There were many aspects of my interview with Paul Offit that I found very informative, even surprising, and I thought I would highlight some of them here on the blog this week. Perhaps the first was Dr. Offit’s response to my second question–when I asked him, around minute 6, about all the hate mail he receives (including some death threats). I was expecting dire tales of the extremism that had been directed at my guest; but instead, Offit opened up about the incredibly positive response his book has received:
When I wrote the book, I assumed it would merely galvanize those who didn’t agree with my point of view, and who would angrily write to me, hatefully–but that wasn’t true. I think what surprised me with this book, after I wrote it, is that I have received hundreds of emails, probably about 800 emails, from parents of children with autism, including severe autism, that have said, “Thank you, I never thought it was vaccines, Jenny McCarthy presumes to represent me, but she doesn’t.” This book is going to be coming out in paperback in April, and in the introduction, the revised introduction as a preface to the new paperback edition, I basically apologize to parents; I feel like, whenever I heard a parent of a child with autism I would sort of cringe at some level, thinking they would be anti-vaccine. That’s not true. I think frankly, most of them don’t feel that way at all.
Offit went on to talk about the “silent majority out there of parents that don’t buy into this vaccine-autism debate, and frankly are angry about it.” To me, it’s just another sign that the worm is turning on vaccine-autism claims. The movement may even be courting some serious backlash at this point.
In any case, that’s the first of many insights from the Offit interview, and I’ll be blogging more of them this week. Once again, you can listen to the podcast and subscribe here. And don’t forget to pick up a copy of Paul Offit’s book, Autism’s False Prophets, if you don’t already own it: Just follow the link below: