm

There are times, as a skeptic, when I know that the answer I get to a question may not be the one I want. That’s part of being a skeptic.

We know Oprah Winfrey’s not a skeptic. So I imagine that when she asks the public for their opinions on what Jenny McCarthy should talk about on her new talk show, well, she may get answers she really won’t want to hear.

What would you like to see featured on Jenny’s show? What would you like for her to talk about? What are you and your friends buzzing about? Any topics you’d like for her to tackle? Are there any questions that you have — that you would love for her to answer?

I have one: why doesn’t Jenny ever mention that she’s an "Indigo mom" anymore? Is it because it would reduce her credibility with everyday folks?

Oh! Here’s another one: why does she claim not to be antivax, when she distorts information about the toxicity of vaccinations?

Golly, the more questions I ask, the more I think of! How does she feel about a four week old infant dying in Australia because of the antivaccination movement down there? How does Jenny feel about all the outbreaks of preventable diseases occurring? (Oh, right, we already know the answer to that one: it’s OK and even necessary for kids to get sick and die to further her cause). Why should we trust her "mommy instinct" over conclusive evidence that vaccines are totally unrelated to autism? What solid evidence does she have that changing her son’s diet relieved his autism? Will she ever have real doctors on her show to discuss vaccines?

Somehow, though, I suspect none of these questions will get answered by Jenny or Oprah… because the answers are really something neither wants to hear.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Antiscience, Piece of mind, Skepticism

Comments (73)

  1. cony

    Hi, Phil. I didn’t knew where to post this for you, so i’m doing it here, knowing you’re a big fan of pareidolia. Catch this link than you may erase my comment.

  2. Davidlpf

    How about Jenny should say absolutely nothing, not a word not even a letter.

  3. SkepGeek

    I see, the HTTP referrer in your link is the same form PZ’es, thus taking you to the anti-jenny page afterwards. At first, I thought her site was hacked.

  4. As if Oprah really wants to know what people think. I have lots of questions for Jenny to answer…how about “where the hell is your responsibility?” What I would really like to find out is who are the corporate sponsers of Jenny’s show-Find out who they are-and start a letter writing campaign. Hit them in the money and she will go away…unless of course they too are fascinated by her “poop” blog…We all know she is full of it.

  5. Mark T.

    How many vaccinations could you buy with the salary you’ll get for this nearly pointless show?

  6. HannahH

    This Middle aged mother of two healthy kids would like to publicly say “Shame on you Oprah”.

    A lot of people watch your show, and you ARE a role model. By encouraging people NOT to vaccinate their children (which you essentially ARE doing, since mothers will be absolutely certain that they should “wait until a “greener” solution becomes available) you are sentencing countless children to disease and death. Even YOU should realize that SHE IS NOT A DOCTOR. She has NO medical expertise besides what she “thinks” and “feels” and pulls off the internet. All of her information is anecdotal and MEDICAL DOCTORS and SCIENTISTS are all furious at her for (really) promoting future pandemics. Parents of AUTISTIC children are furious with her.

    For every child that dies from (or from complications of) Measles, Mumps, TB, Whooping cough, etc. I recommend we send Oprah tiny baby coffins painted with the works “This is another child you have helped to kill”.

    Personally, I know myself and all my friends will be watching the news headlines, and for every child or teenager we see who dies from vaccine preventable deaths, we will be thinking “this is Oprah’s fault”.

    Let’s see how your ratings do then.

  7. Davidlpf

    For her salary you could get enough vaccines to cause thousands of cases of autism.


    Phil, there’s a typo at the end of the second line, in the second paragraph: get, not “ger”. 😉

  9. I think people should be filling out this form, with serious questions – and they should be willing to talk about it on national TV (as it says at the site). I’m not wild about appearing on national TV, but I’d love to ask her about why science is now becoming more acceptable, why it’s going to be more acceptable to be intelligent, under the new administration. I’d love to ask her about her views on science. Why doesn’t she believe in it, when she’s been using it to further her own personal goals?

    I’m working on stuff that I *would* be willing to appear on national TV about, and I’ll fill in that form with that stuff. I think others should as well.

    If she gets bombarded with questions about science, vaccines, research etc, all the better. There are plenty of people who read this blog who are far more qualified to speak to the public than Jenny McCarthy… well, here’s your chance to at least try. It’s one thing to stand on the sidelines, it’s quite another to get out there in the public eye. As I say, it’s not what I want out of life… but I’m willing to do it if asked. I’ll think of some questions I’d like answered, and ask them, and be prepared to stand up and speak about them if called on to do so.

  10. Jules

    What I think (which is completely off topic but is spawned from a few tweets and the use of words like “golly”) is I would like to see Phil use a curse word. It would be a nice release.

