There are no words for this

January 10, 2011 • 6:31 pm

After the Andrew Wakefield scandal, Jenny McCarthy wrote a piece today, still defending the connection between vaccinations and autism.  Where? At The Huffington Post, of course—the newest danger to America’s health.

There are no data that will change her mind, or the minds of her anti-vaxer acolytes.

34 thoughts on “There are no words for this

  1. I’m pro-vaccine, it would take real solid evidence to convince me of any link and even then I’d weigh the risk vs benifit. I have a four year old nephew with autism, as long as you’re talking about it, is there good genetic connection resource to read?

    1. Mike, you should try searching PubMed for abstracts of articles all from peer reviewed journals.
      Limiting the search “genetics and autism” to Humans, Meta-Analysis, Review, English, published in the last 10 years, you still get over 400 results. It is one of those areas where nothing is certain as far as I can see, at least at present.

  2. Just like any other kind of dogmatism, once belief is engendered people become more attached to their belief than they are to fact. It has become beneficial to McCarthy to cling to her ideas even in the face of evidence. Perhaps we could even say: especially in the face of evidence. This way she gets to pretend that she and Wakefield are martyrs and cry about conspiracy to anyone who will listen.

    Admitting she was wrong does nothing to further her wholly selfish goals and she is too self interested to care about the harm she does to others.


    So tempted to go see what she is saying this time, but really don’t want to give HuffPo the traffic >_<

  3. That is ridiculous. I guess there is no regulation of the “press”, but the ultimate kicker for Huffpo would be for people to click less, or not at all. It’s unfortunate that people with big mouthpieces are allowed to spread lies. In the meantime, one of my friends is off to an Illinois Health Departments meeting on how to combat the rise in whooping cough….which we almost eradicated…

  4. Well, I didn’t expect her to come right out and say “I’ve been 100% wrong, and dangerously so, and I’m sorry.” Maybe someday she’ll be enough of an adult to say that. I’m sure there’s something out there that would change her mind, but empirical reality is obviously not it.

  5. So whose rants are more dangerous – McCarthy’s or Palin’s. I guess even if the deaths in Arizona were “credited” to Palin (which might be a stretch) McCarthy has still destroyed more lives with her baseless claims.

    Sad that neither of them is big enough to admit fault and apologize.

    1. Just as disease has always been better at killing us than we have been at killing each other, I think that when all is said and done McCarthy, Wakefield, and their ilk will ruin more lives than any crazy gunmen. And yet, more people will cheer them on as they do so. It’s disheartening.

    1. However dangerously misguided she is on this issue, I don’t think she’s either of those things. That stereotype is a lot dumber than any blonde-haired woman I’ve ever met…

    2. My wife is a ‘real’ blonde, has a master’s degree and is planning on working on her PhD. The whole dumb blonde thing is wrong and is generally attributed to women who dye their hair, for some reason changing hair colour=intelligence…

    3. Yes. There are no Scandinavian scientists.

      The spousal unit read me a statistic this weekend that, in the US, only 1 in 20 blondes is natural.

      1. Funny that, my wife is half Finnish. Also after living in Finland I can tell you that there are less blondes there too.

  6. It’s startling that she feels free to link to

    A new examination found, by comparing the reported diagnoses in the paper to hospital records, that Wakefield and colleagues altered facts about patients in their study.

    without feeling the least obligation to counter the claim. She seems thoroughly confident that her intended audience will have no interest whatsoever in examining the facts.

    1. She seems thoroughly confident that her intended audience will have no interest whatsoever in examining the facts.

      from my experience, she’d be pretty much correct.

      I’ve been patiently trying to get antivaxxers to look at actual evidence, and be able, for themselves to recognize shoddy work and bias.

      no go.

      it really is just like trying to get a creationist to examine the evidence for common descent.

  7. On a positive note, her marriage to Jim Carrey busted to smithereens, so at least we’re less likely to see his stupid mug contributing to the death cause anymore. (one can hope, anyway)

    And no, I couldn’t force myself to click on the HuffPo either.

  8. Yet another reason to quit paying attention to the Huffpost. They are swimming in religious material, delete comments that are too radical for their audience and allow celebs to write articles on scientific findings on which they have no expertise… and they want to be taken seriously?

    1. They don’t want to get taken seriously, they want to sell advertising space, just like any other media outlet.

  9. This is what happens when you privilege faith over evidence, people think their firm convitions are more valid that reality.

  10. I refuse to go back to that website. Not only do they promote dangerous and wrong quack medical advice, the writers also love to freely bash atheists and promote weird cultish religious ideas while being unable to handle valid criticism or take the ridicule they so richly deserve.

  11. I clicked on the link and had to stop reading after two sentences. The only thing that infuriates me more than McCarthy is the fact that people still give her a forum for her dangerous nonsense.

    How can the Huffington Post claim to stand for liberal ideals while promoting the elimination of the cheapest and most widely-available solution to some of the worst diseases?

    1. really? Huffpo has been pushing Woo for years now, including much antivaxxer nonsense.

      how could you not have noticed?

  12. James Randi doesn’t believe that this will have much of an effect on the anti-vaccine movement. He’s got quite a few stories on people’s irrational beliefs – for example the story about how many people wrote to him to thank him for informing them about Peter Popoff. Those people wanted to see Popoff to be ‘healed’, and these letters were a result of Randi’s famous exposure of Popoff as a fraud on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. We can also bet the upcoming Oprah channel will be packed full of bullshit (and not Penn and Teller’s), and one recent article on Randi’s website is about the “Mothering” magazine and “” and how it promotes anti-vaccine.

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