Jenny McCarthy angling for a spot on The View?

15 Jul

I don’t spend much time following celebrities. Jenny McCarthy was, for a time, an exception. She became the number one spokesperson for the idea that vaccines cause autism as well as for unproven and sometimes dangerous “therapies” for autism. She made a lot of money from autism, autism kept her name in the press and, as the money dried up, Ms. McCarthy quieted down on the topics that only a short time before she was so passionate about. Jenny McCarthy now makes news for topic like, “Jenny McCarthy ‘dating’ Donnie Wahlberg“.

New reports recently came out that Jenny McCarthy is being considered for a spot on the TV show “The View”. I saw a number of these sorts of news stories before I cancelled my news alerts. “Jenny McCarthy in talks with….for a job” They struck me as publicity and trial balloons. Attempts to get buzz going to help get the job.

If Jenny McCarthy’s publicity team are floating this as a trial balloon, they should have known the response they would get:

U.S. News and World Report: Jenny McCarthy’s Pseudoscience Has No Place on ‘The View

Slate: The View of Jenny McCarthy

Salon: Don’t put Jenny McCarthy on “The View” The “warrior mother” is dangerous for television

Atlantic: Destabilizing the Jenny McCarthy Public-Health Industrial Complex

Most discussions focus on Jenny McCarthy’s views on vaccines. She adheres to the idea that vaccines cause autism. It’s good to point out this stance but, as I’ll discuss below, I personally question why The View would be considering Jenny McCarthy given her unprofessional attitude and lack of integrity in regards to her visits on The View.

The vaccine stance has been a bit of a liability for Ms. McCarthy and her organization (Generation Rescue). They have toned down their message a great deal over recent years. Back at the time when Generation Rescue was founded, they were very upfront:

Generation Rescue believes that childhood neurological disorders such as autism, Asperger’s, ADHD/ADD, speech delay, and many other developmental delays are all misdiagnoses for mercury poisoning.

With the number 1 reason for “How was my child poisoned” being thimerosal in vaccines.

The founder of Jenny McCarthy’s autism charity famously wrote once:

With less than a half-dozen full-time activists, annual budgets of six figures or less, and umpteen thousand courageous, undaunted, and selfless volunteer parents, our community, held together with duct tape and bailing wire, is in the early to middle stages of bringing the U.S. vaccine program to its knees.

Generation Rescue both before and since Jenny McCarthy has had a focus on various “cures” for autism. They range from relatively harmless (homeopathy) to dangerous and clearly ill founded (Lupron), promoted at their parent conventions like AutismOne.

Jenny McCarthy not only promotes subjecting disabled children to dangerous therapies, she attacks those parents who don’t accept her advice in this regard.

What’s very interesting with the possible gig on The View is the fact that Jenny McCarthy has a very checkered past with that show. In her first autism book tour, the one person who had the guts to challenge Jenny McCarthy was Barbara Walters on The View. Jenny McCarthy was so angered by this that she reportedly told a rally of her supporters exactly where Barbara Walters could “stick her microphone”. (On a local autism news group, when some people proposed putting video of this event on YouTube they were discouraged from doing so. Even then people realized this was not a good move by Ms. McCarthy.)

In a later book, Jenny McCarthy told the story of her confrontation with Barbara Walters on The View, making herself into a brave “warrior” mom. Only, the story that she gave in the book was very different from the version she gave in a televised interview. In other words, at least one of the stories appears fabricated.

She also posited that Barbara Walters was jealous of Jenny McCarthy and that was the reason why Ms. Walters challenged her. Ms. McCarthy even “forgave” Ms. Walters for the incident. Barbara Walters acted like a journalist and asked Jenny McCarthy to back up her statements. Jenny McCarthy slammed Ms. Walters publicly and quite rudely. And Jenny McCarthy forgave Ms. Walters.

Seemed at the time, and still does, that Ms. McCarthy should have been apologizing, not forgiving.