    As for McCarthy, I want to know when she is willing to expose her children (present and future) to a room full of diseased individuals since she feels death of a child is necessary. Very mean of me I know, but come on. The hypocrisy is ridiculous!

  11. John

    Phil, you aren’t a skeptic, you’re a believer.

    You believe in the efficiency and safety of vaccines, whilst Oprah and Jenny McCarthy are the skeptics with regard to this issue.

    You pulled a similar trick with the moon landings – convince the world you’re a hardened rational skeptic and then foist your “hardened rational skeptic” beliefs onto them.

    It’s such a subtle and elegant form of hypocrisy I almost admire it.


  12. oscar banduzzy

    Oprah should ask Jenny about the drugs/drinking she did when she was sitting around naked at the playboy mansion, well and other places too.

    Nah, it HAS to be the vaccines that scorched her kid, it COULDN’T possibly be anything Jenny did. Right?

  13. Matt T

    John apparently fails to understand what “skeptic” means. Or maybe “evidence”, one or the other.

  14. Davidlpf

    Or John is just poeing around.

  15. @Jules…her son is already vaccinated-no risk for him…which raises they hypocrisy level even higher!

  16. John

    @Matt T & Davidlpf:

    A Skeptic:

    “One who instinctively or habitually doubts, questions, or disagrees with assertions or generally accepted conclusions.”

    Nope, no confusion here. Phil is very often not a skeptic, not in the slightest.

  17. Jules

    @kathleen I understand this, that is why I said future spawn as well. And well a few of her son’s vaccines will not be affective after a time (whooping cough, tetanus) so…

    But yes, her hypocrisy is gobsmaking!

  18. I suggested that Jenny is in an unique position to become an advocate for childhood vaccination and suggested a show format where she renounces her connections to anti-vax organizations, denounces her previous position, and presents the evidence that there is no connection between childhood vaccination and autism. I also suggested that she should present early childhood vaccines on the standard schedule as safe, effective, and important.

    Am I a good drone, Dr. Phil? 😛

    I think I should suggest another show where she debunks the autism-recovery woo and inteviews adults with autism who are living happy and productive lives. Don’t you think that would be good? Perhaps she could contrast that with a segment showing the graves of children killed by vaccine-preventable disease.

  19. @John,

    “Skeptic” is Phil’s worldview. It means that he doubts everything (or he tries to, failing in some specific instances. We still love him though) until it’s proven, which the efficacy and safety of vaccines and the reality of the moon landings are.

    Being “Skeptical” of things that are well-proven and instead advocating pseudo-scientific, anti-scientific, or magical nonsense is more or less the exact opposite of being “A Skeptic” or “Skeptical” in the general sense.

  20. mk

    If memory serves–and it often doesn’t after a couple glasses of wine!– but I believe Oprah went through a number of ups and downs with her health/weight issues until, at some point, finally coming to grips with her body type. That trying to be something she simply isn’t–a size 2!–was itself unhealthy. I believe she then went on a crusade to tell other women that it’s OK to be who you are. To be the real you.

    So the fact that she has chosen a woman who epitomizes fake-ness; who represents all that is wrong with how far too many Americans see women tells me her infatuation with woo is significantly stronger than her concern for the health of her fans. Jenny McCarthy is fake… top to bottom. Fake hair, fake face, fake boobs, even fake hoo-ha (shaved to resemble a prepubescent little girl’s). To go along with all that is her fake intellect and fake authority regarding vaccines and autism.

    Why, Oprah, are you so enamored with this woman of such little substance?

  21. I filled in the form.. P’lite as I could.. knowing they wouldn’t read it if I cussed them out.

    “I would like Jenny McCarthy to talk with real scientists whilst she keeps an open mind about the Vaccination Issue. The harm being done to children of the world is appalling with her uneducated and hype based approach to the issue she has tragically chosen to champion. My emotional response to her fear mongering has me almost at the point of calling her a child murderer, and it is also causing me to lose concern about the causes of the Autistic. She needs to take a different approach to this issue immediately to turn the tide of the deaths and lifelong disabilities her words are bringing to this world.”

  22. John


    Phil does a much better job at twisting the meaning of the word “Skeptic” than you do.

  23. @John,

    It’s beside the point whether Phil’s position confirms to your limited understanding of definition of the word “skeptic.” Men /have/ walked on the moon. Vaccines /are/ safe and effective. Autism is /not/ presently a condition you can recover from and it is /not/ caused by vaccination.

    The evidence of these things is strong enough to overcome the reluctance of any reasonable skeptic. The remaining skeptics, therefore, are unreasonable.

