Santa goes viral

By Phil Plait | December 26, 2009 2:57 pm

So, what did Santa bring you this year?

santa_mccarthy

Yay! Measles!

Image credit: Ironically, ABC Family.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Alt-Med, Antiscience
MORE ABOUT: antivax, Jenny McCarthy
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Comments (50)

  1. quasidog

    Haven’t read your posts in months, come back to read out of curiosity … wow more boring flames of Jenny McCarthy. Obsession man.

  2. quasidog (#1), that’s a perfect example of non-critical thinking. Were you to look at the several hundred posts you missed you might find, y’know, other stuff I wrote about. But I do appreciate the example of how thinking goes wrong on the internet.

  3. paoconnell

    I’d be interested, if she got her shots first.

  4. James Fisher

    My wife had the “Santa Baby” movies on when I got home from work on Wednesday. J. McC is really boring with her clothes on and in a bad need a fresh die job to cover her roots. But I digress. I disagree with quaisdog’s “obsession” observation. I am glad Phil is standing up to her anti-vax nonsense. Lives are at risk every time she espouses her unqualified opinions on the matter.

  5. Carter

    Ever since I got vaccinated, everything’s gone wrong! Oh wait, that’s because I’ve been getting vaccines since before the beginning of my memories.

    I agree with Phil’s previous condemnations of McCarthy’s (as well as other antivaxxers’) ludicrously inaccurate claims. I also agree with Mr Fisher (#4), and further would like to ask the British courts to prosecute these people for libeling vaccine manufacturers. I’m only half-kidding about that last one.

    Also, Phil, nice work as a guest on the last SciFri! That must have been a fun recording.

  6. I, for one, like the antivax updates. It’s nice to have that kind of information readily available at my neuron tips.

  7. skeptiksnarf

    Why does Santa always bring Phil measles and i get some lousy sweater

  8. Chris

    There was a notice in this morning’s paper that an unvaccinated adult woman came back from traveling overseas with measles. They listed all the places she had been to, including an acute care clinic.

    I am also disgusted that she blames the MMR vaccine for her son’s seizures when he was at least two years old. The problem is that he had the vaccine over a year before he had the seizures.

  9. Ah, so that’s what she looks like… with clothes on… 😉

  10. Chris

    Oops, I misremembered the news story, I checked the county health department page and they listed “Evergreen Urgent Care”, along with a restaurant, movie theater and a pharmacy.

    Yea, measles.

  11. new horizons
  12. Thanny

    Wow, quasidog, you don’t read a post in months, and just happen to return in time to be the first commenter on one that you don’t like? I’m flabbergasted.

  13. @Thanny:

    It’s an obsession, man.

  14. Michelle

    Did you see that horrible game where she tries to get you healthy? Ha.

  15. Is she still married to that talentless hack, Jim Carrey?

  16. I emailed the stations carrying that santa baby trash asking them (nay begging them) not to air that hag… She needs to be kicked to the curb like the brainless bimbo she actually is!

  17. Seeing her all the time pushing her exercise game for the Wii. Yes it is a good thing for people to get exercise but why her.

  18. jeff

    I will agree with quasidog. Phil, the majority of your site is interesting and intelligent. This post is not. It is a bit petty. Yes, she is not too smart about vaccines….you have said this multiple times. There is really no reason to say anything more. If there was some story that went along with this fine…but there isn’t.

  19. Chris

    Gary, she is not, nor has ever been married to Carrey. They are just paramours.

    There are better ways of getting exercise than jumping up and down in your living room using electronics connected to a television. Personally I am fond of walking (usually to places I am going), gardening and swimming laps. Somehow I don’t think the Wii will get me to class, to the store, down to the lake, get the weeding and pruning done, nor let me feel the sensation of water as I swim laps.

  20. It is better then just sitting there in front of tv, but you are right Chris.

  21. Jeff, not everything has to have a story. The tree, the cookies, the Doctor Who posts… those are for fun in a slow part of the blog season. But this one does have a point: it’s a reminder, and sometimes satire is a most pointed way of reminding.

  22. aaarrrrrghhh! My eyes! Phil mate, that needs a warning

  23. Dan

    Jeff, there is a difference between being “not too smart about vaccines” and actively working to make more kids sick, and even kill a few. The first is a bit understandable. The second is just inexcusable.