In the time between the incident on The View and Ms. McCarthy offering “forgiveness”, Ms. Walters had published her biography. In it Ms. Walters disclosed that her sister was intellectually disabled. Jenny McCarthy then “understood” that Ms. Walters was jealous of the fact that she had recovered her son, while Ms. Walters’s sister did not have that opportunity. Forgiveness with a side order of condescension.

An interesting point in the “forgiveness” story. Jenny McCarthy didn’t offer forgiveness when Ms. Walters made the disclosure in her biography. No, Ms. McCarthy waited four months until her own book tour to make the statement. It doesn’t strike this observer as anything beyond a cheap publicity stunt by Ms. McCarthy.

Another interesting point is that it has since been reported that Jenny McCarthy’s “recovered” son needs a $100,000 per year school. So, tales of “forgiveness” because she had recovered her kid while Ms. Walters’s sister remained disabled her whole life fall rather flat.

I did find it interesting that when Jenny McCarthy returned years later to The View for another book tour, it was on a day when Barbara Walters was not present.

Barbara Walters is still active onscreen and behind the scenes at The View. Ms. Walters is a true pioneer of journalism. She didn’t last this long without a very thick skin, so I doubt any of the childish antics from Jenny McCarthy bother her personally. On the other hand, Ms. Walters has been able to see first hand how Jenny McCarthy puts integrity aside in favor of self promotion.

The View is not the sort of hard journalism that is the backbone of Ms. Walters’ legacy. But, one does wonder why Ms. Walters (co-producer and co-owner of The View) would take on Ms. McCarthy. Jenny McCarthy is not and never will be on par with Barbara Walters. Few of us are. But bringing Jenny McCarthy into The View would cheapen, just a bit, a lifetime of hard work and excellence by Ms. Walters.


By Matt Carey

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31 Responses to “Jenny McCarthy angling for a spot on The View?”

  1. Science Mom July 15, 2013 at 16:27 #

    Sadly, it looks like she hooked the spot: http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/jenny-mccarthy-joins-view-host/story?id=19668532#.UeQTXeGYN-4

    If The View could get any worse, they have certainly ensured it. Any ratings boost that will come with McCarthy on will be short-lived and out of morbid curiosity only. It might be a good idea to look at the show’s sponsors.

  2. Chris July 15, 2013 at 16:41 #

    About the only thing that could be useful is if any guests with a modicum of respect for science and decorum refuse to share a stage with her. Unfortunately that would be a very short list.

    • Lawrence July 15, 2013 at 20:24 #

      @Chris – it will be interesting to see what happens to her standing with the Anti-Vax crowd if she doesn’t stay on message….

  3. LizP July 16, 2013 at 06:01 #

    Frankly, what Jenny McCarthy does or does not do, really does not matter to those of us who believe the US vaccine schedule is bloated, ineffective, and unsafe. See, you can’t really call us anti-vaccine, because we vaccinated ourselves and our children. Fact is, if we and our loved ones had not suffered death or permanent disability as a result of receiving those shots, we would probably not have any concerns regarding the safety of vaccines; But, they DID suffer death or disability; and the Government was so concerned we might, rightfully, demand PhRMA pay for the cost of the harm their products caused. that they provided PhRMA immunity, regardless of the horrors inflicted by their crappy products. See, if the products were safe, there would be no need for protection; safety could be demonstrated in Civil court, and the pesky injured people would have to go away – they are not safe, thus Government protection from suit. Whether Jenny McCarthy co-hosts on a show with a bunch of women blabbering, makes no difference to those of us in the PhRMA-created, Government sanctioned Limbo. We were here, in the trenches, long before Evan was harmed (trying to prevent it from happening to him and the many others who now suffer), and we will still be here, fighting to stop the harm, with or without Jenny, until the horror ends.