    What we’ve been arguing are semantics. In this case (though not in every case,) they are irrelevant. In the meantime, I’m right, and you’re ignorant. Educate yourself.

    I am done feeding the troll.

  24. José

    Try looking up scientific skepticism.

  25. Jules

    Okay, this is soooooooo not my place. But of all the things people could argue over on this topic, they choose to argue the use of the word skeptic *face palm followed by head desky*

  26. schmidt349

    “John” apparently thinks that being a skeptic is equivalent to being a conspiracy nut. Obvious troll is obvious.

  27. MadScientist

    sed s/ger/get/

    Fortunately there is only one instance of ‘ger’; just imagine a ‘managet’ or a ‘getmanium’, ‘getmans’, ‘anget’ and ‘getunds’.

    Now as for what Jenny McCarthy should do on her own show – I’m sure it doesn’t take any imagination to figure out what the meatheads will be asking for. More silicone!

    How about Jenny getting up on stage and telling everyone to make sure their kids are vaccinated and that they get their boosters on schedule (unless they’re very sick and the doctors tell them to come back a little later). Hands up anyone who wants to see Jenny talk about what a fraud Andrew Wakefield is. How about shows showing many hundreds of children in the poorer parts of Africa dying of diseases which can be prevented by vaccines. Interviews with parents who have lost a child because they didn’t vaccinate them – or because people in their community don’t vaccinate their kids.

    Somehow I doubt that will happen; Jenny’s got a backyard cosmetic practitioner with delirium tremens and who routinely sticks the botox into what passes for a brain in Jenny rather than where he means to put it.

  28. Mark Brucker

    I sent in the following suggestion:
    Maybe she could talk about real research and real evidence about autism. About the correlation found between mercury from power plants and autism rates, for example.

  29. John


    I wasn’t attacking any of your beliefs, far from it.

    “….the remaining skeptics therefore, are unreasonable”

    That’s brilliant jedibear, so you acknowledge you disagree with the skeptics now?

    I think I must be getting somewhere here.


    Conspiracy nuts have been know to exhibit the most stubborn and untenable forms of skepticism, though I doubt the two are neccesarily equivalent, nor am I sure how you arrived at that conclusion. I’m not trolling, just highlighting incongruencies in peoples’ idea of skepticism.

  30. Jenny is the keynote speaker at autism-one in Chicago this week-oh and it is in honor of Andrew Wakefield

  31. José

    I’m not trolling, just highlighting incongruencies in peoples’ idea of skepticism.

    As I said, look up scientific skepticism. Then find something new to troll about.

  32. Wait … Jenny McCarthy claims she’s NOT anti-vax?

    That’s like Pat Robertson claiming he’s not a Fundamentalist Christian.

  33. John expectorated:

    Phil, you aren’t a skeptic, you’re a believer.

    You believe in the efficiency and safety of vaccines, whilst Oprah and Jenny McCarthy are the skeptics with regard to this issue.

    Well, with regard to vaccines and vaccinations, the overwhelming weight of evidence suggests that they are both safe and effective.

    Ergo, people who are antivax are simply “wrong”. Being antivax doesn’t make you skeptical, it makes you wrong.

    Similarly, accepting facts and evidence based on the merits of those facts and evidence doesn’t make one a “believer”. It merely means that one accepts the facts and evidence. Such a person is a skeptic if they will modify their position in light of new facts and evidence.

    Now, if an antivaxxer could produce some repeatable, verifiable evidence to challenge the accepted opinions and already documented evidence on the efficacy and safety of vaccines, then that person might just be a skeptic. Unfortunately for the antivax crowd, no such person has come forward. But if such a person did come forward, skeptics all over the world would rush to the antivax camp.

    Being a skeptic carries more responsiblity than just saying “Nah, I don’t buy that.” You must also be prepared to defend that position with facts and evidence.

  34. Pieter Kok

    Trolls really should be called wasps: they will go away when you ignore them.

  35. zar

    My message:

    I would love it if Jenny brought in David and Toni McCaffrey as guests on her show. The McCaffreys are an Australian couple who lost their infant daughter to whooping cough, a vaccine-preventable disease. I would love to see Jenny curse and scream anti-vaccine bunkum at a pair of grieving parents whose child died because of ignorant typhoid Marys like Jenny McCarthy.

    Alternately, I’d like to see Jenny have some guests on who have been paralyzed by polio, or deafened by measels, so she can explain to them that their suffering is acceptable collateral damage in the name of her anti-vaccine crusade.

  36. OurDeadSelves

    Um, maybe she doesn’t consider herself and “indigo mom” anymore because the website has turned into this.

    :- O

  37. Randy A.

    John (post #17) gives a definition of skeptic. My dictionary gives a slightly different definition: :a person inclined to question or doubt all accepted opinions.”

