Sunday, February 28, 2010

Quote of the Day

From an article in Salon today called "The Week in Crazy: Jenny McCarthy" by, wonder of wonders, Mary Elizabeth Williams:

"By offering the vague caveat that 'there is no cure' while peddling her Generation Rescue's slogan "autism is reversible" and telling parents that 'for a moderately autistic kid the best prognosis is full recovery,' McCarthy makes a promise that no one on the planet has the authority to make. It's one that puts the onus of failure on parents whose kids can't or simply don't make that 'full recovery' and opens up those who take her advice to "try everything" to a buffet of expensive to downright dangerous quackery.

The correlation between the MMR vaccine and autism may still be unproven, but the correlation between the MMR vaccine and preventing death and disease is pretty clear-cut; considering that, McCarthy is fueling an alarming resurgence in illnesses all but eradicated a decade ago. Her response to a potential rise in life-destroying diseases like polio? Last year she told Time, 'I do believe sadly it's going to take some diseases coming back to realize that we need to change and develop vaccines that are safe. If the vaccine companies are not listening to us, it's their f___ing fault that the diseases are coming back.'

To recap: If not vaccinating your kids means bringing back polio, so be it. And if your offspring is diagnosed as autistic, do 'everything' to fix him. Insist on accountability from the CDC but advocate a whole raft of unproven therapies. And all the while, smugly describe yourself as "the voice" for a noble cause. Those maternal instincts are in the right place, but too often, the voice of autism recovery seems to be coming out of Jenny McCarthy's ass."

Don't ever let it be said that I don't give credit where it's due.


Benoît from Ottawa said...

TYPO in your link title "The Week in Crazy...": missing 'h' in McC.

Benoît from Ottawa said...

Re credit where credit is due: are you SURE you didn't ghostwrite a few paragraphs?

CNNfan said...

for a moderately autistic kid the best prognosis is full recovery

When is full recovery not the best prognosis?

Anonymous said...

I'm 46 and I had all the inoculations available back when I was a child. I'm many things, but autistic? No. Can I blame my sleep apnea on them? Doubtful. I will say that its entertaining to know that maybe there is some walking poster child for batshit crazy that might get me the help I need for my sleep apnea when she figures out that it was caused by SOMETHING.

Stephen said...

This pisses me off royally. My cousin's first born is autistic. He most certainly has taken giant leaps due to a very loving and attentive mother who understands that EVERY DAY is a challenge and that any progress is a blessing.

McCarthy, while right in my wheelhouse (gggrrrowwwl), is at best guilty of proving that the person who can yell the loudest has the most authority on the subject. Not so long ago this type of person would've been on Morton Downey, Jr. and not Oprah.

Adam said...

If a monkey throws enough darts it's going to hit the bullseye at some point.

But what I really want to know is why do news organisations give people like Jenny McCarty's arguments the same weight as a noted expert? Of course she has the right to express her opinion, but don't pretend she knows even a fraction as much as the Doctors who dedicate their lives to Autism. It's reprehensible and downright irresponsible.

Polly said...

Every time you post a McCarthy-Autism article, I feel compelled to comment. It’s a topic that strikes a chord.

There has been a catastrophic rise in autism diagnoses in the past decade or so. The current prevalence of ASDs in Canada is estimated to be more than 1 in 200 people. (Fombonne, E., 2003: Modern Views of Autism, Can. J. Psychiatry, 48:503-505. Fombonne, E., 2003: Epidemiology of autism and other pervasive developmental disorders: an update. J. Autism. Dev. Disord. 33:365-381). The prevalence in the US is estimated to be higher than that.

Is something causing autism? I’m sure. My brother favours the preservatives-in-food theory. My dad figures it’s a social disease borne of overpopulation (we evolved to live in small hunter-gatherer clans and cities are overwhelming, etc). My sister thinks it’s the evolution of a new breed of human. I’m not sure what to think. But I’m pretty damn sure, given the overwhelming evidence, that it’s not the MMR vaccine.

Having worked closely with kids with ASDs, I would rather have a kid with autism than have a kid develop encephalitis from measles or be crippled by polio.

Michael said...

Sorry Polly, I have to disagree.
I lived with someone with Autism and after listening to him and his parents and doctors they, and I believe the increase in diagnosed cases is simply a better understanding of what Autism is. Being more educated and able to diagnose Autism is what is leading to the rise in diagnosed cases.

MelodyLane said...

For a highly intelligent and knowledgeable look at Autism, please look into the story and life of Dr. Temple Grandin. She's well known animal behaviorist and has Autism. She's written a number of books about Autism and her life. It's a far more insightful look into a highly complex disorder from someone who knows what the hell they are talking about.

Doc said...

Even better, as we had on our news feed at the CDC today, about 25% of people believe this hogwash. Luckily, the majority of people in this group still believe the benefits outweigh this imagined (and totally disproven) 'risk'.

God, does she know anyone that's had polio? Anyone want to show that bitch the photo's of those warehouses of kids in iron lungs?

greenveldt said...

There is a chance McCarthy's son never had autism:,8599,1967796-2,00.html