    • Sullivan (Matt Carey) July 16, 2013 at 14:29 #

      I rarely use the term anti vaccine. But I will point out the flaw in this logic:

      “See, you can’t really call us anti-vaccine, because we vaccinated ourselves and our children”

      What one did in the past doesn’t define one in the present. I guess Jenny McCarthy is a devout Catholic because she went to Mass as a child?

    • Lawrence July 16, 2013 at 23:02 #

      @liz – Jenny McCarthy has made statements that she doesn’t believe Evan ever had autism….reconcile that with your “beliefs.”

      • LizP July 18, 2013 at 17:29 #

        Because Autism is a disorder, from which you cannot recover (based upon the original definition). She was alluding to the fact that Evan is suffering from induced neurological, physiologic, and biologic harm, not a psychological condition; once the injuries are addressed, “recovery” (after a fashion) happens. Because these kids (and adults) are diagnosed, based upon behavior, there is no differentiation between the root cause of their disorders. So, from her perspective, her son doesn’t have Autism he has the symptoms of Autism, manifesting as a result environmental insult, of treatable medical conditions. This is why I use, what you like to call “scare quotes” when I use the word Autism in describing my child’s condition; they are not “scare quotes,” they are meant to differentiate between her medical conditions which result in her manifesting the behaviors of Autism and an actual case of textbook Autism…Of course, the real question is whether there is even really some organic deficit that is psychological Autism, or whether, in fact, all Autism is the end-result of environmental insults…

      • Sullivan (Matt Carey) July 18, 2013 at 21:22 #

        What definition of autism defines it as being something one can not recover from?

        Read back into what Jenny McCarthy stated. She has said that her child is no longer autistic. Not that he was “autistic” with scare quotes.

        “Of course, the real question is whether there is even really some organic deficit that is psychological Autism, or whether, in fact, all Autism is the end-result of environmental insults…”

        I take it you didn’t take much biology. An environmental insult could result in an organic deficit that is “psychological” (yes, scare quotes) autism.

        As an aside–I find it odd that people decide that an environmentally derived condition is somehow treatable whereas a genetic or developmental condition is not. People have found treatments for fragile X and Down syndrome (DS individuals live significantly longer lives today than previously). Mercury intoxication, for one example, leaves lasting harm.

      • LizP July 19, 2013 at 00:35 #

        You’re right, Matt, I meant to say congenital, not
        organic…

      • cia parker August 2, 2013 at 02:57 #

        Since Evan was diagnosed with autism by the best autism specialists at UCLA, who observed that he displayed many of the classic symptoms of autism, I don’t know why you choose to believe someone else’s interpretation of Ms. McCarthy’s words over the diagnosis of the physicians.

      • Sullivan (Matt Carey) August 3, 2013 at 04:30 #

        Young children get misdiagnosed. It would be good form Ms. McCarthy to answer the question of whether LK syndrome was a possibility. If Ms. McCarthy is going to be selective about the information she gives out (say, withholding when her kid was vaccinated with the MMR), there will be speculation.

    • Science Mom July 17, 2013 at 05:06 #

      You’re quite the drama queen. LizP, you could use some self-awareness. McCarthy can’t even keep her statements straight about the time-line of what happened to her son and also, shame on her for parading her son and his personal information out in public to pimp her own failing career. Real role model McCarthy is

      • LizP July 18, 2013 at 17:31 #

        For a “Science Mom,” you don’t seem very scientific. Where is the evidence of Jenny reporting conflicting timelines? And, I don’t have any clue how Jenny McCarthy’s reporting of her child’s timeline applies to me?

      • Sullivan (Matt Carey) July 18, 2013 at 21:18 #

        Follow the links.

        In one version of her story, she had a confrontation with Barbara Walters before going on air. In another, it was after going on air.

        In the first, Jenny McCarthy makes herself out to be a hero knew that she was going to face a confrontation with Barbara Walters and went on anyway. In the other, she got surprised on air and then dressed down after the show.

        In an on-air interview she gave the version where she was dressed down after the show. She was also angry afterwards, not proud, as demonstrated by her appearance at Mile Square Park. But for her book she gave a version which makes her a hero.