    The last word is the key! A skeptic doubts opinions. “Conspiracy nuts” is probably the nicest name for those who doubt facts.

  38. So I posted on the site… I am hoping it is not too harsh…

    A “Cool” Mom educates herself and then vaccinates her children because there is nothing funny about a child with Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Diphtheria, Pertussis Tetanus, or any of the other childhood illnesses that we as a society almost eradicated thanks to successful vaccination programs. It is the height of irresponsibility and a betrayal of the trust that viewers have in Oprah to offer Jenny McCarthy the opportunity or the platform to espouse her pseudoscience, and her medically unsound opinions about anything.

    Given Ms. McCarthy’s body of work, I would say that she is qualified to talk about being naked, being drunk and how to turn bodily functions into a half hour variety show oh and yes… writing books that offer unsubstantiated, medically unsound and dangerous suggestions that frighten and take advantage of parents who are struggling to raise children who have very serious medical problems.

    I will not watch the show, and will participate in all of the protests against any company who sponsors the show.

    Finally, “What Would I Like To See Jenny Do?” I’d like to see her apologize for her snake oil salesmanship and then vanish… her fifteen minutes were up back when MTV still played Music Videos.

  39. Amanda

    First, I want to say that there is no known correlation between intelligence and women who happen to have breast implants or get Brazilian waxes. While it is certainly easy to attack Jenny McCarthy for her altered physical appearance, it takes credibility from your argument. It’s akin to saying, “I don’t believe that scientist because she is too pretty/not pretty enough/has tattoos/is blonde.” Let’s not judge people on their physical appearance. Judge her on her lack of credentials and evidence, for sure, but let’s leave the irrelevant aspects out of it, kay?

    While sharing this with my husband, his response was, “Has the CDC done anything to counter her? Is there an advertising campaign to combat this?”

    My response was, essentially, no – but I couldn’t give a really good reason why. I mean, it’s easy to say that it would be too expensive for a government-funded agency to bother with an ad campaign against her (as she has more money)… and that they might be trying to avoid libel by mentioning her specifically. However, none of that stops them from just starting a “vaccinate your kids” ad campaign.

    It’s become a serious enough issue that I think perhaps they should do something about it…

  40. José

    I don’t think there are too many people here attacking her based on her looks, but don’t you think there’s a certain hypocrisy for someone who’s unnecessarily had foreign objects inserted into her breasts and injected the most poisonous substance known to man into her forehead pretending to be a health crusader?

  41. Meg

    In all do respect, I Strongly beleve that, (In some cases), vaccines are being is a link to autism but so many anti-vaccines people like Jenny, are using the deceptive propaganda that autism is only caused by vaccines and never told that there is many causes of autism such as genenics, premature births, Frigle X Syndrome, birth injury, illness, brian tummers, birth over 42 wks in genstion, family history of autism, etc. I beleve that people need to stop overlook the causes of autism and need to start helping people who is on the autism spectrum and their families so that they have a better life. So many people, like myself, who is on the autism specturm want to want to have a job, be inderpendent, and want to enjoy life amd I also want people who is on the lower end on the autism specturm, to have the same thing because I don’t want them to end up with the hands of evil people who want to distory them when their parients or caregivers who is unable to care for them. The people, who is so focus on these causes and don’t support for people who on the autism spectrun, and their famies, DONES NOT care. Jenny is NOT REALLY helping people who wanted these same things I wanted and endoses this crappy, but creepy Indigo Mom Cult deceptions, Warror Mom Cult deceptions, and New Age Cult deceptions on these people. Jenny is a joke and I will not watch her show, if she has her own show. She DONES NOT care.

  42. Michael Gray

    I submitted the following few suggestions, including my full private contact details.

    I want Jenny to discuss:
    1) Why she publicly perpetuates the outrageous and LETHAL untruths that she spouts about her anti-vax “religion’.
    2) Why she thinks she was provided with a forum to willfully aid, abet, or encourage infant manslaughter via parental neglect, and what she thinks of the organisation who funded this crime.
    3) What are her scientific qualifications?
    4) Why she will not coherently answer the above enquiries.

    Michael K Gray, B.Sc. (Adel)
    (Or would it be me persuasive if I told you that I am a FATHER, and have fatherly ‘instincts’ about vaccination?)

    I can’t wait for that international phone call in which I rip Oprah a new colostomy outlet.
    (That won’t happen…)

    The phone call, not the colostomy.

  43. Michael Gray

    41. Meg Says:
    In all do respect, I Strongly beleve that, (In some cases), vaccines are being is a link to autism

    The evidence does not support that position.
    In fact it flatly shows no correlation whatsoever.