    Also, there is a story that does with this. She has still not been stopped. She is still out there, telling lies and being proud about it. I happened upon a youtube video of her giving some talk, describing an encounter with the CDC like she was some kind of hero. She actually said to the CDC, “I am not anti-vaccine, I’m anti-toxins” and that she wants to talk to someone important to create policy to get rid of the toxins. The best part is that at the end she makes a call back to someone at the CDC on her fancy phone and is both unable to get it on speaker phone and remember that the speaker part of the phone is at the top. Yet she is still somehow qualified to make policy about medicine?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2WTciw_vXrY

  24. David

    I never thought that credulity could be such an unattractive quality…until I learned about Jenny McCarthy and then saw this post

  25. Nomen Publicus

    Who’da thunk that evil would come in pretty packaging.

  26. Personally I get ALL my medical advice from women who pose naked in Playboy.

  27. Sarcin

    i thought that any post with her would require a ‘The stupid, It burns” tag =(

  28. Plutonium being from Pluto

    24. David Says:

    I never thought that credulity could be such an unattractive quality…until I learned about Jenny McCarthy and then saw this post

    Nice wrapper, dumb present inside.

    Oh, I’m sure she looks better when her clothes are off – and her vaccines are in! 😉

    Still a McCarthy Xmas? Think I’ll pass in favour of a Skepchick one! 😉

    @26. Lugosi Says:

    Personally I get ALL my medical advice from women who pose naked in Playboy.

    Aren’t you lucky? 😉

    Or, … wait … are you?

    Playing “doctors & nurses” with ’em would be one thing – actually *using* Playboy “bunnies” as your medically (un?)qualified Drs & nurses, I suspect, would quite another & likely quite bad for your health. 😉

    *****

    PS. I don’t come here for the anti-vax updates or satire personally … But I sure don’t mind getting them when the BA chooses to post them either. You go ahead & post what you want Dr Phil Plait – not that you wouldn’t anyhow! 😉

  29. StevoR

    Yay! Measles!

    Hey, how do *you* know what’s in the present there – its still wrapped up ain’t it? 😉

    Unless, somebody’s been a naughty boy and taken a peek there when they’re not supposed to haven’t they? 😉

  30. Plutonium being from Pluto

    @22. Phil Plait Says:

    Jeff, not everything has to have a story. The tree, the cookies, the Doctor Who posts… those are for fun in a slow part of the blog season.

    For sure, even on Pluto, sometimes you’ve just gotta have *fun*! 😀

    @16. Gary Says:

    Is she still married to that talentless hack, Jim Carrey?

    Well, I gotta admit I don’t think Jim Carrey is all that bad! Come on, he’s actually pretty clever & a lot more talented as a comedian and probably an overall human being that Ms McCartney yeah? 😉

  31. Keith

    That is the lamest sexy Mrs. Santa outfit ever.

  32. tommy

    A link that explained what this is about would have helped those of us who only know Jenny for being a pretty blonde.

    She’s got the measles? Hope she gets better soon!

    (Lazy blogger, making me use Google on a Sunday. 😛 )

  33. Gary Ansorge

    As a Dutch friend once pointed out about Einstein “He can’t be too smart. He’s not even rich.”
    So, by that criteria, she must be REALLY smart???

    Then of course, there’s PAt Robertson,,,

    Equating wealth with smarts is just bad but while it seems to ring true for a great many people in our society I doubt Jesus would agree.(Hey, the Dude hung out with hookers, thieves and murderers. My kinda man,,,).

    GAry 7

  34. Gary Ansorge

    I just HAVE to point out: during the next great wave of famines, she won’t survive for ten fraking minutes.

    I loves me women with a three month supply of food on their bones. Twiggys are for stirring my coffee,,,

    GAry 7

  35. Kenny

    As a parent of a child with autism, I have had my fair share of run-ins with the anti-vaxxers. Every time they mention Jenny McCarthy, I ask just what about taking her clothes off for Playboy and being a less than mediocre actress qualifies her to tell me not to get vaccinations for my child. I always get a strange look, then they shut up and go away.

    As for those griping about the post, the best blogs always cover many topics. As with most blogs I read, I came for the main topic, but stayed for the “off-topic” posts. As a science related blog, I think its very on-topic to point out the dangers of pseudoscience as much as possible, and this certainly falls in that category.

  36. BMcP

    Well I got Death from the Skies for Christmas, so it all works out. :)

  37. Chris

    Kenny:

    Every time they mention Jenny McCarthy, I ask just what about taking her clothes off for Playboy and being a less than mediocre actress qualifies her to tell me not to get vaccinations for my child.