        As to her timeline for her kid–when did he get his MMR vaccine. When did he start having seizures? If he got the MMR on time, it was about a year before his onset of epilepsy. But she tells the story of how because of the vaccine she watched her kid die for some time from the seizures. Many people discussing the story online have the belief that Jenny’s kid had siezures immediately following the administration of the MMR. Jenny McCarthy has declined the opportunity to clarify the facts.

    • LizP July 19, 2013 at 00:44 #

      Matt, you say, “As to her timeline for her kid–when did he
      get his MMR vaccine. When did he start having seizures? If he got
      the MMR on time, it was about a year before his onset of epilepsy.
      But she tells the story of how because of the vaccine she watched
      her kid die for some time from the seizures. Many people discussing
      the story online have the belief that Jenny’s kid had siezures
      immediately following the administration of the MMR. Jenny McCarthy
      has declined the opportunity to clarify the facts.” First of all, I
      don’t presume to know when her kid was vaccinated with the MMR -
      the CDC schdeule recommends anywhere from 6 months to 15 months of
      age, and some physicians or parents choose another schedule,
      entirely; so neither of us has any proof she somehow lied.
      Secondly, my child had seizures for 8 years, before they were
      officially diagnosed…

  4. Kate July 18, 2013 at 20:08 #

    Barbara Walters has had Jenny MCarthy on her show a record 17 times and is now passing her legendary torch to Jenny as she retires. If Jenny was spreading pseudoscience all those times on The View, why would the most admired and influential serious news journalist in the world have her on to talk about vaccines so frequently, and why would Barbara just give her a loving glowing endorsement this week and a super visible job on “The View”. Just when Jenny was marginalized and couldn’t find work on TV, the legendary Barbara Walters has single-handedly saved the anti-vaccine movement and made it mainstream, and there’s nothing you scientists can do but cry.

    • Sullivan (Matt Carey) July 18, 2013 at 21:13 #

      interesting how you separate the anti-vaccine movement and scientists into two separate groups.

    • Niles July 18, 2013 at 21:37 #

      No matter how loudly Jenny McCarthy yells, the parents of autistic children will continue to oppose her, and her lies about our children. If you don’t think that we will, then you seriously underestimate how much we care about our children.

      • Kate July 18, 2013 at 22:13 #

        Parents of autistics oppose her because you’re borderline autistic yourself and that’s why you have this nerdy obedience to what the borderline autistic “scientists” say. You can have the scientistists. Our poster-girl will be reaching MILLIONS five days a week under the glowing endorsement of the top journalist in the world. Jenny doesn’t even have to say a word. People are searching her on google themselves and learning she’s the poster-girl for anti-vax and the most trusted journalist in the world just endorsed her, and awarded her a daily mega-platform. Every single day she’s on that show talking about ANYTHING is the best commercial anti-vaxers could have, and just when the movement was dead and Jenny had become a pariah, Barbara Walters has single handedly brought anti-vax roaring back to life in the biggest way imaginable. God I love Barbara Walters the Queen of journalism!!!

      • herr doktor bimler October 31, 2013 at 22:17 #

        you’re borderline autistic yourself
        Kate evidently believes that autism is hereditary and that’s why her opponents refuse to accept that autism is caused by vaccination. There are not enough face-palms in the universe for this level of stupidity

    • Lawrence July 18, 2013 at 22:47 #

      @Kate – so that “cut and paste” comment of yours (posted on at least one other blog), was it written for you by your handlers over at AoA?

      Actually, I hope Ms. McCarthy does open up her mouth about her position on vaccines, so that people can see how ridiculous she actually is…..not to mention, perhaps, that she originally told people her son was an “Indigo Child” and the next step in human evolution.

      She is a wackjob.