    On what do you base your opinion?

  44. Gary Ansorge

    Asking woo-woos (tough,leading)questions may be the only way of teaching them a damn thing, Phil.


    It worked for Socrates and Jesus,,,

    GAry 7
    PS: On the other hand, it also got them dead,,,

    PPS: Indigo, another way of saying In,,Dey Go. Or is that supposed to refer the color of their aura, like, it’s only visible in the UV range,,,

  45. ccpetersen

    I tried posting twice to this thread last night (Friday) and both my replies never showed up. Let’s try this again.

    Essentially, ask Jenny if she supports the two men who are going around chemically castrating male babies who have autism claiming that there’s a link between the mercury (that isn’t) in vaccines and testosterone.

    read about this frightening misuse of quackery here:

    www dot theness dot com/neurologicablog/?p=539

    (replace dot) with the dot.

    Ask her if she supports this massive child abuse?

    Why is Oprah giving Jenny a forum when Jenny doesn’t have any medical cred or scientific understanding? This tells me that Oprah is in it for the bucks. As she has always been.

    Meg @ 41 — this is not a question of belief. “Belief” puts it in the realm of nonscientific hope, not anything based on actual provable, reliable facts. When you can come here with peer-reviewed, verifiable facts about what you now proclaim you “believe” then maybe we can take you seriously. Until then, to me, you resemble a new-ager thinking that matched male and female quartz crystals will get together and magically cure your warts or whatever.

  46. Gary Ansorge

    OK, Phil. I done did my civic duty. I asked Oprah some questions and left my sob story. Hope it has an impact,,,

    Gary 7

  47. David Phillips

    Dearest Oprah,
    Your fifteen minutes of fame has turned into decades of New Age drivel. Is this why you’re attempting to drag on Jenny’s “career” by placing her in an esteemed position of spokes-airhead for New Age psychobabble and anti-scientific conspiracy theorists?

    You’ve pumped millions into South Africa where HIV is a real and present danger to everyone. An HIV vaccine is the only real hope for turning the tide against the virus, since human sexual behaviour is so difficult to change. Will you encourage your beneficiaries in South Africa and elsewhere to forego a vaccine when it is available, allowing them to remain uniquely susceptible to HIV/AIDS?

  48. @ Meg-no Jenny is not helping anyone but herself. Her vaccine platform turns attention away things that are really needed in the autism community…research-programs etc. She is also quite the queen of woo quackery. What does convincing people that their children were “vaccine injured” do for her? Well according to her-if your child is vaccine injured-she has a cure!! If your child somehow wound up on the spectrum some other way…well she can’t help you. So what option would parents want to choose?
    She denigrates anyone on the spectrum…she does it loudly-and with a great publicist. If you were to ask a person who does not have autism in their lives what autism was-more than likely they would give you a “popular” definition-the one that is perpetrated by Ms. McCarthy..”a souless shadow”. As a mom with two kids on the spectrum-I can not allow that. As for causation-Jenny and her friends are the ones who perpetuate the idea that vaccines cause autism. It has gotten to the point where people are dying…children aren’t getting vaccinated..because according to Jenny-the measles is preferable to autism..which has turned to-and I have had this said to me..”I would rather my child die than have autism”
    I want the best for my kids…unfortunately arrogant self absorbed morons like Ms.McCarthy deflect attention from what is really needed in the autism community. She has the I.Q. of dryer lint-and yet people listen to her…go figure…

  49. Mark Sletten

    I posted the following suggestion for a Jenny show:

    I think Jenny should discuss the antivax debate. She could have a panel discussion. Panel members should include the discredited quack, Andrew Wakefield, who started the whole vax/autism scare (you know, the guy who falsified the data?). For a counter-opinion, she should bring on a ‘real’ scientist, maybe from the National Institutes of Health, who can speak intelligently about the results of truthful, accurate studies showing no link between vaccines and autism. And finally, because Oprah likes to see a tear or two shed, she could include the Australian parents of four-week-old Dana McCaffrey who can describe how their daughter suffered a slow, agonizing asphyxiation from whooping cough — a deadly disease easily preventable with a proven vaccine. It might be interesting to hear Andrew Wakefield answer to the McCaffreys. He could explain how his ‘research’ encouraged people not to vaccinate their children contributing to a reduction in the “herd immunity” that might have prevented Dana’s death. Yeah, I think that would be a good show…

  50. If Jenny uses the same method as Oprah, pro-nonsense people will be addressed affectively and by their first name, while the others will be called ‘the skeptic from …….’ or ‘so you don’t believe [something the public really wants to be true – notice, no mention of the name]. Oprah tends to objectify people she doesn’t agree with, like, for example, what used to be done the afro-americans and women.
    Disclaimer: I haven’t watched Oprah for some 5 years, maybe she cleaned up her act.