    I think it would be best to stay away from poisoning the well with her past Playboy feats, and ask them why you should listen to her on a more factual basis: her son had his seizures when he was at least two years old (something like 2 and a half), more than a year after his MMR vaccine (given about age 15 months). You might get an even more baffled look.

    Then ask why one should take medical advice whose only qualification seems to be that she is a “mommy”, versus someone who actually went to medical school (including many of those who are also mommies).

    (I read about the history of her son’s seizures on the Leftbrainrightbrain blog, you’ll have to do a search for it)

  38. JB of Brisbane

    Gee, I thought this was a pretty Christmas package, until I read that it was Jenny McCarthy. Boy, talk about being pwned!

  39. quasidog

    Um no Phil. Actually its a good example of critical thinking. Actually I have read many of your posts regarding the anti-vax issue, and most of which I tend to agree with. However, this particualr post with its sarcastic overtone and lack of any real meaning other than to … flame .. well .. its boring. It has nothing to do with critical thinking. Its just a flame. Other well thought out articles you have written regarding her stance on immunisation ( of which I am on your side ) have not been boring. 2 different things.

  40. Dan

    Jenny – Mouth shut, legs slightly spread..perfect.

  41. Ubermoogle

    Man, Santa is such a bitch.

  42. Tom

    Mumps may be survivable, but the damages to the body can be truly devastating. I have a good friend who survived a bout of mumps at age ~19. He is now a very healthy adult, but is sterile.

    Just heartbreaking when you think that a moment’s pain of a pin prick could have prevented this.

  43. holastefan

    @quasidog #40: After admitting you haven’t read any articles here for months, you instantly declared Phil to be “obsessed” with a particular topic. Invalid deduction?

    Basically, if her position on immunization and anti-science has not changed, then Phil’s post/sarcasm/flame is warranted.

    (Sorry to everyone if I’m feeding a troll, not sure if quasidog is or not.)

  44. She’s smiling, but it’s not a warm smile. Must be all that botulinum toxin she’s injected into her face. Gives the lie to her “anti-toxin” mantra.

  45. quasidog

    lol … sorry I forgot .. its suck up , or be declared a troll. Forums are funny that way.

  46. @quasidog

    You’re not a troll, but you were wrong. You said:

    Haven’t read your posts in months, come back to read out of curiosity … wow more boring flames of Jenny McCarthy. Obsession man.

    First, this has been the only mention of Jenny McCarthy in the past month. So, if anything it would be a flame. I wouldn’t call it obsession at all. Obsession would be if he posted repeatedly about her in a short time span. I also don’t recall seeing you complaining about him being obsessed when he posts about pareidolia or Dr. Who.

    Second, Jenny McCarthy has not changed a bit. She still is quite actively promoting her anti-vaccine stance. That makes her fair game for criticism and, in this case, satire. It is not merely flaming, as you contend, unless you think that all satire is nothing more than flaming. It does serve a purpose: to shine a light on her irrational and dangerous ideas.

    If you have something substantive to say about why he should not post anything about Ms. McCarthy, say it. If you feel that Phil should not be sarcastic or satirical, then elaborate your reasoning.

  47. quasidog, as others have pointed out, you’re wrong. What I said initially is still correct. You left for a long time, come back, don’t go through any of the intervening posts, and then declare I have flamed her — which I did not — and that I am obsessed — which I am not.

  48. David

    Tom, it is a myth that mumps causes sterility, mumps can cause a swelling of the testicles, however this does not mean sterility. Did your friend have a sperm count done before the mumps to determine his fertility? If not how can you claim it was mumps that made him sterile? It is most likely that you are making this story about a sterile friend up to support your pro mmr views.

  49. Chris

    David, it is not a myth. It can happen in a small number of those with mumps orchitis. Here is an article:
    dub dub dub dot ncbi.nlm.nih dot gov/pmc/articles/PMC1633545/?tool=pubmed that says:

    Mumps orchitis rarely leads to sterility but it may contribute to subfertility. It can also can lead to oligospermia, azoospermia, and asthenospermia (defects in sperm movement). Unilateral disease can significantly, but only transiently, diminish the sperm count, mobility, and morphology. Impairment of fertility is estimated to occur in about 13% of patients,2 while 30%-87% of patients with bilateral mumps orchitis experience infertility.8

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