  5. Science Mom July 18, 2013 at 23:05 #

    Parents of autistics oppose her because you’re borderline autistic yourself and that’s why you have this nerdy obedience to what the borderline autistic “scientists”

    You’re quite the piece of work Kate, not only spamming your mind-numbing adoration of McCarthy but worse, using autistic as a slur. If you’re representative of what comprises Jenny’s fan-base, and you are, then that doesn’t say much for McCarthy either.

  6. Science Mom July 19, 2013 at 02:58 #

    For a “Science Mom,” you don’t seem very scientific. Where is the evidence of Jenny reporting conflicting timelines? And, I don’t have any clue how Jenny McCarthy’s reporting of her child’s timeline applies to me?

    Oh gosh I forgot that I can only post scientific literature due to my username, gee thanks LizP for that brilliant insight. The evidence is from Ms. McCarthy herself: http://leftbrainrightbrain.co.uk/2009/05/20/jenny-mccarthys-son-was-never-autistic/
    First it was the MMR jab which caused Evan’s “lights to go out” and get his soul sucked out right there on the spot, oh wait, then it was a year and a half after his MMR jab that he began having seizures and it was all of his jabs that did it. First he had autism then she ‘recovered’ him and now he doesn’t have autism.

    Spare us the over-wrought, over-used ‘pHARMa is eveeeel’ bollocks okay? Put your money where your mouth is and never avail yourself of another pharmaceutical product, medical device, and medical proceedure again okay? If they are that eveeeel then how could you trust them for anything? And Ms. McCarthy like you rail about the pharmaceutical industry yet what has ‘recovered’ her son? Do you really think it was chelation, diets and HBOT or the more likely explanation of anti-seizure medications for his seizure disorder?

    • LizP July 19, 2013 at 04:32 #

      Well, since I “recovered” my daughter without chelation, HBOT, or seizure meds – I guess the answer is the same as the one I recommended to Jenny, when Evan was diagnosed…DIET, supplements, digestive enzymes, probiotics, and appropriate, intensive therapy…

      And BTW – I never stated one should not seek medical care (my child has MANY specialists from neurology to gastroenterology to endocrinology, etc), however PhRMA is a tool of last resort, because the majority of drugs simply mask the symptom without addressing the root cause (in some cases do nothing, and in others can kill or disable the patient). That said, unless I am in an accident, you will not see me taking advantage of any PhRMA product, medical device or medical procedure…I prefer a quality diet, adequate rest, rigorous exercise and proper handwashing to anything offered in a pill or a needle.

      What strikes me as truly bizarre, you, who throw stones at Jenny for speaking her truth, have no problem demanding others accept your truth without question…If you wish for the mainstream world to modify its approach, to make you feel more comfortable, why would you not afford others the very same courtesy you demand?!

      Walk a mile in her shoes, then I’ll listen to your drivel.

      • Sullivan (Matt Carey) July 19, 2013 at 04:45 #

        She can walk in my shoes. Better yet, she can walk in my kid’s shoes.

        That whole “walk in my shoes before you comment” thing works both ways. Which is to say, it doesn’t work.

      • Science Mom July 19, 2013 at 13:32 #

        Well, since I “recovered” my daughter without chelation, HBOT, or seizure meds – I guess the answer is the same as the one I recommended to Jenny, when Evan was diagnosed…DIET, supplements, digestive enzymes, probiotics, and appropriate, intensive therapy…

        It’s the height of arrogance to claim you “recovered” your daughter from anything; she was not lost, stolen or broken. Any gains she may have made were due to her own hard work and endurance yet here you are taking all of the credit. Typical ‘mummy warrior’ rhetoric but in reality you’re just a bunch of ‘mummy martyrs’. Without testing of your ‘biomed’ bollocks you also can’t make the claim that it, in any way, contributed to her gains.

        Why use any pharmaceutical product or agent thereof for any reason if they are so eveeel? You’re a hypocrite. Perhaps you know you are simply out of your league and it goads you to have to admit that and rely upon those you harbour resentment for.