  51. I can tell you, anecdotally, that changing my son’s diet reduced his autistic-like symptoms. However, I take that to mean that his old diet, and not some vaccine, was the cause of the symptoms. Why can’t Jenny come to that same conclusion for her son?

  52. MacDhai

    What I’d like to know is, who is Brian Tummers, and why is he causing autism in children? What a jerk!!!

  53. Lisa

    I also put my two cents in about Jenny. I only wish I had thought of some of the really great things you people wrote. I suggested that if she is going to give little miss botox time, then she owes it to her audience to have the Australian couple on to talk about their little girl. One of the things that really ticks me off is that anti vax parents are not able to assume the risks that they are asking their own children to take since the parents have already been vaccinated. I don’t think that I would want to explain the my polio crippled child why I never got sick with a life threatening and deforming disease.

  54. Brian

    Ratings and profit margin, that’s all Orca (oops I mean Oprah) Enterprises really care about. Sick or dead children…no problem as long as we make margin on the shows…

    In the world of mass media, the truth is very rarely profitable.

  55. Daughter of a Polio survivor

    Here’s what I sent to her:
    “The person she needs to talk to is my father [name removed]. He is one of five kids in a family, four of whom got Polio in the period leading up to the introduction of the vaccine, two of whom, including him, developed lasting paralysis. I am one of those people trying to make a point about the anti-vaccine movement. He is not, but I think your viewers could learn a lot from hearing from that now aging generation that can describe first-hand what it was like to suffer the full effects of Polio.”
    If you know Polio survivors and others who know what the childhood illnesses are really like, encourage them to volunteer to tell their stories.

  56. I speak as someone who can read a scientific paper, and as Father of a 14 year old Autistic boy. The evidence is overwhelming that there is no link.

    In the beginning of this issue, I heard and read many say that if there were a link, it was better in the long run to give the vaccine, as there would be fewer deaths. This WAS NOT the way to address the issue. I think it greatly inhibited getting the truth out and the effect still lingers…

  57. OurDeadSelves

    A little late to the party, but oh well, this is what I sent on to the Oprah people:

    Ms. McCarthy needs to realize that her anti-vax crusade is extremely dangerous to our well-being on a whole. Vaccines ARE NOT linked to autism (a quick google search turned this link up,0,4461231.story and there’s plenty more where that came from) and anyone who can look the facts in the the face and deny them should not be given a nation-wide soap-box.

    I have a personal stake in this debate– due to childhood medical problems, I am not fully vaccinated. At the time, the “herd” immunity protected me, so I have been vaccinated for everything but whooping cough. True, I am young and healthy so I probably won’t die if I happen to catch WC, but as I age will I have the same luxury? (And I’d rather not have to miss work to have a hospital stay because misinformed parents can’t be bothered to think critcally).

    We should not be celebrating this kind of thinking. It is dangerous and deadly.

  58. Emily

    I’m disappointed… I thought she was hacked, too. Someone should really get on that…Take them to the body count page. That’d make the national news, I suspect.

  59. andy o

    @ “John”

    Even taking your meaning of “skeptic”, conspiracy nuts are selective, dumb skeptics. They disbelieve what there’s evidence for, and believe much less plausible propositions even when evidence is against them.

    Chance alone can make one out of a thousand of those conspiracies true (if there’s no evidence against them), and then they select just that one and think all the others are the same. I’d rather be right 999/1000 of the time.

  60. Occam

    Here’s what I would tell Oprah:

    It is becoming increasingly obvious that our country is becoming more and more physically disabled. Our nation’s poor health is increasing in accordance with our expanding mandated vaccine policies. Accurate, unbiased and referenced information, concerning vaccines, is very desperately needed.

    By the time the average person reaches adulthood they will have accumulated approximately 68 vaccines. We need to start asking questions. How many are too many? What are the short and long term consequences of the various combinations? Do vaccines really achieve their advertised purpose or are facts and figures manipulated for the monetary benefit of the corporations? Are there any long term studies proving the safety of vaccines …or……are we and our children the long term studies? Most importantly, what are the ingredients in vaccines and how are these ingredients determined and tested?

    Tim O’Shea’s much needed book “The Sanctity of Human Blood : Vaccination is Not Immunization”, answers these questions and much more. It will be shocking to some to realize that vaccines are not created and marketed for public protection. After reading O’Shea’s book, one will be much more aware of where much of our chronic illness originates. The consequences of poor diet and chemicals in the environment, together with the negative alteration of our immune systems through injecting foreign bacteria, viruses and toxic chemicals directly into our blood stream, will become starkly clear. It is not always pleasant to confront certain realities…….but, only if we are aware of the propaganda and manipulation being used against us, will we be able to do something about it. The documented information that the author presents in this book is vital for our understanding, so we may begin to reverse the medical nightmare we are currently experiencing.