        A healthy lifestyle and judicious use of pharmaceutical products are not mutually exclusive so spare me that canard as well as your pretention.

        What strikes me as truly bizarre, you, who throw stones at Jenny for speaking her truth, have no problem demanding others accept your truth without question…If you wish for the mainstream world to modify its approach, to make you feel more comfortable, why would you not afford others the very same courtesy you demand?!

        Walk a mile in her shoes, then I’ll listen to your drivel.

        Ms. McCarthy speaks very little in the way of truth; she has not been honest about her son’s medical history and merely uses him to revive her career. I will never afford lying, manipulative, arrogantly ignorant public health menaces any courtesy. It’s not “my truth” either; more dramatic rhetoric; it’s simply facts. I think Sullivan provided a much better response to your ‘walk a mile…’ nonsense. You don’t have a lock on that and nor does McCarthy by any stretch.

      • Sullivan (Matt Carey) July 19, 2013 at 16:23 #

        Should I wait until Jenny McCarthy walks a mile in my shoes before I listen to her “drivel”?

        That “walk in my shoes” thing cuts both ways. It’s usually used as a way of one person trying to cut off discussion.

  7. lilady July 20, 2013 at 08:12 #

    My goodness, you’ve hooked a couple of real dyed-in-wool anti-vaccine cranks.

    McCarthy’s truthfulness about her son’s diagnosis and the onset of his seizures, that she at first attributed directly to MMR vaccine, is “suspect”. Here, during this one interview, she is unable to get her “story” straight about her child’s onset of seizures and regression relative to the timing of the MMR and/or other vaccines.

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/vaccines/interviews/mccarthy.html

    She was also quoted in Time Magazine (behind a pay wall) about the possibility that her son was incorrectly diagnosed as having autism. The Huffington-Post article seems to clarify that her child’s seizures were caused by Landau-Kleffner Syndrome. (If the Time Magazine interview and the Ho-Po article erroneously reported Evan’s disorder, why didn’t McCarthy request a retraction?)

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/02/25/jenny-mccarthy-in-time-i_n_476881.html

    “Evan’s symptoms — heavy seizures, followed by marked improvement once the seizures were brought under control — are similar to those of Landau-Kleffner syndrome, a rare childhood neurological disorder that can also result in speech impairment and possible long-term neurological damage. Or, as other pediatricians have suggested, perhaps the miracle I have beheld is the quotidian miracle of childhood development: a delayed 2-year-old catching up by the time he is 7, a commonplace, routine occurrence, nothing more surprising than a short boy growing tall. It is enraging to the mother to hear that nothing was wrong with her boy — she held him during his seizures, saw his eyes roll up after he received his vaccines — and how can you say that she doesn’t know what she knows?”

    We all are pleased that Evan has made progress, but to say that Jenny’s “biomedical” interventions effected those changes is a blatant unmitigated lie. The therapies he underwent including ABA and speech and the natural developmental maturation he underwent, as well as the correct combination of anti-convulsant medication(s), plus Evan’s hard work, yielded those positive results.

  8. stanley seigler July 21, 2013 at 12:29 #

    why does Jenny McCarthy get so much ink on LBRB…she is a barbie doll…hopefully her autistic son will provide her some degree of wisdom…

    • Lara Lohne July 21, 2013 at 19:18 #

      He son isn’t autistic, wasn’t ever autistic. Evidence points to her son having Landau-Kleffner Syndrome, which is a seizure disorder and the resulting side effects can be confused with autistic characteristics. But once the seizures are under control with proper anti-seizure medication the ‘autistic like’ characteristics go away. So her claims of curing her son of autism are just as fabricated as her claims of her son getting autism from a vaccine.

      • stanley seigler July 22, 2013 at 05:34 #

        too bad well meaning folks cant agree on what autism is…my daughter DXed in 1967 w/ autism and 40 some yrs later we still cant define autism…btw in days of yore when care provider told my daughter was autistic … responded (being artistic) does she paint or write music…

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