    O’Shea speaks of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and Shaken Baby Syndrome – all new labels to place the blame on “unknown” causes or parental abuse. I personally know of a case where a sickly baby was given a series of vaccines, stopped breathing and died as a result. The father who was rushing the baby to the hospital was arrested for murdering the baby (shaking it to death). He was later set free when it was proven in court that vaccination can cause the identical symptoms claimed to result from shaking a baby. Munchausen’s Syndrome by Proxy is also used often as an excuse for blaming the victim.

    The author guides us down a path through the various mandated vaccines, explaining all of what you need to know, concerning each vaccine. O’Shea brings up a point which I often feel is necessary to share in my writings involving the politics of Lyme Disease…..”It is historical fact that fortunes are not made in discovering causes for disease, but in marketing cures for them. ” I would just like to add here that fortunes really are not even made marketing cures but only symptomatic treatments and what we consider to be honest charities never seem to come up with “cures”, even though that is supposed to be their primary function.

    The book also explains why our government agencies are not protecting us from the greed of the pharmaceutical companies. Here is a quote from page 115 from Representative Dan Burton. “CDC routinely allows scientists with blatant conflicts of interest to serve on influential advisory committees that make recommendations on new vaccines, “Burton told UPI “All the while these same scientists have financial ties, academic affiliations, and other vested interests in the products and companies for which they are supposed to be providing unbiased oversight.”

    This is why parents so urgently need to educate themselves thoroughly on the vaccine issue. No one cares more about your children than you do……certainly not the faceless government corporations.

    O’Shea’s book is very thorough, covering everything from cancer, AIDS, autoimmune disease and even death, as possible side effects from vaccines.. He speaks of the HPV or Gardasil vaccine. It’s stated purpose is to prevent cervical cancer. We are told what is in the vaccine and the listed side effects. Here is a shocking statement from the manufacturer, found on page 156. Gardasil…..”not been evaluated for carcinogenicity or impairment of fertility.” In other words, a vaccine which is supposed to prevent cervical cancer in 12 year olds, could possibly cause cancer and infertility. I think that it is important for us to be aware that vaccines have been used in other countries to purposely promote infertility and consequently reduce population growth.

    More and more “High Risk” groups, requiring vaccines, are continually being invented and it appears as if the pace is picking up. Today I received an email from the National Vaccine Information Center, which is warning people that the Merck HPV (Gardasil vaccine) slated for 12 year old girls….will soon be marketed for boys and maybe even men. Merck’s explanation is that “changing sexual practices, such as more frequent oral sex, in adolescents and young adults, COULD (emphasis mine) contribute to an increase in oncogenic HPV- associated oropharyngeal cancers.”

    O’Shea has made what could have been a complicated scientific account into an extremely informative, well organized book, which can be very easily understood. ” The Sanctity of Human Blood” is a must read for pregnant women, parents, the elderly….actually for just about everyone. I heartily recommend this book to anyone who loves and cares about themselves, their family and their friends. The vaccination issue affects all of us. Read it and pass it on to anyone you can think of. Our children are our future.

  61. HCN

    Occam said “It is becoming increasingly obvious that our country is becoming more and more physically disabled. Our nation’s poor health is increasing in accordance with our expanding mandated vaccine policies. Accurate, unbiased and referenced information, concerning vaccines, is very desperately needed.”

    Do you have any evidence for any of these claims? And not quotes from a short little book (146 pages!), but real actual factual evidence written in a journal I can find in my local medical school library. From what I can tell Mr. O’Shea is a chiropractor, and has been taught about fictional subluxations and not about immunology. Plus with a little googling, he is a full on anti-vax loon!

    You really need to show us exactly how with real data how the MMR is worse than measles, mumps and rubella, plus how the DTaP is worse than diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis. Just give us the journal, title, authors, date of the papers that can be found in a medical school library (“Medical Hypothesis” does not count, if you want to know why look up the word “hypothesis”).

  62. Greg in Austin

    Occam said,

    “He was later set free when it was proven in court that vaccination can cause the identical symptoms claimed to result from shaking a baby.”

    I find it very unlikely that any vaccination can cause broken bones, torn ligaments, and in severe cases, dismemberment. Because that’s the least that can happen from shaking a child.

    Here’s what I would say to you, Occam:

    Stop with the arguments from authority, perform your own research, and come to your own conclusions.


  63. HCN

    Yes, it is pretty sad when they use the Yurko defense. Yurko was a guy who killed his girlfriend’s baby (he was in jail when the child was conceived) and then became the anti-vax hero.

    The anti-vax loons managed to get him out of jail, only to abandon him when he landed in jail again on drug charges. More information here:
    www dot

  64. Oprah will love to hear from you Occam. It has exactly the same distortions, fallacies, half truths and anecdotes that Oprah eats up.

    I found this bit particularly stupid… “Here is a shocking statement from the manufacturer, found on page 156. Gardasil
..”not been evaluated for carcinogenicity or impairment of fertility.” In other words, a vaccine which is supposed to prevent cervical cancer in 12 year olds, could possibly cause cancer and infertility.”

  65. When I started reading Occam’s post, my first thought was “This is a really good Poe. I can’t wait until the end when he delivers the punchline.” The only problem is that he never delivered the punchline.

    Occam, I will echo some of the others. Do you have some valid science to back up any of the things you claimed in your post?


    Thanks for sharing the link on Yurko. Wow. Just…wow.

  66. fred edison

    Here’s what I’d say in regard to Jenny M. “O, why did you have to go and stoop so low?”

    More proof on Jen being a quack medical advisor, dangerous and deadly anti-vaxxer proponent, and pseudo-doctor follow. Jenny M., on the 4-14-2009 Ellen show, proudly said she owns and uses a hyperbaric oxygen chamber. Yes, it’s the same type of device that Michael Jackson was reported to own (and she was embarrassed to admit). This is a quote from Jenny about the benefits of hyperbaric oxygen treatments, so strap yourselves to your chair in case you jump through the roof from disbelief. Jenny said, “It treats inflammation, it…you know…prevents cancer, neurological disorders… You have to get one, Ellen.” Wow, it prevents cancer and probably 20 other things she didn’t have time to mention, and this Jenny knows just as surely as she knows vaccinations are the cause of autism. This woman must be a genius of medicine and knows the intricacies and dynamics of the human body with an uncanny and supernatural ability, or she has completely fooled herself, with the help of her community, into believing she knows more than she possibly could.

    Yes, she’s fooled herself, and fooled how many other people who believe (hope) what she says has merit. Sadly, it’s obvious she makes judgements in a non-scientific and random fashion. She plays roulette with the health of the population, even with her own son’s health. She seems like a nice lady and appears to have a good heart, but that doesn’t make her right with her conclusions. It absolutely doesn’t give her the right to dictate medical advice when she has no medical qualifications or the educational background to do so. But that little inconvenience doesn’t stop her from not vaccinating her son or prevent her from taking him into the hyperbaric chamber with her for hours at a time, several times a week. Mother knows best or mother doesn’t know best, it’s one or the other. It’s definitely not looking good for mother knows best at this point. What other future ‘miracle cure’ will Jenny subject Evan to, I have to wonder and worry.

    The hyperbaric oxygen treatment was recommend to Jenny by the same “community” that helped her craft her ‘approved and disapproved’ vaccination list (see her latest anti-vaxxer book). Such a smart bunch. So along with her virtual curing of autism, chalk up more wonders to her expanding collection. Maybe she’ll discover the secret to ever-lasting life given more time. Read the book when it comes out. Better yet, do yourself a favor and don’t.

    [Google ‘jenny mccarthy, ellen’ for the Ellen video the quote was taken from. Fourth link down.]

  67. Dr. JW

    Someone needs to point Phil this freshly published academic review of the anti-vaccine movement:

    Gross L (2009) A Broken Trust: Lessons from the Vaccine–Autism Wars. PLoS Biol 7(5): e1000114. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1000114

    I noticed it by way of ArsTechnica.

  68. @Dr. JW

    Thanks for posting that link! Very interesting read.

  69. SteveA

    Late to the party again. I’d love to tell Oprah what I think about this issue, but the link just brings up a server error.

  70. Newsweek has an article on Oprah’s woo promotion (Jenny Mc is in it, though it begins with Suzanne Somers’ particular woo) in the June 8 dated issue.
    Here’s the link (moderate, moderate…)

    h/t to the Museum of Hoaxes


  71. Sally

    I’m sure she Jenny McCarthy never thought of it but what about the toxins she has in her body like the breast implants how dose she know they did not poison her baby and cause his issues. She also has all her facts wrong about vaccines there has not been theimorsal or mercury since 1999 if that were the cause we would see a decrease in autism not an increase-there is no human tissue in vaccine what is she in the dark ages where dose she get her info not in science she plays on Mothers deepest fears like she is the same as they are-I don’t think so it’s all about her not her child and she is hurting other children by not vaccinating her son God I do hope your son is not affected by a vaccine preventable disease-even you do not deserve that.

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